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Andrew Lufkin

Veterinary Social Worker

Biography

What will you be doing in your new position with the VSW program?
I will be meeting with students, staff, and faculty, handling phone calls from the helpline, and attending to any other needs that the VSW program can offer help with around the CVM as an emotional support. I also look forward to spending some time familiarizing myself with the CVM, getting to know the staff, and finding out more about the world of veterinary care. 

What are some ways you practice self-care?
This has been something that I have paid more attention to over the last year or so, and especially since starting my internship with the VSW program. We communicate through Slack on a variety of different things, but one of our channels is for purposes of self-care. We talk about self-care weekly in our team meetings and it is very much a prominent point of discussion between us. Basketball, running (although I need to do it more), yard work, hiking, and fishing have always been my “go-to”s for self-care, even if maybe I did not call it that. Since I began working with Dr. Strand and the VSW team I have also included mindfulness, yoga, and concentrating on being more stringent about my water intake. 

What was your experience like applying for a job directly from the program where you got your degree from? Was it meaningful to apply to a job directly from your program and did you feel prepared and supported?
My journey to this time and place was very much unexpected when I started thinking about graduate school in general and was not even on my radar until I discovered there was a VSW certificate. My generalized internship placement was on a mobile crisis team. I felt that the skills I would learn there would last me throughout my career and give me a fair amount of insight into working with people in a crisis, what their needs were then, and what gaps in their care brought them to that situation. I was really open to anything for my concentration internship and had interviewed at The Middle Path. I went to the internship fair and met Rebecca for the first time, although, I think I had communicated some with her through email before that. After
talking with her, I really wanted to pursue an internship with the team. After my interview with them, I absolutely knew that was what I wanted to do. That was last spring and since that point, I have had absolutely no regrets.

My time with the team in terms of an internship was above and beyond everything I expected. I have had a lot of different encounters and love being in the learning hospital environment. When the opportunity came up for a permanent position with the VSW team I really did not hesitate. It really felt like my internship had served as my job interview and the application and interview process was fueled by my desire to continue the work that I had been doing in my internship. I consider myself extremely lucky to be in the position I am and am humbled by the opportunity to work with Dr. Strand and Rebecca. I look forward to the many opportunities that I will have, and I am sure there are some that I do not even know about.

My time in the College of Social Work, especially the past year, has taught me that hard work, an open mind, and great support can carry me through a lot more than I expect. I am thankful for the support I have received from my wife and child, the staff at the College of Social Work, and from the VSW team. 

What is your favorite animal?
This is a hard one. When I read this question, I think a lot about animals that I have had the opportunity to have as part of my life both past and present. Then I think about all the cool, exotic, unique animals of the world. The pangolin is probably one


Professional Service

Office Hours:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday ---- 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Tuesdays ---- 12 noon to 1 p.m.

Thursdays ---- 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

*Some times may change or canceled due to other commitments. Please email me with questions. 


Contact Information

  • UT College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Phone: (865) 740-9933
  • E-mail: dlufkin@utk.edu

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