2023 Merck Animal Health Veterinary Student Innovation Awards

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.

Merck Animal Health, in partnership with the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF), has established the 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.

Congrats, 2023 Merck Animal Health Veterinary Student Innovation Award Recipients!

Colorado State University

Hanna DeZara

Innovation: Hanna was the principal investigator on the study, “Validation of a Human Biomedical Low-Cost Hemoglobin Analyzer for Use in Canine Species”.

Cornell University

Michelle Greenfield

Innovation: Michelle created a podcast called Aquadocs, to address the limited learning opportunities that exist for veterinary students to learn about aquatic animal medicine.

Lincoln Memorial University

Raylene Smith

Innovation: Raylene partnered with a clinical skills faculty member as a research student and was instrumental in the creation of the “Development of Clinical Skills Models for Small and Large Animal Skills Training”.

Michigan State University

Breanna Demaline

Innovation: Breanna played a role with the “The Downpour of Personal Finance: VBMA Has Your Umbrella” event”.

Midwestern University

Shannon Prowett

Innovation: Shannon was a founding member of SOUL, an animal rescue, where the rescue focuses on partnering veterinary students with animals with medical or behavioral conditions that make them difficult to treat in a shelter environment.

North Carolina State University

Abby Cox Laws

Innovation: Abby created a novel 3D custom-made silicon soft tissue tumor model as a support for teaching surgical oncological principles.

Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine

Sarah Jacobson

Innovation: Sarah participated in the first Aggies Invent 48 hour intensive design competition where her team took first prize for a feline health monitoring system using a litterbox application system and she also collaborated with clinicians on projects.

The Ohio State University

Jeff Smith

Innovation: Jeff worked with the VCPSC faculty and staff to create several hands-on activities that support learning and small and large animal practices.

University of Florida

Jon Gould

Innovation: Jon Gould used his platform as a previous Florida Gator’s football player to co-found a foundation called Pawin’ It Forward, inspired by his journey as a cancer survivor who is passionate about animals.

University of Guelph

Jason Woo

Innovation: Jason created an online “Urgency-Based Symptom Assessment tool” to help reduce pet owners’ stress by helping them cut through the clutter of information and advice available online.

University of Illinois

Lucas Daniels

Innovation: Lucas reinvigorated the activities for the “Production Medicine Club”, which allowed the club to be a key part of food animal student success.

University of Minnesota

Nick Pitlick

Innovation: Nick, along with his family, started “Pitlick Boer Goats” in 2008. Nick has been instrumental in the herd genetic development over time and been successful both in breeding and showing of Boer Goats in Minnesota and nationally.

University of Minnesota

Mary Roche

Innovation: Mary was the Anesthesia Chair for the University of Minnesota’s Student Initiative for Reservation Veterinary Services (SIRVS), a student-run free clinic providing preventive care, spays, and neuters for pets on tribal lands.

University of Missouri

Amy Keilholz

Innovation: Amy worked as a research technician in a lab that studies motor neuron diseases (MNDs) and was instrumental in a project entitled “Tongue exercise-induced functional and structural upper airway plasticity in a rodent model of hypoglossal (XII) motor neuron loss”.

University of Montreal

Pamela Samantha Germin

Innovation: Pamela’s created a “Business Model Canvas, on which an entire economic model for her future business is represented.

University of Prince Edward Island (Atlantic Veterinary College)

Nima Morady

Innovation: Nima has been actively involved in outreach activities within communities on PEI. Nima was instrumental in revising and developing outreach materials to create veterinary case studies for grade 5 students through his background in education and his personal experience as a person of color in veterinary medicine.

University of Saskatchewan - Western College of Veterinary Medicine

Azy Behnam

Innovation: Azy was the cofounder and co-president of the WCVM Diverse Club, which provides a safe space for WCVM black, indigenous, people of colour (BIPOC/racialized), LGBTQ2SA+, students with disabilities.

University of Tennessee

Abigail Wilson

Innovation: Abigail was instrumental in pushing the work forward to an antigen assay for Parelaphostrongylus tenuis parasite affecting hooved cervids, especially white-tailed deer in the university’s area.

University of Wisconsin

Anne Pankowski

Innovation: Anne created “Transfur” software as a way to connect digital record systems to try to better accommodate continuity of care when a veterinary patient needs to see a specialist along with her sister as a collaborator, also a veterinary student.

Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine

Sophie Strome

Innovation: Sophie is currently working on a pharmaceutical that targets immune mediated diseases in canines, after learning about the benefits of a similar drug used to treat humans.

Western University of Health Sciences

Heidi Luczynski

Innovation: Heidi was involved in a summer research collaboration with veterinary R&D company Bionet for a study which was intended to validate the use of two novel, injectable anesthetic protocols for use in patients that may be difficult to anesthetize via alternative routes.

Western University of Health Sciences

Nicholas Linzner

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.