Graduate Spotlight: Michelle Kordupel

This summer, YSU STEM will highlight a different graduating student each month. This month, we’re highlighting Michelle Kordupel, a biological sciences major.

Michelle has plans on pursuing veterinary medicine, but it’s not all about the domestic pets for her.

“I’m going to North Carolina State School of Veterinary Medicine. Right now my focus is avian and reptilian medicine,” she said. “In private practice and corporate medicine, it’s all dogs and cats, and it’s a lot of seeing the same thing over and over again.”

Michelle said the thing she wants to focus on research with the animals, since not much is known about their health complications.

“[With] birds and reptiles, there is not a lot of research done on these species. So, there are a lot of problems common in other types of [veterinary] medicine that they really don’t know how to treat in reptilian and aviary medicine. So I’m interested in the research aspect of it. Why do we understand these problems in other species but not in reptiles and birds?”

Michelle was part of the honors program her entire collegiate career, as well as various student organizations. She said that being active in the campus community has helped her immensely in the very social aspect of veterinary medicine.

“We deal directly with our clients who own our patients, the pets. Everything goes to our clients, so you have to be very good with people, which a lot of people don’t quite realize when they think of vets,” Michelle said. “Sometimes you have to deal with the people even more so than the pets.”

The best part of being involved in organizations at YSU was the diversity.

“We are acting with people from different countries. We have a lot of foreign exchange students who lived in Cafaro, and there are also a lot of foreign exchange students that are a part of the STEM program itself, so being able to interact with diverse people in diverse situations, being able to talk to different people from different backgrounds has been one of the biggest influencing factors I would say for me,” she said.

In addition to the diversity, Michelle volunteered through the STEM College and the Honor’s Program. She said that volunteerism allows a person to give more of themselves to a cause.

“Veterinary medicine, specifically, is a very difficult profession where you’re giving a lot of yourself to these patients, to these clients. “A lot of your time and your energy and your effort goes into this career, so the people who are passionate are able to do that.”