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College names 2023 RED scholarship recipients

entrance to Schurman Hall

Three Cornell veterinary students have earned RED (Reducing Educational Debt) scholarships from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. The scholarship, in its third year of funding, was created to give rising third-year students tuition-free education for their final two years of veterinary school.

John Grealish
John Grealish. Photo provided.

The scholarship committee chose recipients who demonstrated academic excellence; unique personal qualities and goals; and financial need. This year’s recipients hail from diverse backgrounds and demonstrate a commitment to pursuing excellence and giving back to the field of veterinary medicine.

John Grealish, D.V.M. ’25, is part of the first generation in his family to attend college. He came to veterinary medicine after pursuing a career in music as a bass player. “I discovered my passion for veterinary medicine later in life than most,” he said. “My first exposure came from volunteering in my local animal shelter, which snowballed into a desire to become a veterinarian.”

For Grealish, the RED scholarship will make it possible to pursue his goal of completing a residency in cardiology after graduation. “I have already accrued almost $200,000 in student loans prior to this scholarship,” he explained. “The RED Scholarship prevents this already massive number from growing, and makes my dreams feel more attainable.”

Faith Edwin
Faith Edwin. Photo provided.

Faith Edwin, D.V.M. ’25 has two primary career goals: provide veterinary care for wildlife and shelter animals, and serve as a role model for other people of color who want to become veterinarians. She, too, is the first generation of her family to attend college. She became interested in veterinary medicine as a small child while recovering from surgery to correct a heart defect.

“The procedure forced me to stay at home, where I was surrounded by my family's array of pets,” she explained. “My time with the animals not only helped me to heal, but it also helped me to realize my role in veterinary medicine.

“Receiving the RED scholarship will not only help me to achieve my life-long goal of pursuing veterinary medicine, it will also serve as the platform on which I can stand as a role-model for other first-generation Americans, people of color, and individuals who have similar interests,” she said.

Natalia Antonsanti-Santana
Natalia Antonsanti-Santana. Photo provided

Growing up in Puerto Rico, Natalia Antonsanti-Santana, D.V.M. ’25, always knew she wanted to work with animals. “My love, curiosity and fascination for science, animals, the world they inhabit and how they interact with humans led me to pursue veterinary medicine,” she said. “After graduation, I want to return to Puerto Rico to provide veterinary care to aquatic animals, integrate a holistic approach to the field by incorporating acupuncture and other modalities into my work, and ensure healthcare accessibility by participating in shelter medicine work.”

The RED scholarship will allow Antonsanti-Santana to explore her broad interests across veterinary medicine. “Receiving the RED scholarship feels and means everything to me,” she said. “It will allow me to enter the profession in 2025 as a well-rounded veterinarian and join the five percent of Latinx veterinarians. The possibilities within the profession are endless, and that is what I love and enjoy about veterinary medicine.”

Written by Sheri Hall