Not Horsin’ Around: A Vet Student’s Journey to OSU

by Public Relations

“Ever since I was young, I wanted to be a veterinarian,” Mary Slifka says.

So that’s what she’s going to do.

Recently accepted to the graduate program at The Ohio State University’s (OSU) College of Veterinary Medicine, Slifka, a senior biology student, credits her success to the wide variety of opportunities she has at Cedarville while enrolled in the pre-veterinary program.

“I was able to complete all of my prerequisite courses for veterinary school through Cedarville’s biology program and maintain an edge on other veterinary candidates from other universities,” she adds. “One unique opportunity I had was to help prepare a new cadaver for classes for the fall. Doing this, I gained valuable experience dissecting, which will be highly useful in veterinary school.”

Small classes and individual attention were also advantages for Slifka. “I know all of my professors personally, especially in the science and mathematics department, and they genuinely care and take the time to be mentors.”

In addition to her coursework, she made the effort to get practical experience in the field. Instead of doing a research internship this past summer, she shadowed a small animal vet, an equine vet and a large animal vet. She also volunteers at The Riding Centre in Yellow Springs with a therapeutic horseback riding program designed for mentally disabled kids and adults. Volunteers work to prepare the horses for the lessons, assist the riders with exercises and help ensure the riders’ safety.

“I wanted to be involved in ministry, so I looked for a ministry in which I could use my talents most effectively,” she says. “By working with the Centre, I learned even more about horse care and how to help people with mental disabilities. This unique educational experience has not only strengthened my Christian worldview, but it has also prepared me to be a light when I attend OSU this coming fall.”

Though she doesn’t know exactly what she’ll be doing in the future, she’s certain she’ll be working with animals. “I would like to work in a practice that will allow me to care for both small animals and equine. I am also interested in specializing in surgery. In veterinary school I hope to discover what area of veterinary medicine I would excel in most.”

 “Mary came to Cedarville with excellent preparation and a commitment to learning,” says John Silvius, Ph.D., senior professor of biology at Cedarville, “and she has contributed much to the quality of the learning environment and level of academic commitment. Successful acceptance to veterinary school is a blessing and an honor because of the relatively few veterinary programs in the U.S., so students’ acceptance testifies to the excellent preparation Cedarville has provided for them.”

“Cedarville’s rigorous academic program and other extra-curricular activities have adequately prepared me for the veterinary program at OSU,” Slifka adds. “Learning how to use my time wisely despite other responsibilities has been an invaluable learning experience that will help me succeed in veterinary school.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,200 undergraduate, graduate, and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at