Joy Nabors

Joy Nabors pets a horse in front of MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine
Photo by Tom Thompson

Those who walk through Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine on any given day are likely to hear “Hey, Joy!” echo through the halls as students make their way to class.

Starkville native Joy Nabors graduated from MSU with her Bachelor of Science in ag education, leadership, and communication in 2022 and will finish her Master of Arts in communication this month.

“Both of my parents, three of my uncles, my grandfather, and my great grandfather all graduated from here,” Nabors said. “You could say I was destined to be a Bulldog.”

In 2021, the College of Veterinary Medicine’s admissions team added a student worker position to assist with outreach efforts. Having spent much of her childhood visiting her father– Dr. Ben Nabors, assistant clinical professor in the Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine—at work, she was no stranger to the CVM and was meant to apply for the position.

“When I was younger, I would sometimes ride the school bus to the CVM to wait in my dad’s office until he was done with work. I remember him showing me around the school and introducing me to people,” Nabors said. “This position goes well with my majors, and I knew it would give me a lot of good experience. However, I honestly never thought I would be working in the same building I hung out in as a kid.”

Nabors has served as the digital engagement graduate assistant for the CVM Office of Admissions and Student Affairs, but that title barely scratched the surface of everything she has done in her student role. From taking photos and videos for Vet Camp, to processing admissions applications and giving tours, to visiting with prospective students to help calm their nerves before their vet school admission interviews, Nabors provided assistance and encouragement.

When not at CVM, often traveled with the MSU Rodeo Team. “I grew up around horses because my mom always made sure we had them. For a while, I only competed in gymnastics and volleyball, but by the end of my 9th-grade year, I only wanted to ride horses,” Nabors said. “With encouragement from my mom, and after watching National Finals Rodeo replays on YouTube, I knew I wanted to rodeo. I joined the MSU Rodeo Team in the fall of 2019 and have served as president since then. I compete in barrel racing and goat tying in the Ozark Region–which has competitors from roughly 15 other schools.”

Outside of the arena, Nabors has led the rodeo team in hosting fundraisers, participating in events, and creating a strong online presence by revamping social media pages. “For me, college rodeo has been a very humbling experience, but I never gave up,” she said. “I may not have accomplished a lot inside the arena but, outside of it, I tried to accomplish as much as possible for the team.”

Participation and online engagement with the team has grown through her efforts. Her work ethic and willingness to be a team player also has benefited the CVM, improving and expanding outreach efforts and enhancing relationships with existing and potential students.

Joy Nabors, pictured with a horse in front of MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine