Ened McNett holds a baby goat in a stall

We're putting our student ambassadors in the limelight. Students from all four years of veterinary classes bring their expertise and experience to bear in helping you learn more about the DVM program and the student experience here at the Oregon State University Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine. 

Ened McNett | About Me

My name is Ened McNett. I am a 36-year-old, formerly homeless, queer, future livestock veterinarian. 

I was an eighth-grade dropout. At 23 years old, I earned my GED and associate of arts at a community college while working as a waitress. Then I began working on ranches, where I discovered a passion for ruminants, naturally turning towards veterinary medicine. I completed a bachelor's of science in biology at Northern New Mexico College, working as a ranch hand and research assistant. I am now completing my final year at the Oregon State University Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine. I live just outside of Corvallis with my painfully attractive spouse, eight Clun Forest sheep, three Alpine goats, two brown dogs, one black cat and a lovely pumpkin patch. 

When first considering veterinary medicine, I called a mentor with a concern that “people like me” do not become veterinarians. Her response was, “Ened, every veterinarian you have ever met has done a series of things to become a veterinarian. If you begin today to do those things, one at a time, then one day you will wake up and find you are a veterinarian.” Consider this if you are wondering if there is a place for you in veterinary medicine.

You can reach out at mcnette@oregonstate.edu


Why did you want to become a student ambassador?

I became an ambassador to try to help new and prospective students find their paths and navigate the unnecessarily complicated systems that can stand between them and their goals. 

What tip/advice would you offer to future students?

The advice I have for future students is to have as much information about yourself as possible. How do you rest? What helps you on a hard day? Who are your support people? What lifts you up when you are knocked down? Many amazing individuals are working to create cultures of community care within the historically harsh, overworked and unsupportive systems of veterinary medicine. However, the wheels move slowly and at this point, unfortunately, a lot of our wellbeing relies on the ability to be resilient in the face of the unreasonable expectations that persist. Do what you can to shore up those skills that keep you well.

What’s your favorite experience/memory of vet school so far?
My favorite memories of vet school so far are: making cheese with Dr. Joe Klopfenstein, learning to safely and humanely lift a down cow with a tractor with Dr. Jorge Vanegas, horse acupuncture with Dr. Kate Schoenhals and every single element of the case of Ella the pig.