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Cynthia Barker Cox '87

Majoring in Religious Studies at Northwestern provided me with an excellent education that has continually served me well over the last 25 years. It was not the most obvious path to my current career as a veterinarian, but I believe that it prepared me for veterinary studies better than my classmates’ typical majors in biology or other physical sciences. I developed writing and critical thinking skills that were beneficial throughout my post-graduate education. It also gave me a larger perspective on religion and other cultural phenomena that have helped me to navigate the ethical complexities associated with a medical field, in addition to understanding the issues behind many contemporary conflicts and events.

The program was academically challenging and rigorous; so much so that I was exceptionally well-prepared for the disciple required to succeed in veterinary school. On a professional and personal level, I attribute my development of interpersonal skills and ability to empathize in large part to learning about such a fundamental human and cultural phenomenon. I am currently in several leadership positions within the veterinary community: I am treasurer for the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, a member of the Organizing Committee for Shelter Medicine, and the Head Shelter Veterinarian for the MSPCA. I attribute my ability to lead and negotiate the complex issues that arise in these positions to the incomparable education I received from the brilliant and always accessible faculty in the Religious Studies department at Northwestern.