AETA 2014 Scholarship Winner Report: Nicole Hershberger

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Published on: December 22, 2014

I would like to start by thanking all of you for the opportunity to attend the 2014 AETA Conference in Madison, Wisconsin! When I submitted my application I hoped to gain additional practical knowledge of embryo transfer and related technologies. In addition, a greater understanding for quality control, embryo biopsy, and the latest advancements in decreasing the generation interval. Of course, in addition to this I hoped to meet practitioners from all over the country and gain an understanding of the issues they face and the challenges they have overcome to reach where they are today. I can say with no hesitation that the knowledge I had hoped to gain from attending the AETA conference has been met and exceeded in ways I had not imagined.

As I drudge through vet school, the knowledge gained from attending the conference does not always seem directly applicable to my veterinary school classes. However, the knowledge I have gained has provided me with a new found perspective to apply to my classes, one of innovative and critical thinking. As a student I appreciated the sessions on OPU and DFR, and embryo handling. These sessions allowed me to not only see different equipment and technologies but practice applying them and get a feel for what I am comfortable with going forward.

As I move forward into my career, the discussion on embryo quality control is a lesson I will take with me. It is important to be reminded that while the collection of embryos is the most critical part of the process, what happens in the laboratory has a major impact on how they will later perform. Embryo performance can be dramatically increased with the slightest of changes, changes in technique that are easily placed on the back burner in the midst of a busy day. Discussion of advancement within the industry was useful to me now as a student still actively learning in the classroom every day. I look forward to seeing where the industry has progressed over the next few years, prior to graduation, and participating actively in the advancement and knowledge of our industry after graduation.

Nicole Hershberger

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