Merck Animal Health announced a $100,000 sponsorship to the University of Georgia – College of Veterinary Medicine, Athens, Georgia during an award presentation during the recent International Production & Processing Expo. The sponsorship will provide educational support to a student attending the college’s Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center (PDRC) over a three-year period.

The sponsorship award recipient, Grace Ashby, is a doctoral candidate whose passion for advancing poultry health, production, and management led to her 2014 acceptance to PDRC. Ashby earned a B.S.A. in avian biology from the University of Georgia; has served as a poultry surgery teaching assistant; and completed internships at the Georgia Poultry Laboratory Network in Oakwood, Georgia, and Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation in Athens, Georgia.  Ashby looks forward to continuing her education through research and contributing to the development of new vaccine methods and respiratory health.

“Merck Animal Health is proud to invest in the future of the veterinary profession,” said Dr. Charlie Broussard, associate director, scientific marketing affairs, Merck Animal Health. “We are committed to the science of healthier animals and believe this sponsorship will help prepare students for their careers and contribute to advancements in poultry health and performance.”

In addition to training students, the Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center also conducts research on the diagnosis and control of poultry diseases and provides field services to the poultry industry.

“We are pleased to receive this scholarship from Merck Animal Health,” said Dr. Mark W. Jackwood, the J.R. Glisson professor of veterinary medicine and head of the Department of Population Health at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. “These funds will help us continue the center’s three-fold mission of teaching; research and service; helping prepare students for careers in research and medicine; while also addressing problems of importance to the poultry industry.