profile of our 2019 Gala honoree: Alumna carolyn antonich

Antonich Carolyn picture FISW Gala.jpg

My name is Carolyn Antonich. I’m a 25-year-old veterinary student. I currently live in the city of Toulouse, in southwestern France. I’m in my fifth and last year at the ENVT (National Veterinary School of Toulouse). My father was born in Missoula, Montana. My mother is from Marseille, France. They met on Reunion Island, were married and decided to move to Seattle where I was born. I lived in Seattle until I was six years old where I went to the FISW in 1st grade. At the age of six, we moved to Marseille, France. I lived there for a year and then moved to Montanay, a small town close to the city of Lyon in eastern France. We remained there for the rest of my childhood, until the end of high school. My dream since I was five years old was to become a veterinarian.

At the end of high school, I applied to multiple prep schools that in a two-year course would prepare us for the veterinarian school entrance exam. Fortunately, I was accepted to Lycée Thiers, a prep school in Marseille. I studied there for three years while living with my grandparents who helped me so much. I took the entrance exam a first time in 2013. Unfortunately, I didn’t succeed. I was allowed to take it a second time in 2014 and was accepted. I’ve been living in a small studio apartment on the campus of the veterinary school since then. I used to want to specialize in horses but changed my mind and decided to specialize in wild and exotic animals.

I started working in the veterinary school’s clinic in my third year and began specialization in my fifth year. I chose a combined program. I worked a half semester on domestic carnivores and the other half on exotic and wild animals. The second semester of my fifth year, which I’m currently in, has been dedicated to my thesis. I chose to study cohabitation between predatory wildlife and humans in the state of Montana.
For three years I was actively involved in the Yaboumba Junior club. It’s a group managed by students whose main objective is to bring more knowledge about wildlife and exotic animals to students by organizing many conferences, fieldtrips and hands-on activities.

I’m also very involved in environmental conservation. In addition to trying my best to limit my own ecological footprint, I want to act on a larger scale. For several years, I organized a symposium on biodiversity open to all students. This has become a yearly event at the veterinary school. I also volunteered to help a research organization dedicated to the study of marine mammals in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in Quebec.