Solutions for the Profession Competition

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VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Resources | Solutions for the Profession Veterinary Student Essay Competition

The VIN Foundation 5th Annual Solutions for the Profession Competition is now in the Judging Phase.


Please sign up for updates or check back for winner information to be announced on April 30, 2021. 

Three entrants will win scholarships to help support tuition and education-related expenses:

First place: $3,000

Second place: $1,500

Third place: $1,000




Diversity in the veterinary profession:
Please cover at least one of the following aspects in your essay submission:

  • What diversity challenges are currently faced by the profession, and what can be done to improve the situation?
  • What steps is your veterinary school taking to address diversity challenges, and what solutions do you think would improve the situation?




1,000 words (not including references or titles)




All essays must be submitted in English.




Open to ALL currently enrolled veterinary students, from all countries.





Judging will be based on how well your essay describes your assessment of the topic, along with the originality and practicality of the suggestion(s) and/or solution(s) for improvement offered.


The judging will take place in three rounds, each round is anonymized. Each essay will be read by at least three evaluators in each round. The panel for round one is composed of the VIN Foundation Solutions for the Profession Committee made up of both veterinarians and related professional readers. The second round will be judged by veterinarians with insight into the relevant issues discussed in the essays. The third round will be judged by leaders in the veterinary profession.




Competition CLOSED.
Winners announced: April 30, 2021




THE COMPETITION FOR THIS YEAR IS NOW CLOSED. If you would like to be notified of winners and the next competition, you may sign up for updates.




The VIN Foundation will potentially publish each essay submitted or a portion thereof within the confines of our mission. Any publication of essays will be attributed to the author. Please see the terms & conditions below for further information.




Please share this essay competition opportunity with your friends and colleagues through this website or this PDF.

If you are interested in entering or know someone who is, sign up for updates and stay tuned to our social media channels.

Previous years winners:

4th Annual Competition (2020):



Is the veterinary school education you are receiving effective, efficient, and relevant to your career goals?



This year due to the impressive nature of the entries, there was a tie for 3rd place. Two runner-ups were also noted for their entries and are published below:

  1. First place was awarded to Ilene Ellis (North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine ‘2023) for the essay titled, Retiring James Herriot; A proposal for modern veterinary education.
  2. Second place was awarded to Ava Abuchaei (University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine ‘2021) for the essay titled, From Student to Doctor: Evaluating my Veterinary Education.
  3. Third place tie was awarded to Allison Hale (Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine ‘2020) for the essay titled, A Perfect Education.
    Third place tie was awarded to McKenzie Beals Weber
    (Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine ‘2021) for the essay titled, Value and Opportunity: The Perfect Match at Iowa State University.




3rd Annual Competition (2019):



Please describe the current state of practice consolidation (mergers and acquisitions) in the veterinary profession. What are the positive and negative aspects of this consolidation? How do you see this affecting you and the profession, now and in the future?



  1. First place was awarded to Joanne Yi for her big fish little fish perspective on corporations versus the independent practices. Joanne is a second year student at the University of Calgary Veterinary Medicine.
  2. Second place went to Joseph Marchell for his financial viewpoint on the impact of consolidation on the profession. Joseph is set to graduate this year from Washington State University, College of Veterinary Medicine.
  3. Annie Showers won third place with her in-depth approach to polling hundreds of practicing veterinarians for their responses on the pros and cons of corporate ownership. Annie is a second year student at Ohio State University, College of Veterinary Medicine.



2nd Annual Competition (2018):



Now that you are in veterinary school, what do you wish you had known prior to applying to or entering the program? Are there issues you wish you’d been more informed about before applying to or entering school? What could veterinary schools do to better inform prospective students about these issues or decisions? How does your school measure up in helping students understand the realities of veterinary medicine? What programs do they offer? What do you think they could do better?



  1. First place was awarded to Paige Livingston, for her essay on ways to improve student debt education. Paige is entering her fourth year as a student at the University of California at Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine.
  2. Second place went to Cheyenne Cannarozzo for her innovative suggestion to add resilience to the core competency requirements for veterinary students. Cheyenne is entering her third year at the Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine.
  3. Linnea Thraen won third place with her essay highlighting the need for improved business management education in veterinary school. Linnea has just graduated the University of Minnesota, School of Veterinary Medicine.




1st Annual Competition (2017):



An Innovative and Implementable Solution to a Current Problem Confronting the Veterinary Profession. The essay should describe the current state of the problem, what factors were involved in creating the problem and propose steps toward achieving solutions to solve the problem.



  1. First place was awarded to Hanum Wensil-Strow for her thought-provoking essay on the veterinary student debt situation. Hanum is in her fourth year has a student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. She is interested in large animal medicine and wildlife conservation.
  2. Second place went to Shannon Finn for her innovative approach to the mental health issues challenging colleagues in the veterinary profession. Shannon is in her fourth and final year at the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph, Canada. She is hoping to go into rural food animal practice upon graduation, but also has interests in public health and regulatory medicine.
  3. Alexandra Ripperger won third place for her inventive approach to gender inequality. Alexandra is in her fourth year as a veterinary student at the University of Minnesota. She enjoys working with small animals, and small ruminants/camelids.



For questions or suggestions:

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Whether or not Entrant is a winner of the competition, Entrant represents that any essay and other materials submitted as part of Entrant’s entry are the original work of Entrant and not copied from any other source and will not constitute defamation or an invasion of privacy or otherwise infringe upon the rights of any third party, and that the Entrant owns or has the rights to convey any and all right and title in such essay.  By entering, Entrant grants to VIN Foundation and its affiliates a worldwide, nonexclusive, royalty-free license to edit, publish, promote, and republish at any time in the future and otherwise use all or part of Entrant’s submitted essay, along with Entrant’s name, photograph, likeness, statements, biographical information, and any other information provided by Entrant, in any and all media (including print and online), provided such use is consistent with VIN Foundation’s current or future mission and attribution is provided to Entrant, without further permission, notice, or compensation (except where prohibited by law). VIN Foundation is under no obligation to publish any entries, and any publication of an entry does not mean that entrant has won a prize.