Five first-year students in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University have been chosen for the largest veterinary scholarship program offered by the state of Kansas: the Veterinary Training Program for Rural Kansas.
This year’s recipients are Natasha Vangundy, Americus; William Patterson, Holton; Whitney Sloan, Lebo; Colton Hull, Stockton; and Shaylee Flax, WaKeeney.
“The Veterinary Training Program for Rural Kansas fulfills an important educational mission and a service mission for the state of Kansas,” said Bonnie Rush, interim dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “These students completed a rigorous selection process. They will participate in training and complete requirements beyond the curricular requirements of the professional degree program. Scholarship recipients — past, present and future — create a unique community of supportive colleagues and represent the future of rural veterinary practice in Kansas.”
The Veterinary Training Program for Rural Kansas was passed by the state Legislature in 2006 to provide a financial incentive for committed veterinarians to serve rural areas in Kansas. Program participants are eligible for up to $20,000 in loans per year to pay for college expenses and advanced training. Upon completion of their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, each student is required to work at a full-time veterinary practice in one of the 91 Kansas counties with fewer than 35,000 residents. For each year the student works in rural Kansas, $20,000 worth of loans will be forgiven by the state. Students can work a maximum of four years through the program, receiving up to $80,000 in loan waivers.
The scholars spend time during the summer and breaks in the academic year learning about foreign-animal disease preparedness, natural disaster response, rural sociology, small business management and public health. In addition, they will spend three weeks in a rural veterinary practice during their senior year, applying the principles of small business management to rural veterinary practice.