Merck Animal Health Veterinary Student 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. 

Congrats, 2022 Merck Animal Health Veterinary Student Innovation Award Recipients!

Indya Woods 
Auburn University 
Innovation: Designed a summer program for underrepresented minorities that will be offered for the first time in 2022. This program is designed to provide 10 college students in underrepresented minority groups the opportunity to explore veterinary medicine during this week-long summer program, which exposes them to many aspects of veterinary medicine and helps them strengthen their veterinary school applications.  

Danielle Scott
Colorado State University 
Innovation: Lead the creation of Animal Health Advocates in a Changing Climate. This event was a first-of-its-kind virtual symposium designed to equip clinicians, technicians, and students in the veterinary field with both knowledge and tools, so as to be effective contributors to protecting animal health in a changing climate. 

Xanth El-Sayed 
Cornell University 
Innovation: Showed innovation and creativity during his leadership within Cornell’s VBMA (Veterinary Business Management Association) Chapter and helped address a previously unmet need that will significantly promote differentiation of veterinary students as they enter their professional careers. 

Stephanie Clemente 
Lincoln Memorial University 
Innovation: Instrumental in moving hundreds of dogs and cats out of the region and developed relationships with rescue groups who were able to take on animals from the local area. This undertaking saved countless animals that would otherwise have been euthanized due to overpopulation. 

Katie Como  
Louisiana State University 
Innovation: Helped design, implement, and conduct a survey through the Health Belief Model (HBM). Katie also assisted with the analysis of the results and the preparation of a final manuscript to be submitted to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 

Hilary Thompson 
Michigan State University 
Innovation: Founded the Veterinary Wellness Initiative (VWI), which seeks to connect students to established veterinary professionals for a discussion about common hurdles and experiences within the veterinary field.   

Morgan Ostwinkle-Jones 
Midwestern University 
Innovation: Created and implemented a peer-to-peer Stress Management Program in her second year of veterinary school, that fulfilled an unmet need in the area of student wellness. 

Elizabeth "Libby" Czapor 
Mississippi State University 
Innovation: Instrumental in providing numerous educational opportunities to DVM students related to principles of business management and has lobbied extensively for bringing the most rewarding opportunities to fellow students.  

Siria Cruz 
Oregon State University 
Innovation: Founded the Latinx Veterinary Medical Association (LVMA) chapter at the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine. The club filled an unmet need for LatinX students, staff, and faculty within the CCVM. 

McCalley Cunningham 
Texas A&M University 
Innovation: Worked on multiple entrepreneurial endeavors before and during her veterinary career. McCalley focused on improving camaraderie between everyone within the hospital setting and provided an opportunity for students to get outside and be active during this stressful year. 

Shane Mart 
The Ohio State University 
Innovation: During his internship, Shane helped create a kickball game/league for 4th-year students, faculty, and staff to promote and improve camaraderie between everyone with a focus on mental health and well-being. 

Dr. Elise Bonnema 
University of Guelph 
Innovation: Created an Ashtanga yoga group to help promote mental well-being within the veterinary community. In her own words, “Before I knew it, the Guelph Ashtanga Community was born! Taking the time to care for oneself is especially important in veterinary medicine.”  

Julie Klein 
University of Illinois 
Innovation: Played a critical role in developing one of the most impactful events held annually, which is the Vet Med Open House. The event is entirely student-run and is free to attend. Julie played an instrumental role in many other events as well. 

Katie Mignola 
University of Minnesota 
Innovation: Played a critical role in the success of the veterinary student organization VeTouch (Veterinary Outreach for Urban Community Health.) Vetouch is a veterinary student-run free clinic providing primary care to pets whose families face systemic barriers to accessible care with the goal of keeping people and pets together. 

Jonathan Isla 
University of Minnesota 
Innovation: As a former co-president of the veterinary student organization Veterinary Outreach for Urban Community Health (VeTouch). Jonathan and his team worked with key individuals to design a clinic reopening plan, developing appointment-based outdoor and curbside clinic models. 

Libby Martin 
University of Missouri 
Innovation: Founded Calving Technologies, to equip cattle producers with affordable, durable technology that reduces calving mortality rates and increases cattle production overall in an effort to improve the lives of farmers.  

Rosalie Pare
University of Montreal 
Innovation: Created and owns 50% of the organization Les Bergeries Adalie. The mission of this farm business is to produce quality meat while respecting higher standards regarding animal welfare. 

Andrew Cohen 
University of Prince Edward Island (Atlantic Veterinary College) 
Innovation: Created new recruitment material for potential AVC students.  He created and filmed a Virtual Tour Experience to give applicants an in-depth look at the PEI campus and facilities. 

Brian Gleaves 
University of Tennessee 
Innovation: During his enrollment within the summer-long Veterinary Entrepreneurship Academy, Brian developed and refined an analytic report to enhance practice implementation and usage of a customer service program. 

Zachary Meyers 
University of Wisconsin 
Innovation: Developed an artificial intelligence software company “Vetreum,” which is a computer image detector that is designed to streamline and automate fecal float tests for parasite identification. 

Jaclyn Burke 
Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine 
Innovation: Developed a preparation program for high school students for their Future Farmers of America Veterinary Science Competition. 

Nicholas Linzner 
Western University of Health Sciences 
Innovation: Through the utilization of digital files, Nicholas created a tool that produces printable orthotic devices. The potential of this tool has global implications. Moreover, the tool addresses the availability and cost limitations that most practitioners encounter.  

2021 Merck Animal Health Veterinary Student Innovation Award Recipients

2020 Merck Animal Health Veterinary Student Innovation Award Recipients

2019 Merck Animal Health Veterinary Student Innovation Award Recipients