2021 ACBS Fall Outstanding Seniors

April 11, 2022

Meet the ACBS Fall 2021 Outstanding Seniors

Paige BabcockPaige Babcock

Outstanding Senior | Animal Science

Paige Babcock, graduated with a BS in Animal Science with an equine emphasis. Paige has always been passionate about helping animals and including them in her life whenever possible. As a high school student she would volunteer at animal shelters, such as Halo Animal Rescue and  Petco pet adoption events. She continued to take part in various volunteer opportunities throughout her time at the UArizona by joining the Wildcats Care Club and completing an internship at Therapeutic Riding of Tucson (TROT) in her senior year.

Paige would like to thank “all of the CALES department faculty, especially all of the professors I had during my 4 years at the UArizona. Many of them were influential in my success and made my animal sciences courses not just fun and intriguing, but worthwhile in my education”.

Paige’s future plans include applying to physical therapy school in the spring of 2022 to begin working towards becoming a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). After completing her DPT she will pursue certification in canine and equine rehabilitation.


Samantha JohnsonSamantha Johnson

Outstanding Senior | Veterinary Science & CALES

After completion of a dual degree in Veterinary Medicine and Wildlife Management and Conservation, Samantha Johnson hopes to attend a dual DVM/Ph.D. program. Through this program she will work towards her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine with an emphasis in wildlife and a Doctor of Philosophy in microbiology. Her goal is to eventually run her own research laboratory that will begin characterizing the microbiome of under-represented taxa (invertebrates and herpetofauna), as well as create opportunities for students of all backgrounds and skill levels. Additionally, she hopes that characterizing these microbiomes will give scientists a greater ability to manipulate the health of populations when novel pathogenic microbes are introduced into a system.

About her future goals, Samantha says, “As a student I was blessed to receive these opportunities that have truly shaped me into a more thoughtful scientist. I want to pass on these opportunities and experiences to the next generation of young scientists because it was how I found my passion for microbiology”.

While at the University of Arizona, Samantha had the opportunity to work with several research faculty including Dr. Matt Goode, Dr. John Koprowski, and Dr. Laura Lopez-Hoffman. She credits her achievements in these laboratories, in part, to the financial support of the Arizona NASA Space Grant Internship, T&E Inc., Wallis Foundation, and Tucson Herpetological Society, which allowed her to be able to start her own research project characterizing the Gila monster microbiome.

Looking back on her time at the UArizona, Samantha reflects, “I got to meet so many wonderful people that taught me how to never give up on myself and showed me success is not a straight line. Many of these people were my mentors, advisors, professors, and CALES staff who I am endlessly thankful for”.