Purdue Alumnus Receives Student Debt Relief Scholarship from AASV
During 2021, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) Foundation increased the number of student debt-relief scholarships offered, awarding three $5,000 scholarships to early-career swine practitioners, including a Purdue alumnus, Dr. Daniel Gascho (PU DVM 2017). The scholarships were provided through the Dr. Conrad and Judy Schmidt Family Student Debt Relief Endowment, which was renamed to honor the donors who established the scholarship program.
The purpose of the scholarship program is to help relieve the student debt of recent veterinary graduates engaged in swine practice who still have a significant debt burden. Qualified applicants must have been engaged in private practice with at least 50% of their time devoted to swine, providing on-farm service directly to independent pork producers.
Dr. Gascho is the top associate veterinarian at Four Star Veterinary Service, LLC, Swine Health Care, in Indiana. His clients range from potbellied and show pigs to large commercial herds. He serves private and family farm clients almost exclusively. Taking advantage of the multiple student events and opportunities offered at the AASV annual meetings, Dr. Gascho made long-lasting connections that he continues to rely on.
The scholarship recipients were announced February 28 during the AASV’s 52nd annual meeting, held virtually. The other two recipients are Dr. Claire LeFevre, an alumna of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, and Dr. Henry Johnson, who is a graduate of the University of Illinois. All three recipients earned their respective DVM degrees in 2017 and have been continuous members of the AASV since joining when they were students. As students, all attended the AASV annual meeting multiple times.
The scholarship program was initiated with a generous $110,000 contribution to the AASV Foundation by the Conrad Schmidt and Family Endowment. Dr. Schmidt, a charter member of AASV, explained, “Together, Judy and I noticed that many new DVM graduates interested in swine medicine begin their professional life with heavy educational debt obligations. As a long-time AASV member and animal industry supporter, it was our desire to help AASV members who have dedicated their professional skills to swine herd health and production. We hope that this endowment will grow over time to assist in reducing the educational debt load of AASV members as they begin their professional journeys.”
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