From Africa to Oxford: Vet Tech Student Gets Diverse Experience

Veterinary technology degree

Cheri with a newborn Thompson Gazelle, called a Tommie. Cheri witnessed its mother giving birth on the side of the road.

If you love interesting animal stories, Cheri Wierichs has them!  Cheri is a third-quarter student in the veterinary technology degree program at Globe University-Madison East, and she is full of interesting stories.

Cheri’s husband, who recently retired from the Army, had been stationed in Africa.  While there, Cheri and her family went to visit him for a few months and she became involved in the KSPCA (Kenya Society for the Protection and Care of Animals).  She has been traveling to Africa for three weeks each summer for the past three years to volunteer with the KSPCA.  The organization works with a variety of animals to spay, neuter and vaccinate, and handle abuse calls.

Not only does Cheri travel to Africa, she has also gone on two missionary trips to the Dominican Republic, where she met Dr. Hines, a veterinarian from the Adams-Marquette Veterinary Service in Oxford, Wis.  Cheri was able to secure a preceptorship for her Intro to Veterinary Technology class at this clinic.

After she completed her preceptorship, Dr. Hines stated that Cheri was welcome to come back anytime.  That started a volunteer opportunity for her.  She began by folding towels and sweeping the floor.  After a short period of time, Dr. Hines decided to hire Cheri and she has been an employee at the clinic for the past two months.

“I’m continuing to learn and gaining hands on experience”, Cheri said.  “These are real world situations I’m dealing with and am able to see how what we do affects peoples’ lives and animals.”

veterinary technology degreeCheri completed a client education project for her Intro to Clinical Skills class, which Dr. Hines has opted to use at his clinic.

“I am delighted to have Cheri working with us in our veterinary clinic,” said Dr. Hines.  “She initially came to shadow, but was so helpful and knowledgeable that I hired her.  She is a fantastic addition to our clinic and I am always impressed by her technical abilities and positive attitude.”

Cheri will also be starting to volunteer at the Henry Vilas Zoo as an animal ambassador.  She also works part-time as a pharmacy tech and has been doing that for the past 20 years.

Cheri has four dogs, one of which was brought back from Africa. And one dog is named “Paka,” which means cat in Swahili. As Cheri states, “she’s a scaredy cat.”  Cheri also has three horses, a miniature donkey, a goat, and seven barn cats.  Talk about a full house!

By Heather Wipijewski, Veterinary Technology Degree Program Chair, Globe University-Madison East