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Student News

Published: Aug 30, 2016

Sarah Colmer, V’17, Raisa Glabman, V’17, Justin Krumm, V’17, Matt Lanza, V’17, Joanna Gardiner, V’18, Holden Jensen, V’18, Brianna Parsons, V’18, Ben Turchin, V’18, Molly Larson, V’19, Katie Pruett, V’19, and Adriana Wilford, V’19, visited Haiti in June with Pou Sante Amar Haiti, a student-run nonprofit. The organization visits communities in Northern Haiti each year to work with farmers and hold livestock health clinics. During the clinics, students examine each animal, vaccinate and deworm them, and address any health problems they encounter. They also hold community meetings with local farmers to discuss agricultural problems they face each year, and try to together create solutions for these issues.

This year, the Penn Vet team created medical kits with basic medications and supplies to leave with a few farmers they have developed relationships with over the past four years. They provided detailed protocols, with Haitian Creole translations and pictorial representations for each disease. “Through these kits, we hope these farmers will gain ownership over their animals’ health, which will result in increased animal productivity and thereby economic stability for these farmers’ families over time,” explained Parsons. To learn more, visit

Penn Vet students in Haiti with Pou Sante AmarSarah Colmer, V’17, received the 2016 Penn Vet Tucker Endowed Scholarship ($10,000), awarded to a New Jersey resident who is pursuing equine medicine.

Benjamin Donati, V’17, recently received the Simmons Educational Fund’s Business Aptitude Award, presented annually to one student at each veterinary school. The award was presented in recognition of his response to the prompt: “What does it mean for a practice to be financially healthy, and why does it matter?” After graduating, Donati plans to get a Bernese Mountain Dog as a friend for his Newfoundland, Wellington, and one day become a practice owner.

This spring, Jonathan Madara, V’17, won the inaugural OIE Knowledge Olympics competition in the veterinary student group for the Americas region. He received his award in May during the opening ceremonies for the 84th General Session of the OIE in Paris, France. He and his wife, VMD-PhD student Noelle Knight, were able to attend and meet with the U.S. delegation to the OIE, the World Organisation for Animal Health.

The Morris Animal Foundation selected Sophie Eiger, V’18, to receive the Veterinary Student Scholar Award. Eiger’s award-winning project is for her study on determining if targeting of surrounding non-malignant cells that support the growth and spread of tumor cells is effective as a novel approach to treating canine mammary gland tumors. Ellen Puré, PhD, Chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences, is her mentor.

Jessica Applebaum, V’18, and Rebecca Miller, V’18, Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association (SCAVMA) Philanthropy Co-Chairs, helped Penn Vet raise over $3,000 for Josh and Friends, an organization that helps support children in hospitals through the human-animal bond. Through donations raised at the SCAVMA Auction, the Chili Cook-off, and cookbook sales, Penn Vet won second place out of all other vet schools in the SCAVMA Josh Challenge. Applebaum and Miller thank all who helped support the cause.

In June, Hannah Cooper, Martina Jackson, Amber Lee, and Louisa Petronis, all V’18, and William Ciancarelli and Christina Murphy, both V’19, spent three weeks in Italy and France to learn about international animal welfare and public policy. Joined by faculty Carlo Siracusa, DVM, PhD, and Thomas Parsons, VMD, PhD, the students studied at the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e del Molise in Teramo, Italy, and the Institut de Recherche en Semiochimie et Ethologie Appliquée in Apt, France. Read about their experiences at

William Ciancarelli, V’19, is receiving a full military scholarship. Patricia Sertich, VMD, is his mentor, and he was inducted in the Old Quad Courtyard.

From left, Dr. Mary Bryant, Dr. Patricia Sertich, Dr. Peter Hand, William Ciancarelli, V'19, and members of William's family, on the occasion of William's military induction.