Student Spotlight: Kaleena Dudek

kaleena dudekKaleena Dudek is on her way to a successful career in animal health. As a senior in animal science with minors in pharmacology and toxicology, Kaleena has fostered her love for animal health during her four years at Iowa State.

Growing up in Kansas City, Kansas, and always being around horses, Kaleena knew she wanted a career in animal science. “I always heard a lot of good things about Iowa State and the animal science department. With my interest in animal health and vet school, the opportunities that were available at Iowa State made it a great choice.”

Kaleena has been involved in a variety of activities while at Iowa State. Her favorite has been the Eventing Team in the Equestrian Club, where she serves as the public relations co-chair. “I made some of my best friends through that, and it has been so fun to compete and bond with those girls over the horses and the sport,” said Kaleena. She is also a part of the Motorcycle Club and the SAE – Baja Team, where she served as the graphics and media lead.

While in school, Kaleena works as a lab assistant at Boehringer Ingelheim. She previously held an internship with them, which helped foster her love for animal health research. “Boehringer Ingelheim really supported my love for being in the lab by helping me learn new assays and techniques.”

After graduation, Kaleena plans to attend graduate school to obtain her master’s degree in veterinary biomedical science. Her goal is to work in a research or diagnostic lab for the USDA or a major animal health company.

Her favorite professor is Jill Paxton, whom Kaleena knew of before she came to Iowa State. “She had judged some of the horse competitions I was in. Then, I took ANS 306: Equine Evaluation and really enjoyed it. I am also a teaching assistant for her and am currently taking another class she teaches.”

When asked if she had any advice for current students, Kaleena responded, “Get involved as much as you can. Don’t be afraid to talk to your professors or be a teaching assistant for classes. You open so many doors when you put yourself out there.”