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Welcome to Vet Tech Institute Pittsburgh

We are happy you found us. Here's a quick snapshot of who we are: 

Where:  Downtown Pittsburgh, PA 
What:  Associate of Specialized Technology Degree in Veterinary Technology 
How Long:  18 months start to finish 
Accreditation:  American Veterinary Medical Association CVTEA 
Facilities Include:  Kennels, surgical suite and prep area, clinical labs, radiography room, and more! 
Nearby:  Student housing, public transportation, parking, and recreation
When:  Starting 3 times per year 
Who:  Faculty, staff, and (maybe) you! 

We'd love to show you what we have to offer. Schedule your visit to see things first hand! 



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Map Us!

You can visit us at:
125 Seventh Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222 

Or give us a call at:



VTI Faculty

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:

Nicole DiMichele, C.V.T., has been at Vet Tech Institute since 2005 and was once the school's on-site kennel manager. She earlier worked as a certified veterinary technician at both a busy veterinary emergency hospital and a non-emergency/routine veterinary clinic. Nicole received her B.A. in Psychology from the Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and her A.S.T (in veterinary technology) from Median School of Allied Health Careers; she also is a current and active member of the NAVTA, PVMA, and C.V.T.E.A organizations. Nicole is the proud mother of two daughters, Brinn and Sonni, three cats, and two birds. Nicole previously owned two beloved Akita's and considers herself to be an avid enthusiast of the Breed. 

Nikki Girimonti, L.V.T., joined the faculty at Vet Tech Institute in 2007. She started by working at the local equine facility as a trainer and riding instructor while she was still in college, graduating from Duquesne University with a major in biochemistry. She began her career working overnight shifts and monitoring anesthesia in an emergency practice, eventually finding her passion in anesthesia and exotic animal medicine. She then became the technical supervisor at a large referral practice, where she spent countless hours in surgery. Mrs. Girimonti feels so fortunate to be able to share her variety of experiences with VTI students. She currently lives west of Pittsburgh with her husband, two children, and numerous pets. 

Crystal Gordon, C.V.T., has been in the small animal medicine field since graduating from the Vet Tech Institute in 2010.  She completed her externship at the Humane Society, which then hired her.  She went on to work in private practice for many years, including in the oncology department at MedVet and as a veterinary laboratory generalist at ANTECH Diagnostics.  Crystal continues to advocate for the pets at the Humane Society, and she shares her home with her son, two cats, a dog, and a cockatiel. 

Russell Grego, C.V.T.,  is happy to be a member of the faculty at VTI, where he is an alum. His experience includes emergency medicine at V.C.A. Met Vet West and at Canon Hill Vet Clinic, a small animal and equine practice in Canonsburg. Before attending VTI, Russell served as an active duty member of the U.S. Army and is a combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He spends his time with Ashley, his wife, and two daughters, Natalie and Rosie, along with their three Siberian huskies, Eddard, Koda, Aurora; his three cats, Toothless, Cerse, Queen Anne, and horse Tymmer.  He enjoys playing hockey and golf when allowed some spare time. 

Dr. Sara Hurst earned both a B.S. in Animal Science and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Texas A&M University, before going on active duty as a Captain with the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps. Stationed at West Point, NY, she was the official veterinarian for the U.S. Army Mascot Mules. Dr. Hurst then worked in private practice for four years in Texas before moving to the Pittsburgh area and joining the Vet Tech Institute faculty. Dr. Hurst and her husband own many pets, including a cat, a cockatoo, an African grey parrot, an Amazon parrot, a cockatiel, an axolotl, and a bearded dragon. 

Alina Neff, C.V.T., graduated from VTI in February 2020 after completing her externship in Belize at a wildlife and referral clinic.  Upon returning home, she worked with the Humane Animal Rescue in Pittsburgh, going on to work at PVSEC, the National Aviary, and Animal Friends.  Alina is passionate about the human-animal bond and fear free practices in the workplace.  Alina lives with her fiance Dylan and their two dogs, Zuzu and Jimmy Dean, and three cats, Obi-wan Katknobi, Shrimp, and Taco. 

Kylie Pringle, C.V.T., has a passion for animals and farming that started at a very young age. She grew up on her family farm, where she still helps with the three horses, two of which are retired racehorses, a donkey, and 60 head of beef cattle. She started volunteering at a mixed animal veterinary hospital in high school and then graduated from Vet Tech Institute in 2014. An externship at Performance Equine, based out of the Meadows Racetrack, boosted her love for harness racing and performance racehorse medicine. Working next at a mixed animal practice, she honed her skills in the small animal emergency department, I.C.U., and equine department. Kylie and her family share their home with one dog, four cats, and a flock of chickens and ducks. 

Anne Risa, D.V.M., is a Pittsburgh native.  She earned her A.S. in Biology from CCAC in 1996, her B.S. in Biology at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania in 1999, and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University in 2003.  In addition, Dr. Risa holds an A.S. in Diagnostic Medical Sonography from CCAC.  Dr. Risa was a professional pet groomer for many years before becoming a veterinarian.  During her career she has worked in emergency medicine, small animal general practice, and shelter medicine, and also has served as a veterinary medical officer for the USDA food safety inspection program.  She lives less than 5 miles from VTI with her cats:  MeeMoo, GuGu, and Willie. 

Melissa Sowa, C.V.T., has gathered various veterinary experiences after graduating from Vet Tech Institute in 2009. For four years, she was part of a 24/7- 365 practice that handled both emergencies and routine care.  Melissa then joined a fast-paced clinic that performed 30-to-40 surgeries per day; during her four years there, she completed her apprentice with AWDA and became a certifier and evaluator for S.A.R. teams. Along the way, she has earned a B.S. from the University of Pittsburgh and a master's degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Argosy University. She and her husband, Piet, live with their two German shepherds, Vader and Neo.  Melissa still finds time to teach dog classes, compete in dog sports, and operate as a certifier for search-and-rescue k9 teams. 

Lisa M. Szafranski, C.V.T., Program Coordinator, SCNAVTA Advisor, is a Median School of Allied Health careers graduate who has worked in the veterinary field since 1986 and is still working part-time at V.C.A. Duncan Manor Animal Hospital. She is certified in Canine Obedience from the National Canine College in Columbus and instructs basic puppy obedience classes for our kennel dogs.  "Mrs. S" brings her enthusiasm and love of the field of veterinary medicine into the classroom, and her "Mrs. S-isms" are a helpful way to retain the critical Terminology words. She shares her home with two labrador retrievers, Petunia and Buoy; a rescue rotweiller, Bean; and two amazing cats, Dotti and Obi, who were adopted from the school.  

Noel Zychowski, C.V.T., graduated from Median School of Allied Health Careers in 2005.  Like many, her early career experience was in small animal general practice.  In 2013, Noel moved back to Pittsburgh, where she focused on emergency care and private practice.  The roles she has held include being an OSHA officer and a technician supervisor.  She now lives outside of Pittsburgh with her husband, two kids, two dogs (Wallace and Winnie), and a cat named Taco. 


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Student Housing

We encourage students to live together at Penn Commons, which is a 5 minute walk away and is located in downtown Pittsburgh's historic cultural district. We have arranged for our students to receive preferred pricing at a discount to Penn Common's already affordable rates. Living with other Vet Tech Institute students at Penn Commons is a great way to have a stronger sense of community, shorten your commute, make close friends, and experience living on your own.  

Students choosing to live at Penn Commons reside in fully furnished suites. To learn more about rooms, resident amenities, and on-site security, request more information, ask your VTI representative to arrange a tour of Penn Commons, or visit the site at


Student Housing - Penn Common

Check out the convenient student housing options at the Penn Commons website!



VTNE Information

July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2023

Number of First-Time Test Takers


3 Year Average VTNE Pass Rate for First-Time Test Takers



Animal Care Duty

Vet Tech Institute maintains an on-site kennel housing dogs, cats, and rodents. An important part of the education provided by the Veterinary Technology program is learning hands-on the duties and responsibilities of animal care and sanitation. Therefore, all veterinary technology students are assigned to participate in kennel duty shifts before and after classes and on weekends.  The number of assigned weeks depends on the number of students.


The school catalog contains specific information about school policies. You can find information on admissions policies and practices, contact information for accrediting and state licensing agencies, information on tuition and fees, refund policies and other consumer information.  


The Vet Tech Institute Veterinary Technology program is currently accredited by the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA) of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The address and telephone number of the American Veterinary Medical Association are 1931 N. Meacham Road, Schaumburg, IL 60173, (847) 925-8070.

Vet Tech Institute is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. The address, telephone number, and website of the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges are 2101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 302, Arlington, VA 22201, (703) 247-4212,