Sky’s the limit: Cosey’s journey leads to UT Veterinary Medical Center

Published 4:03 pm Tuesday, August 14, 2018

It could have been easy to stop.

When life presented obstacles, Carter County native Tiffany Cosey persevered through hard work, dedication and a support system back home to help make her dreams a reality.

After graduating from University of Tennessee – Knoxville with honors this year, Cosey learned she would be accepted into the UT Veterinary Medical Center — one of only 30 accredited schools in the country to pursue the dream of being a veterinarian.

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“It was really the prestige of the school,” Cosey said about continuing her education at UTK. “So many have graduated through the center. The staff there is incredible and I’m already familiar with it. I’m excited for what’s ahead.”

A love of animals has been active for Cosey since her childhood. But when it comes to pursuing a profession in the medical field, Cosey credited her mother, Lisa, and father, William, for being a driving force in life. Both parents served in the military while Cosey’s mother also dabbled in the medical field.

“I grew up in medicine,” she said. “I remember doing things over the summer with my parents. It was something that always interested me. And I always loved animals.”

Academically, Cosey flourished in the area. Graduation from Hampton High School rolled around in 2011 and the academic accolades rolled in, from dual enrollment to being accepted to various schools.

But the dream of becoming a nurse was put on the backburner for a potential career in accounting. Cosey also spoke about her marriage, which ended in divorce, and making her way as a single mother while looking to complete school.

“It was rough,” Cosey said. “But I believe everything happens for a reason. I decided that I wanted to follow my dreams of becoming a veterinarian and finish school. My family and friends have been so supportive through everything.

“There’s the saying, ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ … I wanted to go with the motto of ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemon meringue pie’,” she continued. “It could have been simple to of just stopped. My parents really instilled it into me to not give up at a young age.”

But the hard work paid off. Typically a program that takes multiple tries to get in, Cosey was accepted to UT on a first attempt. Cosey added that Lincoln Memorial University was also an option.

But now, alongside her son, Elijah, Cosey has been busy in the Knoxville area preparing for day one at the Medical Center. Cosey spoke about how much “Anatomy Boot Camp” — a class offered on the Knoxville campus – has helped her prepare for the next step in her journey. Cosey added that Dr. Robert Reed, a professor at the center, has been an asset during the boot camp in helping prepare for the experience.

Now with the dream within reach, Cosey gave a message to students in the area that may be going through rough patches.

“Never give up on your dreams,” she said. Cosey’s anticipated graduation date from the center is May 2022.