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sarah pozzi at animal care clinic

By Richard Burnett

Since her days at Beacon College as an anthrozoology student, Sarah Pozzi’s journey has run the gamut, from the coasts of the Florida Keys and plains of the Midwest to the heights of the Blue Ridge Mountains. She’s been an animal rescue educator, a college instructor, and a veterinary technician.

Now, boosted by this wealth of experience, Pozzi believes she has found her long-term niche. In January, she was accepted into the veterinarian technology program at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. According to the plan, she’ll receive her bachelor of science degree in two years, while working part-time at an emergency veterinary clinic in Boone.

“I loved being an educator in animal rescue, but the medical field is really more up my alley,” said the 2020 Beacon graduate with a B.A. in anthrozoology. “I’ve really enjoyed working at the clinic, and I began to see my real niche in the animal care field. I know it’s not easy, but I believe it’s going open new doors for me in terms of more exciting, successful jobs.”

Following her passion for animal care

Fueled by her love for animals, avid sense of adventure and overall positive energy, Pozzi’s first job after graduation took her to the Florida Keys, where she worked as an educator for The Turtle Hospital and Rehab Center in Marathon.

Buoyed by that experience, she landed a job last year as an outdoor education instructor for Northern Illinois University in the Chicago region. Through the summer and fall, she taught freshmen courses focusing on the environment, ecology and conservation.

Then her passion for hands-on animal care led her to the veterinary tech job and degree work at Appalachian State in the western North Carolina mountains.

The veterinary technology program’s goal is threefold: Benefit veterinary professionals, the welfare of animals and the broader industry, according the college’s website.

“You will learn to capably assist veterinarians and prepare for certification exams to take advantage of a flourishing job market,” the site says. “You’ll gain real-world experience working with animals during your clinical experience. Upon graduation, you’ll be positioned to leverage your skills to take care of the best friends in your community and even shape the future of the field.”

Go-getter for opportunity

All of that sounded life-changing to Pozzi. She quickly submitted applications to the vet clinic and the college. And everything fell into place.

“Well, I’m a real go-getter,” she said. “I don’t just sit back if I see something that I believe is a real opportunity for me to better myself.”

Pozzi’s high-energy trek to find herself professionally is no surprise to those who knew her at Beacon.

“She’s always been super-passionate about caring for animals and learning all she could about the field,” said Dr. A.J. Marsden, associate professor of human services and psychology. “It doesn’t surprise me that she would stay in the field and go back to school to get another degree. She’s very bright, a great student and a hard worker.”

Pozzi is excited about acquiring new knowledge and skills, including operating X-ray machines, taking blood samples, processing tests, taking symptom histories and managing animal exams. She said her experience at Beacon has bolstered her confidence as she begins classes at a different university.

“I really think it gives me an advantage,” she said. “I know myself better, how I learn most effectively and how to be successful in college. It provides me the confidence that I will be successful and will be able to achieve my goals. Overall, I wouldn’t be able to do that without all the great support I received from Beacon and the professors that I had there.”