Student receives competitive Merck/AVMA scholarship

Kelly Hurley, South Africa

Kelly Hurley holds a white lion cub in South Africa in 2010. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Hurley)

Kelly Hurley, a second-year student D.V.M. student at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, has received  a 2015 Merck Animal Health Veterinary Student Scholarship.

Hurley is concurrently pursuing a Master of Public Health degree at UF’s College of Public Health and Health Professions. She holds a bachelor of science in agriculture from Pennsylvania State University and the Schreyer Honors College.

While an undergraduate, she traveled to South Africa for two months.

“There I saw the impact that animals have in the health and well-being of humans,” Hurley said. “That experience has been my motivation to become a public health veterinarian. I want to help people by helping animals, strengthening the human and animal bond by promoting a safer and healthier relationship.”

She hopes to return to Africa to help disease prevention programs that will reduce transmission between wildlife and humans as well as domestic species. Hurley has worked in a private veterinary practice and is currently working part-time as a veterinary technician at UF’s Small Animal Hospital.

Recipients of the scholarship were announced March 31. In partnership with the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, the Merck Animal Health Veterinary Student Scholarship program awarded $174,000 to 34 veterinary medical students from around the world.The program recognizes outstanding second- and third-year students who are pursuing careers in large animal and companion animal medicine.

“These students are our future visionaries and will become the leaders of the veterinary profession,” said Dr. Norman Stewart, livestock technical services manager for Merck Animal Health, in a press release. “Through this program, we are reinforcing our long-standing commitment to education, personal development and the science of healthier animals. It also allows us to help support the cost of veterinary education, as well as recognize and celebrate the next generation of leaders.”

More than 1,000 students from U.S. and international veterinary schools accredited through the AVMA applied for the scholarships. Award recipients were selected based on academic excellence, financial need, leadership and area of interest within the profession.


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