Tops in the Nation

Kara Robbins received check
Kara Robbins, VM4, receiving the $75,000 Coyote Rock Ranch Scholarship.

When the American Association of Equine Practitioners announced its scholarship recipients this year, a total of 14 veterinary students were recognized.

Not only was the College of Veterinary Medicine the only school with multiple recipients, but four different Iowa State students were honored.

“Iowa State has a program that allows students to tailor their education and clinical year to their interests,” said Bailey Ziegler, VM3 student who was selected for the $5,000 Zoetis Scholarship. “This is a huge benefit to students like myself who plan to go into equine practice.”

Other Iowa State recipients were Hannah Evans, VM3, $5,000 Merck Animal Health Scholarship; Meghan Marner, VM4, $5,000 Zoetis Scholarship; and Kara Robbins, VM4, $75,000 Coyote Rock Ranch Scholarship.

All four recipients had high praise for Iowa State’s equine program and its faculty.

“From the first day I stepped on campus it was easy to tell that the faculty are truly invested in the success of their students and pushes them to succeed,” Evans said. “The supportive faculty is one of the many reasons why I believe Iowa State was the only veterinary school to have more than one AAEP scholarship recipient.”

“We were selected as scholarship recipients because we had lots of involvement in equine medicine,” Robbins said. “Iowa State and our connections made here helped provide us with those opportunities for involvement and ability to build our resumes.”

Marner cited the unique caseload equine students see in the Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center.

“We have an incredibly varied equine caseload,” she said. “This creates opportunities for students to learn cutting edge medicine on horses from every walk of life. Our equine faculty and staff create so many opportunities for us to begin developing our skills to become exceptional equine veterinarians.”

These external scholarships are important for the four veterinary students. Evans says the Merck Scholarship will help her obtain her goal of becoming a board-certified surgeon.

“Not only does this scholarship help relieve the financial burden of veterinary school, but it will allow me to focus on gaining the knowledge needed to provide the best veterinary care for my future patients,” she said.

For Robbins, the $75, 000 Coyote Ranch Scholarship, gets her closer to a goal of practice ownership. After graduation she plans to pursue an equine internship with the hopes of filling the need for equine care in rural areas of her home state of South Dakota.

“The number of equine practicing veterinarians are few and far between in South Dakota,” Robbins said. “For many clients it is over an hour drive to the nearest vet. As for strictly equine veterinarians, there are only few in the entire state. By starting my own practice in South Dakota, I will help provide equine veterinary care closer to each patient and help ease some of the pressure on the surrounding equine vets.

“For me to receive the Coyote Rock Ranch Scholarship is absolutely life-changing. It has opened numerous doors and eased the financial strain of starting my own practice, paying for loans and living expenses during my internship next year.”