Zoetis and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) have announced the winners of the 2017 Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program.
Now in its eighth year, the program awarded 315 scholarships to second- and third-year veterinary students during the 2017 Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA) Conference. An additional 24 scholarships were awarded through partnerships with American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP).
“Veterinary Medical students will play a vital role in caring for animals and ensuring public health,” said Christine Jenkins, DVM, DACVIM, chief veterinary medical officer, U.S. Operations at Zoetis. “Zoetis is committed to the veterinary community and the animals in their care.”
The scholarships recognize veterinary students who are already demonstrating academic excellence, a strong commitment to veterinary medicine and leadership.
“By awarding these scholarships, we hope to not only lessen the financial burden felt by many of these students, but to encourage every recipient to focus on their future and become leaders in the field,” Jenkins added.
The scholarship program operates as part of Zoetis Commitment to Veterinarians, a platform created by Zoetis to support leadership and diversity among future veterinarians while also helping to offset the significant costs associated with a veterinary education.
Record number of applicants
This year, a record number of more than 1,700 applicants from universities throughout the United States and the Caribbean were evaluated for academic excellence, financial need, diversity, sustainability, leadership, and career path. Students applied through VetVance, a free educational resource sponsored by Zoetis that provides students and recent graduates with online content relating to professional development, business skills, professional stewardship, financial literacy, personal wellness, and much more.
“Partnering with Zoetis enables us to help veterinary students offset the increasing costs of a medical education while providing these students with opportunities that might have otherwise been beyond their means,” said Dr. Andrew Maccabe, chief executive officer of the AAVMC. “These scholarships offer a way for students to manage every day expenses or study in-depth some of the most critical challenges our industry faces.”
Providing support to emerging leaders in veterinary medicine
According to AAVMC, the median debt of indebted graduates of U.S. colleges of veterinary medicine was $152,259 in 2016. Scholarship programs, like Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program, deliver financial support and encourage students to continue their education. This year, the scholarship recipients recognized by the Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program reflect a broad range of professional interests.
Among the 2017 awarded scholars:
- 33% are from racial and ethnically diverse backgrounds
- 31% are studying mixed animal medicine
- 14% are studying to practice food animal medicine
- 26% are going into small animal practice
- 4% percent are going into equine exclusive clinical practice
- 13% are entering academia (research and clinical), public health, government, or industry
- 11% will go into other areas, such as zoo/exotic animal, lab animal, wildlife, etc.
"The Zoetis scholarship program enabled me to pursue a summer placement in Mongolia working with small ruminants in a public health setting, which has led to a new interest in international public health challenges,” said scholarship recipient Kristen E. Malinak, a student at North Carolina State University, class of 2018. “The scholarship has given me confidence to pursue opportunities that were previously out of my reach due to financial limitations."
Overall the Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program has awarded nearly $6 million in scholarships to more than 2,700 students.