Animal Science Grad Student to Attend Purdue Veterinary School

Shirissa Thompson, a recent graduate of the Alcorn State University Pre-Veterinary Medicine Program, has been accepted into the College of Veterinary Medicine at Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Indiana.

She is expected to begin the program in August, 2018 after completing her graduate student prerequisites in the School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences’ Biology Department.

Thompson’s love of animals began early in childhood.

“I’ve wanted to be a vet since I was seven years old. Growing up, my family supported my dreams and exposed me to all kinds of animals. We had everything from horses, dogs, rabbits and tortoises. As I got older, I would volunteer at the local animal shelters and the zoo,” Shirissa says.

In addition to her family, Shirissa cites Alcorn professors Dr. Cassandra Vaughn, assistant professor of animal science and University veterinarian, and Dr. Melissa Mason, assistant professor of animal science, as key contributors to her success.

“Dr. Vaughn took us to a veterinary symposium at Tuskegee [University] which sparked my interest and opened my eyes to the opportunities available to me. She, along with Dr. Mason, helped to ensure that I had the academic support that I needed to succeed.”

Shirissa’s long-term goal is to serve as a veterinarian in the United States Army. After her tour, she would like to work for a hometown practice. She advises any student who wants to follow in her footsteps to volunteer, make good grades, stay motivated, and check out the prerequisites for veterinary school early during their undergraduate career.

For more on the Animal Science Program in the School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, visit