Chelsea Quinn’s acceptance into St. George’s University makes her the first animal science alumni to study abroad

Alcorn State University alumni are reaching extraordinary heights in their post-graduate educations. Chelsea Quinn is the latest example of an Alcornite accomplishing incredible feats. She recently became the School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences’ first graduate to study outside of the United States.

Quinn, who earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science in 2020, was accepted into the St. George’s University (SGU) School of Veterinary Medicine on the island of Grenada in the West Indies. SGU was founded in 1976 and has evolved into a top center for international education, drawing students and faculty from 140 countries to the Caribbean Island.

The McComb, Mississippi native feels honored to represent her alma mater with her accomplishment. Her goal is to encourage other Alcorn students to venture outside their comfort zones for more exposure.

“It feels amazing to be Alcorn’s first international veterinary school student,” said Quinn. “I hope that I can influence other Alcorn students who are interested in this field to study abroad to gain exposure to things that they wouldn’t be exposed to in the United States.”

Connecting with one of the school’s students inspired Quinn to study abroad.

“A current student at St. George’s University inspired me to study abroad. She never had anything negative to say about the school or area. She is an advocate for the school and spoke highly about the program and her experiences.”

The transition from the United States to Grenada has been smooth for Quinn. Interacting with the island’s hospitable natives gives her a sense of home.

“Living in Grenada has been a humbling and life-changing experience. The natives are some of the friendliest people that I have ever met in my life, and they’ve made it feel like a second home for me. I’m so happy that I decided to study abroad because I get the opportunity to embrace and appreciate a new culture.”

The road to Quinn pursuing her dream of becoming a veterinarian began during her childhood. She recalls being around animals often and realizing the joy that they gave her. She knew that she would one day serve as a voice for their well-being.

“Being a veterinarian has always been a dream of mine since I was about eight years old. Growing up, I was always around animals, and being around them made me happy. My love for animals grew over the years, and I realized they needed advocates who would speak, fight, and care for them. So I decided to be one of those advocates.”

Working at her hometown’s animal hospital fueled her passion and gave her a glimpse into what veterinarians do and how they impact animals and their owners. Her experience was enlightening, as it helped her choose a career path in the field.

“I got the opportunity to see what veterinarians do and how important their jobs are, especially during the pandemic. Also, seeing the impact that veterinary technicians and veterinarians have on animals and the owners solidified my pursuit of a career in veterinary medicine.”

As an undergraduate at Alcorn, Quinn made quite the impression on her professors with her work ethic and commitment to excellence. Dr. Cassandra Vaughn, a former faculty member with Alcorn’s School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, was excited upon hearing of her former student’s acceptance into the program. She’s confident that Quinn will find much success and exceed expectations.

“I was elated when Chelsea told me of her acceptance,” said Vaughn. “She was an outstanding student, and I do not doubt that she will matriculate successfully through the professional program.”

Vaughn, along with Drs. Kamilah Grant and Melissa Mason played significant roles in Quinn’s growth. She appreciates her Alcorn mentors for providing her with the tools for success.

“The professors at Alcorn encouraged me not to settle for the bare minimum, to put all of my efforts into my work, and to believe in myself. During my application process, they were happy to take the time to help me in any way possible. Alcorn State University laid a foundation for me to be where I am today. For that, I will forever be grateful.”