October 01, 2010



Posted Sept. 18, 2010


Brittany Gross

Nikkita Patel

Two students have been named the 2010 Penn Vet Student Inspiration Award winners. The awards are given annually to two University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine students in recognition of their plans to substantially advance the frontiers of the profession.

Brittany Gross, South Sterling, Pa., is a second-year student who earned a bachelor's in biology from the University of Vermont.

Gross' proposal involves constructing an educationally focused dairy farm in the rural northeast region of Thailand. The dairy would be the site of after-school programs that provide hands-on involvement and instruction in herd care, raw milk handling, and dairy product processing. The students would learn valuable skills in a facility that models methods and technologies that are implementable by the farmers in the region.

Nikkita Patel, Knoxville, Tenn., is a fourth-year student who earned a bachelor's from the University of Tennessee and a master's in public health from Yale University.

Her proposal, titled, "Veterinary Public Outreach 2.0," is about veterinarians educating the public on the depth and breadth of current problems they are working to solve, encompassing public health, conservation, and environmental health. Using Internet tools can be an efficient and effective means of doing so. Patel plans to use these tools for a veterinary intervention to educate and engage individuals and provide a powerful resource for policymakers.