EveryCat Health Foundation and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) are pleased to announce the 2023 scholarship recipients for veterinary students pursuing a career in feline clinical practice or feline clinical research.
Hailey Davis, Colorado State University, Clinical Research Scholarship
Hailey Davis is finishing her 3rd year of veterinary school at Colorado State University.
She was the lead student researcher on a multi-month probiotic study, alongside board-certified behaviorists, and researchers, where she developed the study parameters and was responsible for the study’s design, implementation, and data collection. She will be publishing a paper on the project soon. After graduation, Ms. Davis plans to pursue a residency/PhD program to continue projects which will improve feline health and well being.
In her own words: Being involved in feline research over the past four years, I have come to realize the importance of research and am honored to be supported by the EveryCat organization, the only non-profit focused solely on feline health. Research supporting feline health is frequently underfunded compared to other species, but this does not mean these animals are less deserving of veterinary care. This scholarship will allow me to pursue my passion for feline medicine and contribute to the advancement of veterinary science in a meaningful way.
Through my work as a lead student researcher on multiple large studies with Colorado State University’s Center for Companion Animal Studies, I have seen my projects come full circle from the design and implementation stages, data analysis, manuscript preparation, and finally to being on the market and available to client-owned cats. Seeing the impact clinical research can have on client-owned animals has opened my eyes to the need and the potential applications of feline research. There is so much we have yet to discover and so many advancements we can make in feline health through research.
Over the past two years, I have been a student member of the grant review committee for Colorado State University’s Young Investigator Awards. This experience has helped me make a direct impact in feline research at the university level by helping to allocate funding for some feline-specific research projects. Seeing the ingenuity of these projects and the potential applications has highlighted the need for this type of research. Now, as I move into the final clinical year of my Veterinary Medicine program, I am even more motivated to continue to advocate for our feline companions.
The financial support provided by this scholarship allows me to focus more on my research and classes as I advance into my clinical year. Aside from the financial aspect, the support from EveryCat and AAFP in the form of this scholarship shows me that my research is valuable and that I have a lot of people supporting me. I am looking forward to continuing to promote feline-specific research as my career progresses, and hope to continue to make a positive impact in the lives of our feline companions.
Emma Li, The Ohio State University, Clinical Practice Scholarship
Emma Li is finishing her 3rd year of veterinary school at The Ohio State University.
She is the first The Ohio State University student to pursue a fourth-year clinical focus specific to feline medicine. She is the AAFP Board of Directors Student representative. Ms. Li believes that improvement in feline medicine begins with better feline-specific health education and advocates for evidence-based handling. Ms. Li organizes frequent educational events to enhance access to high-level feline-specific education for her fellow students. After graduation, she plans to complete an internship year in feline specialty practice, followed by an American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) residency in feline medicine.
In her own words: I have a profound appreciation for so many varied aspects of feline medicine, such as internal medicine, surgery and dentistry, public health, chronic pain management, and research. Thus, having the ability to pursue a future in feline-specialty practice is an absolute dream come true. As I enter my clinical (4th) year, this scholarship will provide significant support in my ability to extern at some of the most highly respected, feline-only clinics across the country, allow me to focus off-duty hours enhancing my knowledge of feline medicine, and to continue my involvement in feline-focused research projects, rather than on financial concerns. I hope to utilize my upcoming externships to learn different perspectives, techniques, and clinical approaches that I can implement in my future practices.
Biomedical research was a passion of mine before I even discovered my love for veterinary medicine. Even after switching gears several times before landing on feline medicine for good, I know I’ll always have the desire to be involved in research. I am therefore so grateful for organizations like EveryCat and the AAFP for their significant efforts in supporting feline-specific clinical research, which directly results in improved quality of care veterinary professionals can offer their feline patients. Research topics of significant interest to me include use of therapeutics in FIP, clinical assessment of new veterinary products, and quality of access to feline-friendly education for veterinary students.
This scholarship will further support my ability to pursue advanced education while balancing family life and personal well-being. I also plan to continue my involvement with the AAFP in hopes of improving access to high-quality, feline-specific educational materials and learning opportunities for both veterinary students and veterinary professionals across the country. I am incredibly grateful to both EveryCat and AAFP for their efforts to advance feline medicine through their significant support of veterinary students and education.
“We are thrilled to announce this year’s recipients. Hailey and Emma are exceptional individuals with a clear passion for feline medicine and a dedication to advancing the health and
well being of our feline companions. We are honored to support their continued education and look forward to seeing the positive impact they will make in the field of feline veterinary medicine.” ~ Jackie Ott Jaakola, EveryCat Health Foundation Executive Director