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Lexi Lake did not intend to join Barrett Honors College when she enrolled at Arizona State University in 2014. However, she chandeg her mind after meeting Dr. Mark Henderson, associate dean of Barrett at the ASU Polytechnic campus, who told her about the opportunities available to honors students.
“When I heard what he had to say, I knew I wanted to be in Barrett. I’m a sucker for opportunities because as a student you need experience in a variety of things in addition to classes,” said Lake, who graduated ASU with honors from Barrett Honors College last year.
Lake, who majored in applied biomedical sciences with an emphasis on pre-veterinary medicine, took advantage of opportunities that she says led her to where she is now. She is a first-year student in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Midwestern University in Glendale, Ariz.
She applied to five vet schools and interviewed at three; Midwestern, Washington State University and Kansas State University. She chose Midwestern in order to stay close to her hometown of Gilbert, Ariz.
“I attribute my getting into veterinary school to Barrett. I believe Barrett provided me with opportunities that made me a better candidate, such as student leadership roles and animal-related research,” she said.
With assistance from Barrett, Lake obtained a veterinary internship in Nicaragua, where she worked with veterinarians in rural communities to prevent parasitic illnesses in animals and provide neutering services.
She also fulfilled an honors contract and got honors credits for completing an observational study of orangutan behavior at the Phoenix Zoo.
She received a Bidstrup Undergraduate Fellowship, a scholarship provided to Barrett students to fund their research, which allowed her to work for 1 ½ years on her honors thesis research project titled Investigating Antimicrobial Controls for Bat White-Nose Syndrome with Dr. Marianne Moore in the ASU College of Integrative Sciences and Arts.
“I felt really honored to receive the (Bidstrup) award. I knew that the research was important and by receiving funding it showed that other people thought what I was doing was important and significant too,” she said.
Lake obtained a scholarship from Barrett to participate in honors study abroad in England, Ireland and Scotland.
She also was active in Honors Devils, an organization of honors students who help promote the honors college, assist with recruiting new students, and give campus tours. Lake served as president of the Honors Devils in Barrett at the ASU Poly campus for two years.
Lake’s plan is to own and operate a veterinary practice for a variety of animals including dogs, cats, rabbits, sugar gliders, reptiles, amphibians and snakes.
“Barrett made it possible to reach for my dreams. I’ve always known I wanted to be a vet but didn’t know how to get there. The opportunities and personal development at Barrett made it possible for me to be where I am today,” Lake said.
“Barrett is opportunity. You can do anything you set your mind to because everyone at Barrett wants you to be successful and will help you find the resources to do so.”