March 23, 2015 09:31 AM Eastern Daylight Time
FLORHAM PARK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Zoetis and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) are proud to announce the 487 second-and third-year veterinary students that will each receive a $2,000 scholarship toward their education.
Now in its sixth year, the Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program aims to support leadership and diversity among future veterinarians and to offset the significant costs associated with a veterinary education. In total, $974,000 was awarded to this year's recipients.
"We are proud to reward and recognize these veterinary students who are already demonstrating academic excellence, a commitment to veterinary medicine, and leadership," said Dr. Christine Jenkins, Chief Veterinary Medical Officer, Zoetis U.S. "By investing in the next generation of veterinarians, we can address some of our existing industry challenges, including the issues of student debt and the need for greater diversity in the veterinary profession."
Nearly 1,200 applicants from universities throughout the United States and the Caribbean were evaluated based on several criteria, including academic excellence, financial need, diversity, sustainability, leadership, and career path.
This year's scholarship recipients reflect a broad range of professional interests. Among the 2015 awarded scholars:
- 23% percent are from racial and ethnically diverse backgrounds
- 25% percent are studying mixed animal medicine
- 22% percent are studying to practice food animal medicine
- 22% percent are going into small animal practice
- 13% percent are entering academia (research and clinical)
Other recipients will go into other areas, such as public health and zoo animal medicine*
This year, students applied through a new online resource, VetVance®. This free site, sponsored by Zoetis, provides students and recent graduates with content on topics that complement their core curriculum, such as professional development, business skills, and financial literacy.
The scholarship program is part of the Zoetis Commitment to Veterinarians™ platform, which offers support through training and education, research and development, investing in the future of the veterinary profession, and philanthropy.
For 2014 scholarship recipients, the support translated into materials and experiences to enhance their education.
*Applicants indicated interest in multiple categories.
"The scholarship assistance from Zoetis and the AAVMC has allowed me to purchase invaluable study guides that will help me as I enter my clinical coursework," said Kaitlin Stewart, a third-year small animal emergency medicine student at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
Tyson Strickland, a third-year food animal medicine student at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine reported, "I've had the opportunity to visit and learn from veterinarians at cattle farms across the country. The lessons I've learned in practice efficiencies and sustainability would not have been possible without the financial support."
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the average educational debt of a 2013 veterinary school graduate was $162,1131—6.9% higher than it was in 2012—with more than half of the graduates accruing debt in excess of $150,000.
"AAVMC is proud to partner with Zoetis on this important program," says Dr. Andrew Maccabe, executive director of the AAVMC. "Their generous contributions and commitment to the veterinary profession are helping to address some of the most critical challenges we face. We are grateful for the opportunity to help veterinary students achieve their goals and shape the future of the profession."
For a list of 2015 scholarship recipients, please click here.
Zoetis (zō-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products and genetic tests and supported by a range of services. In 2014, the company generated annual revenues of $4.8 billion. With approximately 10,000 employees worldwide at the beginning of 2015, Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in 120 countries. For more information, visit www.zoetisUS.com.
The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) is a nonprofit membership organization working to protect and improve the health and welfare of animals, people and the environment by advancing academic veterinary medicine. Its members include 49 veterinary medical colleges throughout the world. www.aavmc.org
1. Shepherd AJ, Pikel L. Employment, starting salaries and educational indebtedness of year-2013 graduates of US veterinary medical colleges. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2013;243:983-987. Available at: http://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/pdfplus/10.2460/javma.243.7.983