ACBS Fall 2020 Outstanding Seniors

March 16, 2021

Meet the ACBS Fall 2020 Outstanding Seniors

Cole PuetzCole Puetz

Outstanding Senior | Microbiology

As far back as high school, Cole Puetz, has been fascinated with infectious diseases and their effects on populations. As he learned more about the topic, he became determined to pursue a career in health care where he could help control and eradicate disease. To grow his knowledge of microorganisms and get him a step closer to his goal, he decided the UArizona was the perfect choice for obtaining his Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology.

The UArizona provided Cole with access to an amazing array of opportunities beyond course work including lab work, study abroad, clubs, courses, volunteer events, and more. One of the most beneficial options he took advantage of was working in Dr. Viswanathan’s laboratory where he started at the end of his freshman year and worked up until graduation. Working in the lab helped to supplement in-course work with hands-on experience allowing him to become proficient in laboratory procedures. Dr. Vishwanathan has been an inspiration to Cole who says, “I don’t think my undergraduate experience at the UArizona would have been as impactful as it was if I hadn’t worked for Dr. Vish, and I am truly grateful for all he has done for me.”

Cole has been fortunate to receive several scholarships from CALS Donors - the Margaret Bilson Microbiology Scholarship and the E. Ray Cowden Scholarship. In addition to the CALS scholarships, he received the Wildcat Excellence Scholarship and the Mayo Clinic Scholarship. All of these have helped alleviate the financial stress of attending university and allowed him to focus more on continuing his education.

About his time at the UArizona, Cole says, “The UArizona is truly an amazing place to receive an education and I am forever grateful for all of the experiences and opportunities that the university has provided me. I encourage any students still working on their undergrad to seek out new and enriching opportunities in whatever field they are excited and passionate about”.

Cole will begin a Master of Public Health program in the Fall of 2021.

Natasha PerezNatasha Marie George Pérez

Outstanding Senior | Veterinary Science

Natasha “Naty” Pérez believes in the value of hard work and getting her hands dirty to make the world a better place. Helping animals has always been a passion and a calling for her. In fact, from the age of 5 she was watching surgery videos on spays/neuters, eye removals, and removal of limbs. She strives to help as many animals as she can and hopes to one day specialize in different techniques, like thermo x-rays to determine where an animal’s pain is located, as well as create new techniques, medicines, and technology to better benefit animals.

About her time at the UArizona, Naty says, “What I enjoyed most about attending the University of Arizona, is the family that I have made within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). They helped me become a mentor, a Dean’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Member, a student researcher, and so much more. They have helped me become who I am today, and helped me stay on the path of becoming a veterinarian. Though life can sometimes be rough, CALS was always the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Following completion of her BS in Veterinary Science, Naty will continue to work as a veterinary technician at a spay and neuter clinic and a general practice while she applies to DVM programs.

Naty would like to thank her friends and family for their support and the invaluable mentorship provided by ACBS and the College of Veterinary Science faculty throughout her time at the UArizona. She goes on to thank Dean Burgess, “As a previous veterinarian, he has provided insight into the field. He has made me more assured that this is my calling. He provided his assistance in helping me write my essays to veterinary school and not once gave up on me. Attending veterinary school would not only be an honor for me, but it would be an honor for Dean Burgess to see that his guidance has gotten me to where I need to be. I appreciate all that he has done for me.”