Tonie is in her final year of graduate studies at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.
As an undergraduate aspiring to a career in veterinary medicine, Tonie Domino developed an interest in cows when she interned at the Heart’s Delight dairy farm at the William H. Miner Agricultural Institute in upstate New York before her senior year. She used that summer internship to complete a research project that earned first prize at the national conference of the Beta Beta Beta honor society in biology.
As a student of veterinary medicine, Tonie has continued a working in the field of large-animal medicine, recently completing her senior seminar presentation and paper on her experience with an outbreak of a gastrointestinal disease in some calves on a local farm.
In early 2013, Tonie will be traveling to different practices in Maryland and Pennsylvania to gain more hands-on experience. Later on in the spring, she will be heading out on the road with the ambulatory service for the vets that respond to farm calls.
After graduation, Tonie looks forward to having her own private practice. Even with her busy schedule, she still makes time for her old friend, housemate, and mentor Dr. Mary Bellosa. Dr. Bellosa is a horse vet in New Orleans; the two will go riding together when she next visits.
—Bethany Freeman ’16
The project, a poster presenting her research on the bacteria in cow’s milk, won the John C. Johnson Award in the Microbiology divisions at both the district and national levels.
Though she’d shadowed veterinarians before, Tonie’s intensive work on the farm—especially learning to drive a tractor—took her outside her comfort zone.
“It definitely changed my perspective,” she said. “We got to do everything. We helped milk the cows, helped deliver calves, and administered vaccinations and other treatments if cows were sick. We drove tractors and helped when they were getting the hay in, and we fed the calves each morning.”
In addition to their farm duties, the interns were paired with calves that they trained and showed at the county fair, and Tonie’s calf, Cricket, won a 6th place ribbon.
“She became really friendly and really fun to work with by the time the fair rolled around,” Tonie said.
Tonie, who is a Class of 2013 member of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medcine, feels the experience was an important step toward a career as a large-animal veterinarian.
“Veterinary school admissions want you to have a breadth of experience with animals,” she said, “and the internship was a great new experience.”