Carli Dotson

Administrative Assistant for the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences

When did you join the veterinary college?

I joined the college in June 2019 in the Office of Academic Affairs. I was the First Teaching Time Support Specialist which is the person who supports the first and second year students.

What is your role at the veterinary college?

In May 2022 I transitioned to the Administrative Assistant for the Large Animal Clinical Sciences Department.

The best part of being at VMCVM...

The best part of being at VMCVM is the people! We have a wonderful community of people here and there is not anyone that I don't enjoy working with. Everyone is supportive and helpful. Plus, seeing all of the cute fur babies on the hospital side is a plus too!

Best advice I've gotten...

When I was in college I was a part of the Bonner Scholar program at Concord University. Our motto was "Be the change you want to see in the world." I have tried to live by that and be the best version of myself that I can be. To me, kindness is key and I try to be kind to everyone I come in contact with because you never know what someone might be going through internally.

A person who has inspired me...

My mom, Kymn Brewer. My mom has worked hard her whole life and been so supportive of everything I have done. She is my biggest cheerleader and the first person I call whenever anything good/bad happens. I'm so lucky to have her in my life and be a role model for me. A little about her back story- She had my brother when she was 18 and a senior in high school. She met my dad later on and they got married when she was 24. They had me and my younger sister and she worked at Food Lion as a manager for 17 years. This career wasn't ideal with 3 kids because her shifts were long and always changing. She quit that job and went back to school at New River Community College where she learned American Sign Language to become a sign language interpreter. She then was employed by NRCC in the Student Services department to interpret in the classrooms for deaf students. When not interpreting she works with students in the advising center. Her passion for helping students and working at the community college is what inspired me to start my own career path in administrative work in the higher education system.

Can you share a memorable experience or story from your time working with animals?

I don't work with any animals on the day to day job, but I love that I get to support people that do! I was the kid in elementary school who said "I want to be a vet when I grow up!" and I would have taken in every stray animal I saw if my parents would let me. Although I never pursued that dream as I grew older, I still recognized I had a talent for helping others. I love that I get to help our LA faculty with their administrative needs so that they can focus on helping our clients. I love hearing stories about the patients they have seen and sometimes sneaking down to take a peak at a cute fur baby.

What do you find most inspiring or fulfilling about working with students and helping them pursue their careers?

My time in Academic Affairs was so rewarding because I loved watching the students blossom from first years all the way to graduation. I worked really closely with the students that had testing accommodations so I was able to really connect with some of them. Seeing them stress through some of the tests was hard to watch but it was so rewarding to see when they succeeded. I've kept in touch with a few of my students that were in my first first-year class and watching them live their dreams is so wonderful.

One misconception that all students seem to have is?

That I know anything about veterinary science. Most people, not just students, assume that since I work here that I have basic knowledge of veterinary science. I do not (lol) I am purely just an average person with three weenie dogs who knows about IVDD because I've gone through two back surgeries.

If I had a superpower, it would be...

To fly! I love traveling and I love flying in an airplane so I think it would be amazing to be able to fly anywhere I needed to go.

If you could magically grant an animal the ability to talk, which one would you choose and what do you think it would say?

My sweet girl Ginger, a long haired dachshund. I think she would be super sassy and have a lot of opinions about everything but she would also tell me who much she loves me. She's my little snuggle bug and loves her Mama so much.

A cause I'm most passionate about...

The Pulaski Daily Bread in downtown Pulaski hands out meals to anyone in need Monday-Friday. This is a prepared, hot lunch that people can receive for free, no questions asked. I was able to volunteer here during college and I saw first hand how vital this resource is for our community and how many people benefit from everything the Daily Bread does.

Favorite way to end the day...

I like to end the day with a clean kitchen so I always try to do the dishes before I'm "done" for the day. Then I usually spend time on the couch with my husband and the dogs watching one of our shows.

Top of my bucket list...

Travel to Greece and Italy! I have a lot of travel destinations I want to see but those are my top two.

My favorite quote...

“We all fail Mum School sometimes. But we just try again tomorrow” - Chilli Heeler from Bluey

If you could communicate with animals for a day, what would you ask them?

What can I do to make your life better? Do you miss me when I'm away? Why do you always act like you are starving to death even though you are fed twice a day? haha

How many pets/animals live at home? Can you tell us about them?

I have three dachshunds! One red long haired female, Ginger who is 6 years old. She was my first and holds a very special place in my heart. One cream/red long haired male, Beamer who will be 6 in April. And one black/tan short haired male, Spike, who is 13 and was rehomed to us when he was 7. They all have very unique personalities and make our family complete! Ginger is a sweet/sassy girl who enjoys sleeping in. Beamer is wide open and loves to give kisses! He likes to stretch out as long as he can possibly get on the couch. He is the biggest one of the three but also the biggest chicken lol. Spike is an old man who likes to spend his day burrowed under a blanket on the couch. He is very needy though and when he wants something he has the most awful whine that is sure to get your attention.

Anything else to add?

My husband, Tyler, and I are high school sweethearts. We started dating in 2011 when we were juniors in high school and then we both went on to Concord University where he played football and I was in the Delta Zeta sorority. We both graduated with business degrees after three years and got married one month after graduation. He went on to get his Master of Accounting here at Virginia Tech and I got my Master of Arts in Executive Leadership through Liberty University Online. We settled down in Pulaski to be close to family but both of us eventually ended up working in Blacksburg. We don't mind the commute because we love our hometown and the people of our community. We had our first son, Oliver, in January 2021 and then our second son, Theo, in March 2023. We just bought a fixer-upper and spent the last 5 months renovating it to be our dream home! We moved in last weekend so we are still getting settled but we are loving our new home where we will make lots of memories with our friends and family.

Headshot of Carli Dotson.
Three dachshund dogs relaxing of a couch.
Family of four standing in front of a body of water and smiling at the camera.


Andrew Mann
Director of Communications and Marketing