Closeup of Kim Layne
WSU veterinary student Kim Layne poses with her sash after being crowned Miss Idaho USA 2020.

Kim Layne, a third-year veterinary student in Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, is Miss Idaho USA 2020.

The aspiring Coug veterinarian will represent the Gem State at the Miss USA pageant for a chance to be crowned Miss USA 2020.

Layne, 25, plans to use the platform to inform the public on the stigmas and attitudes associated with neurological conditions – something she’s experienced personally since she was diagnosed with narcolepsy, a chronic sleep disorder causing daytime drowsiness.

But it’s not just her.

“I have friends who have ADHD and friends who have Asperger’s. They are successful and they do very well and I’ve seen them struggle and have to overcome stigmas and attitudes in the workplace and in school,” Layne said. “I think that is unfortunate. So, I’d really like to talk about it.”

By sharing her story, she’s hopeful to help society understand neurodiversity.

“I want people to feel like they can succeed. I would like society to accept people with differences,” Layne said.

After graduation, Layne, a native Idahoan from Mountain Home and more recently Nampa, wants to put her veterinary skills to work. And she will be the first to tell you because: “Being a veterinarian is the best job.”

One of her biggest attractions to the veterinary degree were its many career opportunities.

“A veterinarian could be a lot of different things,” she said.

Layne plans to pursue a career in public health, addressing health risks for animals and humans, but she is still determining her exact career path, noting research is another interest area.

She said she would prefer work that involves keeping diseases out of the country and protecting the livelihoods of farmers. She’s also interested in research and providing animal care and public health strategies during natural disasters and emergencies.

Layne is nine credits away from attaining her master’s degree in public health from the University of Minnesota.

While she received an undergraduate degree in animal science at Cornell University, she said being closer to her father in Nampa and the tight-knit network at WSU and the College of Veterinary Medicine were the biggest draws to the fifth-oldest veterinary school in the nation.

“Everyone here is so helpful and supportive,” Layne said. “Even on the East Coast, there’s nothing like wearing WSU gear and someone from across the street yells ‘Go Cougs!’”

Layne will take the stage at the Miss USA pageant this spring. An exact date of the competition has not been released.