Clara Bush Vadala worked with Diane as a student researcher in the Sowell Collection while a student with the Honors College at Texas Tech University. As an Environmental Humanities major, Clara spent many class hours studying the authors and manuscript materials in the collection with Professor Kurt Caswell. Clara earned a minor in English with a focus in poetry.
After graduating from Texas Tech in 2014, Clara moved to College Station to study veterinary medicine at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She is currently a third year vet student studying small animal and exotic animal medicine. She also participates in mentorship programs and research projects as a student at the vet school, and serves as President of the local chapter of the Wildlife Disease Association at Texas A&M and as an officer of her class serving as a representative of the Texas Veterinary Medical Association.
Even though she is very involved in veterinary medicine now, Clara has not left her writing behind! Her first book of poetry, Prairie Smoke: Poems from the Grasslands, will be released in a few weeks by Finishing Line Press. The work Clara did in the Sowell Collection has informed much of her writing to this day, and now, she is also working on a collection of “veterinary medicine” poems in topics ranging from parasites, to surgery, to reproductive medicine. (Look for some of these poems in the April 2017 Archivation Exploration).
Clara also writes for the Merck Vet Student Stories blog about her experiences as a veterinary student at Texas A&M. She lives in College Station with her husband, a music teacher in Bryan, Texas, her two dogs, Lulu and Zeus, her cat Treble, and her cockatiel, Kenneth. Clara has presented at every Sowell Conference so far, and we look forward to seeing her again this year and celebrating her new book!