2022 Merck Animal Health Scholarship


Merck Animal Health is proud to show its dedication to veterinary students by providing $5,000 scholarships to second-and third-year veterinary students attending accredited veterinary schools in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. Merck’s partnership with the AVMF over the last several years has provided scholarships for nearly 400 veterinary students, many of whom, have gone on to become young leaders in the veterinary field.

Merck Animal Health and the AVMF are dedicated to supporting exceptional veterinary students.

Merck Animal Health and the AVMF are dedicated to supporting exceptional veterinary students.

Congratulations to the 2022-2023 Merck Animal Health Scholarship Recipients!

University of Florida

Jacalyn Adams

“True scholarship is a reflection of discipline and hard work so that you can be in the position to give back with your knowledge to improve your community and inspire others.”

Washington State University

Cordelia Alexander-Leeder

“As I enter my clinical year, I know that this scholarship will provide significant financial support to me while I culminate my time in veterinary school. I am incredibly proud that my hard work, accomplishments, and dedication to veterinary medicine are being recognized alongside such stellar colleagues. After veterinary school, I plan to complete a small animal rotating internship and specialization to become a small animal internist.”

Cornell University

Peyton Atkins

“I am humbled and honored to be a scholarship recipient and am thankful to both the American Veterinary Medical Foundation and Merck Animal Health for selecting me. This award will allow me to pursue my career goal of becoming a board certified large animal surgeon. It will alleviate some of the financial burden of veterinary school while allowing me to fund travel to externships and continue to expand my knowledge as a future large animal practitioner.”

Louisiana State University

Dalia Badamo

“I am truly honored to be selected for the Merck Animal Health Scholarship! The funds for this award will help me to mitigate my debt while pursuing opportunities to further my career in pathology. I would like to thank my family, friends, and mentors for guiding and supporting me on this journey! I have so much gratitude to Merck and AVMF for this opportunity, and for continuing to invest in veterinary students and the future of veterinary medicine.”

Washington State University

Sarah Bayles

“Thank you to all of those involved with the 2023 Merck Animal Health Scholarship! I am honored to be selected for the award and receive this financial aid. The generous support for myself and other future veterinarians is deeply appreciated and I look forward to finding my place within the veterinary industry once my final clinical year is complete.”

The Ohio State University

Christina Camson

“I am so honored and grateful to be an AVMF/Merck Animal Health Scholarship recipient. This scholarship allows me to continue to pursue a career in comparative medicine, biomedical research, and community practice. Additionally, lessening my financial burden allows me the opportunity to spend more time on my passions for volunteer work, community service, and diversity initiatives.”

University of Pennsylvania

Selina Chan

“I am beyond grateful to be a recipient of the AVMF Merck Scholarship. This award will allow me to continue pursuing a career in community medicine and work to increase accessibility to veterinary services and the veterinary profession.”

Louisiana State University

Giselle Doucet

“I am honored to receive the AVMF/Merck Animal Health Scholarship. This will help me immensely on my journal toward obtaining my Master’s degree in Veterinary Forensics and completing a radiology residency. Ever since receiving my big red volume of Merck Manual for Pet Health as a child, I dreamed of being where I am today. Thank you Merck for being my original source of inspiration and my continued supporter as I achieve my dreams.”

North Carolina State University

Madeleine Edwards

“I am so grateful to receive this scholarship because it will help ease my loan burden as I enter into equine practice, a sector of vet med that desperately needs new veterinarians but is also generally less profitable.”

University of Minnesota

Nicole Emmitt

“I am honored and humbled to be selected for this award. With this comes the support for my research based externships during the coming clinical rotation year, while also supporting the rising health care costs that come with managing my chronic conditions. I hope this shows other similarly affected students that there are organizations who recognize our unique contributions to the field, and will help support us while we achieve our dreams.”

Western University - California

Alejandra Figueroa

“As part of an underrepresented group in the veterinary field, it is a privilege to be recognized and awarded the AVMF/Merck Animal Health Scholarship. After growing up with so little, education has been one of the ultimate vehicles in helping me arrive where I am today. This scholarship means bringing me closer to my goals, to becoming a veterinarian, to helping my loved ones, and to becoming a professional that can aid entire communities through animal health.”

University of Missouri

Tamara Ford

“I am so grateful to be a recipient of the AVMF Merck Animal Health Scholarship! This award will help alleviate the financial burden of pursuing out-of-state externships, allowing me to have greater freedom to explore the field of laboratory animal medicine further. I truly appreciate this support, and I look forward to the opportunities that it has made possible.”

University of Pennsylvania

Ashley Forster

“I am extremely honored to be a recipient of the AVMF/Merck Animal Health Scholarship. This award will help alleviate some of the financial burden of vet school, and allow me to pursue additional training after graduation. My goal is to become a laboratory animal pathologist focused on leveraging biomedical research to improve conditions for laboratory animals while also developing innovative therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of animals and people.”

Colorado State University

Tiffany Galen

“This scholarship shows me that people coming from non-traditional backgrounds with big dreams can achieve them. The funds received will allow me to focus more towards building the leadership skills I need to bring diversity into veterinary medicine, and empower individuals in vet med to become inclusive leaders.”

Iowa State University

Tatiana Garcia Marrero

“I strongly believe that things occur when you ask God for help, and this scholarship is one of them. I will be able to continue expanding my knowledge of veterinary medicine, especially with my first two fourth-year preceptorships back home in Puerto Rico, and represent Iowa State University at an international rotation in Norway. This is a push to continue forward and inspire other Puerto Rican students that there is always help for reaching your dreams.”

University of Tennessee

Bethany Garland

“As a dual degree student (DVM/PhD), this scholarship will allow me to pursue summer internships and clinical externships that are crucial to my development as a veterinarian and as a researcher. Not only does it provide financial support, but it also alleviates emotional stress that will allow me to focus my time and energy on becoming a successful veterinarian. Thank you for your support as I follow my goals.”

University of Wisconsin

Daniela Gatica

“Scholarship is an opportunity to help decrease the unnecessary, and often disproportionate, burden placed on young individuals pursuing a career out of compassion for people and animals. It is a chance to afford greater freedom to new graduates in their chosen field and restoring a choice in how they wield their skills. Scholarship is a powerful tool in fulfilling our mission to improve veterinary medicine as a whole and the quality of care all animals might receive.”

The Ohio State University

Kelsie Gerber

“My vet school journey has been about as ‘non-traditional’ as they come: second career, hurricanes, a spinal cord injury, global pandemic, cancer. I am now in my third year at the College of Veterinary Medicine preparing to start clinical rotations this spring. Even with my spinal cord injury and obvious physical limitations, my career aspirations have remained the same. I plan to become a small animal general practitioner upon graduation and find ways to adjust my practice to accommodate the unique, specific and continually changing needs that come with my disability.”

University of Florida

Faye Giebink

“This scholarship will greatly advance my career in aquatic animal medicine and conservation by offsetting the cost of my upcoming externships at SeaWorld Orlando, Mystic Aquarium, and the University of Illinois Zoological Pathology Program. My future goal is to pursue board certification in aquatic and zoological medicine and to work at an aquarium or rehabilitation center heavily involved in conservation and research. ”

Auburn University

Heather Griffin

“Prior to entering veterinary school, I took time to work in non-animal related fields where I worked hard to pay down my undergraduate student loans and determine if I truly wanted to go to veterinary school. Turns out, I did in fact have an undeniable passion for working with animals! I appreciate Merck’s generosity to young professionals on a path to success!”


Carla Gutierrez

“Being awarded this scholarship shows that there are people who support the things that are important to me. Since this application was based on our academic accomplishments, getting this scholarship proves that major companies/organizations are also invested in advancing diversity and inclusion within the profession, as well as making vet school a more accessible and welcoming place for a wider array of students.”

University of Wisconsin

Summer Henschel

“I am excited to have further freedom in using my time outside of veterinary school to continue involvement in campus and local organizations. This scholarship also allows me to pursue externships with housing and transportation costs becoming a smaller factor in where I can go. Having the support of others in the veterinary community energizes me as I finish my final year of school and join the profession.”

Tuskegee University

Lasha Hicks

“As a member of this cohort of recipients, I am deeply honored and grateful to have been selected for the prestigious AVMF/Merck Animal Health award. Having received this scholarship, I will be able to alleviate some of the financial pressures I will experience during my clinical rotations, beginning this summer. I intend to use these funds to advance my training in veterinary medicine and to further my professional development.”

University of California - Davis

Silke Hoffmann

“I am so incredibly honored to be a recipient of the Merck Animal Health Scholarship. The funding from this scholarship will help me relieve my financial burden and allow me to focus on my goal of becoming an equine practitioner with additional training after completion of my DVM. I am tremendously grateful to both Merck and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation for their support of future veterinarians such as myself.”

Kansas State University

Mikayla Lacher

“Receiving this scholarship is a great honor for me. As a rural mixed animal veterinarian, many of my career goals will be based on client education and animal welfare to improve animal behavior and production. Veterinary school is a difficult journey, but thanks to this scholarship and support, my pathway has become less stressful.”

University of Minnesota

Esther Lam

“As a dual-degree (DVM/MPH) student, this scholarship will allow me to continue my pursuit to increase accessibility to veterinary care as I prepare for my future career as a BIPOC veterinarian. Thank you for the recognition for my hard work, and for your generosity, support, and belief in me as I grow in my endeavors.”

University of California - Davis

Tianjiao Li

“Surrounded by so many talented and hardworking peers, I’m constantly amazed and inspired to be a better doctor. With the scholarship, I feel better prepared for the next two years of my veterinary school. It is a great honor to be awarded this scholarship, not only does it lessens the financial burdens of veterinary education, it encourages me to pay my blessings forward and keep contributing to the veterinary community.”

The Ohio State University

Emma Li

“My long-term goals within the field of feline medicine include involvement in clinical research, individual mentorship, and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) in order to increase access to high-level, educational materials to students and veterinary professionals across the country. This scholarship would significantly streamline my ability to achieve these goals, as my veterinary education is fully self-financed.”

Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine

Amy Lin

“Receiving this scholarship means the hard work going into achieving my dreams is being seen and validated. In the bigger picture, it’s also heartwarming to see organizations like Merck invest in future veterinarians. Finances during and after our education is a a large point of stress so support is very appreciated. I plan to put the funds into my education and equipment as I excitedly move into my clinical year. Thank you so much!”

University of Pennsylvania

Katie-Scarlett Loya

“First, do no harm. Second, work for the horse. These two mantras have crafted my mindset toward becoming the strongest equine practitioner I can be with a priority on patient care. This scholarship provides me with the opportunity to continue developing my skills as a future equine veterinarian, and it will be used to help subsidize my travel experiences for externships in the coming year.”

Cornell University

Bryanna Malbouf

“I am very grateful to receive the Merck Animal Health scholarship! This award will help offset costs associated with externship opportunities and reduce my overall financial burden, allowing me to focus on my childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian! I am so appreciative of this support from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation and Merck Animal Health. Thank you!”

The Ohio State University

Frank Marrone

“I am both honored and humbled to receive the AVMF/Merck Animal Health Scholarship. The support of AVMF and Merck gives me hope for the future of the profession, and I will now be able to pursue opportunities in the field that I otherwise would not have been able to. This recognition is a source of inspiration and motivation for me to continue striving towards excellence in both my studies, and my future career. I am immensely grateful.”

Atlantic Veterinary College

Alyssa McGee

“I am so thankful to have been awarded the Merck Animal Health Scholarship. This award will help alleviate the burden of financial aid and allow me to continue to focus on my studies and less on the financial component of post-secondary education and specialization. Thank you to AVMF and Merck as well as my family and mentors who continue to support me everyday.”

North Carolina State University

Bryanna Meredith

“In addition to the stress of surviving classes, clinics, and extracurriculars, financial insecurity and student debt is constantly on my mind as a veterinary student. This scholarship means that some of that financial stress is alleviated. The support that this scholarship brings is unbelievably appreciated. I will strive to be a servant leader through promoting ethical animal research and furthering global health as a lab animal veterinarian in the future.”

University of Calgary

Kyle Mitchell

“Veterinary medicine is an amazing profession and I find myself feeling so thankful to be a part of it each day. This scholarship helps relieve the financial load that veterinary school brings and allows me to focus on my education heading into my final year. The scholarship will be going towards tuition and helping me to pursue a career in large/production animal medicine, with a special interest in swine and bovine reproduction work.”

Iowa State University

Elle Moon

“Being awarded this scholarship is uplifting and freeing. The monetary support allows me to focus on my education (in and outside of the classroom) rather than focusing on income to support my next semester. Overall, a giant weight has been removed from my shoulders as I am free to enjoy the small things that made me dream of vet school in the first place. The financial burden of vet school is substantial but I remain ever grateful for your investment in me.”

Kansas State University

Sonia Moreno

“Receiving this scholarship will act as an immense motivator for me on my journey through veterinary school. Not only will this serve as monetary relief, but this scholarship has truly emboldened me to put my best foot forward in the years to come. I am truly thankful for being chosen, and I will work hard in appreciation of the investment that was placed in me.”

University of Missouri

Hilsden Moseley

“Veterinary medicine is like a whirlwind. This scholarship has created needed stability in a time in my life that has been extremely tenuous. I am truly humbled and blessed to be a recipient. This scholarship has allowed me to continue my veterinary education and the pursuit of becoming a food animal veterinarian.”

University of Illinois

Crystal Munguia

“I am so incredibly blessed to be able to receive this scholarship. This scholarship means so much to me, it means I can continue my education at a lower financial burden, and it enables me to pursue other parts of the field I couldn t otherwise. Receiving this scholarship has also been encouraging of my experience and leadership. I am so thankful for this support!”

University of Wisconsin

Ashley Oppermann

“I feel incredibly blessed and honored to be a recipient of the AVMF/Merck Animal Health Scholarship. I am incredibly grateful for being awarded this scholarship and am intent on continuing in my involvement and career in veterinary medicine. I am excited to eventually also be able to give back to future veterinary students when I am finished with my schooling and help them be able to accomplish their dreams.”

The Ohio State University

Elizabeth Porteus

“I am very humbled to receive the AVMF/Merck Animal Health Scholarship. I have always had the goal of returning to serve my rural Appalachian hometown. This scholarship allows me to branch out of Ohio to develop my skills through externships. I will cherish this achievement and pay it forward when I can as a mentor and role model in my community. I appreciate the support towards my career goal of becoming a food animal practitioner.”

Oregon State University

Dianne Quiroz-Predtechenska

“I am so grateful for being selected as a recipient of the Merck Animal Health scholarship. Thank you for supporting me in the pursuit of a veterinary education. As I move forward, this vote of confidence inspires me to keep pursuing my academic goals, to become a leader with a one health perspective all the while advocating for increased diversity within our field.”

Kansas State University

Conrad Schelkopf

“I find great comfort knowing that there are organizations, such as the American Veterinary Medical Foundation and Merck Animal Health, that care deeply about the advancement of the Veterinary profession through student support. Receiving this scholarship gives me motivation to continue to strive towards providing the best veterinary care for animals and their owners for who I will serve in the near future. Thank you for your continued support!”

Ross University

Holly Schwarzman

“This scholarship will relieve some of the accruing financial burden that coincides with the vet school journey. My overall goal is to work in the field of zoological & exotics medicine, or theriogenology research of endangered wildlife. This scholarship will help to mitigate some of those costs that come with pursuing externships in the zoo field which are commonly unpaid.”

University of California - Davis

Alex Serna

“From my experience interacting with peers, I can say that there is no shortage of hardworking and selfless future veterinarians who would have also been a great fit to receive this award. In essence, the generosity and devotion AVMF/Merck has demonstrated towards the veterinary field allows students such as myself to focus on the most important thing, the health and wellness of our future patients.”

The Ohio State University

Yifan Shen

“I am extremely grateful to be a recipient of the AVMF/Merck Animal Health Scholarship. This scholarship helps alleviate the financial stresses of pursuing externships and serves as a motivator in my pursuit to become a leader in veterinary medicine. I hope to utilize this award as an opportunity for me to give back to the community and make an impact in the world”.

Iowa State University

Taylor Sorrells

“With assistance financially, I will be able to focus on finishing my final year of school and make plans to attend multiple preceptorships during this upcoming year. I will be doing 2-week rotations at 4 different clinics in Texas, Louisiana, and Wisconsin over the summer. These opportunities will allow me to have hands-on experience and build connections with Equine Professionals. This scholarship will allow me to be less stressed as I complete my term of SAVMA President and begin my fourth-year rotations.”

University of Tennessee

Demi Striligas

“I am so thankful to be a recipient of the AVMF/Merck Animal Health Scholarship! This award will alleviate some of the financial stress of attending veterinary school, allowing me to continue to focus on my education and becoming an excellent veterinarian. I hope that in the future I can pay this award forward through community aid and providing high-level veterinary care at affordable costs. Thank you for this recognition and support while I pursue my dreams!”

Colorado State University

Hannah Sueper

“The Merck Animal Health Scholarship is providing me with a stepping stone on my path to a successful career. I am so thankful for this opportunity as I pursue rural veterinary medicine.”

University of Calgary

Vladimir Tadic

“With this scholarship helping me pay my tuition dues, it will allow me to focus on the things that really matter during my upcoming clinical year, like setting the foundation for being the best veterinarian possible. The life of a student in a busy curricular program like Veterinary Medicine is not easy. The financial commitment is an additional burden and I am thankful that organizations like Merck and the AVMF exist to be able to support students when required.”

North Carolina State University

Raisa Velez-Contreras

“Through this scholarship, I will be able to continue my efforts to make veterinary medicine more accessible in underserved communities. My goal is to carry on with combating the existing language barriers that are preventing many animals from receiving proper veterinary care. I will also continue to actively work on increasing the number of bilingual veterinarians in the USA by making educational tools available to students and professionals. Agradecida!”

University of Georgia

Erica Webb

“It is no secret that veterinary students suffer from immense student loan debt upon graduation. This scholarship relieves my financial stress and better prepares me to enter rural practice with a sole focus of helping food animal producers and becoming the best veterinarian I can be. I am overwhelmed and incredibly grateful for the support and contribution to my education and the future of animal agriculture.”

Washington State University

Tanya Weber

“I am incredibly honored and humbled to represent my fellow first-generation college students and my fellow small-town kids by receiving this award. Because of this scholarship, I will be able to participate in more learning opportunities during veterinary school so that I can become a more well-rounded and competent veterinarian. In addition, this will significantly decrease the amount of time that I will spend in debt after school, and I will thus be able to focus on my career goals rather than having to settle for a paycheck.”

University of Tennessee

Xiaodi Whitfield

“I am so grateful and honored to have received the AVMF/Merck Animal Health scholarship. This scholarship will significantly aid in my effort in becoming a rural mixed animal veterinarian and am blessed and excited to be in this profession.”