Story by Marcia Hill Gossard ’99, ’04
Nicholas Paulson ('12 DVM) receiving the first Class of 1961
Professionalism Award from Dr. Robert Wilson ('61 DVM),
former dean of the college
The WSU Veterinary Class of 1961 presented a $1,000 scholarship at their 50th class reunion to DVM student Nicholas Paulson, the first recipient of the Class of '61 Professionalism Award.
The DVM Class of '61 established the award to recognize the high degree of professionalism among veterinary students at WSU. The class and their spouses raised $39,500 for an endowment that will be used to provide scholarships to students completing their third year of the DVM curriculum. Paulson is grateful for the scholarship as these funds are helping him with his final and most involved year of the DVM curriculum.
"It was a big honor, and it was nice to recognized," Paulson said. "The award makes you want to continue to work hard, remain professional, and treat your peers well."
This is a unique award. DVM students in their third year vote for a fellow classmate to be the award recipient. The awardees should exemplify professionalism, knowledge and competency, and respect and care with classmates. Paulson's classmates recognized these attributes in him and expressed that by choosing him for this award.
Paulson's interest in veterinary medicine grew from his undergraduate studies in wild life biology when he gained hands on experience working with animals. As he worked more closely with these animals, his interests began to shift from the purely scientific aspects of the program to providing care.
"There was a lot of hand raising of these animals, where you were working with them directly and getting them used to a human presence," Paulson said. His work included nursing, hand feeding, and giving the animals medical care.
Now, Paulson is spending most of his time gaining clinical experience at the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital. After graduating he hopes to take his experience into private practice, either working as a partner or having his own practice. At that time he hopes to give back too.
"I have gotten a lot from my experience at the College of Veterinary Medicine, and I hope to give back someday," Paulson said. "I would like to see my class get involved in supporting the college in a similar way in the future."