Friday, September 27, 2019

Training Beyond Borders

Beyond the classroom and laboratory, MSU CVM students pursue learning opportunities across the globe, combining foreign travel and cultural immersion with veterinary training, gained experience, and outreach.

Thanks to generous alumni and friends who support international travel funds, in 2019, CVM students traveled to Belize, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, South Africa, and Kenya.  The purpose of each student’s trip varied. Many students visited isolated areas to provide basic veterinary care and owner education while being exposed to how local veterinarians approach veterinary care, herd management, and wildlife and large animal health. Collaborations with educational institutions and communities facing difficult conditions exposed students to the importance of idea sharing and working together on large scale issues that affect the entire globe.

Support for student trips is available through a competitive application process. To be considered to receive travel support, students must be enrolled at MSU CVM in the professional program.  Students are required to submit an application, and they must meet any guidelines set forth for each specific fund. Currently, the CVM offers students support from five travel funds including:

·       Paul Eggert International Education Travel Fund
This fund was established by Mrs. Diane Eggert in memory of Paul Eggert. The award is given to a full-time student enrolled in the professional program in the CVM who has demonstrated academic achievement, maintaining a minimum 3.0 GPA. The student must be of good moral character. Preference is given to a student pursuing an experience related to animal agriculture or global food safety and security.  

·       International Veterinary Humanitarian Endowed Fund
This fund is endowed by a gift from Dr. John and Carolyn Thomson.
The award is given to a student with a demonstrated interest in humanitarian work in underdeveloped countries.

·       Dr. Paul Farmer Memorial and Nutramax Laboratories Student Travel Support Fund
This fund was established by Nutramax Laboratories and Dr. Todd Henderson in memory of Dr. Paul Farmer. The award is available to a full-time CVM student in good academic standing who has demonstrated leadership ability and a desire to improve the quality of life for others. The recipient must be an active member of Christian Veterinary Fellowship.

·       Pegasus Partners Fund
This fund is endowed by many generous “Pegasus Partners” who fulfilled a gift of $10,000 toward the Pegasus Partners Endowment which can be used to provide critical support for various supplemental activities that complement, enhance or expand the mission of the CVM, including scholarships or travel for students and faculty.

·       Rural Practice Externship Travel Grant
This fund was established by a gift from an anonymous donor. The award is available to students participating in experiences with rural practice or public practice located outside of the state of Mississippi.

“I enjoyed learning about new species that I have never worked with before, and I experienced how to be resourceful and think outside of the box,”  Peter N. McGinn

Here’s what CVM students say about their international experience:
“I improved my ultrasound skills and my clinical mind. We had to treat animals with limited supplies and resources. I could not be happier with my experience, and I’m grateful that donors support this experience. I feel that international veterinary work, public health, and agriculture should be experienced by every veterinarian at some point,” says Peter N. McGinn who traveled to Peru.
“I enjoyed learning about new species that I have never worked with before, and I experienced how to be resourceful and think outside of the box,” says Kiley Walker who traveled to Belize.
“I was taught by amazing veterinarians, and I saw firsthand that having compassion for a hurting animal knows no cultural boundaries. A trip like this gives you a greater appreciation for your country, for the education available, and for the people who entrust their animals to you. It will give you renewed resolve and vigor to work hard to become the best veterinarian you can possibly become to be able to serve your clients,” says Lea Burns who traveled to Haiti.

The opportunities are endless for alumni and friends to support MSU CVM students. For more information on how to establish a fund or make a gift to a current travel fund, please contact Jimmy Kight at 662-325-5893 or jkight@