VIN Foundation announces competition winners

The Veterinary Information Network (VIN) Foundation announced the winners of its first annual Solutions for the Profession Competition. The competition offers veterinary students an opportunity to share an innovative solution to a problem facing the profession. Over one hundred entries were submitted from around the world. Veterinary student debt and mental health were the most common problems addressed.

VIN Foundation's Board Chairman, Dr. Richard Headley, stated, "It is invigorating to read so many good solutions to the issues we are facing. I am honored the VIN Foundation is able to shed light on how we can collaborate to positively impact the profession for future generations."

The VIN Foundation Solutions for the Profession Committee selected the top thirty entries in the first round of judging. These essays were assessed by experts in the topic areas, who passed the top seven to three well-known leaders in the veterinary profession. The final judges, after much discussion, selected the winners:

  • First place was awarded to Hanum Wensil-Strow for her thought-provoking essay on the veterinary student debt situation. Hanum is entering her fourth year has a student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. She is interested in large animal medicine and wildlife conservation.
  • Second place went to Shannon Finn for her innovative approach to the mental health issues challenging colleagues in the veterinary profession. Shannon is entering her fourth and final year at the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph, Canada. She is hoping to go into rural food animal practice upon graduation, but also has interests in public health and regulatory medicine.
  • Alexandra Ripperger won third place for her inventive approach to gender inequality. Alexandra is entering her fourth year as a veterinary student at the University of Minnesota. She enjoys working with small animals, pocket pets, and small ruminants/camelids. 

The VIN Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing tools and resources to support veterinary students and veterinarians throughout their careers, was created by members of the Veterinary Information Network in 2005.