Texas A&M Veterinary Student Receives Competitive Summer Fellowship

Story by Megan Bennett, VMBS Communications

Hope Merriam headshot
Hope Merriam

Hope Merriam, a second-year veterinary student at the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, will spend this coming summer conducting research and honing her skills in equine medicine at Cornell University’s Baker Institute for Animal Health as part of the Dorothy Russell Havemeyer Foundation Fellowship Program.

The Havemeyer Fellowship Program provides support for up to six veterinary students each year to work at the Baker Institute, which has been carrying out research on vaccines and infectious disease, reproductive biology, cancers, and immunology for more than 70 years.

Merriam will be the first Aggie to receive the 10-week fellowship since 1993.

“The foundation only selects a handful of participants, so I’m really grateful to have been chosen for the fellowship,” Merriam said. “I’m excited to get to learn in a different environment and hopefully come back here with a lot of new knowledge.”

Merriam will be assisting with Dr. Mandi de Mestre’s work in the Equine Pregnancy Laboratory, which focuses on understanding the processes that either support or compromise a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

Her role will include both laboratory research and helping care for the institute’s herd of horses.

“I’m really looking forward to going up there,” Merriam said. “I’m hoping that the experience I get this summer will serve me well going into my third year and beyond.”

Student conducting an ultrasound on a brown horse
Merriam conducting a lung ultrasound

Merriam, who grew up riding and competing with horses, is also hoping that the experience will help her clarify her career goals.

“I was looking for a summer experience that would help solidify whether or not I want to do equine-only medicine or combine horses into a mixed practice lifestyle,” she said. “Hopefully, it’ll also help me decide whether or not I want to try to incorporate research into my career. I did research during undergrad and vet school, and I would love to see if there’s a way that I could combine research and clinical practice.”

In addition to getting a break from the Texas heat, Merriam is looking forward to spending her summer surrounded by new people, places, and opportunities.

“I really wanted an experience this summer that would be different than what I’ve experienced so far,” Merriam said. “I was fortunate to go to Texas A&M for undergrad and for vet school, so it would be great to see how another higher institution does things in veterinary medicine. I’m excited to take what I’ve learned here at A&M and see how I can learn and grow there, as well.”


For more information about the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, please visit our website at vetmed.tamu.edu or join us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Contact Information: Jennifer Gauntt, Director of VMBS Communications, Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, jgauntt@cvm.tamu.edu, 979-862-4216

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