Las Vegas, NV – March 2002
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 received a $1,000 stipend to attend the 74th Annual Jack Mara Western Veterinary Conference February 11 – 14, 2002.
Pictured: Dr. Craig Griffin, President of Western Veterinary Conference, congratulates Anna Russau, one of the 27 student recipients of the 2002 Western Veterinary Conference Student Scholarship Award, as scholarship chairman, Dr. Jack Walther, looks on.
“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 had 27 of the brightest and best emerging leaders of the profession in Las Vegas. They met the world leaders in veterinary medicine, and hopefully went away and said, ‘I really want to get involved in making veterinary medicine better.'”
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The 27 students from every veterinary school nationwide also participated 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.
2002 STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS
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|