A number of factors drew Hunter Powell ’20 to Le Moyne, including its rigorous academic preparation, small class sizes and scenic campus. The biggest draw, though, he says, was the welcoming feeling of family and inclusivity that only grew stronger over his four years as a Dolphin. Powell found that his professors not only knew his name, but also knew him personally – and not just within his major of biology. He had mentors and friends everywhere from the science departments to the music and theatre departments, and found that he could stick his head into any administrative office on campus and receive a friendly greeting and instant assistance.
“There is a genuine atmosphere of warmth and support throughout Le Moyne,” Powell recalls.
All of this combined to prepare the Le Moyne alumnus for what is to come next. This fall, he will enter Cornell University’s veterinary medicine program. Powell has long dreamed of becoming a vet. As a high school student, he volunteered at a local dog rescue facility and at a coalition that helps capture, spay or neuter, and release stray cats. He currently works as a veterinary assistant and credits his time at Le Moyne with helping him to achieve his goal of “providing affordable, quality animal care in (his) community,” particularly those in shelters and care facilities.
“I am a firm believer in the collaborative idea of ‘One Health,’” Powell says. “The health and well-being of humans, animals and the environment around the world are linked. We all carry the burden of addressing shared environmental and social concerns. I am especially interested in the propagation of animal welfare and ethics. I want to do my part to help address animal overpopulation and provide service to pets and people in the community. Keeping pets healthy keeps people healthy too.”
Powell says that the courses he took not just in his major, but in disciplines such as philosophy, religion, sociology, theology, music, theatre, art and dance, cultivated “an intellectual openness” that helped him view the world in a broader context. He performed with award-winning artist Todd Hobin and fellow members of the Jazzuits at the College’s annual Founders’ Day Gala. He stepped out onto a glacier and ate fermented shark in Iceland while conducting environmental research in Iceland in a class led by Professor of Environmental Science Systems Larry Tanner, Ph.D. He woke before dawn to go birding with his classmates and Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Jason Luscier, Ph.D., during a course trip to Texas. These are the moments Powell will carry with him as he moves forward on his journey.
“We’re all in this together,” he says.