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Merck Animal Health/AAEP Foundation Scholarship Awarded to Five Promising Equine Veterinary Students 

Dec 3, 2018

The Merck Animal Health/American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation scholarship recognizes promising veterinary students committed to a career in equine medicine. On Monday, Dec. 3 at the AAEP’s 64th Annual Convention in San Francisco, Calif., five students received this $5,000 scholarship: 

  • Abigail Illingsworth, Tufts University, class of 2020 
  • Persia Neumann, University of California-Davis, class of 2019 
  • Kate Rigby, Kansas State University, class of 2019 
  • Catherine Thurston, University of Pennsylvania, class of 2019  
  • Zoe Williams, Michigan State University, class of 2020 

To be eligible for the Merck Animal Health/AAEP Foundation scholarship program, applicants must be second- or third-year veterinary students dedicated to equine medicine and active within any of the AAEP’s 39 student chapters at colleges of veterinary medicine in the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Caribbean. The scholarships are awarded to students for their academic excellence, leadership in their school and AAEP student chapter, and their long-term goals. 

“Through our ongoing partnership with the AAEP, we are honored to back standout veterinary students who are passionate about pursuing careers in equine veterinary medicine,” said Craig Barnett, DVM, Merck Animal Health director of equine technical services. “These recipients represent the future of veterinary medicine, and we are confident that they will help us advance the science of healthier animals in the years to come.”    

“Merck Animal Health continues to serve as a leader in the industry for both veterinarian and student and we are very appreciative,” said Dr. Rick Mitchell, AAEP Foundation Advisory Council chairman.  “These scholarships underscore the company’s commitment to the veterinary profession, students and the health of horses, especially in a time when students are graduating with excessive educational debt.” 

For more information about this program and other scholarships offered through the AAEP Foundation, visit

About Merck Animal Health 
For more than a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Through its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals™, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit or connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter at @MerckAH. 

About AAEP Foundation 
The AAEP Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization established in 1994, serves as the charitable arm of the American Association of Equine Practitioners to improve the welfare of horses. Since its inception, the Foundation has disbursed more than $5.4 million to fulfill its vital mission.