VMAs fund Potomac Regional Veterinary Conference Scholarships

Veterinary medical associations in Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. have joined forces to support students at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dean Cyril Clarke signing a document

Dean Cyril Clarke signs a memorandum of understanding establishing the Potomac Regional Veterinary Conference Scholarships.

In a memorandum of understanding, the four associations agreed to fund four Doctor of Veterinary Medicine student scholarships at a minimum of $500 each. The agreement was finalized during the November Potomac Regional Veterinary Conference held in Baltimore.

Named the Potomac Regional Veterinary Conference Scholarship, the awards will be based on student leadership in organized veterinary medicine and financial need. The first scholarship will be awarded in April 2015 at the veterinary college’s annual awards banquet.

“We are extremely thankful for the associations’ willingness to fund these scholarships,” said Dr. Cyril Clarke, dean of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. “Their contributions will help students manage their educational debt load.” In 2014, the college awarded more than $600,000 in student scholarships.

First held in 2011, the Potomac Regional Veterinary Conference is a collaborative effort of the four veterinary medical associations and is the only regional conference of its kind. “The bonding of these four veterinary medical associations makes sense not only by geography, but also by their association with the veterinary college and its teaching hospital,” noted Clarke.

The amount contributed by each state association will be awarded to a student who is a resident of that state or district. The student must also be a member of the state or district’s student veterinary medical association. If there is no qualifying resident for the District of Columbia, the award will go to a public/corporate track student.

The operating fund memorandum of understanding was signed by Dr. Jeff Newman, president of the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association; Dr. Justin Sobota, president of the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association; Dr. Shawn Sette, president of the West Virginia Veterinary Medical Association; Dr. Gail Hansen, president of the D.C. Veterinary Medical Association, and Dean Cyril Clarke.

The 2014 Potomac Regional Veterinary Conference offered up to 18 hours of small animal, equine, and public practice continuing education in each track, as well as practice management and technician sessions. The 2015 conference is set for November 13-15 at West Virginia’s Greenbrier Resort.

Written by Sherrie Whaley.