My Honors

Dr. Jack Walther Leadership Award

This award was one that I had dreamed about since first year of veterinary school. To me, it meant that all the books I read, conferences and lectures I attended, and attempts to better myself have paid off.


The Dr. Jack Walther Leadership Award recognizes about thirty veterinary students (internationally) each year for lifelong leadership potential. It meant that my passion for servant leadership and my desire to improve my environment, my peers, and myself were successful and recognized.


One of the most respected awards in the veterinary community was bestowed upon me because people saw a leader in me, and I couldn't have imagined a more satisfying feeling than striving for and accomplishing a long term aspiration like this one.

George Dyck, DVM, 2015 President of Western Veterinary Conference (left)

Calvin Johnson, DVM, Dean of Auburn University CVM (right)

Calvin Johnson, DVM, Dean of Auburn University CVM (left)

Robyn Wilborn, DVM, Assistant Professor at AUCVM and Auburn VBMA Advisor (right)

Simmons Educational Fund Business Aptitude Award

In the same way that I aspired to become a Dr. Jack Walther Leadership Award winner, I also worked hard for years to develop my business skills in hopes of someday earning the renowned SEF Business Aptitude Award.


I became a major leader in both local and national student veterinary business organizations, developed the National Veterinary Business Management Association Honors Program, and worked closely with Auburn CVM to enhance the business education. I took every opportunity I could to attend conferences to learn more about business, find mentors who excelled in veterinary business, and seek out programs and externships that develop my business aptitude.


Receiving the SEF Business Aptitude was one of the greatest highlights of my student career. I also was recognized as the reserve champion for the Simmons National Scholarship.

Honors Graduate

Veterinary Business Management Association Business Certificate Program

This award is particularly meaningful to me because I worked for two years as a national VBMA board member in order to create this program in the first place. Being a VBMA Honors Graduate means that I am among the very few veterinary students who has completed a portfolio which includes, but is not limited to:

  • completing a financial assessment of practices

  • identifying possible profit centers I could bring to a practice

  • delineating steps I would take to build a client base

  • recognizing and reflecting on major issues of the industry

  • describing my value to an employer


These portfolios are evaluated by an objective rubric by members of the veterinary industry including general practitioners, specialists, academic clinicians, industry representatives, etc. Earning the title of an Honors Graduate took years of learning and many hours of hard work, and through completing the portfolio I hope to be able to better serve my future employer.


These are some of the national VBMA board members. Bridger Smithers, DVM (left), Brittney Dawson, DVM, me, and Brandon Thornberry, DVM (right)

Vanderbilt University

Chancellor's Scholars

The Chancellor's Scholarship is the single largest monetary award I was ever given, valued at almost $200,000.


Upon admission to Vanderbilt, I was awarded a full tuition merit based scholarship as well as a $5,000 summer enrichment stipend. I was chosen because of my "outstanding leadership, strength of character, academic achievement, and deep-seated commitment to diversity and social justice." Essentially, I was a strong student who had proven my commitment to all types of diversity (thought, ethnic, cultural, racial, social).


Vanderbilt's merit-based scholarships are incredibly detailed and generous. In addition to my tuition scholarship and summer stipend, I got regular small stipends which I had to use to explore Nashville's own culture and diversity. I saw plays, dined at unique restaurants, and went to concerts. Through this scholarship program, I truly developed a commitment to exploring diversity of every kind as well as leadership and community development.