Washington State University vet students receive reproductive medicine scholarships

Veterinary students Matthew Barnes and Dane Schwartz are the 2023 recipients of one of the most competitive scholarships in veterinary reproductive medicine — the Nandi Theriogenology Scholarship.

The international scholarship is awarded by the Theriogenology Foundation annually to fourth-year veterinary students who demonstrate superior potential for future clinical and scholarly excellence and leadership in theriogenology.

“Receiving the Nandi Scholarship is truly an honor. To me, it means that they looked at my application and not only acknowledged all the hard work and effort I put in throughout my academic career to be engaged in theriogenology, but they also believe I have a strong future in theriogenology and are willing to support me on this journey,” Barnes said.

Barnes and Schwartz were selected from a pool of 17 applicants representing 12 veterinary schools. They will be recognized and receive awards of $10,000 each July 21 at the Annual Conference in Birmingham, Alabama.

It’s also the first time the scholarship was awarded to two students from the same institution.

“Coming from the Society, it’s a big deal to be recognized because theriogenology is so important and will be a huge part of my career,” Schwartz said. “It speaks a lot about the program too. It shows that faculty at WSU are skilled and support students. The fact that Matt and I are both from WSU and received the scholarship really validates the program.”

WSU’s theriogenology program is one of just a handful of such resources in the Pacific Northwest that specializes in the field for small and large animal reproduction.

Barnes, nominated by his mentor Dr. Ramanathan Kasimanickam, and Schwartz, nominated by mentor Dr. Ahmed Tibary, noted they got significant hands-on training before their clinical year of veterinary school.

“When I wasn’t in class, I was in the barn with the therio team,” Schwartz said.

For Barnes, in addition to time spent with his WSU mentors, experience was also gained at Utah State University through WSU’s regional program in veterinary medicine.

“I got a very large bulk of my equine theriogenology knowledge and skills and certainly wouldn’t be where I am without the help from the clinicians there, especially Dr. Holly Clement,” he said.

Both Barnes and Schwartz will officially earn their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine this Saturday. They plan to take what they learned with them, as both of their careers are geared toward reproductive medicine.

Schwartz is headed to Kansas State University for a one-year food animal internship before he plans to pursue a residency in theriogenology, and later, head to private practice or an academic setting. Barnes is headed home to northeastern Nevada to increase both large and small animal reproductive services and become an American College of Theriogenology diplomate.