Expanding Horizons International Education Program

Elvina Yau
Elvina Yau, D.V.M.'20, worked with the Elephant Research and Education Center at Chiang Mai University

The mission of the Expanding Horizons International Education Program is to expand the horizons and perspectives of CVM's veterinary students - both personally and professionally. The Expanding Horizons Program offers Cornell veterinary students a truly unique opportunity to experience veterinary medicine in a developing nation. Through this program, previous student participants have gained confidence in clinical and research skills, reinforced their commitment to a career path, built their professional network, identified new career opportunities in veterinary medicine, and broadened their cultural fluency.

The Expanding Horizons Program provides funding for Cornell veterinary students to conduct independent projects in developing areas. Students spend 6-10 weeks engaged in either veterinary research or hands-on veterinary experience. These projects range from One Health-oriented field research and wildlife rehabilitation, to small animal clinical practice, to working with local farmers to improve production. Examples of countries that our students have traveled to through this program include Ecuador, Kyrgyzstan, Ghana, Madagascar, Thailand, Vietnam, Honduras and Kenya (see the interactive map below for more information).

Students applying to the Expanding Horizons Program are responsible for identifying a topic area of interest and an in-country partner or program to be a host, developing their project idea and writing a grant proposal, and ultimately implementing their projects from start to finish. The Expanding Horizons Committee members, CVM faculty and the Office of Student and Academic Services are available to support students in identifying contacts, and providing guidance and input on project design, resources and activities. At the completion of the project, students deliver a presentation and submit a final report to the Expanding Horizons Committee. Some students have gone on to publish their research in peer-reviewed journals.

To explore previous projects around the globe, view this interactive map.


Background

Established in 1984, the Expanding Horizons International Educational Program has enabled over 200 CVM students to follow their passions through experiential learning in

Lincoln Ellsworth (L), S. Gordon Campbell (R). 

over 50 countries. The program was the brainchild of the late Professor S. Gordon Campbell, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of International Programs at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Campbell felt very strongly that getting our students “out in the real world” was key to their personal and professional development. Initially funded by the College of Veterinary Medicine and small donations, more sustained support was initiated by the Lincoln Ellsworth Foundation in 1995. Lincoln Ellsworth was an American explorer, pioneer polar aviator, and author of the book “Beyond Horizons”. The Lincoln Ellsworth Foundation was established in 1943, supporting many organizations with interests in animal welfare and wildlife.

Over the years, additional donors have contributed to the support of Expanding Horizons, allowing the program to generously fund many Cornell veterinary

student experiences. This includes an endowment created by Dr. Ton Schat, which was supplemented with contributions from the CVM alumni association, a fund in memory of John W. Whitefield ’65, and most recently, a fund in memory of Garth Cummings, DVM ’11, a former participant in the Expanding Horizons program.