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Award-winning presentations: Two veterinary medicine students earn firsts for their clinical cases

Posted on Sep. 11th, 2013
Special to The Olathe Edge
MANHATTAN, KAN. -- Two Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine students each captured first place in their respective competitions at the recent annual conference of the Society for Theriogenologists and American College of Theriogenologists in Louisville, Ky. In veterinary medicine, theriogenology is study of the different aspects of reproduction.

Jessica Klabnik-Bradford, third-year veterinary medicine student, Sarver, Pa., won first place in the student case competition in the poster session. Her poster will be featured in an upcoming issue of The Horse magazine. The abstract for her poster, "Marble-Induced Pyometra in an Appaloosa Mare," was prepared with Maria Ferrer, clinical associate professor; Christopher Blevins, clinical assistant professor, and Laurie Beard, clinical professor, all with the College of Veterinary Medicine's Veterinary Health Center.

Viviane Gomes, second-year veterinary medicine student, Brazil, won first place in the oral session of the student case competition for "Satisfactory semen quality after testicular rupture and hemicastration in a bull." The abstract was prepared with Lynda Miller, a second-year veterinary resident; Matt Meisner, clinical associate professor; Brandon Fraser, clinical assistant professor; and Ferrer, all with the Veterinary Health Center. Gomes also presented a noncompetitive abstract, "Stallion spermatozoa recovery after centrifugation and removal of the supernatant using different methods," at the opening session. The abstract was prepared with Miller; Klabnik-Bradford; Ferrer; Stephanie Skinner, senior in animal sciences and industry/pre-veterinary medicine, Olathe; and Simone Holliday, junior in animal sciences and industry, Kansas City, Mo.

In addition, Skinner presented her abstract, "Calcium carbonate in mammary gland secretions and fetal readiness for birth in alpacas," at the scientific abstract competitive session. Skinner is a member of the university's Developing Scholars Program, which provides underrepresented students opportunities to research projects with a faculty mentor. Her abstract was prepared with Caroline Fulton, senior in animal sciences and industry, Manhattan; Meredyth Jones, now at Texas A&M University; David Anderson, now at the University of Tennessee; Gomes; and Ferrer.

"Stephanie's entry was a long shot as she was an undergraduate competing with a research abstract against Ph.D. students and residents, but she did an excellent job," Ferrer said. "Just being selected for presentation within the first eight abstracts out of about 20 submissions for this session was impressive for an undergraduate student."

For the student competition, only veterinary students qualify and they submit clinical cases. The top six abstracts from all submissions to that session enter the oral competition and the next six enter the poster competition. For the scientific abstract competitive session, undergraduate, graduate and veterinary students, plus theriogenology residents qualify in order to submit research abstracts. The top eight abstracts from all submissions to that session enter the competition and are presented orally.

All students or residents submitting competitive abstracts need a board certified theriogenologist as a mentor. The scores of the written part and the oral part are added to come up with the winners. They are scored based on scientific/clinical merit and written and oral communication skills. The rest of the abstracts are presented during the species sessions throughout the conference.

"They all did an excellent job representing K-State and we should be proud of them," said Ferrer, who coordinated the university's entries in the competition. "I have received nothing but compliments and good comments about the three of them from the audience and the people they interacted with. Our equine theriogenology resident, Lynda Miller, did an excellent job mentoring Jessica and Viviane with their cases."

"We really appreciate Dr. Ferrer and the other faculty in the College of Veterinary Medicine for mentoring our students," said Anita Cortez, administrative director of the Developing Scholars Program. "We think Stephanie is definitely poised to accomplish great things, and this has been a wonderful opportunity for her."