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Penn Vet Announces First Student Accepted into Special VMD-MBA Program

By John Donges Published: Mar 6, 2017

Partnership with Wharton trains graduates as leaders in ensuring global food security

Melanie Kirshenbaum[March 6, 2017; Philadelphia, PA] – Melanie Kirshenbaum of Westchester County, NY, is the first student accepted into the new VMD-MBA degree program at Penn Vet’s Center for Animal Health and Productivity (CAHP) and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

The VMD-MBA combined-degree program is supported by the Robert Marshak-Vernon Hill Scholarship Fund, named in honor of Dr. Robert Marshak, Penn Vet Dean from 1973 to 1987. Established with a generous $1 million gift from Vernon and Shirley Hill, the fund supports the training of leaders and entrepreneurs with the vision to advance both the science and business of food animal production in order to help ensure global food security.

Marshak-Hill scholars are required to develop projects that explore the applications of economic and business principles to the health and productivity of livestock industries. The integrated training emphasizes innovative solutions to the complex business, health, environmental, and societal challenges associated with intensive and small-scale livestock and poultry production in a global environment with a rapidly increasing demand for animal-sourced protein.

“The combined-degree program provides students with a unique interchange of knowledge that helps to ensure veterinarians have an important voice in addressing issues of food security both in Pennsylvania and globally,” said Joan C. Hendricks, VMD, PhD, the Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “We are delighted that Melanie is the first student accepted into this program.”

Kirshenbaum is a fourth-year student at Penn Vet with an interest in global health and agricultural development. After finishing her undergraduate studies in economics from Cornell University, she worked with international development organizations before pursuing her veterinary education. She is pursuing the combined VMD-MBA degree in recognition of the integrated nature of health, food, and economic security, as well as the power of industry and multilateral organizations to contribute resources and sustainable interventions in these fields.

“An economic and industry-focused approach to global food security, health, and sustainable development—rooted in science—will be especially important in the coming years,” said Kirshenbaum. “I’m excited about this opportunity to expand my knowledge of these areas and I’m pleased to be part of the ongoing collaborations between Penn Vet and Wharton.”

“We are all excited about Melanie's acceptance into the program,” said David Galligan, VMD, MBA, Professor of Animal Health Economics and Director of the Center for Animal Health and Productivity. “The integration of Penn’s VMD and MBA programs creates a new focus on emerging global food security issues and enables us to train the next generation of veterinarians to deal with these concerns.”

The combined VMD-MBA degree program at Penn Vet and the Wharton School was established in 1981. Galligan oversees the updated program and mentors the Marshak-Hill scholars. Those completing the multi-year program will obtain their veterinary and MBA degrees and a certificate in Food Animal Production Medicine. Marshak-Hill graduates will have unique qualifications for leadership roles in food animal agribusiness, government, non-governmental organizations, public health, research, and academia.

Learn more about VMD-MBA degree program.

About Penn Vet

Ranked among the top five veterinary schools worldwide, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) is a global leader in veterinary education, research, and clinical care. Founded in 1884, Penn Vet is the first veterinary school developed in association with a medical school. The school is a proud member of the One Health initiative, linking human, animal, and environmental health.

Penn Vet serves a diverse population of animals at its two campuses, which include extensive diagnostic and research laboratories. Ryan Hospital in Philadelphia provides care for dogs, cats, and other domestic/companion animals, handling nearly 35,000 patient visits a year. New Bolton Center, Penn Vet’s large-animal hospital on nearly 700 acres in rural Kennett Square, PA, cares for horses and livestock/farm animals. The hospital handles nearly 4,900 patient visits a year, while the Field Service treats more than 38,000 patients at local farms. In addition, New Bolton Center’s campus includes a swine center, working dairy, and poultry unit that provide valuable research for the agriculture industry.

For more information, visit www.vet.upenn.edu.

About the Wharton School

Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates economic and social value around the world. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 participants in executive education programs annually and a powerful alumni network of 94,000 graduates.

About Penn Vet

Ranked among the top ten veterinary schools worldwide, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) is a global leader in veterinary education, research, and clinical care. Founded in 1884, Penn Vet is the first veterinary school developed in association with a medical school. The school is a proud member of the One Health initiative, linking human, animal, and environmental health.

Penn Vet serves a diverse population of animals at its two campuses, which include extensive diagnostic and research laboratories. Ryan Hospital in Philadelphia provides care for dogs, cats, and other domestic/companion animals, handling nearly 35,000 patient visits a year. New Bolton Center, Penn Vet’s large-animal hospital on nearly 700 acres in rural Kennett Square, PA, cares for horses and livestock/farm animals. The hospital handles nearly 4,900 patient visits a year, while the Field Service treats more than 38,000 patients at local farms. In addition, New Bolton Center’s campus includes a swine center, working dairy, and poultry unit that provide valuable research for the agriculture industry.

Media Contacts

Martin Hackett
Director of Communications and Marketing
mhackett@vet.upenn.edu
215-898-1475

John Donges
Communications Coordinator
jdonges@vet.upenn.edu
215-898-4234

Hannah Kleckner
Communications Specialist for New Bolton Center
hkleck@vet.upenn.edu
610-925-6241