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MS Veterinary Medicine, Brazilian Woman

I am a young woman from Brazil whose major constant in life has been a profound love and respect for nature, especially animals and the way that we depend upon them for our own survival and well being. At 27, I feel that I am at the optimal point in my life to pursue graduate school, having had a chance to adapt well to life in the USA, fully adopting Minnesota as my new home, and preparing myself for full time study and research in English. I relocated here not long after finishing my undergraduate studies in Veterinary Medicine 2 years ago in my native Brazil. I want very much to continue my studies at the U of XXXX because of my deep respect for your program and the contacts that I have already made with professors in your department; your program is the only one to which I am applying.

I especially look forward to studying the molecular mechanisms by which bacterial organisms are able to successfully infect their hosts, the evolution and adaptation of the pathogen. The central professional interest that I have developed so far is working with mastitis in dairy cows. I am especially excited about the prospect of defeating mastitis because of the vast amount of resources that would be saved if we were able to better control, perhaps eventually even entirely avoid this problem, and continue to produce the highest quality of milk possible for public consumption, as well as improving the well being of cows. I see my calling in life as first and foremost a research scientist. This is what I find most engaging: diagnostic tests, host-pathogen interactions, etc. I love going to school and continuing to enhance my capacity for research, and I hope to study for the PHD degree at some point in my career. My long term goal is to spend many decades doing what I love most, research, with either a university or a private company. Studying in your program will provide me with the requisite foundation that will enable me to find a position where I will have the opportunity to make full use of my creative potential in the quest for constant innovation and progress fighting pathogens. A natural team player, I very much look forward to the joys of collegiality, sharing the mysteries, hurdles, and triumphs of scientific investigation with my fellow researchers and my teachers.

Of course, Latin America will always be dear to my heart. And, in addition to my native Portuguese, I have achieved an intermediate level in Spanish and need to work primarily on my writing skills, which I intend to improve over time. Thus, I also hope to make contributions down the road to the development of safer and more productive dairy operations in Latin America and look forward to doing research at some point with respect to the special challenges faced in this region of the world. I also have a basic competency in German.

All of my related experience during the time that I was a university student was as a volunteer. I worked with food safety (milk and meat inspections), dairy, swine and chicken farms, milk quality and a virus laboratory, as well as a small animal and equine hospital. I also helped with various research projects that included an evaluation of the use of probiotics in yogurt consumed by children and adolescents, as well as polishing pond used for post-treatment in a UASB reactor for swine wastewater with an emphasis on the removal of nitrogen.

I currently have the privilege of doing an internship with MAST (Minnesota Agricultural Student Trainee) with the University of XXXX. I also worked in a big dairy farm in Illinois, Golden Oaks Farm, from July 2009 through December of 2009. My main job was to take care of the calves, giving them milk, water and grain twice a day and changing their bed three times a week. I also helped the milkers in the parlor and helped with mastitis diagnostics and control. From January through May of 2010, I completed several courses--Dairy Production System Management, Farm and Business Management, Ruminant Nutrition, and Journalism at the University of XXXX in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources. During this time, I also worked in a mastitis project with Dr. Sandra Godden in the Laboratory for Udder Health. I am currently working with Dr. Bob XXXX from the department of Veterinary Population Medicine, helping with a project dedicated to eliminating the PRRS virus from sow herds. I believe that these experiences have prepared me to be able to contribute to your program and to excel academically.

I wish to thank Dr. XXXX, in particular, for encouraging me to apply for your graduate program. I also would like to express my sincere gratitude to Drs. XXXX and XXXX for the opportunity to work in the Laboratory for Udder Health. I have learned a lot about mastitis working on this project and I hope to use this knowledge to contribute to improving the quality of human and animal lives.

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