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Samantha Rowland '02

Posted: December 5, 2012

As the anesthesia supervisor at Virginia Tech’s Marion DuPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Va., Samantha Rowland ’02 is responsible for equine patients, from the pre-operative period through the recovery period.

Rowland is living the career she knew she wanted to follow when she applied to Wilson College — equine veterinary medicine.

“Veterinary medicine and horses have been a part of my life since junior high school,” said Rowland. “I knew I wanted to continue down that path. The four-year veterinary technology and equine programs drew me to Wilson.”

Rowland graduated from Wilson with bachelor’s degrees in both veterinary medical technology and equine management. She also pursued a minor in small business management. While deciding on her career path, Rowland thought having the two majors together would give her more of an advantage.

“Due to my love of horses, I knew I wanted to work in equine medicine,” Rowland said. “The two majors increased my knowledge base.”

She has now been a licensed veterinary technician for 10 years. She decided that she wanted to specialize in anesthesia, and obtained her veterinary technician specialist (VTS) certification through the Academy of Veterinary Technician Anesthetists (AVTA). While no extra schooling is involved in this process, much experience is required.

“The application itself takes a year to complete as it involves a year’s worth of anesthetic case logs, several case reports, along with letters of reference and proof of education,” said Rowland. “I had to be practicing full time for about three years before being able to complete the application.”

Rowland’s job at the equine medical center allows her to be fairly autonomous. She performs her own patient evaluation exams and unless there is a problem during surgery, her decisions regarding the anesthesia are rarely discussed with the attending surgeon. The center is part of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, so it is a teaching hospital as well as a working hospital. This means that the students and faculty perform all kinds of surgeries, from horses and donkeys to family pets and racehorses.

Rowland believes her years at Wilson helped shape the person she has become and values the liberal arts education she received here.

“My time at Wilson was some of the best years of my life,” said Rowland. “The small class sizes allowed for a more personal learning environment.”

Last Updated: December 5, 2012