“I went to a great school and all my professors were awesome. They really want you to be successful.”
Awards were the last things on Victoria (Tori) Capo’s mind when she began looking at colleges.
“I was looking for a small school with a good biology program,” said Capo, who can trace her interest in the subject back to her junior year of high school, when she excelled in AP biology. “It was also important to me to go to a school where I could play my sport.”
Victoria (Tori) Capo, graduate of Carlow University's biology program
She accomplished both at Carlow, excelling in the biology classroom and on the field as part of the Celtics’ soccer team. She even managed to pick up a few awards along the way.
When Capo walked at Carlow’s commencement on May 9, 2015, she had already received the Outstanding Student Athlete Award from the Athletics Department and the Mendelian Award for Academic Achievement in Biology. With such honors, it’s no surprise that she graduated summa cum laude.
Victoria (Tori) Capo at Carlow’s commencement on May 9, 2015
Although it all seems destined now, Carlow wasn’t at the top of Capo’s list when she began her college search.
“I was looking at a lot of different schools, some well-known programs,” said the Beaver Falls native who went to Blackhawk High School. “I came to Carlow almost as an afterthought, but once I visited, I fell in love with the place.”
Four years later, thanks to a lot of really hard work, Capo has been accepted into the University of Missouri veterinary school, and she will begin classes this fall.
“I’ve always loved animals,” said Capo, who said that being a vet helps her combine that love for animals with the skills and knowledge she gained in her biology classes; and she’s not shy about crediting those who helped her along the road to success.
“I went to a great school and all my professors were awesome. They want you to be successful,” she said. “I enjoyed every course I took in the biology department, particularly the more challenging ones.”
The combination of challenging courses, playing a sport, and being a resident assistant might add up to time-management problems for a lesser student, but Capo seemed to thrive on it.
Victoria (Tori) Capo in the biology lab
“Being an RA was a huge part in helping me grow into someone who can communicate with other people,” she said. “As an RA, you are part of a team, and I’ve enjoyed that aspect of it, too.”
Obviously, as an athlete, Capo values teamwork. She contributed to four highly competitive soccer teams at Carlow, including the team that won the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) championship during her sophomore year, beating crosstown rival Point Park in the title game.
“That was an awesome experience to be part of,” she says.
If all that wasn’t enough, she also had to spend 1,000 hours shadowing a vet to get accepted into veterinary school. Unsurprisingly, Capo found the resolve to do what she needed to do to balance studies, athletics, and job shadowing.
“I came here to learn,” she said. “When I’m not playing or practicing soccer, I am usually in my room studying.”
And with that resolve, it’s no wonder that in a few short years we will be calling her Tori Capo, DVM.
Find out more about Carlow University's Biology Program.