Getting chased by a rhino – that’s something Izabelle “Izzie” Krupa ’22 will never forget.
It’s one of the answers she gives when asked what she did over the summer.
“Oh, nothing less than an internship in South Africa for young people interested in becoming veterinarians,” she’ll answer. In addition to taking care of cows and goats and chickens, plus a few dogs and cats, Krupa got to help draw blood from penguins, assist in medical procedures on lions and cape buffalo, and capture wildebeest and antelope. And, of course, there were the rhinoceros, Krupa said. They needed to be sedated and fitted with tracking collars. And one woke up just a bit too soon.
Krupa was never in danger, but she was left with a great story to tell.
And great experience to share.
Krupa, a senior majoring biology with a cellular and molecular concentration, jumped at the chance to apply for the summer internship after hearing about. She got back to Hawaii a week before the Fall 2021 semester started, and said the opportunity helped her solidify her choice to pursue a future caring for animals.
“For the small and large animals, we visited high-need townships and provided free veterinary care for animals whose owners couldn’t afford to go to a clinic,” she said. “Flea- and tick-borne diseases are very prevalent so we provided free flee and tick prevention to all of the dogs and goats we could catch.”
Krupa said that while the experiences with African wildlife—those penguins and lions and rhinos (oh my!)—were incredible, the most transformative part of the internship was working closely with residents. During her time in South Africa, she said, she not only gave but received.
“I loved going to those communities, using my skills and knowledge to help those in need and also getting to talk to the locals and learn more about their culture,” Krupa said. “I learned so very much.”
Krupa came to Chaminade from a Marianist high school in Omaha, Nebraska and was “pleasantly surprised to find that Chaminade had the same welcoming spirit.” She added, “I immediately felt like I belonged here and a part of the strong community that’s been built here at Chaminade.”
In addition to balancing a full course load, Krupa is on the “animal care team” and a receptionist at a veterinary clinic in Windward Oahu. And when she’s not busy with her studies or work, she’s active on campus. She participates in Campus Ministry and the Filipino Club, and plays intramural volleyball.
How does she do it all?
“A lot of time management,” she quipped.”
With all that she’s done (and is doing) at Chaminade and beyond the classroom, she’s excited to see where the next chapter takes her after graduation.