Evin Adolph '10 Interns With Quality Milk Production Services
Evin Adolph '10 never thought her major in Hispanic studies and minor in biology would overlap. Now she knows that Spanish speakers can turn up anywhere, even at a company like Quality Milk Production Services (QMPS). Her internship there this summer is affiliated with the Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Although this is her third summer internship, this is the first that has drawn a connection between the Spanish language and biology. If Adolph ever had any reservations about the discrepancy between her major and intended career choice, they've been erased.
QMPS has four locations throughout New York State. It is responsible for helping dairy farmers improve herd health, which in turn allows for higher quality milk and greater profitability. As an intern there, Adolph darts around the field, the office, and the laboratory for about eight hours per day. However, for farm visits, her day begins at the drowsy hour of 5 a.m.
Adolph is able to penetrate the cultural divide through her knowledge of Spanish and experience studying abroad in Madrid. She will help coordinate a "Spanish for Dairymen" class, which the company offers to dairy farmers interested in gaining competency in a foreign language. Many milkers and employees at QMPS and other farms are from Spanish-speaking countries.
Her coworkers find her useful in other areas, as well. Adolph works with a graduate student who is researching the presence of the bacteria Lysteria monocytogenes and its formation of biofilms in milking equipment. In the field, she assists field technicians by completing form evaluations and collecting milk samples. She analyzes these milk samples in the lab and tries to detect any hint of growing bacteria. She says that milk production is not one of the more popular areas of veterinary medicine, so she is grateful for an experience that will give her a prolific understanding of something that not many other people in the field will know.
Hamilton alumnus Matt Chuff '08 told her about the internship. Chuff worked at QMPS two summers ago and is now enrolled in veterinary school. Adolph says he even helped her find a place to live – Cornell's veterinary fraternity house – since Ithaca, N.Y., is not her hometown.
She has had luck with the alumni network and internships in the past, but this year, she is not paid for her summer opportunity. Instead, she applied for and received the Jeffery Fund for Science Internships, a fund that subsidizes full-time, off-campus internships in science. They must be not-for-profit positions, and preference is given to students who intend to work in fields relating to animals, conservation, wildlife protection, or veterinary care. Adolph qualified because she plans to go to veterinary school after Hamilton.
"Veterinary medicine is something that is often misunderstood as simply applying to pets," she said. "But our reliance on animals in virtually all aspects of daily life is dependent on the work of veterinarians."
-- by Allison Eck '12