Meet the 2018 Veterinary Student Innovation Award Winners

Merck Animal Health, in partnership with the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, has awarded 28 veterinary students for their innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.
Amanda Carrozza
Published: June 25, 2018
Merck Student AwardsMerck Animal Health recently announced the winners of the 2018 Veterinary Student Innovation Awards.

The inaugural award was created to recognize graduating seniors at each American Veterinary Medical Association —accredited veterinary school in the United States and Canada. The student winners demonstrated innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity in developing an inspirational project or product. The awards were presented in partnership with the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF).

"We are pleased to recognize and support these outstanding veterinary students," said Jan K. Strother, DVM, chair of the AVMF board of directors. "Not only have these students displayed entrepreneurial spirit, initiative and creativity, but they are also making a positive difference in their communities and in our veterinary profession." 

Examples of projects developed by recipients include:
  • Vets for Vetswhich provides rehabilitation for retired military and police dogs.  
  • The VOICE (Veterinary Students as One in Culture and Ethnicity) program, which introduces minority high school students to the health sciences through hands-on activities and interaction with current health science students.
  • Development of a surgical assist device to improve equine colon evacuation.

"At Merck Animal Health, we believe in the science of healthier animals," Scott Bormann, Merck Animal Health’s vice-president of North America, said. "Part of what drives that science is the identification of new challenges and the development of initiatives to address them in our ever-changing industry.”

Following are all of this year’s award recipients:
  • Carolyn Benedetto, Louisiana State University
  • Amanda Carlson, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine 
  • Meredith Chamberlain, University of Prince Edward Island
  • Caitlin Conner, Texas A & M University
  • Akaterina Davros, Kansas State University
  • Matthew Robert DiFazio, Cornell University
  • Wendy Evans, University of Missouri
  • Anika Farina, Tufts University
  • Shannon Finn, University of Guelph
  • Maryanne Miko Flasik, Colorado State University
  • Mackenzie Gallegos, Michigan State University
  • Nicolas Gendron-Parra, University of Montreal
  • Shannon Gildersleeve, University of Wisconsin
  • John Griffeon, North Carolina State University
  • Courtney Griffin, Mississippi State University
  • Nicholas Hall, Washington State University
  • Lindsey Knox, University of Minnesota
  • Laura MacIntyre, Oregon State University
  • Max Manse, University of California - Davis
  • Kayla Mehan, Lincoln Memorial University
  • Samantha Morici, Auburn University
  • Kara Negrini, Purdue University
  • Dustin Ong, Western University
  • Ruben Pabon Padin, The Ohio State University
  • Chelsea Ruston, Iowa State University
  • Rayeann Solano, Midwestern University
  • Richard Blaine Sparks, University of Tennessee
  • Suzanne Wilson, University of Illinois

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