Veterinary students match wits in Nestlé Purina College Challenge
ST. LOUIS, Mo. Veterinary students went head-to-head on topics ranging from anatomy to zoonosis during the Nestlé Purina College Challenge at the 2003 North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC). After five rounds of competition, Tya Henderson, a fourth-year student at Atlantic Veterinary College in Prince Edward Island, Canada, was declared the winner among the veterinary school competitors. She defeated runner-up Marc Greenberg, a fourth-year student at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Ithaca, N.Y., in the championship round.
"I never thought I could be successful in this type of competition," says Henderson, who plans to join her father's small-animal practice in Escondido, Calif., after graduation. "It turned out to be a great experience and a wonderful way to meet students from other veterinary schools. I'm especially proud to bring recognition to the small school I attend."
Greenberg, a New York native and future small-animal surgeon, also welcomed the opportunity to compete in the College Challenge. "The competition was a fun and exciting way to put my education to the test," he noted. "I just tried to stay focused throughout the competition."
Veterinary students serving as their school's 2003 NAVC delegates were invited to vie in the competition, based loosely on current popular game shows. Students amassing the greatest number of points during their rounds of play advanced to the next level of competition until the field was narrowed to Henderson and Greenberg. NAVC attendees were invited to be part of the studio audience and the sessions were broadcast on the NAVC closed-circuit network sent to eight hotels associated with the conference.
Winners, schools receive prize money
Henderson was awarded a $5,000 educational grant from Nestlé Purina and her school received a $5,000 donation to its Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medicine Association (SCAVMA). Greenberg and his school's SCAVMA received $2,500 awards. Each contestant completing the first round of competition received a $100 gift certificate toward any purchase in the NAVC Exhibit Hall.
Nestlé Purina, a long-time supporter of educational programs for veterinary college students, created the new competition for NAVC to expand learning opportunities for students at the conference. "We recognize that students need fun ways to be challenged and enhance their education," says Dan Christian, DVM, Nestlé Purina director of veterinary communications. "The College Challenge let students showcase what they've learned in a fun competition, which featured a broad spectrum of questions developed by industry experts. It turned out to be an exciting event that we hope to repeat."