This year’s competition offered veterinary students an opportunity to share what information would have been helpful to know before applying to veterinary school. It also asked applicants to suggest ways veterinary schools could better communicate the challenges veterinary students face, and realities of the veterinary profession. Over one hundred entries were submitted from around the world, with veterinary student debt and mental health among the most common problems addressed.
Judges found it difficult to select only three winners from the entries. The VIN Foundation Solutions for the Profession Committee selected the top thirty entries in the first round of judging. These essays were assessed by experts in the topic areas, who passed the top seven to three well-known leaders in the veterinary profession. The final judges, after much discussion, selected the winners:
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.
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.
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.
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TERMS & CONDITIONS
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.