MWU Veterinary Medicine Students Present Research on International Stage

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October 30, 2023 | Glendale, AZ

At Midwestern University, research is one of the core tenets of a student’s educational experience. The opportunity for students to be involved in faculty-led research projects gives them the chance to be a part of something bigger than just their studies and to advance the field of veterinary medicine as well as other healthcare fields.

For 13 first- and second-year students in the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM), their dedication to research and the pursuit of knowledge landed them a spot this summer at the 2023 Veterinary Scholars Symposium (VSS) in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This prestigious annual research summit is hosted by the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges and Boehringer Ingelheim. This year, approximately 700 veterinary medicine students, faculty, and professionals from all over the world came together to formally present their summer research findings.

Since 2019, Katie Wycislo, D.V.M., Ph.D., DACVP (CVM), Associate Dean, has been serving as the director of the MWU Summer Research Program. Dr. Wycislo was joined by Sylvia Ferguson, D.V.M., Ph.D., DACVP (CVM), Clinical Assistant Professor, as co-director in 2021. Together, they selected Angela Boyer (CVM ’25); Petter Burrows (CVM ’25); Jiayi Cen (CVM ’25); Ashley Davis (CVM ’25); Skyellar MiKayla Hall-Delarber (CVM ’26); Moonhong Kim (CVM ’26); Richie Nguyenphat (CVM ’26); Kuirsten Preston (CVM ’25); Gianna Elizabeth Stark (CVM ’26); Julia Rose Tawil (CVM ’26); Maddison Anzley Trawick (CVM ’26); Emma Caroline Vitello (CVM ’25); and Olivia Wallace (CVM ’25) to be 2023’s summer scholars.

When the students applied to the MWU Summer Research Program in early 2023, they indicated which faculty research project they were interested in the most. Upon being accepted into the program, they were subsequently paired with that faculty advisor. They spent the spring quarter doing preliminary work on their research proposals and familiarizing themselves with the content of the projects. When the official summer program started, all students hit the ground running.

For 10 weeks, the students worked diligently to further their research, while also developing their capstone poster presentations for the VSS event in San Juan. As the students prepared the physical research, they also prepared to present it formally to an audience of their peers and future colleagues of the veterinary medicine profession. Shortly before traveling to San Juan, the summer scholars participated in an internal poster preview session. With the guidance of their immediate faculty advisors and other CVM faculty, the students practiced presenting and effectively communicating their findings.

In August 2023, the 13 students and their faculty advisors made the trip to San Juan to share their work and network with fellow esteemed peers and colleagues within the veterinary medicine profession from around the world.

“The Veterinary Scholars Symposium allowed me to explore research related to the veterinary profession and create new connections with my fellow colleagues. Not only was I able to share my research with other professionals, but I was also able to immerse myself in the current and upcoming research related to the veterinary field. Overall, this experience has given me insight into how impactful research is when it comes to influencing clinical practice and generating a well-rounded approach to patient care,” said Julia Tawil (CVM ’26).

To learn more about Midwestern University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, please visit: