Winn Feline Foundation
Vicki Thayer, DVM, DABVP (Feline)
Executive Director, Winn
888-963-6946, extension 702
Marketing and Communications Manager, AAFP
For Immediate Release
Wyckoff, NJ; Hillsborough, NJ; May 30, 2018:
Winn Feline Foundation (Winn) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) are proud to announce the two recipients of the 2018 joint scholarships for clinical practice and clinical research scientist.
Both recipients show exceptional promise: Nicole Rowbotham, a junior at Mississippi State University, was awarded the clinical practice scholarship; Courtney Meason-Smith, a junior at Texas A & M University, was awarded the clinical research scientist scholarship. Ms. Rowbotham aspires to obtain her ABVP certification in feline practice and become the owner of a feline-exclusive hospital. Ms. Meason-Smith is eager to develop an independent research career investigating histoplasmosis and cryptococcosis in cats and is developing novel diagnostics and therapeutics to address these conditions.
"Both Nicole and Courtney have demonstrated outstanding leadership skills that have led to many early accomplishments; their zealous pursuit of understanding the unique needs of cats through science will open many doors to them as veterinarians and to the welfare of cats. We aim to support and highlight their enthusiasm for feline medicine so that others will continue on the same path," said Vicki Thayer, DVM, DABVP (Feline) and Executive Director of Winn.
In 2016, the Boards of Directors of both Winn and the AAFP approved the development and implementation of a joint scholarship offered by the two leading feline-dedicated organizations. After an unprecedented number of applicants and positive feedback from veterinary education programs, the boards decided to continue offering this opportunity, expanding the selection to two recipients in the categories of clinical practice and clinical research scientist. The application process prompted students to answer two essay questions explaining their specific interest and background in feline health and welfare, as well as their plans for future participation in feline medicine. Recipients of the $2,500 scholarships are selected based on individual academic achievement, strong leadership, and deep dedication to the study of feline medicine, health, and welfare. For more information, visit:
"We are all impressed by the dedication shown by Nicole and Courtney at such early stages in their careers," said Heather O'Steen, CAE and Chief Executive Officer of the AAFP. She continues, "Their passion for clinical practice and clinical research, respectively, has already led to phenomenal success in the health and welfare of felines. We're excited about what they will bring to the future of feline medicine and research."
The AAFP and Winn are both dedicated to advancing and enhancing standards in feline care. AAFP has numerous resources for veterinary students, such as discounts to the AAFP Annual Conference
and practical resources housed in the Student Center on its website
which includes complimentary webinars and a toolkit for veterinary students. The toolkit contains materials to help veterinary students embrace a feline perspective and obtain further knowledge about the standards needed to elevate care for cats. Winn also offers various educational resources on its website
, including the Cat Health News Blog, educational articles, podcasts, videos, and an annual continuing educational symposium
. Information regarding research grant awards and cat health study findings are also available on the website or through subscribing to the monthly e-newsletter. Other educational opportunities from Winn
and the AAFP
can also be found on each website.
About Winn Feline Foundation
About the American Association of Feline Practitioners
Winn Feline Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1968 that supports studies to improve cat health. Since 1968, Winn Feline Foundation has funded over $6.4 million in health research for cats at more than 30 partner institutions worldwide. This funding is made possible through the support of dedicated donors and partners. Research supported by Winn Feline Foundation helps veterinarians by providing educational resources that improve treatment of common feline health problems and prevent many diseases. Grants are awarded twice yearly with the help of the foundation's expert review panel. For further information, go to www.winnfelinefoundation.org.
PDF of News Release
The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) improves the health and welfare of cats by supporting high standards of practice, continuing education and scientific investigation. The AAFP has a long-standing reputation and track record in the veterinary community for facilitating high standards of practice and publishes guidelines for practice excellence which are available to veterinarians at the AAFP website. Over the years, the AAFP has encouraged veterinarians to continuously re-evaluate preconceived notions of practice strategies in an effort to advance the quality of feline medicine practiced. Launched in 2012, the Cat Friendly Practice® (CFP) program was created to improve the treatment, handling, and overall healthcare provided to cats. Its purpose is to equip veterinary practices with the tools and resources to reduce stress associated with the visit and elevate the standard of care provided to cats. Find more information at www.catvets.com