Two NC State College of Veterinary Medicine students are recipients of this year’s Coyote Rock Ranch Scholarship, one of the nation’s top awards for exceptional future equine veterinarians.
The Class of 2020’s Natalie Andrews and Gabriel Gonzalez are among three students across the country receiving this year’s honor from the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ Foundation for the Horse. They were recognized Monday at the AAEP’s convention in Denver.
Gonzalez, who’s eyeing a career as am equine surgeon and professor, received a $75,000 scholarship. Andrews earned an $150,000 scholarship in support of her career in equine theriogenology, the veterinary branch focused on reproductive health.
Seventy students across the country were considered for this year’s scholarship. Thirteen students have received it since it was created by Penelope Knight, a horse health advocate and owner of Coyote Rock Ranch, a breeding operation in Oregon. CVM Class of 2018’s Emily Martin, previously won the scholarship.
“Receiving this scholarship is truly life-changing,” said Andrews, who is aiming for a residency after graduation. “Because of Mrs. Knight’s gift, I will be able to pursue a career dedicated to equine theriogenology and contribute to the future of equine medicine.”
Andrews discovered her passion for equine reproduction during her first year at the CVM, when she was quickly able to explore theriogenology practices and reproductive research. She said was inspired to go into the field by watching vulnerable foals turn a corner in part because of her work.
“It also made me desperate to find the answers and treatments for common causes of equine pregnancy loss, such as placentitis,” she said.
Gonzalez, whose post-graduate goals include an internship and residency, said the scholarship has made it possible to pursue his dream of becoming an equine surgeon in academia.
He is also dedicated to teaching, a passion that developed during his time with his CVM mentors. It’s teaching that, “fills my heart and brings satisfaction to what I do,” he said.
“All I can find myself saying over and over again is, ‘thank you,’” he said. “This is truly a life-altering scholarship that I fill honored to receive and truly will never be able to show my appreciation for.”
~Jordan Bartel/NC State Veterinary Medicine