In partnership with the American Association of Avian Pathologists Foundation (AAAP Foundation) – the charitable arm of the AAAP – Merck Animal Health (known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada) is proud to announce that it has awarded ten $5,000 scholarships to second- and third-year veterinary students focused on poultry health. This is the sixth year that Merck Animal Health has partnered with the AAAP Foundation, and, to date, has awarded $200,000.

     “These deserving recipients will be instrumental to the future of poultry production, as well as in feeding a booming population,” said Justin Welsh, D.V.M., Executive Director, Livestock Technical Services, Merck Animal Health. “Merck Animal Health is proud to support these students in their educational endeavors, knowing that they will help advance our mission of The Science of Healthier Animals® in the future.”

     “One Health initiatives linking animal and human health are of the utmost importance in today’s times,” said Dr. Fred Hoerr, President of the AAAP Foundation. “Supporting students with career interests in poultry health assures the presence of informed veterinarians in the global One Health effort. We are grateful to Merck Animal Health for partnering with the AAAP Foundation to support the next generation of veterinarians as we work to ensure the global supply of safe and nutritious poultry and eggs.”

     The following students are the 2020 scholarship recipients:

     Zachary Adams of Preston, Iowa, is a third-year student at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Iowa State University. Zachary has gained experience working as a research assistant in the university’s poultry lab, as a live production intern with Jennie-O Turkey Store and as an extern for Butterball. After he graduates, he aspires to enter the turkey industry and work as a staff veterinarian for a production company.

     Elizabeth Davis of Earleville, Md., is a third-year student at the University of Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in biology from Washington College. She previously interned for Mountaire Farms of Millsboro, De. After Elizabeth graduates, she plans to work as a poultry veterinarian for a commercial poultry operation or at a poultry plant for the United States Department of Agriculture.

     Theodore Derksen of Dalton, Ohio, is a third-year student at the Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine. He has a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Cornell University and master’s degree in animal biology from the University of California-Davis. Theodore has worked as a biosecurity specialist for the California Department of Food and Agriculture during the virulent Newcastle Disease outbreak and as a poultry health intern for Hillicker’s Ranch Fresh Eggs. After he graduates, he plans to enter the commercial industry and join or start a consulting firm before gaining experience in the government sector.

     Gemma Isermann of Rossville, Kan., is a third-year student at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Gemma earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and animal science from Kansas State University. She is a 2014 graduate of the Midwest Poultry Consortium and plans to work as a poultry veterinarian after graduating veterinary school.

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     Valeria Johnson of Holton, Mich., is a second-year student at the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University. Valeria gained experience working as an assistant farm manager at Sietsema Farms and plans to work as a production animal veterinarian after graduating.

     Isabelle Kwon of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, is a second-year student at the University of Guelph Ontario Veterinary College. She has a bachelor’s degree in biomedical science and gained experience working as an animal trainer to train birds of prey for wildlife education programs. After graduating, Isabelle aspires to work as a poultry veterinarian and pathologist.

     Michaela Olson of Janesville, Minn., is a third-year student at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. She earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Minnesota, where she worked as a student laboratory technician in its Turkey Nutrition Laboratory. After Michaela graduates, she plans to work as a production or technical services poultry veterinarian.

     Hannah Sather of Raleigh, N.C., is a second-year student at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from North Carolina State University, where she also gained experience working as a research assistant for the Talley Turkey Education Unit. Along with other research assistant roles, Hannah has interned with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service. After graduating, she plans to work for the USDA or within the turkey industry.

     Sierra Slautterback of Camarillo, Calif., is a third-year student at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville College of Veterinary Medicine. Sierra earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She recently completed a summer-long research program examining wild turkey population health and assisted in a poultry coccidia vaccine trial research study. After graduating, Sierra plans to pursue a master’s degree in avian medicine and work for a large-scale intergrader in the poultry industry.

     Eliza Theis of Little Falls, Minn., is a third-year student at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. She earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and is working to obtain a Master of Public Health degree in addition to her doctorate degree. She has gained experience working as a laboratory technician, necropsy floor assistant and intern. After graduating, she aspires to work as a poultry veterinarian and is interested in food safety, antimicrobial resistance and flock health management.

     Learn more about the AAAP Foundation at https://www.aaap.info/foundation.