As a partner in the Food Systems Fellowship Program coordinated by Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Merck Animal Health is pleased to announce three $5,000 scholarships have been awarded to students who are participating in the program. During the past nine years, Merck Animal Health has provided various scholarship opportunities for more than 100 students focused on working in the food animal industry.

“We, at Merck Animal Health, recognize that food animal veterinarians play a vital role in our world and are committed to investing in their futures,” said Norman Stewart, D.V.M., technical services manager for Merck Animal Health. “Programs such as this allow us to support educational opportunities, provide real-world experiences and help develop the next generation of industry leaders, as well as reinforce the importance of the science of healthier animals."

 “Veterinarians are integral to ensuring a wholesome and safe global food supply, and initiatives like the Food Systems Fellowship Program help prepare future practitioners for this vitally important challenge,” said Dan Grooms, D.V.M., Ph.D., professor at Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. “Not only does Merck Animal Health provide scholarships, but it also supports students by giving them hands-on experience and knowledge that they will carry with them throughout their careers."

The following students are participants in the Food Systems Fellowship Program and will receive Merck Animal Health scholarships in 2014.

Christina Fenske, from Grand Rapids, Mich., is a second-year veterinary student in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University. Prior to pursuing her second career – veterinary medicine – Fenske spent 12 years working in a dermatology practice. After graduation, Fenske plans to work in a predominantly large animal practice and would like to be involved in community outreach and education.

Heather Roney, from Clarkston, Mich., is a third-year veterinary student in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University, and earned a bachelor of science in Animal Science from the same university. Roney has served as a legislative fellow with the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. She also recently participated in the USDA APHIS Smith Kilborne Program where he studied transboundary animal diseases. After graduation, Roney is interested in pursuing a career in regulatory medicine and agricultural policy.

Carrie Szybisty, from Redford, Mich., is a third-year veterinary student in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University (MSU). She also earned a bachelor of science in Animal Science with a concentration in Production Animal Scholars from MSU. During her studies, Szybisty has worked at the MSU Dairy Teaching and Research Center, and participated in a USDA International Science and Education funded Food Systems Fellowship Program in India and a bovine externship at a veterinary practice in Michigan. After graduation, Szybisty hopes to work in a mixed animal practice with a focus on dairy cattle medicine and reproduction. Someday, she also would like to pursue the opportunity to provide services to the animal shelters in her community.

For more information about the Food Systems Fellowship Program, go to