MOREHEAD, Ky. (WTVQ) – Morehead State alumna Leigha Wright was recently named the Licensed Veterinary Technician of the Year by the Texas Veterinary Medical Association.
A native of Pikeville, Wright earned both her associate and bachelor’s degrees in 2013 and 2014, respectively, in veterinary technology at MSU.
She is currently the clinical coordinator of the veterinary technology program at Blinn College in Brenham, Texas.
Before taking the job at Blinn, Wright worked at the University of Kentucky and Clemson University. She said earning her degrees at MSU gave her the confidence to take risks and move around to advance her career.
“The Morehead professors, they taught me empathy and compassion,” Wright said. “I model how I teach on how I was taught at MSU.”
Wright has instituted several changes to the program at Blinn based on her experiences at MSU, and the program now boasts the highest Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) passage rate in the state of Texas.
Wright has also worked to have live animal surgeries incorporated into the Blinn curriculum. She has developed a hybrid program to help non-licensed veterinary Technicians earn their license while continuing to work in the field.
Wright said she decided to create the live surgery curriculum because she had that experience at MSU and wanted to offer it to her students.
Wright was nominated for the award by her program director, Dr. Catherine Pfent.
“I’m very thankful to Blinn College and Dr. Pfent for supporting me and the changes to the program,” she said. “I would not be in the state of Texas if not for Dr. Pfent. Having a boss like her is a game-changer.”
Wright said her professors at MSU inspired her both when she was a student and now in her career as an educator. One professor Wright says left an impression on her is Dr. Philip Prater, professor of veterinary science.
“Dr. Prater has been the most supportive person I’ve had in my career,” Wright said. “He doesn’t just care about helping you get a degree; he cares about you your whole life. Without him, I would not be the veterinary technician I am today.”