New AVMF scholarships created as others end

Published on September 17, 2014
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The American Veterinary Medical Foundation is ready to start taking applications for the new Auxiliary to the AVMA Legacy Endowed Scholarship Program. 

The program will begin awarding $1,000 scholarships to one student at each of the U.S. veterinary colleges next spring. 

The fund originated in July 2013 when the Auxiliary transferred $2 million to the AVMF to establish the endowed scholarship program. Annual proceeds from the endowment will support veterinary student scholarships in the coming years.

Applicants must be, among other things, a U.S. resident, a second- or third-year student at an AVMA Council on Education–accredited veterinary school, and a member of the Student AVMA, and must have demonstrated academic excellence, financial need, and leadership abilities.

Applications are available here; the submission deadline is Oct. 15. 

Millions awarded

The AVMF took some time during the AVMA Annual Convention this past July in Denver to announce the beneficiaries of its scholarship programs.

The AVMF/Merck Scholarship program had 20 veterinary student recipients who each got $5,000. Plans are in progress—but not yet confirmed—to continue the program another year and to expand it to some international schools. The Foundation also handed out 21 aquatic animal medicine scholarships totaling $20,000, an amount that has grown in recent years.

Michael Cathey, executive director of the Foundation, recognized Zoetis for the Zoetis/AVMF Veterinary Student Scholarship Program, which over the past five years awarded $3.625 million through nearly 1,600 scholarships to second- and third-year students enrolled at AVMA COE–accredited universities in the U.S. and Caribbean.

This was the last year the AVMF administered the program; the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges has taken it over. According to an AAVMC press release earlier this year, “Zoetis chose to partner with AAVMC on the basis of the organization’s proximity to the students they are attempting to assist with the scholarship program. AAVMC works closely with the college administrators and students that are involved with the program.”

At the same time, the AVMF has taken over a scholarship program previously administered by the AAVMC: The Harold Wetterberg Scholarship. This program awards scholarships to current or former residents of New Jersey—or those who have graduated from a New Jersey high school or university—who are enrolled in postgraduate education in veterinary medicine. The first of the AVMF/Wetterberg Foundation Scholarships, totaling $75,000, went to seven students. 

Food animal program sunset

The AVMA/AVMF Food Animal Veterinarian Recruitment and Retention Program has reached its end. The economic assistance program was created to provide student loan debt forgiveness to bring more veterinarians into food animal practice.

The program’s selection committee chose five individuals in 2010 to receive up to $100,000 each over a four-year period. They are Drs. Austin Ayars (Ohio State ’07) of Phoenix; Scott Morey (Kansas State ’10) of Concordia, Kansas; Shaw Perrin (Ohio State ’10) of Goshen, Indiana; Kay Russo (Cornell ’10) of Stephenville, Texas; and Conrad Spangler (Minnesota ’09) of Dalhart, Texas. Mean student debt for the recipients was about $150,000.

The AVMF administered the application process and payments for the FAVRRP. The Foundation also assisted the selection committee in choosing recipients.

Each winner agreed to work in a qualified U.S. food animal practice—i.e., a practice that derives half or more of its revenue from food animal services—until 2014. The recipients received payments that could be applied to their student loan debt for every 12 months of continuous practice, assuming they remained in a qualifying practice. Drs. Morey, Perrin, and Russo ultimately met all the criteria.

The FAVRRP’s co-sponsors were Zoetis, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Elanco Animal Health, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, Phibro Animal Health, the AVMF, and the AVMA. No plans are in place to repeat the program; the three final installment checks will be mailed this fall.

In all, the AVMF distributed $2.5 million from June 2013-June 2014 in student activities, which largely comprised veterinary student scholarships.