Friday, Sept. 23, 2011
OUTSTANDING WORK WITH DOGS, ACADEMICS EARNS VETERINARY STUDENT AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB SCHOLARSHIP
MANHATTAN -- Dogs are not only man's best friend, but canines and humans also share diseases such as cancer.
That's a field that Jenna Dockweiler, a veterinary medicine student at Kansas State University, would like to explore as a small animal specialty practitioner and researcher. These interests have helped Dockweiler earn the $2,500 American Kennel Club/Companion Animal Recovery Scholarship.
Dockweiler, Encinitas, Calif., is one of only six veterinary students in the nation to earn a scholarship from the club. Students were nominated by their veterinary school or college and were selected based on academic achievement, activities with purebred dogs or related research, and need.
"I'm involved with both purebred dogs and research. I'm very dedicated to purebreds and responsible breeding. I also have shown dogs in American Kennel Club events since I was a teenager," Dockweiler said. "My research involves pain response to castration in cattle. Although the work is not with dogs, I believe the principles will be applicable across many species."
Dockweiler is doing the research with K-State's Luciana Bergamasco, research assistant professor of clinical sciences, as part of her work toward her master's in veterinary biomedical sciences. Dockweiler also is in her second year of K-State's doctor of veterinary medicine program.
"At the moment, I'm considering both small animal specialty practice and research," Dockweiler said. "I would be particularly interested in using the purebred dog as a research model to study diseases dogs and humans share, since their genome is relatively similar to ours and they share our environment. I believe this offers a unique opportunity to use my skill set to help both humans and animals."
A California resident, Dockweiler was accepted into K-State's Veterinary Scholars Early Admissions Program right out of high school. She completed her pre-veterinary requirements at K-State, graduating cum laude with a bachelor's in animal sciences and industry in May 2010 before entering the College of Veterinary Medicine.
"After spending my whole life in California, I wanted to go somewhere different for college," she said. "Kansas fit that bill nicely."
Dockweiler is active in several clubs at the College of Veterinary Medicine. She is president-elect of the Canine Club, secretary of the K-State Camelid Medicine Club and co-coordinator for the American Animal Hospital Association's Pets and People program, which schedules therapy dogs to visit area retirement homes.
Dockweiler comes from a medical family. Her father, David Dockweiler, Oxnard, Calif., is an anesthesiologist at Scripps Memorial Hospital; her mother, Rosalind Dockweiler, San Francisco, Calif., is a pediatrician at El Camino Pediatrics; and her sister, Caitlin Dockweiler, is a medical student at the University of California at San Diego.
"I feel very blessed to have been nominated by the College of Veterinary Medicine for this scholarship," Dockweiler said. "I hope to serve the college and the American Kennel Club proud in my new role as an ambassador for the club and purebred dogs."
This the 20th anniversary of the American Kennel Club's veterinary student scholarship program, which is supported by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, American Kennel Club Companion Animal Recovery and the club's Canine Health Foundation. Only students from accredited U.S. veterinary school programs are eligible for the scholarships.