Austin Kleman says his involvement in international projects was one of the factors that played a role in his admission to the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. “One of the areas interviewers were especially impressed with was my experience in Belize and planned trip to Jamaica,” he says. “They were surprised that I had been able to have such an experience while going to as small a college as Defiance.”
As a McMaster Scholar to Belize, Austin conducted water sampling, and he has vivid memories of the small crocodile he spotted as he prepared to collect a sample in a small pond. “I jumped back in the van and decided maybe we could get a sample somewhere else!” he recalls. As a Bonner Leader (now the Service Leader program), Austin and other students spent a week building a house in Jamaica for a deserving individual. “The feeling afterward was incredible. We really bonded as a group, and it is an experience I will always cherish.”
Austin says that his McMaster travel changed the way he views the world. “Experiencing the cultures of Jamaica and Belize allowed me to get a first-hand perspective on the diverse backgrounds people have in even a similar region of the world. It allowed me to have a more global perspective and realize the interconnectedness of the world.”
Austin is in his third year at OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. He hopes to practice small animal medicine in western Ohio.