Get to Know the Vet Tech Institute
At the Vet Tech Institute at Fox College, we are devoted to helping our vet tech students achieve their certified veterinary technician goals. Students can graduate from our veterinary technology program in as little as 18 months!
The first location of the Vet Tech Institute was part of the Median School of Allied Health Careers, founded in Pittsburgh in 1958. Since then, the Vet Tech Institute has grown to include seven locations across the United States.
At the Vet Tech Institute, faculty from the seven VTI locations share teaching methods, curriculum ideas and resources. As a result, students at the Vet Tech Institute gain from being part of a well-respected and larger institution, with the benefits of a smaller school.
VTI Fast Facts
- The veterinary technology program is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).
- In 18 months, students can earn their associate of applied science degree in veterinary technology.
- Students have access to on-site kennels, surgical suites and clinical labs.
- Graduates are invited to use our career placement services throughout their careers.
All of our students and faculty share a passion for animals. It’s that unique blend of shared passion and shared goals that creates a family like atmosphere and creates the strong bonds of friendship.
Vet Tech Institute faculty members include:
Eric Bergsten, DVM, Veterinary Technology Program Director, graduated from the University Of Illinois College Of Veterinary Medicine with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with High Honors. Dr. Bergsten has 17 years of veterinary experience, and during that time has worked as a clinician in private practice; as an emergency relief veterinarian; as a member of the Illinois Veterinary Emergency Response Team; and as a volunteer veterinarian in Africa, South America, and Australia. Additionally, Dr. Bergsten has more than 30 years of college teaching experience, and is glad to work for, with, and among the students of the Vet Tech Institute.
Julie Hodges, CVT, Veterinary Technology Instructor, graduated from Parkland College in 1998 and has worked as a Certified Veterinary Technician in small animal practices in the Chicagoland area since high school. Mrs. Hodges teaches courses in anesthesia, surgical nursing, animal technology, clinical medicine and clinical laboratory, among others. She is also the Externship Coordinator and the Vet Tech Pinning Ceremony Coordinator. Both her clinical and educational experience have helped her guide students to success at the Vet Tech Institute since 2007.
Ms. Sarah Peterson, CVT, is a graduate of the Vet Tech Institute at Fox College. Ms. Peterson is the Fox College Kennel Manager and on-site instructor for our Large Animal Class. She is also an active advisor of our Vet Tech Club and Animal Adoption Committee. Ms. Peterson’s knowledge of animal husbandry and behavior help prepare our students to successfully care for and work with a variety of species in the veterinary field.
Christine Bernstein, DVM, Veterinary Technology Instructor, graduated from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana with a Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Bernstein served on the board of the Hinsdale Humane Society and helped the Society establish testing and treatment protocols for the animals in their care. Her professional interests include pharmacology, radiography, surgery, clinical medicine and alternative medicine. In her personal life Dr. Bernstein enjoys writing, hiking, and her Irish wolfhounds.
Cynthia Walsh, BA, CVT, Veterinary Technology Instructor, is a graduate of the Vet Tech Institute at Fox College. She has worked as a certified veterinary technician at Summit Animal Hospital and as a relief technician for Chicagoland Veterinary Technician Services. Mrs. Walsh teaches animal technology, clinical laboratory and large animal theory courses. Combining her previous State of Illinois teaching career with her experience in the veterinary industry, Mrs. Walsh enthusiastically brings her passion to the classroom!
Breana Ross, CVT, Veterinary Technology Instructor, graduated from Fox College with an Associates of Applied Science for Veterinary Technology with honors. During her 10 years as a CVT, Ms. Ross has experience with the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline specializing in toxicology and animal welfare, in addition to experience in small animal practice focusing on emergency and shelter medicine. Furthermore, Ms. Ross has 3 years of teaching experience and is excited to be at her alma mater educating future Veterinary Technicians with upholding the professional code of ethics and excellence.
Kimberly Reyes, BS, CVT, Veterinary Technology Instructor, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Saint Xavier University and an Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology from Joliet Junior College. She has been with Fox College for ten years. Prior to teaching, Ms. Reyes has had over 20 years’ experience in the veterinary field. Exotic medicine is one of her favorite areas of experience, which includes time as a CVT at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Ms. Reyes also has experience in numerous specialties including lab animal research, internal medicine, cardiology, surgery, emergency and critical care. Ms. Reyes finds teaching to be one of the most rewarding experiences in her field. She takes pride in helping students reach their full potential and becoming passionate technicians.
Katherine Burdick, BS, CVT, Veterinary Technology Instructor, graduated from Murray State University in Kentucky with a Bachelor's of Science in Animal Health Technology. After becoming a certified veterinary technician she worked as a senior technician and lab supervisor outside of Louisville for a few years. She then returned to Illinois and went on to work in a variety of settings, from corporate-run hospitals to small privately owned clinics. She now teaches Terminology, Clinical Medicine, and Anatomy and Physiology. Ms. Burdick aims to make sure students understand the relationship between what they learn in class to the practical application it will have in their future careers.
Going to School in Chicago, IL
Vet Tech Institute at Fox College is located in the Tinley Park area of Chicago and has convenient access to public transportation, parking, and recreation. The Chicago, IL location of the Vet Tech Institute has a reputation that has attracted students from around the state. Students benefit from this diversity and also are among peers who share their love for animals.