In a query in the form of a comment to a recent post, a prosective UGA student asked about the Franklin College and what role, as a prospective veterinary student, Franklin would play in their education. It's a good question.
A very significant role, actually. Aside from its importance to the core curriculum for a host of majors beyond Franklin, preparing students for study in a wide variety of fields and professional schools, the arts and sciences educate us about society in a way that will impact everything we do, whatever our field. The First-Year Odyssey program offers a case in point on this experience:
First-Year Odyssey seminars are designed to introduce students to academic life at UGA, allowing them to engage with faculty and other first-year students in a small class environment.
In this seminar, Ward, a professor of internal medicine at the College of Veterinary Medicine and chief medical officer for small animal medicine, asks students to explore how pets are part of society and what responsibility people have to their pets. But the course also gives students a chance to see and interact with animals.
There were plenty of adoring "oohs" and "ahs" from the class of 15 students as they toured the existing Veterinary Teaching Hospital with Ward and got to see animals of various sizes receiving treatment. The students were especially excited in the large animal wing of the hospital when they found a sick calf taking solace with its mother in a stall.
But the tour wasn't just about looking at sick animals. Students also were introduced to the wide-ranging specialties in veterinary medicine. Ward said there are nearly as many medical specialties in treating animals as there are in people medicine-including cardiology, anesthesiology, orthopedics and neurology.
While one function of the class is to get students to think deeply about human-animal interaction in society, it's also an opportunity for students to explore careers that deal with animals.
Elizabeth Davis, a biological science major from Adairsville, grew up on a farm with chickens, goats and horses. She is considering career options with animals beyond being a veterinarian.
As she has found out in the class, there are many options.
"I've learned a lot about being a vet and other careers," she said.
Precisely so. Hands-on experience with a variety of subject matter allows students to think broadly about their future, even if they have already decided on a career. Refining our ideas about what we want to do and the best route for our talents is one of the great luxuries [and responsibilities] students enjoy at UGA. The Franklin College plays a crucial role in thse opportunities, providing the space and breadth of faculty expertise for your imagination to roam - and your perceptions to sharpen.