Sep 21, 2023
One of the keys to discovering your true passion in life is to remember what you loved doing as a child. Emily Hart Lemoine doubled down on that advice.
“I was the typical kid who loved animals, so being a veterinarian was always in the back of my mind. I also started running track really early,” Lemoine says.
After a year at Oklahoma Baptist University, Lemoine transferred to Oklahoma State University, which offered a pre-veterinary curriculum and a Big 12 track team.
Lemoine’s sprinter speed stood out in individual events, and landed her on the 4×100-relay team.
“I got to run at the conference championships my senior year, and I scored. That was amazing; I actually cried,” Lemoine says. “I never thought I’d be able to score in individuals, because it is so competitive in the Big 12. Luckily, that put me on the 400 relay. We scored and I got a medal! Most people never get the chance to do something like that, so I was fortunate to be able to do it.”
She was again a winner, later in 2018, when she was selected to receive a scholarship at MU’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
“I was very surprised when I got the email this summer,” Lemoine says. “I was really excited. I was also kind of mystified — how did they pick me? I never applied for this or anything. Just, wow!”
“Receiving this scholarship is additional reinforcement that I made the right choice to come to Mizzou,” Lemoine says. “It’s similar to how winning a race validates your ability and rewards the time, effort and dedication you put into it, and validation can be its own reward.
“The financial support will have a big impact on my life,” Lemoine says. “It wasn’t easy for my family when my father died young. Now, I’m newly married, so the scholarship will be a big help during my time at the CVM and for years afterward.”
Libby Martin started job shadowing early. Growing up on a farm near California, Missouri, a small town about an hour southwest of Columbia, Martin has “very early memories of being on the farm, being around cattle, being all bundled up with tiny boots, bouncing around in the truck and watching grandpa feed the cows. That was where her love of animals was born.
As a first-generation college student, a college education, not to mention studies at a graduate professional program, was not a guarantee.
“In high school, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to come to college, because I was on my own, as far as paying for it,” Martin recalls. “In my junior year and throughout senior year, I started filling out a ridiculous amount of scholarship applications. I started working as soon as I was legally old enough to do that, and started saving money for college, because I knew my family would not be able to pay for it. That got me through undergrad. Then, I started that process over again my senior year of college, looking for scholarships for vet school, trying to figure out where to go. People always say, ‘Don’t expect to get anything,’ so I adopted that mentality, but my goal was still to put myself through school and minimize loans, so I applied.”
Fortunately for Martin, her hard work was awarded, as she was named a recipient of a scholarship that made a big difference.
“I was shocked when I got the notification about this scholarship,” Martin says. “I was like, ‘They picked me?’ I was so humbled. It makes a huge dent, in the first year especially. Honestly, it made going to vet school feasible. It made it possible to go through with it. I was very thankful.
“The CVM makes you feel so supported,” Martin continues. “For my business pitch at the entrepreneurship event, so many people from the vet school — professors, staff, classmates — were emailing me, wishing me good luck and even showing up for the pitch. I was actually crying when I looked out and saw that I had the biggest group of support there. I just felt really grateful.
“It’s just the best feeling, knowing I made the right decision to come here,” Martin says. “The scholarship, things like the people who showed up at the pitch competition, getting the first-year experiences like going to SAVMA Symposium and being involved with VBMA. It’s so humbling, and makes me feel so grateful, for everything that comes from being at the Mizzou CVM. There’s no better place to be.”