Gary Pattison Keeps Watch Over the Animals

Posted by Monica Hoel
Gary would never sleep on the job…except that one time.

Gary Pattison (’98) is energetic, competitive, and ambitious – not at all one to fall asleep on the job. And yet, he fell asleep during his first scientific job interview after graduating from E&H.

Gary had been working at a swanky horse farm in Lexington, Kentucky, and because it was foaling season he had been working 22-hour shifts – allowed to go home just long enough to check on his dogs and change his clothes. But he had seen a job at the University of Kentucky that looked great – working with research animals. So at the end of a long shift, he showed up on campus for his interview and fell asleep while talking to his future supervisor. When we woke up, he was offered the job. It seems the veterinarian he interviewed with had done that sort of work and he knew how rigorous the schedule could be.

Gary is now Veterinary Services Tech III Research – which means he and his team are the animal department for the university’s research enterprise – including the neurosciences, the surgery department and more. He has been with UK for 21 years.

He did leave UK for a while because he and his team of researchers were invited to relocate to UVA and continue building upon a decade and a half of work at UK. For four years his skills and experiences with animals were put to use re-establishing their lab studying macular degeneration. For all four years he drove home every weekend from Charlottesville – piling 250,000 miles on his car, but enabling a weekly Friday dinner in Rural Retreat with his parents.

He’s back at UK now and plans to stay there for the duration of his career, and is about to complete an additional professional certification which will make him even more indispensable. He has been asked to consult remotely with the folks at UVA, but thanks to Zoom, this will rack up far fewer miles on his car. Now he can trade hours on the road for more time on the water.

Gary is an avid kayaker, and never misses a chance to be on the water!Gary is an avid kayaker, and never misses a chance to be on the water!

  • Gary Pattison
    Emory & Henry Class of 1998

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