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Neva Watson, PhD-to-beNeva

Neva Watson grew up in southern CT, where her family raised five generations of Chow Chow dogs.  She spent her childhood weekends traveling to Stratton Mtn, VT with her family, where she fell in love with freestyle skiing.  She competed in mogul skiing for a decade, attending ski academy at Mt. Snow, VT during high school and competing both nationally and internationally.  This passion brought her to Colorado following high school, where she moved to Winter Park to pursue her skiing career.  After 3 knee surgeries she decided to retire at the age of 19 and moved on to greener pastures (literally). 

Neva fell in love with Bellingham, WA, and attended college at WWU.  Her love of animals drove her to pursue a career as a veterinarian, and she was hired to work at the wonderful clinic, Mountain Veterinary Hospital from March ’05 until July ‘09.  During her time employed at Mtn Vet Neva grew a second family, comprised of her wonderful and inappropriate bosses, coworkers and clients.   She started collecting cats during this time as well, as it was impossible to resist while working at a veterinary hospital.  Jack was a sweet, handsome stray that was brought to the clinic after trying to fight a dog.  He clearly lost, and the beloved late Dr. Jim Beesley fixed him up better than even he expected.  Unfortunately, Dr. Beesley was the only vet that Jack has ever liked.  Neva took Jack home and spoiled him rotten.  He has been a momma’s boy ever since, but he needed a feline companion as well.   Neva then found his best friend Zora, a sweet loving girl whose owner was too sick care for her.  

Although Neva loved her days working at Mountain Vet, she discovered her passion for science while taking pre-requisite courses for vet school.  She graduated with a BS in Cellular Biology in December 2009 from WWU, and is now pursuing her PhD in Microbiology and Immunology at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY.  She hopes to defend her thesis within the next few years and move on to a post-doctoral fellowship, and ultimately earn a faculty position where she can run her own research lab.  Although she has a tendency to spend 7 days a week in the lab, Neva manages to find time to play.  She enjoys taking time to ski, play soccer and hike the Adirondacks.  Forged in Bellingham, she still has a passion for dark beer and live music. Back