Juan Orjuela, a Colombian-born third-year veterinary student at the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph, Canada, always knew he wanted to be a veterinarian. During his undergraduate years at UWM he took full advantage of the opportunities offered at UWM to set him up for a successful career in STEM. He got his first taste of research by joining the lab of Dr. Höbel as a UWM WiscAMP intern, helping with studies examining treefrog mating behavior. The following summer he continued his research experience as a McNair Scholar, this time conducting his own project investigated whether frogs show behavioral lateralization and have hand and ear preferences (in humans, many behaviors are lateralized; 95% of people who are right-handed process language with their left brain-hemisphere).
Not only did Juan conduct research, he also got to share his results with the public. His McNair project was selected to represent UWM at the “Research in the Rotunda” event, where he told Wisconsin legislators about his research. And he also traveled to Memphis, TN to participate at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research.
Outside of academics, Juan was and is very active in fostering collaboration and support for students interested in veterinary medicine. While at UWM he founded the UWM Pre-Veterinary Medicine Organization, and he is also a co-founder of the Latinx Veterinary Medical Association.
Juan was featured by UW-Milwaukee in the video below: