Janessa is proud of her rural roots and the small town where she grew up. It was growing up on a farm in Spencer, Iowa when she first decided to become a veterinarian. It was support of her family and the Spencer community that later helped her achieve her dream.
"I've come full circle," said Janessa. "I worked at the Animal Medical Center as a dog walker in the summer and job shadowed the veterinarians. Now I'm back, practicing small animal medicine in my home town."
"There were so many people in Spencer that volunteered their time and talents for my benefit as I was growing up, and I'm grateful to have the opportunity to give back to the community."
Janessa serves on the Clay County Board of Health and is on the advisory board for Iowa Lakes Community College Veterinary Technician Program. She also works with the Spencer High School guidance counselor on various career-related experiences and helps with the Clay County 4-H program.
It's been seven years since graduation, and Janessa is still passionate about her life's work. "I never repeat the same day twice." The best part of her job, she says, is connecting with her clients and helping them keep their pets healthy. "The human-animal bond is amazing and each day I witness it over and over again. It never gets old."
Janessa and her husband Kyle ('08 management information systems) have a daughter and son, a cat, and two Golden Retrievers.
Janessa is another great example of one of the 100,000 ISU alumni living in Iowa and contributing to the economic health of the state.