Western Veterinary Conference Awards 2002 Student Scholarships

Western Veterinary Conference is pleased to announce the 2002 Western Veterinary Conference Student Scholarship Award recipients (complete list below). In addition to receiving a $2,500 scholarship, each student receives a $1,000 stipend to attend the 74th Annual Jack Mara Western Veterinary Conference February 11 – 14, 2002.

“Student debt load is staggering,” said Jack Walther, DVM, Western Veterinary Conference scholarship chairman. “At the same time, students need to be introduced to organized veterinary medicine in order to become interested in becoming involved. The Western Veterinary Conference is providing this scholarship and stipend as a way of addressing both issues – and giving back to the profession. As a result, we will have 27 of the brightest and best emerging leaders of the profession in Las Vegas. They’ll meet the world leaders in veterinary medicine, and hopefully go away and say, ‘I really want to get involved in making veterinary medicine better.'”

The 27 students from every veterinary school nationwide will also participate in some special conference programs and an awards reception sponsored by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc.

Alan Rebar, DVM, dean of the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine and member of the board of the Western Veterinary Conference helped develop the criteria for the scholarship. As a result, the conference set minimum criteria of leadership potential and financial need as expressed in the junior year but left it up to each school’s scholarship committee to select the students.

“As a dean in veterinary medicine, I am very excited that Western Veterinary Conference has developed this new scholarship. It provides an excellent opportunity for students from every school to get a close up look at organized veterinary medicine during their formative years. This is going to show by example how important it is to be involved and take a leadership role,” said Rebar.

Kurt Venator is a junior student at Cornell University and one of the recipients. Venator has his Ph.D. in Zoology, with a focus in Neurobiology and Behavior. He decided to pursue his DVM to expand upon his clinical education and training. Venator is also president of the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association (SCAVMA) and president of the Veterinary Economics Group at Cornell.

“One of the exciting aspects of a career in veterinary medicine is the wide range of professional options open to graduates. I’m interested in small animal medicine and veterinary economics, and I’d like to be involved in organized veterinary medicine by taking roles in my state veterinary society and the AVMA. The scholarship provides the opportunity for me to attend the conference, strengthen professional ties with practitioners and other student leaders, and fosters continued involvement in organized veterinary medicine,” said Venator.

Anna Russau, a junior student at the University of Pennsylvania, plans to enter equine medicine. She was a business manager for a national construction company before she decided to pursue her dreams of becoming a veterinarian. She is president of the SCAVMA at the University of Pennsylvania. Russau started on the SAVMA committee on Economics and Finance and Management to bring the results of the KPMG study, and Brakke report on veterinary economic trends to the veterinary students. She has been instrumental in organizing the “From School to Success” – a program jointly funded by SAVMA and NCVEI, the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues.

“This is the first time that student leaders have been recognized for their life skills at a national level. We can learn a lot from our clinical studies, but it is the other things like the development of leadership skills, the human resources skills, learning how to deal with clients that will make a difference in our futures. I’ve been talking with other students and it is so exciting for all of us to be the first wave of students to be recognized, get some clinical experience, and see these top speakers at the conference,” said Russau.

With more than 1100 hours of scientific programming planned in 42 subject areas of clinical and sub-clinical veterinary medicine, and covering 22 species, Western Veterinary Conference is one of the world’s largest veterinary conferences for professional veterinarians and the hospital staff. The conference was founded in 1928 in Logan, Utah and in 1963 moved to Las Vegas, where it is still headquartered today. The conference web site is located at www.westernveterinary.org.

Western Veterinary Conference

Auburn University Mr. Eric Frazee
University of California Ms. Elizabeth Clevenger
Colorado State University Mr. Simon George
Cornell University Mr. Kurt Venator
University of Florida Mr. Leonard Laraio
University of Georgia Mr. Jonathan Anderson
University of Illinois Mr. Joel Huffmann
Iowa State University Ms. Jennifer Greiner
Kansas State University Ms. Melissa Hatheway
Louisiana State University Ms. Katie Portacci
University of Minnesota Mr. Michael Engelsgjerd
Mississippi State University Ms. Kim Johnson
University of Missouri Mr. Daniel Renfro
Michigan State University Ms. Candace Carson
North Carolina State University Mr. Richard Luce
Oklahoma State University Mr. Ernest Martinez, II
Oregon State University Ms. Beverly Place
The Ohio State University Ms. Mary Pratt
Purdue University Ms. Jill Peterson
University of Tennessee Mr. Anthony Ashley
Texas A&M University Mr. Jeffery Barker
Tufts University Mr. Michael Wood
Tuskegee University Ms. Khristen Carlson
University of Pennsylvania Ms. Anna Russau
VA/MD Regional College Ms. Kimberly Goldman
University of Wisconsin Mr. Shannon Lacy
Washington State University Ms. Betsy Charles

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