Student Spotlight: Catie Collison

catie collisonCatie Collison is paving her way to a successful career as a large animal veterinarian. And, thanks to the new Production Animal - Veterinary Early Acceptance Program (PA-VEAP), Catie has a spot secured in Iowa State’s College of Veterinary Medicine for 2026.  

Growing up in Lake City, Iowa, Catie knew from an early age that she wanted to be a veterinarian. “There are five vets in my family, including my parents. Watching them work as I grew up is what inspired me to follow the same career path and attend Iowa State.”  

Being involved in various aspects of the livestock industry has set her up for success in her future career in production animal work. Catie grew up on a beef cow/calf and row crop operation and has shown Angus cattle at the state and national level for 11 years. She also has helped extensively at her family’s private practice that specializes in bovine and small ruminant embryo transfer and in-vitro fertilization. “I really couldn’t see myself on any different career path. I have been around it my whole life and am passionate about helping producers improve their operations. I want to provide care for their animals, which, in turn, will help them economically.”  

Catie is involved in various clubs and activities around campus, including Block & Bridle, Iowa Corn Growers, Alpha Zeta Honor Society, and her sorority, Alpha Delta Pi, where she serves as the Director of Academic Affairs. While at school, Catie also works at the Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Hospital Pharmacy as a certified pharmacy technician.  

During her time so far at Iowa State, Catie is most proud of securing a spot in veterinary school through PA-VEAP, which aims to recruit and retain future veterinarians practicing food animal medicine, primarily in underserved areas. Catie is a member of the inaugural class of recruits and feels a weight off her shoulders because of it. “It feels relieving but also surreal and exciting to have my spot secured,” she said.  

Catie said her favorite class is AN S 214L: Domestic Animal Anatomy and Physiology Lab because she likes to do hands-on work and liked how interactive the dissections were.  

After veterinary school, Catie wants to run her own private practice. Following in the family business, she is also interested in exploring techniques in embryo transfer and in-vitro fertilization for different animals.  

When asked if she had any advice for current students, Catie responded, “Don’t be scared to set high goals for yourself and work to achieve them. Anything is possible when you set your mind to it.”