SANFORD - Katie Frazer Molnar says that her two years at Central Carolina Community College were two of the most challenging and rewarding years of her life.
The Veterinary Medical Technology graduate is continuing to challenge herself as she works toward her Master's degree in Public Health at Kansas State University. Currently, she conducts rapid and standardized interviews for Salmonella and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli cases in the state of Kansas for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
"Following these interviews, I perform data entry of laboratory results, ensure case investigation completeness, and coordinate and monitor data in the KDHE electronic disease reporting surveillance system. I also assist with enteric cluster and outbreak investigations when they occur," says Molnar, whose Master's emphasis is on infectious diseases and zoonosis.
Molnar, who is from Cambridge, England, first came to CCCC after getting her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
"I had initially planned on attending law school after completing my Bachelor's degree, but felt that I lacked the drive to excel in the field. While trying to figure out what direction I wanted to take, a good friend of mine told me about the VMT program at CCCC and I did some research into it," said Molnar, who attended CCCC from 2011-2013. "The program was highly rated and offered a great, affordable education in a versatile field, and I have always had a strong passion for animals and their welfare. Therefore, I decided to take the plunge and have never regretted it."
Molnar noted she had amazing CCCC classmates. "They were a constant source of support and reinforcement, and we all helped each other overcome the obstacles we faced in the program," she said. "Not only were the instructors extremely knowledgeable, but they also genuinely cared about their students and worked hard to help us succeed. Our successes were their successes. I always felt comfortable going to them for help.
"I loved the diversity of the classes and each one provided us with important skill sets, but my favorite class had to be Anatomy and Physiology with Lori Rainforth and my favorite clinical sections were lab animal and exotic animal medicine. There are also few things more satisfying than performing a dental cleaning on a dog or cat!"
Among Molnar's instructors at CCCC was Dr. Arlen Mills. "She was one of those students who makes teaching fun as she did not just want to learn the 'what,' but also the 'why' of things," said Dr. Mills. "If she missed exam questions, I would expect her to come to my office to discuss any incorrect answers. She was a real teacher to her own classmates in labs as well.
"She worked at a bird clinic while she was a student here. When we had our spring 'bird lab' here as part of their clinical practices, Katie stepped up and came to the aid of some of her classmates who were having some apprehension about working on a bird," said Dr. Mills.
"I was very happy to see Katie pursue her Master's degree. Some students have the impression that once they graduate, school is over. The ones who go on to do great things are those who see that education continues through life and get excited about learning new things. Katie is one of those who will not stop wherever she is, but will be looking for what else there is to learn and do."
Molnar enjoys her current job for various reasons, including friendly and helpful coworkers and supervisors who encourage independent thinking and autonomy. "But what I love the most is that every day presents new challenges and opportunities for learning, especially when an outbreak occurs," said Molnar. "It is very interesting to take part in an investigation and learn the process of identifying outbreak sources and how they will be addressed to help prevent additional illness in the community."
Molnar says her current job may seem a little bit outside of the scope of a veterinary technician's career path, but her experiences at CCCC have been extremely valuable in helping her excel at it. "The VMT program teaches important skill sets that are beneficial for any career path, such as working well in teams and autonomously, exhibiting professional behavior, time management, and working well under pressure. It has also been helpful to come into this job with a knowledge of animals and their proper care and husbandry," said Molnar. "Both E. coli and Salmonella can be spread by direct contact with animals or their surroundings, so it is important to educate people about the ways they can help prevent the spread of these infections without them thinking that they need to give up their animals."
What advice would Molnar give someone who may be considering the CCCC VMT program? "If you have a love for animals, and are willing to put in the time and commitment that it takes to be successful in the program, then attending CCCC's VMT program is one of the best decisions you could make," she said. "You will receive a great education in a growing, versatile field and will find that it opens many doors of opportunity!"
For more information on the Central Carolina Community College Veterinary Medical Technology program, visit the website www.cccc.edu/curriculum/majors/veterinarymedical or contact Daniel Berndt at 919-718-7234 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Central Carolina Community College, visit the website www.cccc.edu.
Katie Frazer Molnar says that her two years at Central Carolina Community College were two of the most challenging and rewarding years of her life. The Veterinary Medical Technology graduate is continuing to challenge herself as she works toward her Master's degree in Public Health at Kansas State University. Currently, she conducts rapid and standardized interviews for Salmonella and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli cases in the state of Kansas for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.