Ashton Richardson, a second-year veterinary medical student at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, has been named a recipient of the prestigious Marshall Scholarship. He is one of only 40 students in the United States selected for this honor.
Richardson, a native of New Orleans, serves as the president of the Student One Health Association, which explores the connections between human, animal, and environmental health. He is also a member of the Texas Veterinary Medicine Foundation Board of Trustees.
“We are very proud of Ashton for being selected to receive this prestigious award,” said Dr. Eleanor M. Green, the Carl B. King dean of veterinary medicine. “Ashton is a remarkable individual bound for unusual success. As a veterinary student, he is dedicated to making a difference in the world. He has gained a fundamental understanding of One Health, the inextricable link between animal, human, and environmental health and has developed a deep dedication to pursuing endeavors beyond the traditional role of veterinary medicine and enhancing the presence of veterinary medicine in global health and security places. Ashton is a leader who will excel with this award.”
Richardson recently returned from a One Health-themed service and research experience in Nicaragua where he joined a six-member team of veterinary, medical, and public health students investigating the health disparities of humans and animals. In addition to his work abroad, he has contributed to spreading the knowledge of One Health in the state and nation organizing and participating in forums and seminars, writing articles, granting television interviews, and sharing information via video produced by local and national veterinary associations.
“I view this scholarship as a tremendous blessing that also comes with quite a bit of responsibility,” Richardson said. “Receiving advanced training in the political, economic, social, and cultural aspects of international development will help me improve the quality of life of people through making their animals healthy and productive. Perhaps just as important is the responsibility I carry to enfranchise youth from a similar background as mine and to help them realize that they’re only limited by their expectations.”
Richardson received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Pre-Veterinary Medicine from Auburn University, where he was recognized in 2012 with the Bobby Bowden Award, presented by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision player who best epitomizes a student-athlete.
“Ashton exemplifies student leadership within our college,” said Dr. Kenita S. Rogers, associate dean for professional programs. “Through his collaborative efforts with students from multiple disciplines with the student One Health program, he has developed a deep understanding of and appreciation for the responsibility of veterinarians in creating a healthy future for people, animals, and the environment. This award is a well-deserved honor for a great ambassador of our profession, a wonderful student, and an even better man.”
The Marshall Scholarship program was established in 1953 by an act of British Parliament in honor of U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall as an expression of Britain's gratitude for economic assistance received through the Marshall Plan after World War II. The program is overseen by the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission. The 40 winners are chosen from the approximately 900 students endorsed annually for the scholarship by their respective universities.