May 16, 2012
Dean Michael Lairmore welcomed students, faculty, staff and 45 special guests to the School of Veterinary Medicine Annual Awards Ceremony May 15. Dozens of scholarships and grants were announced and distributed, including 18 new awards this year.
Over the course of a year, the school awards $1.8 million in scholarships and grants to veterinary students to defray the tuition costs of the four-year professional program and support special projects.
“The School is deeply grateful for the generous support of our individual, association and corporate scholarship donors,” Lairmore said in his opening remarks. “Our students depend upon this critical support. These funds also make it possible for our student to gain research experience, explore new opportunities and pursue externship experiences.” Lairmore assured the audience, “This investment in our future veterinary workforce will benefit animals for decades to come.”
Throughout the event, donors and representatives came to the podium to meet the recipients and congratulate them for their achievements. Award criteria vary and may include career interest, family circumstances, financial need, academic merit or service.
Faculty member Sean Owens, student affairs liaison, announced the recipients of memorial and tribute scholarships that are developed to honor people or cherished pets. Among the 65 awards in this category, Owens’ own family was present this year to give an award in memory of his father, J. William Owens.
The scholarship recognized a student who is a single parent. Michelle Dimora, class of 2015, was the recipient. She recalls, "I was overwhelmed with gratitude and surprise when I found out that I was receiving this award. Many sentiments were shared with the Owen's family, but the ones that resonate the most with me would be joy, gratitude, and relief. It was an honor to meet the donor's family and learn more about him and his career as an equine veterinarian."
Rance LeFebvre, associate dean for Student Programs, presided over the scholarships and awards from veterinary medical associations, clubs and corporations. AVMA, CVMA, CA Thoroughbred Association and the SCVMA were among the donor organizations. A new corporate-sponsored scholarship was announced this year from the Veterinary Insurance Services Company, which bestowed its award on the basis of demonstrated business and communications skills. Another set of awards included 20 scholarships for contributions in service to clubs, animal groups and the veterinary school community.
David Wilson, director of the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, announced awards for clinical proficiency in small animal, large animal, food animal, avian/exotic/zoological, and general veterinary medicine. Several specialty colleges also contribute to these awards, which went to 36 students in their final, clinical year at the hospital. Students were recognized in the clinical areas of small animal medicine, large animal medicine, food animal medicine, companion avian/exotic/zoological medicine, and general practice. A new scholarship involves identifying someone who demonstrates proficiency in equine medicine combined with "compassion toward horses and people."
Eleven awards for academic achievement were presented by John Pascoe, executive associate dean; he also announced the recipients of six awards for research excellence, including the students who have been selected for the Students Training in Advanced Research fellowships. These students participate in summer biomedical research projects to familiarize themselves with veterinary research and academic veterinary medicine.
As the event came to an end, each of the four classes sent student representatives to the podium to name their favorite teachers of the year.
Phi Zeta, the national veterinary honor society, inducted 14 new members from the class of 2013. Phi Zeta co-sponsored the event.
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