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Source: Merck Animal Health news release

Schaumburg, Illinois -- Merck Animal Health, in partnership with the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF), recently announced the winners of the 2018 Veterinary Student Innovation Awards.

This new 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 were given to students in good academic standing and have demonstrated innovation, entrepreneurship and creative forward-thinking in the development of a project or product that inspires others within the veterinary profession.

"At Merck Animal Health, we believe in the science of healthier animals," said Merck Animal Health Vice-President of North America Scott Bormann. "Part of what drives that science is the identification of new challenges and the development of initiatives to address them in our ever-changing industry. We're excited to partner with the AVMF to support these inspiring students."

"We are pleased to recognize and support these outstanding veterinary students," said Dr. Jan K. Strother, chair, AVMF Board of Directors. "Not only have these students displayed entrepreneurial spirit, initiative and creativity, but they are also making a positive difference in their communities and in our veterinary profession."

Award recipients include:

Carolyn Benedetto, Louisiana State University
Amanda Carlson, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
Meredith Chamberlain, University of Prince Edward Island
Caitlin Conner, Texas A & M University
Akaterina Davros, Kansas State University
Matthew Robert DiFazio, Cornell University
Wendy Evans, University of Missouri
Anika Farina, Tufts University
Shannon Finn, University of Guelph
Maryanne Miko Flasik, Colorado State University
Mackenzie Gallegos, Michigan State University
Nicolas Gendron-Parra, University of Montreal
Shannon Gildersleeve, University of Wisconsin
John Griffeon, North Carolina State University
Courtney Griffin, Mississippi State University
Nicholas Hall, Washington State University
Lindsey Knox, University of Minnesota
Laura MacIntyre, Oregon State University
Max Manse, University of California - Davis
Kayla Mehan, Lincoln Memorial University
Samantha Morici, Auburn University
Kara Negrini, Purdue University
Dustin Ong, Western University
Ruben Pabon Padin, The Ohio State University
Chelsea Ruston, Iowa State University
Rayeann Solano, Midwestern University
Richard Blaine Sparks, University of Tennessee
Suzanne Wilson, University of Illinois

Examples of some of the outstanding projects developed by award recipients include:

Vets for Vets, a program that benefits the community and animal health by providing rehabilitation care for retired military dogs and police dogs.

The VOICE (Veterinary Students as One in Culture and Ethnicity) program, which is designed to introduce underrepresented minority high school students to various aspects of the Health Sciences through hands on activities and interactions with current health science students.

Development of a surgical assist device to make equine colon evacuation more efficient and complete. The student's goal is to create a device that could be commercially developed and made available to all veterinarians.

To see photos and quotes from some of the award recipients, visit avmf.org/for-students/innovation-awards.