Veterinary students receive Bayer scholarships for improving client communication


Bayer Animal Health has given $70,000 total in scholarship money to 27 veterinary schools as part of its third annual Bayer Excellence in Communication Award (BECA). 

Created to improve communication with clients in veterinary medicine, BECA identifies students who engage clients with open-ended questions, empathy and reflective listening, according to a release from Bayer. Faculty members at each school review student submissions to select a winner, and each regional winner receives a $2,500 scholarship.

The schools enter their individual winners in the national contest for an additional $2,500 scholarship. The national winner this year was Chad Malpass, DVM, a 2015 graduate of Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine and now a small animal practitioner in North Carolina.

"I've learned to be more empathetic, to ask more open-ended questions and to really listen to clients' responses,” Malpass says. “I am proud to have won, but had I not, I'd still have walked away a winner with skills that are going to help me better serve my clients for the next 50 years."

Caroline Schaffer, DVM, assistant professor and director of the Center for the Study of Human-Animal Interdependent Relationships at Tuskegee, says, "Because Tuskegee University places great emphasis on teaching our veterinary students good communications skills, we are especially proud to have Chad Malpass named BECA's national winner.”

Ian Spinks, president and general manager of Bayer HealthCare Animal Health of North America, says the company's mission to contribute to veterinary medicine starts with education. "Our support begins with veterinary students since we know positive communications skills are vital to keeping animals healthy and veterinary practices strong,” Spinks says.

One Tuskegee veterinary faculty member will receive free tuition to attend a "Train the Trainer" course offered by the Institute for Healthcare Communication through a partnership with Bayer.

The students from the other schools who received scholarships are:

> Mason Chandler, Auburn University

> Kay Wicinas, University of California-Davis

> Jenny Ross, Colorado State University

> Emily Donaldson, Cornell University

> Camila de Andino, University of Florida

> Jennifer James, University of Georgia

> Amy Sneed, University of Illinois

> Amie Johnson, Iowa State University

> Anna Champagne, Kansas State University

> Megan Partyka, Louisiana State University

> Jessica Chronowski, Michigan State University

> Tim Rozendaal, University of Minnesota

> Steve Hutter, Mississippi State University

> Laurel Marshalek, University of Missouri

> Tyler Gallaher, North Carolina State University

> Abby Taylor, Ohio State University

> Caitlin McLagan, Oregon State University

> David Zimmer, Purdue University

> Carmella Britt, Ross University

> Addie Reinhard, University of Tennessee

> Suzanne Li, Texas A&M University

> Stephanie Sapowicz, Tufts University

> Kaitlyn Somers, Virginia Tech

> Matt Sammons, Washington State University

> Sarah Renee Furtney, Western University

> Chase McNulty, University of Wisconsin


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