TIFTON — The path to becoming a doctor, dentist, lawyer, veterinarian or pharmacist just took a sharp turn and leads right through the center of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

That’s particularly true now that ABAC offers 12 different bachelor’s degrees that prepare graduates for immediate entry into professional schools in medicine, law, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, dentistry and others.

“Our faculty is committed to helping our students while they’re enrolled at ABAC and beyond,” Matthew Anderson, dean of the ABAC School of Arts and Sciences, said. “We work very hard at preparing our graduates for life after ABAC.”

Recent ABAC graduates Pedro Escobar from Tifton and Kyle Posey from Irwinville began attending the Mercer University School of Medicine in the fall of 2019. Escobar is receiving the Nathan Deal Scholarship, which covers his tuition.

“ABAC provided me with several opportunities, friendships and overall was a contributor and stepping-stone to my success,” Escobar said.

Posey was equally impressed with his ABAC preparation for medical school, giving credit to all his professors and to his advisor, Marvin Holtz.

“Many of my higher biological science classes helped me get where I am today and helped with my understanding and studying for the Medical School Admission Test,” Posey said.

Escobar and Posey both received their bachelor’s degrees in biology from ABAC, and Escobar also received his associate’s degree in nursing.

“We are very successful in preparing students for professional schools, graduate schools, and careers in science,” Joseph Falcone, professor of chemistry and physics in the ABAC School of Arts and Sciences, said. “ABAC is the place for a high-quality education at a sound price.”

Dr. Tracy Nolan, a 1997 ABAC alumnus and a Mercer University Medical School graduate, would certainly agree. In 2015, she became the first female general surgeon at Tift Regional Medical Center. Nolan was the guest speaker at the 2018 ABAC fall commencement ceremony.

“I started college right here at ABAC,” Nolan told the graduates. “You need to start climbing the ladder of success. Develop connections. Let people know they can count on you. Be confident in your ability to get the job done.”

Falcone said ABAC alumnus Kelly Delgado from Tifton is also enrolled at the Mercer University School of Medicine. ABAC alumni Jeremy Paradice from Moultrie and Abby Unger from Douglas have both gained early admission to the Mercer University School of Medicine, and Elias Moreno from Moultrie is a medical student at Kansas City University.

ABAC graduates Shelby McCoy Flowers from Moultrie, Julia Patterson from Sylvester, and Christian Edwards from Moultrie are enrolled in the new Moultrie campus of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

PCOM and ABAC recently announced an agreement that allows students seeking careers as pharmacists to earn doctoral degrees a year early at PCOM Georgia. The Suwanee campus is the home of the PCOM School of Pharmacy.

ABAC graduate Sabrina Harris from Albany is taking the pharmacy route and has been granted early admission to the South University pharmacy program.

Many ABAC students have a love for animals, and a few of them transfer that affection into a career in veterinary medicine. Dr. Thomas Turcotte is a former ABAC Ambassador who attended the School of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn University. A 2012 ABAC graduate, he is now a veterinarian at Harrodsburg Animal Hospital in Harrodsburg, Ky.

ABAC graduate Michelle Moncrief from Donalsonville is attending St. George’s University Veterinary Medicine program, and Morgan Russ from Deland, Fla., is enrolled at the Ross University Veterinary School. Brooke Clark from Stockbridge is in Harrogate, Tenn., at the Lincoln Memorial University Veterinary Medicine program.

Do you have a toothache? In a few years, you can turn that bad bicuspid over to ABAC alumnus Jose Daniel Vargas from Moultrie, who is enrolled at Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine.

ABAC graduates attending law school include Alexus Holton from Griffin, Hannah Green from Hiram, and Savannah Hartley from Glenwood, all attending the Mercer University School of Law. ABAC History and Government graduate Hannah Robinson from Statesboro is attending the Michigan State University Law School, where she is receiving a scholarship that covers most of her tuition.

Other ABAC graduates headed to professional schools include Grant Hudson from Chula, a former vocalist in the Voices of ABAC, who has gained early admission to the Palmer College of Chiropractic Medicine. Miranda Somers from Macon, another ABAC bachelor’s degree in biology graduate, is enrolled at the South University Physician’s Assistant program.

Megan Shannon from Dublin is pursuing a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at Georgia Southern University, and Amanda Mohammed from Snellville attends Emory University, which offers one of the top public health programs in the nation. A rural community development graduate from ABAC, Mohammed is aiming for a master’s degree in public health.

So the next time you go to your friendly neighborhood doctor, lawyer, dentist, pharmacist, or veterinarian, ask them where they went to college. ABAC alumni are everywhere.

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