Department: Continuing Education
Elise Ciribassi always had a variety of pets as a young child – a goose, hamsters, gerbils, toads, a cat and dogs. She also enjoyed science.
“My parents, both scientists, suggested a veterinary career, and that filled the bill completely,” she said.
Ciribassi has been in the veterinary field for more than 40 years and owned her own practice in Carol Stream for 25 years. She continues to take care of the resident animals at Cosley Zoo in Wheaton, helping veterinary friends in the area, and teaching in the Veterinary Assistant program offered through Continuing Education at College of DuPage.
“I have always enjoyed teaching about our wonderful profession and continue to volunteer for career days at most of the elementary and high school levels through the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association and Junior Achievement,” she said. “I love the expression on an owner’s or a student’s face when you explain how the body works and they finally get it. While many of the current pet-owning public want to adopt shelter animals to help an individual animal, teaching expands the ability to help all of the creatures on the planet together – exponentially.
“I hope that my teaching helps student decide to join the veterinary profession in a positive way, helps others learn from their experiences and knowledge, and opens their eyes to differences in our animal species. For those who go through the class and don’t enter the profession, I hope that I have instilled a degree of respect for the profession and for animals around us.”
Ciribassi is inspired by the animals themselves as well as her family.
“The animals are all full of infinite wisdom that we can learn from. They are deserving of a healthy, low-stress life. They are majestic in their own right,” she said. “My dad taught me curiosity of science, my mom gave me the courage and the perseverance, and my grandmother provided the gift of understanding to put it all together.”