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Distinguished Alumni Award: Alexandra Wilson '90

Exterior photo of Firestone Hall at dusk
Distinguished Alumni Award: Alexandra Wilson '90

Alexandra Wilson is the medical director at The Center for Avian Exotic Medicine in New York where she has worked for 14 years caring for the medical and surgical needs of birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and small mammals. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Oberlin College in 1998 and her veterinary degree from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2005. She was named medical director at The Center in 2020. 

Dr. Wilson has many interests and projects that she is passionate about. She is a consulting veterinarian for the Wild Bird Fund, NYC’s premiere wildlife rehabilitation and education center, and the Animal Care Centers of NYC. She has worked closely with the ASPCA and local law enforcement on cases involving exotic animal welfare, including testifying in court as an expert witness. Dr. Wilson lectures locally and internationally with World Animal Protection and participates in the training of veterinarians, veterinary students and veterinary nurses on the care and welfare of exotic pets and wildlife. She is also an adjunct professor of Veterinary Technology at LaGuardia Community College. 

When did you realize that you wanted to be a veterinarian?
I actually decided to become a veterinarian a bit later in life. I graduated from college and was working in a research laboratory when I decided to make a career change. It took several years of working and going back to college to finish the prerequisite coursework for veterinary school.

What makes caring for exotic pets both rewarding and challenging?
Helping animals and their owners is equally challenging and rewarding. Most exotic pets are not easy to care for, something people often don't think about when they acquire them. We see a lot of preventable suffering and neglect in an exotic pet practice.

How did Old Trail impact you as a student and as an individual?
I spent seventh and eighth grade years at Old Trail, and they were very different years from those at my previous schools. I felt more engaged and challenged academically, physically and artistically there than I ever had before. Luckily, that trend continued for the rest of my education.

The Lincoln Gries Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to an Old Trail alumnus who has made an important contribution or given extraordinary service to others in some field, as a professional or as a volunteer. It is named after Lincoln Gries, a former parent, board member and board chair who provided exemplary service to Old Trail School. Nominees must have attended OTS, contributed to their community and/or to the betterment of others, earned the respect of both Old Trail alumni and future Old Trail students, and shown a continued loyalty to Old Trail School.

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