Penn Vet Honors Students With Largest Individual Research Awards In Veterinary Medicine

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Media Contact:Jordan Reese | jreese@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604April 3, 2009


PHILADELPHIA –- The 2009 Student Inspiration Awards have been announced by the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Award recipients receive $100,000 in research funding, the largest unrestricted student award in veterinary medicine, from the Vernon and Shirley Hill Foundation.

The Penn Vet Student Inspiration Awards are given annually to inspire ambition and reward enterprise, creativity, vision and talent to Penn Vet students. The awards encourage students to invest their future in veterinary medicine.

This year’s recipients are Catherine Brinkley, who combines veterinary medicine with city planning and new technologies to create a unified approach to animal care in urban life; and Alison Barnstable and Laurel Redding, who have partnered with a non-profit to help people produce their own food and encourage the development of para-professional veterinary services.

“I am proud of all our outstanding students,” said Joan C. Hendricks, dean of Penn Vet. “The level of talent and commitment exemplified by these Student Inspiration Award winners is truly amazing. I am confident they are on the right track for changing the world.”

On March 20, Penn Vet announced the selection of Frederick A. Murphy as the 2009 recipient of the Penn Vet World Leadership Award. Murphy is the James W. McLaughlin Professor in Residence at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. The Leadership Award is given annually to a veterinarian who has dramatically changed the practice and image of the profession and substantially influenced the lives and careers of others, and includes $100,000 in unrestricted funding.

The Penn Vet World Leadership Award and Student Inspiration Awards will be presented Monday, April 20, 2009, at the Vernon and Shirley Hill Pavilion on Penn Vet’s Philadelphia campus. All three awards are underwritten by the Vernon and Shirley Hill Foundation.

“Recognizing outstanding individuals with a commitment to changing the world is the purpose of the Penn Vet Student Inspiration Awards,” said Vernon Hill. “Congratulations to our outstanding student winners.”

Brinkley, of La Crosse, Wis., is a second-year student at Penn Vet and is enrolled in the School’s VMD-PhD program.

“I am honored and beyond thrilled to be chosen for the Inspiration Award,” she said. “The prospect of bringing my project, ‘Design for Health,’ to life has been a dream for the past five years for me, and I am greatly indebted to the Hills and Penn Vet for giving me the chance to make it happen.” Ms. Brinkley also has been accepted into the Urban Planning PhD Program at Penn to pursue the study of “Design for Health: Planning Animal Facilities to Prevent Infectious Disease Spread.”

Barnstable, of Narberth, Pa., and Laurel Redding, of Philadelphia, two second-year students at Penn Vet, won with a project entitled “Increasing Agricultural Productivity in Developing Countries.”

“I am truly honored and thrilled to have received this award,” said Redding, who is enrolled in Penn Vet’s VMD-PhD program. “The Inspiration Awards are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us to make a contribution to veterinary medicine as students. I am very excited about launching this project and undertaking a meaningful collaboration with Heifer International in the field of global public health.”

“I am so excited to receive this award, as it creates an opportunity for me to join the global health community, addressing the issues of health, poverty and hunger,” said Barnstable. “This award will allow us to create a sustainable veterinary involvement in global health through collaboration with Heifer International. I hope this work will benefit veterinary students, animal health providers here and abroad and developing communities. I cannot thank Mr. and Mrs. Hill enough for their generosity.”

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