Brooke Kitting wins award to study veterinary medicine and public health

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Brooke Lynn Kitting, of McAlisterville, is headed to the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine later this year to Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, and a Masters of Public Health.

McALISTERVILLE — Brooke Lynn Kitting, daughter of Stacy and Melissa Kitting of McAlisterville, and a member of the Class of 2014 at East Juniata High School, will graduate from Delaware Valley University School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences on May 19.

She will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in animal science, specializing in pre-professional science with a minor in food science.

In August, Kitting will join the Class of 2022 in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine to obtain a Veterinariae Medicinae Doctoris, Latin for Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, and a Masters of Public Health.

Kitting is the recipient of the 2018 Commonwealth One-Health Award, which is given to an individual who has demonstrated tremendous personal success and shows incredible potential to the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

The Commonwealth One-Health Award includes a full-tuition subsidy for each year that the recipient attends the university. For Kitting, the subsidy is valued in excess of $220,000. The One-Health initiative is the ideology that the health of people is directly connected to the health of animals and environment.

Kitting plans to work for the U. S. Department of Agriculture upon completion of both degree programs, and ultimately pursue a career ensuring global food security.

“Population growth is going to be a huge issue that my generation will face over the next three decades and it’s incredibly important that we meet the increasing demand for animal protein products while maintaining or exceeding overall animal health and welfare, as well as environmental stewardship” Kitting said. “Food animal veterinarians will play a significant role in achieving this.”

The goal of becoming a veterinarian for Kitting began in high school, during her involvement in the local 4-H and FFA chapters.

Her interest in working in the industry was complemented with her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science, as well as various experiences with poultry and swine producers, USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the USDA Agricultural Research Service.

“I had the opportunity to see the food animal industry in many forms — production, processing, and research — this gave me a distinct advantage going into the initial application process back in May” Kitting said. “They saw passion and great potential in me that they must not have seen in anyone else.”

Kitting was attracted to the professional program at the University of Pennsylvania specifically because of the integral role it plays in Pennsylvania agriculture.

“PennVet has a strong involvement in our poultry, swine, dairy, and equine industries, and I used my appreciation for that involvement as a major talking point in my interview back in February” Kitting said.

The large animal facility, otherwise known as the New Bolton Center, located in Kennett Square, Chester County, is home to innovative facilities, including a Swine Research and Teaching Facility, the Georgia and Phillip Hofmann Research Center for Animal Reproduction, and an Equine Pharmacology Laboratory, to name a few.

As a recipient of the Commonwealth One-Health Award, Kitting will be responsible for representing PennVet in Harrisburg and speaking with legislators in the Department of Agriculture, as well as attending major agricultural related expositions and conferences during her tenure there.

“Receiving this award and getting the opportunity to study at one of the top veterinary schools in the country is something that I thought I would only dream of,” Kitting said. “Anything is possible if you work hard and work with purpose.”

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