Scholarship Support for AQUAVET® Training Program for Summer of 2018

Principal Investigator: Rodman G. Getchell

Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Sponsor: John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation
Title: Scholarship Support for AQUAVET® Training Program for Summer of 2018
Project Amount: $18,000
Project Period: January 2018 to December 2019

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): 

Scholarship support for Cornell DVM students allows them to participate in one of the premier experiential learning and education opportunities available in the world, AQUAVET®. Veterinary students with a thirst for knowledge about aquatic animals have been attending AQUAVET® for over 41 years. Wildlife Conservation is a significant component of this intense immersion program. This type of aquatic-focused learning is not part of the regular curriculum, so students must pay for it themselves. I am again asking for $6,000 for scholarships to assist these students financially while they pursue goals that align with the mission of John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation. The 2017 AQUAVET® I tuition was $2375 and the more advanced AQUAVET® III course costs $3900 for full time veterinary students. The awards would be divided evenly among Cornell DVM students accepted to either AQUAVET® course. The trainees who apply to Cornell’s AQUAVET® Program are veterinary students from first, second, third, and fourth year classes. In 2016 and 2017 six trainees received Foundation support each year. The objective of the scholarship support is to increase the number of Cornell DVM students pursuing careers in conservation medicine, particularly in aquatic animal medicine. The reasons why this proposal should be funded are many. The AQUAVET® training program satisfies the mission of the Foundation by providing Cornell DVM students the opportunity to participate in an immersion course in aquatic animal medicine. The hands on experience that is integral to AQUAVET® generates the type of enthusiasm that few other programs can maintain and provides mentoring by highly skilled faculty. The new AQUAVET® III course takes this experiential learning to another level with advanced clinical training. Scholarship support to train in fields outside the traditional paths of veterinary practitioners is extremely limited. AQUAVET® trains veterinary students how to improve the welfare of marine and freshwater animals. This is one of the main goals of wildlife conservation and fulfills a key Foundation purpose, which is to help protect wildlife. Our AQUAVET® classes expose students to the interdisciplinary skills that an education in conservation medicine provides. When you read the excerpts and letters from our most recent students in the Final Report and Appendix, you will see their commitment to pursue a career in conservation medicine, improve the welfare of marine animals, and protect wildlife inhabiting the world's aquatic environments.