When lawmakers tackle issues that impact veterinarians – whether good for the profession or not – it’s only common sense that the voices of veterinarians should be included in these conversations. That’s why the AVMA ensures that the unique scientific, medical and business expertise of veterinarians is represented in policy decisions. One of the ways we do this is through our student externship program, which brings veterinary students who choose our governmental relations externship to Washington, D.C., to participate in the policy-making process.
Students who take part in this externship program spend four weeks in our nation’s capital meeting with members of Congress and their staffs, as well as with representatives from federal agencies like the U.S. Department of Agriculture and others in leadership positions. This program is a unique opportunity for students to receive hands-on policy experience, build their networks and use their expertise to advance the veterinary profession.
We’re pleased to announce that this year’s participants include the following students:
- Brianna Parsons, University of Pennsylvania
- Kyle Ruedinger, University of Wisconsin
- Patricia Crystal, University of Pennsylvania
- Margaret Chu, Cornell University
- Erin Holt, University of Tennessee
- Kerri Haider, Lincoln Memorial University
- Merrill Simpson, Colorado State University
- Jacob Froehlich, Tufts University
- Derecka Alexander, Louisiana State University
- Matthew Kuhn, Michigan State University
In past years, externs have been able to meet with veterinarians who work in the federal government, meet with members of Congress to discuss key legislation impacting veterinarians and, of course, explore D.C. Students have had an impact on issues ranging from student debt to animal welfare to public health.
We’re excited to see what this new batch of externs will do in 2017. We encourage you to learn more about the governmental relations student externship program and how to apply. Also find out more about our other student externships and advocacy opportunities and how you can get involved.