Summer is a time to refresh, regroup and reenergize for many veterinary medicine students. After a long year in the classroom, students take a variety of approaches for their summer when no classes are held in the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Many return to their hometowns to work in their local veterinary clinic. Others decide to forgo any association with veterinary medicine and find a completely different summer job.
But Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine is the summer home for a group of 20+ students who have completed their first and second year of classes. These students participate in the college’s Summer Scholar Program, which introduces veterinary medicine students to research in a wide variety of areas including clinical medicine, animal science, public health, neuroscience and immunology.
Participants choose to investigate specific issues that match their interest and the work of an established researcher. Student scholars work with faculty mentors and other research personnel over the summer and through hands-on experiences, seminars and tours, gain valuable perspectives on the various roles played by veterinarians in biomedical and public health research.
“When I entered veterinary school, I didn't have any research or laboratory experience," said Jessica Elbert ('18). "And, I wasn't sure that I wanted to be a practicing veterinarian. Through the Summer Scholar program, I gained some research experience and insight into another career path for veterinarians."
"It was a fantastic summer experience," said Elbert. "I learned valuable laboratory skills, insight into how research is conducted, and developed a rewarding relationship with my mentor."
The program is open to first- and second-year veterinary students from any college of veterinary medicine. This year’s program included a student from the University of Tennessee in addition to Iowa State students.
Students receive a stipend funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, Merial Limited and additional funds from the college.