On Wednesday, September 25, third-year DVM student Kristen Peagler was conferred the BFSO Founders Scholarship – Professional Student. This award recognizes outstanding students for academic performance, spirit of volunteerism, and extracurricular activity—areas in which Peagler goes above and beyond the norm.
Volunteerism is a passion for Peagler, and she has always been involved in her community everywhere she has lived. “Simply existing in your community isn’t enough,” says Peagler. “Becoming an active part of the community and getting to know your constituents lets you have an active role in its betterment.” Peagler is a student ambassador and honor council member in the College of Veterinary Medicine. She has also assisted with a number of programs hosted by the College such as VetCAMP, where she acted as a counselor, and UGA Dawg Trails, and This Is How We “Role”, a program in which she and other veterinary students teach classes to inspire underserved elementary students to pursue careers in veterinary science.
Peagler relates that she had always wanted to be a veterinarian, but this idea was cemented after witnessing her family dog, a giant schnauzer named Nile, push her little brother out of the way of a moving vehicle. “I was intrigued by the fact that this animal risked its life to save my brother’s,” Peagler states, “and from that point forward, I was committed to helping animals.” Peagler hopes to aid in the development of space medicine with focus on neurology and orthopedics using animal and computer models to help other animals and humans. Her end goal: NASA.
With a vast list of honors, research projects, including one completed during her time in the Georgia Veterinary Scholars Program, and volunteer opportunities under her belt, Peagler is well on her way to a bright future. In her limited free time, Peagler enjoys playing intramural soccer and flag football, hiking, camping, reading, and learning to play new instruments, but in everything she does, Peagler hopes to introduce more diversity and inclusion into the world. She explains, “I recognize the sacrifices of those who came before me who weren’t allowed into professional schools. The passion I have for getting involved while educating and encouraging those in the community is how I intend to pay this scholarship forward.”