Kelsie Belanger MCM Student

Kelsie Belanger, VG23


Derry, New Hampshire

B.S. Biology, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Why did you choose to pursue this degree, and why did you choose Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine to pursue this degree?

I grew up with a passion, love, and immense appreciation for the beauty and value of nature around me. I’ve never felt a degree path that resonated with my passion and love quite so closely as Conservation Medicine does. It emphasizes the importance of acting on environmental and wildlife protection without sacrificing the important pillar of human health, which is ever more evident as I watch my young niece grow up in an uncertain world. The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine is known to be a very respected institution that produces professionals that can change the world – I can only hope to count myself among those.

What are your interests and/or experience relative to your program?

I grew up on the border of Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire in a town called Haverhill. Throughout my childhood, we took week-long trips into the white mountains and the seven lakes region. My father, an avid naturalist, taught me love and respect for the wildlife we encountered and taught me compassion for everything that lives and breathes. The passion to conserve and protect the beauty I’ve grown up with burns in my heart.

While I am young and have yet to have professional experience in the field, I have spent many hours in nature during my program at UMass Lowell, specifically during field ecology and entomology courses. In these, I learned to identify nature species, clean up rivers, track endangered turtles, and so much more. I crave to continue my journey.

What are your career goals after completing the program?

I want to find myself in a place that furthers conservation of the natural beauty of New England, whether that be through technological assistance with data analysis or GIS, or out in the fields tracking endangered species and invasive animals. My aspirations are broad, as I simply want to put my expertise to work to keep inspiring young children like I once was to love nature.