Roman Frattasio, Class of 2022, is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Pre-Veterinary Science. Despite not growing up with any pets in his household, Roman determined that he wanted to pursue a career as a veterinarian from a young age as he always had an interest in medicine and animals. He was first attracted to the University of Massachusetts Amherst after hearing about the quality of their Animal Science program after speaking with alumni whose careers he admired and looked to replicate. After receiving his acceptance to UMass in the Commonwealth Honors College and generous aid in the form of the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship, Roman decided to commit to the school and pursue hands-on experience as soon as possible. To this end, his freshman year was spent volunteering at the livestock barn to complement his foundational STEM coursework, which would serve as a strong basis for the rest of his years at college.
During his sophomore year, Roman became more involved with some of the management classes on campus, especially Boer Goat Management. His summer was spent at a mixed practice veterinary clinic in Rehoboth, MA, where his love for veterinary medicine was compounded by fantastic role models and hands-on experience.
By junior year, he was accepted as a TA for the Boer Goat Management class and was responsible for duties ranging from maintaining basic herd health, such as through blood analysis and hoof trimming, to overseeing customer interactions in the attempt to market the goats for sale. In the Spring semester, he oversaw kiddings to ensure the health of the offspring, so the farm had the ability to grow their herd. It was this year when Roman really developed his love for large animal medicine, and oriented his remaining college experience around his passion.
In his senior year, he enrolled in all the dairy courses the school had to offer, including the Winter Traveling Dairy Tour where he toured dairy farms all around New England to learn more about the industry and what life is really like on a dairy farm. In this year he also became a TA for the Dairy Calf Management class, which involves teaching students how to care for dairy calves at a working dairy in Hadley, MA.
As he looks back on his experience at UMass, he is thankful for the opportunities he has had both in and out of the classroom. In addition to his courses, he was able to participate in a variety of intramural sports including as soccer, basketball, and flag football, making friends along the way. He also spent a large portion of his free time at the recreation center or attending varsity sports games. However, these activities did not take away from his studies, as he made the Dean’s List every semester of his college experience. After graduation, he plans to attend veterinary school to pursue a career as a large and small animal veterinarian at either Tufts University, Midwestern University, or Louisiana State University.
Roman is especially thankful for all the support he has received from his family and friends, as well as faculty and staff that served as great mentors for him throughout his years at UMass. Dr. Mark Huyler was especially influential in developing his love for nutrition and working with dairy cows and helped guide his college experience into a journey specific for him. Dr. Susan Marston and Meghan Gennings helped spur his passion for goats and helped push him into the large animal scene. There have been many others along the way that he is incredibly grateful to and have made his experience at UMass something that will stay with him for the rest of his life.