Web Extra

by Marcia Hill Gossard ’99, ’04 Ph.D.

Tracie Romsland always knew she wanted to work with animals.  Growing up in a family with more pets than people, Tracie cared for all kinds of animals from stray cats to dogs to horses.  After receiving her undergraduate degree in general science from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., she began working in a veterinary clinic in Redmond, Wash., first as a receptionist and later as a technician.

“Right out of college, I wasn’t sure I was smart enough to be a veterinarian,” says Romsland.  “But I knew I wanted to work with animals.”

But after working at the clinic for several years, Romsland decided to pursue her dream and apply for veterinary school.  Not only was she smart enough to be admitted to the highly competitive WSU program, she was awarded the prestigious Elizabeth W. “Betty” Wilson Endowed Memorial Scholarship during her junior year, which recognizes high academic ability, strong interpersonal skills, and demonstrated leadership.

Receiving the scholarship changed the course of Romsland’s career.  As a non-traditional student in her early 30s, she was putting herself through school.  At the time, furthering her education beyond the D.V.M. didn’t seem financially feasible.

“The scholarship allowed me to think about going on in school to specialize,” says Romsland.  “It was the catalyst for doing an internship.”

Romsland received her D.V.M. in 2007.  She spent the following year completing her internship at the Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York City’s ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) headquarters where she was also involved with pigeon rescue.

Today, Romsland is back at WSU as a resident specializing in clinical pathology and working towards her master’s degree.  Her goal is to become a board certified clinical pathologist.  She also plans to one day become certified in acupuncture and to spend time volunteering in animal shelters.

“I’m grateful for having received this scholarship,” says Romsland. “Without it, none of my current career goals would have been possible.”

The Elizabeth W. “Betty” Wilson Endowed Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a promising junior or senior veterinary student interested in small animal medicine.  The scholarship recognizes high academic ability, strong interpersonal skills, and demonstrated leadership.