2014 BBS Leadership Group Shot  

The Leadership Program

Rachel Dutkosky



I’ve always known I wanted a career involving animals, as I grew up reading Ranger Rick magazine cover-to-cover and enjoying the outdoors with my family and my golden retrievers. I began my undergraduate career at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville (UTK) with a science degree in mind. I wavered on a major decision until my 2008 summer experiences at the Knoxville Zoo. After observing the zoo veterinarians in action, I realized that I wanted to be a wildlife veterinarian. I graduated with a degree in Wildlife, Fisheries Science with a concentration in Wildlife Health from UTK.


I enjoy reading. My favorite subjects include historical fiction and fantasy novels, physiology textbooks, and poetry. I enjoy learning about bizarre occurrences among wildlife, such as Shope’s papillomavirus which gave rise to the Jack-a-lope myth. I love listening to music and discovering new artists. I’ve played the congas since high school. I am passionate about the color, green. I enjoy walks, whether around campus or in the woods, whether alone or with my family and dogs. My greatest interest is my family.

Career Goal:

I want to investigate wildlife diseases, and the interactions between people, domestic animals, and wildlife. After vet school, I plan to obtain a master’s degree in public health.