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From Military Dogs to Shelter Medicine, Real-World Experiences Shaping Lives

Veterinary Students Take Advantage of New Scholarship Program that Supports Experiential Learning

July 21, 2017 – Gaining experience in the field is a critical part of every veterinary student’s educational experience. For three students, the opportunity to participate in innovative externships got a little easier this year thanks to a pioneering scholarship program through Morris Animal Foundation.

The Morris Animal Foundation and Richard Lichter Charity for Dogs recently announced the first class of students receiving the Veterinary Student Canine Externship Award. The award is for third-year veterinary students who dream big for their externship experience. Selected candidates demonstrated leadership and promise in impacting canine health, welfare and quality of life.

“When we look at the critical elements advancing health care for our dogs, we are talking about investing in people,” said Richard Lichter, a donor to Morris Animal Foundation and a member of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. “Without that investment, we simply cannot make the world a better place for the dogs that enrich our lives every day.”

Lichter established the scholarship program with the Foundation because of his passion for dogs, and his continued support of the work at Morris Animal Foundation to advance animal health and well-being. The externship program provides successful candidates with a $5,000 award to support an experience that will help develop their career in leadership, research or service, and open the way to new opportunities.

This year’s recipients are:

Lane Robinson
Cornell University
Leadership Externship: Penn Vet Working Dog Center

Robinson’s externship is at the University of Pennsylvania Working Dog Center. She has experience working with service animals as a volunteer with Guiding Eyes for the Blind (GEB); raising and training Glimmer, a GEB puppy. She was drawn to GEB by the unique connection the program builds between people who are visually impaired and their four-legged companions that enable them to more fully engage with the world.

Amanda Payne
Washington State University
Service Externship: Well Pet Vet, Pittsburg, California

Payne’s externship is at Well Pet Vet in Pittsburg, California; a clinic that serves a densely populated, lower-income area of California. She feels it is important for veterinary care to be accessible to pet owners from all walks of life, and this externship will allow her to learn how to serve people and pets who are most in need of accessible, compassionate care.

Madison Skelton
Midwestern University
Research Externship: Military Working Dog Facility, Fort Sam Houston, Texas

Skelton has set out to pursue a career in canine genetic research through the Army Veterinary Corps where she hopes to advance canine health and welfare by discovering breakthroughs in modern medicine. Her externship is with the Military Working Dog Facility and, upon graduation, she will begin her active duty assignment in the same location at Fort Sam, Texas.

“Along with Mr. Lichter, we are very proud to support these high-achieving veterinary students,” said Dr. John Reddington, DVM, PhD, President and CEO of Morris Animal Foundation. “We had the opportunity to meet each of our externship scholarship students recently at the Foundation’s annual meeting, and they certainly impressed everyone with their professionalism, drive and curiosity. We are excited to be a part of their lives, and know that each of our award recipients has a very bright future ahead of them.”

About Morris Animal Foundation

Morris Animal Foundation is a global leader in funding scientific studies that advance the health of companion animals, horses and wildlife. Since its founding in 1948, the Foundation has invested over $113 million toward more than 2,500 studies that have led to significant breakthroughs in diagnostics, treatments, preventions and cures to benefit animals worldwide. Learn more at Morris Animal Foundation.