Merck Animal Health Supports Next Generation of Poultry Veterinarians; Announces Recipients of 2017 Scholarships

Madison, N.J., February 22, 2017 – In partnership with the American Association of Avian Pathologists (AAAP) Foundation – the charitable arm of the AAAP – Merck Animal Health is pleased to announce five $5,000 scholarships have been awarded to second- and third-year veterinary students focused on poultry health.
“These recipients are already standout students at their respective universities, and as they prepare to enter the field of poultry production, we want to help augment their educational experiences,” said Rick Sibbel, D.V.M, Executive Director, Food Animal Technical Services, Merck Animal Health. “We’re confident that, in the years to come, many of these talented recipients will be the ones making a mark on our industry.”
“Merck Animal Health’s support of these scholarships should provide considerable encouragement to the next generation of veterinarians to stay the course on their career path in poultry food production,” said Fred Hoerr, D.V.M., Ph.D., AAAP Foundation President. “It can be a demanding path, yet it’s also a rewarding one, as their careers in poultry medicine will help meet the increased need for a safe, wholesome food supply.”
The following veterinary students are this year’s scholarship recipients:

  • Randi Clark of Hattiesburg, Miss., is a third-year student at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Randi earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from William Carey University and completed an internship at Sanderson Farms in 2013. In addition to her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, she aspires to earn her master’s degree in avian medicine from the University of Georgia before working in poultry production and allied health.
  • Vacques “Ques” Hines of Maxton, N.C., is a third-year student at the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine. He earned his bachelor’s degree in animal science from North Carolina A&T State University, where he worked as a research assistant, conducting poultry health and nutrition projects. Vacques also gained experience working as an assistant at a local veterinary hospital, and plans to work as an avian diagnostic pathologist.
  • Valerie Marcano of Athens, Ga., is a third-year student at the University of Georgia (UGA) College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM), where she also is earning her doctorate as part of the university’s Veterinary Medical Scientist Training dual D.V.M.-Ph.D. program. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in animal science from Cornell University, where she did research for the university’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Since 2013, Valerie has worked as a graduate assistant at the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory to study Newcastle disease virus. Valerie is the founder of the UGA CVM Swine, Aquaculture and Poultry Food Animal Club and vice president of the national Veterinary Students as One in Culture and Ethnicity organization.
  • Corissa Steimling of Gettysburg, Pa., is a third-year student at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in animal science from Pennsylvania State University (PSU). Corissa completed internships at Sunbury Animal Hospital and Confederate Woods Veterinary Hospital and worked as a research and laboratory assistant at the PSU Animal Diagnostics Lab. After graduation, she plans to obtain her master’s degree in avian health and medicine from The Ohio State University before working as a poultry veterinarian in Pennsylvania. Corissa also plans to engage with collegiate students who are interested in poultry production through her local 4-H and Future Farmers of America chapters.
  • Katie Venters of Chapel Hill, N.C., is a second-year student at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She earned her bachelor’s degree in agriculture and avian biology and biological sciences from the University of Georgia. Katie has gained extensive experience working alongside poultry veterinarians in the field, as well as at the Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center. She plans to work as a poultry veterinarian at an animal health company.

The 2017 recipients will be recognized at the AAAP Annual Conference. Learn more about the AAAP Foundation at

About Merck Animal Health

For over a century, Merck has been a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of Merck.Through its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals™, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit or connect with us on LinkedIn,Facebook and Twitter at @MerckAH.