AETA 2018 Scholarship Winner Report: Elizabeth Endres

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Published on: December 27, 2018

Although my departure to the CETA/ACTE and AETA Joint Convention was slightly delayed due to a “small bird” located in one of our plane’s engines, I eventually arrived in beautiful Montreal after a long day of studying in various airports. I couldn’t help but feel that I missed out on informative pre-conference lectures on mycotoxins and oocyte quality, and the chance to try a Canadian classic, poutine, at the preconference social. Despite my late arrival, I feel that I made up for lost time the following days at the conference.

I loved the fact that a variety of topics were presented at each of the sessions. Some were very specific and practical for embryo transfer (ET) practice, while others presented more general reproductive physiology concepts. I really enjoyed the session on oviductal and early uterine effects on pregnancy success and think ideas I learned from that lecture can be applied to general bovine practice as well as ET. However, my favorite session of the conference was the session on breed differences in embryo freezing capacity. I had heard in the past from my mentoring veterinarian that Jersey embryos “don’t freeze as well,” but this talk had scientific data to support this and showed possible reasons as to why there is a difference.

The breaks between sessions and the Friday night banquet was when we got the chance to meet and network with ET practitioners from around the country. I also enjoyed the student mentor lunch, where we had the opportunity to ask practitioners about their experiences, how they got their start in advanced reproduction, and any advice that they had for new graduates. The group of student scholarship recipients quickly got to know each other, and I look forward to reconnecting at future AETA meetings. I felt so welcomed by the close-knit community of ET practitioners and see myself attending in the future to reconnect with colleagues and meet the next crop of aspiring ET practitioners.

I would like to sincerely thank the AETA, members of the scholarship selection committee, and the entire AETA membership for supporting students financially, but also for welcoming us to the conference. This is truly an invaluable experience for students to leave the classroom and gain knowledge applicable to their future as bovine veterinarians, network with future colleagues in the industry, and learn about all the benefits of being an AETA member.

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