Alumni Feature: Alyssa LaSart 2017
Drawn to the idea that “everybody knows everybody” at UMN Crookston, Alyssa LaSart became a Golden Eagle in 2015 and graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in animal science with an emphasis in pre-vet. During her time on campus, LaSart enjoyed the small class sizes and opportunities she gained access to through the animal science program. She especially appreciated the hands-on experience provided by UMN Crookston because she didn’t grow up working with farm animals. In addition to studying and working in her field, she was an employee at Regal’s in the Eagle’s Nest and enjoyed being a short walk away from her friends on campus. Following exams, she would celebrate with a dancing night at Arthur’s Barn in Arthur, N.D.
LaSart is where she is today because of her hard work at UMN Crookston and the passion that continues to drive her through veterinary school.
LaSart’s animal science professors helped her blossom into a farm animal lover. She still uses the information and life lessons she learned from Leslie Lekatz, Abdorrahman (Abdo) Alghamdi, Lyle Westrom, Harouna Maiga, and Terrill Bradford and would like to recognize Debbie Ramberg, Kelly Henry, Paige Stallard, MunJu Cho, and Angelika Huglen for helping her through a difficult time her senior year. LaSart feels she is able to connect with animal owners, animal lovers, and the farmers she works with every day thanks to everything she learned at the University of Minnesota Crookston.
Following graduation, LaSart was accepted into the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2021. She loves being surrounded by so many people who share similar goals of becoming veterinarians. Her classmates have become one big supportive family. During this school year she has been working through her fourth year clinicals where she rotates through different services in the teaching hospital for two weeks at a time. Her favorites include neurology, anesthesia, and oncology. She passed the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam and is well on her way to her dream career. LaSart states, “The only thing left between me and being a doctor is obtaining my degree in May and applying for a state license when I figure out where I would like to practice.”
LaSart’s passion for her field grew exponentially at UMN Crookston and provided her the drive to be heavily involved at vet school. She helps run the Open House at the U of I every fall by organizing and managing the cow milking booth. This provides the public with education on the dairy industry. Children learn how to milk cows and many myths surrounding dairy are debunked. LaSart always gets at least one question asking if chocolate milk comes from brown cows. On top of her involvement with the milking booth she was a team leader for the Resident Equine Program, has assisted with lamb watch, worked at a horsemanship, the dairy farm, client services, and as a surgical technician. She has assisted with 68 different surgeries ranging from orthopedics to abdominal and urogenital soft tissue cases.
She resides in Champaign, Ill., with her boyfriend as well as two dogs, several fish, and a parakeet. Quarantine has given her the time to try new things at home and she likes to knit, paint, and bake. Her experimental quarantine baking has included making crème brulee, cheesecakes, Italian frosting, and various pies and pastries all from scratch. She is now in charge of bringing dessert to all vet med friend gatherings. LaSart is where she is today because of her hard work at UMN Crookston and the passion that continues to drive her through veterinary school. A quote that serves as a reminder in her life is, “You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life.”
She always tries to show kindness to others because sometimes a few kind words can be the highlight of someone else’s day.
Written for the Winter 2021 Torchlight e-Newsletter.