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Vet school acceptance transforms a BW student’s sorrow into success

From the tears of losing her best friend - a Bernese Mountain Dog named Murphy - Grace Kaylor '23 found a career calling that led her to gain a coveted spot at veterinary school.

Photo of Grace Kaylor with Murphy

Murphy was everything to Kaylor. He helped her push through life's hardest challenges - the ones that catch us unexpectedly at our most fragile times. His sweet face, soulful eyes and reassuring presence left an indelible mark on her heart.

A dreaded phone call - that Murphy was rushed to an emergency clinic and wasn't doing well - devastated her. But the saddest news came later that day when her beloved dog passed away from a collapsed trachea.

"Losing my best friend was one of the most traumatic moments of my life. After working through my grief of losing Murphy, I realized my purpose in life was to become a veterinarian," explained the biology major from Medina, Ohio.

"I started changing gears to achieve this goal. I knew my passion for giving back to society would be to make a positive contribution to the veterinary world," said Kaylor.

Kaylor's goal was achieved when she received acceptance to three top veterinary schools on her first try. It's an exemplary achievement considering there are only 32 schools and, on average, only about 10-15% of applicants gain acceptance of the more than 10,000 who apply.

Being Her 'True Authentic Self'

"I think having a lot of different volunteer experiences helped me stand out," believes Kaylor. "I have volunteered with animal-focused organizations, such as at Fox Tale Sanctuary and Medina Raptor Center. But I also had experiences outside the animal field, the American Red Cross, Medina Hospital and hospice center, where I worked with the nurses and learned about grieving and compassion.

"I also think I had strong letters of recommendation and a strong personal letter. Then when I got to the interview portion, I really tried my best to make sure I was being my true authentic self and to make sure the interview flowed like a conversation and my personality showed," she added.

Kaylor credits her BW professors for being supportive and mentoring her. "I have had so many great experiences with a lot of professors here at Baldwin Wallace, especially in the biology and chemistry departments. As a transfer student and a commuter, I knew it was important to make meaningful connections. I easily can say that the professors at Baldwin Wallace are always willing to help and to connect with students.

"I will definitely miss leaving Baldwin Wallace. But I look forward to having a career that enables me to be a voice for animals and to fight for their rights and welfare," she emphasized.

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