WVDL Microbiologist Participates in Local Outreach Program

WVDL’s Pfotenhauer Helps Eighth Graders Through Outreach

(Note:  Beth Pfotenhauer is a microbiologist with the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.  She is actively involved in community service and has recapped her most recent outreach involvement with the “School Makes a Difference’ program.)

What do a Charter network supervisor, the owner of Chick-Fil-A, the City Clerk (bottom right) and a WVDL microbiologist (top right) all have in common? We all spent our Thursday morning with two eighth grade classrooms at Hamilton Middle School. On Feb.5, I had the great pleasure of participating in the Madison Metropolitan School District outreach program called “School Makes a Difference” (commonly known as career days). As a representative of the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, I brought in lab coats, gloves and safety glasses for the students to try on while a few student volunteers extracted wheat germ DNA (below). We discussed what “diagnostic work” entails and how it affects Wisconsin farmers.

During this outreach we shared how our school journeys had led us to the jobs we have today and the decisions in school that guided our personal growth. We also gave the students sage advice about the difficulties of owning a business, the importance of being polite or practicing good customer service, the power of voting, and tools used for correctly identifying disease and sickness in animals. The students had a lot to think about, but were also encouraged that their passions as well as weaknesses should guide the classes they choose for high school and post school success. Who knows—we may have an inspired future WVDL employee in the makings.

Great Job, Beth!