Zoetis and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges announced this year’s winners of the Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program. Now in its sixth year, this program recognized 353 second-and third-year veterinary students at this week’s 2016 Student American Veterinary Medical Association Conference —awarding more than $700,000 in scholarships. This program operates as part of Zoetis Commitment to Veterinarians, a platform created by Zoetis to support leadership and diversity among future veterinarians while also helping to offset the significant costs associated with a veterinary education.
“At Zoetis, we are committed to the veterinary community and the animals in their care,” says Christine Jenkins, DVM, DACVIM, chief veterinary medical officer, U.S. Operations at Zoetis. “We are proud to reward and recognize these veterinary students who are already demonstrating academic excellence, a strong commitment to veterinary medicine, and leadership. By awarding these scholarships, we hope to not only lessen the financial burden felt by many of these students, but encourage every recipient to focus on their future and become leaders in the field.”
This year, nearly 1,500 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. Students applied through VetVance, a free educational resource sponsored by Zoetis, that provides students and recent graduates with online content relating to professional development, business skills, professional stewardship, financial literacy, and much more.
“The AAVMC is proud to partner with Zoetis on this important program,” says Andrew Maccabe, executive director of the AAVMC. “Their ongoing contributions and commitment to the veterinary profession continue to address some of the most critical challenges our industry faces. We’re grateful for the opportunity to join Zoetis to help veterinary students achieve their academic and professional goals and ultimately, shape the future of the profession.”
“Zoetis has gone above and beyond to hear and respond to the need for financial support of veterinary students,” says Jennifer R. Rowntree of the University of Wisconsin, School of Veterinary Medicine. “The financial support I have received from Zoetis has allowed me to gain valuable practical experience that has further prepared me for graduation.”
Providing support to emerging leaders in veterinary medicine
According to the AAVMC, the median debt of indebted graduates of U.S. colleges of veterinary medicine was $156,583 in 2015 — 5.5% higher than it was in 2014.  Scholarship programs, like Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program, deliver financial support and thereby, encourage these students to continue their path toward success.
This year, the scholarship recipients recognized by the Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program reflect a broad range of professional interests. Among the 2016 awarded scholars:
- 31% are from racial and ethnically diverse backgrounds
- 30% are studying mixed animal medicine
- 9% are studying to practice food animal medicine
- 28% are going into small animal practice
- 13% are going into equine exclusive clinical practice
- 7% are entering academia (research and clinical), public health, or government
- 15% will go into other areas, such as zoo/exotic, lab animal, wildlife, etc.
The Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program continues to be one of the many ways Zoetis engages and supports the future leaders of the profession. To date, this program has awarded over $5.2 million in scholarships to more than 2,000 students. To view a list of this year’s scholarship recipients, click here.