Dr. Cassandra Rodenbaugh, D.V.M.
Radiation Oncology Resident
I was born and raised in Oklahoma, and I always felt like life is more interesting and fun being around animals. Like many future veterinarians, I filled my life with activities involving animals when I was growing up. I worked at vet clinics, a Native American eagle aviary, and wildlife centers both in Oklahoma and abroad. I also spent years volunteering at the Tulsa Zoo as an assistant to keepers, and I even made frequent appearances in a meerkat mascot costume for zoo fundraisers and events.
It seemed natural that I was drawn to veterinary medicine as a career. I completed both my bachelor’s degree and a doctorate in veterinary medicine at Oklahoma State University. In vet school, I was strongly interested in exotics and radiology. However, the cat who had been my best friend for over half of my life – Rhapsody – suddenly developed neurologic signs in my last year of vet school and died shortly after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was devastating. However, working with clients in end-of-life care for their pets became something very personal and precious to me. Although being with clients in the hardest of times is emotional, I realized I could make a difference in the lives of pets and their families.
After I graduated, I entered a small animal internship at the Veterinary Specialty Center of Tucson, where I worked closely with neurologists, and my passion for neuro-oncology blossomed. I then worked as an emergency veterinarian while attending online seminars and conferences to cultivate my interests. I knew I’d found what I wanted to do with the rest of my life when I saw how Radiation Oncology combines my passions for advanced diagnostic imaging (CT and MRI), neuro-oncology, and patient/client bonds with the opportunity to treat disease. I was fortunate to meet radiation oncologists, like Krista Kelsey in North Carolina, who were willing to share their time and resources to help me explore the specialty that is now my future career.
Now, I am incredibly excited to join the team at the Flint Animal Cancer Center as a radiation oncology resident. I feel very fortunate for the opportunity to work with and learn from the CSU faculty and staff. The work they do here is remarkable, and the dedication that this team has to patients and pioneering improvements for patient care is inspiring. I couldn’t have been blessed with better colleagues and teachers or a more incredible work environment.
In my free time, I enjoy chocolate-making, drawing, and attempting yoga. Like most veterinarians, my house wouldn’t be a home without pets. My lovely cat, Matcha, was my first-ever surgery patient, and she has grown into a very brassy and beautiful friend. In her free time, she enjoys befriending spiders that wander into our home, demolishing toy mice, and digging through potted plants to find rocks.