Veterinary medical student receives WVC leadership award

Kristi Rhodes with Dean Lloyd and WVC's Dr. George Dyck.

UF veterinary medical student Kristi Rhodes is shown with Dr. Jim Lloyd, right, the college’s dean, and Dr. George Dyck, the 2015 WVC president. (Photo courtesy of Kristi Rhodes)

Third-year veterinary medical student Kristi Rhodes was one of 35 North American veterinary and technician students who received the Western Veterinary Conference’s Dr. Jack Walther Leadership Award.

The recipients were honored during the conference, held Feb. 15-19 in Las Vegas.

Since inception of the scholarship program in 2002, WVC has granted approximately $1 million in scholarship funds, according to a conference press release. The Walther Leadership Award recognizes veterinary student leaders and promotes lifelong professional service to the industry. Of those honored this year, 33 were veterinary medical students and two were veterinary technician students.

Recipients were selected based on their accomplishments, scholastic excellence and long-term leadership potential, the press release states. All of the honorees received complimentary registration and accommodations at the conference, as well as invitations to special events.

“My favorite part of the conference was getting to meet and spend quality time with other leaders from veterinary schools all over North America,” Rhodes said. “We had a mixer, where we were each assigned one other winner to ‘interview,’ and were then asked to introduce that person the next day at breakfast.”

Learning fun facts about everyone was “a lot of fun,” Rhodes added.

“All of the students were able to spend a lot of time together and really bond as a group, so now I have more friends from vet schools nationwide,” she said. “I also got to attend several of the educational sessions, visit the exhibition hall, attend the UF Alumni event, spend some time with Dean (Jim) Lloyd and had some free time to enjoy some sight-seeing in Las Vegas.”

Rhodes serves as secretary of the Class of 2016 and as a college student ambassador. She also is president-elect of the Wildlife, Zoological and Aquatic Animal Medicine club.

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