• YEAR: Doctoral student
  • MAJOR: Veterinary Medicine
  • HOMETOWN: Indianapolis, Indiana

Jasmine Coe

From her days at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, this veterinary medicine doctoral student has had her sights set on becoming a veterinarian. It's a natural for this achiever, who loves working with animals and spends her free time inspiring young minds to follow in her scientific footsteps. She's doing this through a literacy program for children she helped establish at Lafayette's Hanna Community Center. She's also devoted to multicultural initiatives. Role model, pacesetter, equality maker — this is Jasmine Coe.

A multicultural scholar

The USDA Multicultural Scholarship Program put Jasmine on the path to vet school. The significant funding helped her earn a bachelor's degree in animal sciences from Purdue in 2010 and led to her decision to pursue a doctorate. Just one year away from clinical rotations, Jasmine relishes the hands-on time with both pets and their loving owners.

The scholarship program took her on a study abroad tour through Costa Rica and Panama. "It was awesome," she says. "We did free spays and neuters on a 10-day visit. It's really a great program. I've made some great contacts and met a lot of really nice people."

VOICE advocate

From concerns about the ethical treatment of animals to equal opportunities for humans, this equality maker walks the talk. As the president of the National Chapter of Veterinary Students as One in Culture and Ethnicity (VOICE), Jasmine helps promote diversity within the veterinary curriculum. "We have a chance to learn more about cultural differences and bring everyone together," she says.

Dreaming of her own clinic

A self-described people pleaser, Jasmine says the opportunity to own a mixed-animal practice or work in emergency veterinary medicine would give her the best of both human and animal worlds. "I figured out as a kid that I'm fascinated by animals and love working with them," says Jasmine, who works in the emergency room of Purdue's small animal hospital clinic on the weekends. "Since many people look at pets as their own children, I can make a positive difference in the lives of people and animals."

Promoting science and literacy

Jasmine wrote and received a $500 Purdue grant to purchase Scholastic Books for Lafayette's Hanna Community Center. Now through weekly visits to the center, she and some veterinary school classmates read to kids and help them with their homework. Each child receives four books that promote science, diversity and equality, multiculturalism, and, of course, animals.

Jasmine says her work at the Hanna Center is one of the most important things she does. "As much as I love working with animals, I also enjoy working with children. I like to reach out and promote science majors to kids."