2014 BBS Leadership Group Shot  

The Leadership Program

Heather Rhoden




I was raised in the small town of Bradshaw, Nebraska and was strongly influenced by my mother to pursue my interest in the care and wellbeing of animals. Upon graduating high school in 2003, I attended the University of Nebraska and majored in Biology and Chemistry, with the intention of attending veterinary school upon completion of that degree. I became involved in research projects as a college junior, and then realized that I wanted to follow a career path that included research and veterinary medicine. I then had the privilege of working with Dr. Matthew Bolek while obtaining a MS degree in Zoology from Oklahoma State University, where my research focused on ecological parasitology of amphibians. I was then accepted into Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine in the fall of 2010.


My academic interests center around parasitology, disease transmission and disease processes. My clinical interests include primarily small animals, wildlife and exotics, especially birds. When I’m not studying, I enjoy biking, swimming, hiking, birding, and attempting to train my dog. My other passions include cooking and chasing storms with my husband who is a weather photographer.

Career Goal:

After receiving the DVM degree, I would like to complete a PhD in Veterinary Parasitology at the National Center for Veterinary Parasitology and also obtain Board Certification in Parasitology. I eventually hope to have a career as an academic who focuses on research and teaching