2021 Merck Innovation Awards


Merck Animal Health, in partnership with the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF), has established the Merck Animal Health Veterinary Student Innovation Awards. This award is designed to recognize graduating seniors at each veterinary school accredited through the American Veterinary Medical Association in the U.S. and Canada. Awards are given to students in good academic standing who have demonstrated innovation, entrepreneurship, and creative forward-thinking in the development of a project or product that inspires others within the veterinary profession.

Congratulations to the 2021 Merck Animal Health Veterinary Student Innovation Award Recipients

Conor Blanchet
Colorado State University
Innovation: Conor created 'digital cytology' software to transfer images through the cloud to pathologists.

Rachael Strauss
Cornell University
Innovation: Through an Opportunity Block in Veterinary Business project, Rachel developed a "Price Validation Study" to help veterinary teaching hospitals to develop a model for sustainable procedure pricing.

Megan Preston
Lincoln Memorial University
Innovation: Megan created an equine nasogastric intubation model, which helped improve the skills and educate veterinary students.

Kaity Denney
Michigan State University
Innovation: Kaity created the SAVMA Environmental Wellness Committee, the first of its kind in the country to focus on environmental wellness and veterinary medicine.

Iyaesha Simmons
Midwestern University
Innovation: Led the professional mentorship program for students to help pair veterinary students with veterinary mentors.

Irina Perdew
North Carolina State University
Innovation: Developed a novel dynamic compression device (the EQ Press) for horses to promote lymphatic drainage and health.

Elizabeth Crowling
Texas A&M University
Innovation: Developed a business model through an internship with BabelBark and refined a business plan for a new ambulatory veterinary service for pets in urban areas.

Edward Unay
Tufts University
Innovation: Instrumental in the development and success of a peer-based teaching initiative (PACE), where Edward developed a way to make fake silicon skin for practicing suturing.

Kayla Sailer
University of California - Davis
Innovation: Created a Facebook page called "Future Dr. Kayla DVM," where Kayla provides information on animal care, husbandry, and general wellness of animals.

Sydney Corso
University of Florida
Innovation: Participated in a national competition, developing a 3-5 year business model based on criteria provided by the program.

Shenise Howard
University of Georgia
Innovation: Creator and coordinator of the UGA Professional Speed Networking event.

Adam Quinlan
University of Guelph
Innovation: Contributed to the development of a North American consortium for 3D printing in veterinary medicine.

Zachary Talbert
University of Illinois
Innovation: Founder and CEO of a company called Biosecurity Innovations, where Zachary developed The Biosecurity Box (holds and disinfect items), to support the swine industry.

Erendira Amavizca
University of Minnesota
Innovation: Created an extremely innovative Emergency/Critical Care website with interactive cases to enhance the clinical training of veterinary students.

Sara M. Van Ausdal
University of Missouri
Innovation: Created the first Job and Preceptorship Fair for the University of Missouri.

Florence Dupuis-Dowd
University of Montreal
Innovation: Commitment to open up horizons for the clinical and theoretical teaching of students going into equine practice.

Marco Duguay
University of Prince Edward Island (Atlantic Veterinary College)
Innovation: Through Marco's research, he was able to establish affordable genetic testing protocols for select canine diseases, which was made available to the Atlantic Veterinary College.

Renee Ewald
University of Saskatchewan - Western College of Veterinary Medicine
Innovation: Innovation and collaboration with Abbotsford Veterinary Clinic and Terrace Animal Hospital in the creation of a large animal mobile clinic.

Jessie Erin Richards
University of Tennessee
Innovation: Developed a novel type of assay to detect parasites in wildlife.

Waining Wang Tsang
Western University of Health Sciences
Innovation: Responsible for administering acupuncture points for each surgery patient after surgery.

2020 Merck Animal Health Veterinary Student Innovation Award Recipients
2019 Merck Animal Health Veterinary Student Innovation Award Recipients

2018 Merck Animal Health Veterinary Student Innovation Award Recipients