2022 Student Scholarship Winner: Austin Byrd

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Published on: December 6, 2022

As a current DVM student at the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine, it was an incredible experience to attend the 2022 annual meeting of the AETA. The conference afforded me the opportunity to expand my knowledge, represent my program, network, and learn from like-minded individuals.

I had the privilege of attending the preconference seminar to hear the presentation from Drs. Rachael Gately and David Matsas on small ruminant artificial insemination. Of the talks I was able to attend, this was my favorite. As someone who has an interest in pursuing small ruminant reproductive services in the future, I found the presentation very beneficial and informative. In my current curriculum, there are not many opportunities to learn small ruminant reproductive techniques. This presentation offered a unique opportunity to answer some of my questions and further grow my knowledge in this area.

The “Student and Technician” session presented by Dr. Tyler Dohlman and Marianna Jahnke was also incredibly beneficial to me. I was able to learn about the preparation and collection of an embryo and the processes that different institutions utilize. This session also introduced me to the opportunity to apply for a small ruminant reproductive rotation offered by Iowa State University during my fourth year. While attending the poster presentations, I was able to meet and discuss potential opportunities with Dr. Cara Wells, as well as learn about several exciting future reproductive technologies that she is working on.

Lastly, attending the 2022 AETA annual meeting allowed me to network with many fantastic veterinarians and doctors who are experts in their fields. Not only was I able to broaden my understanding of alternative methods of artificial insemination and assisted reproductive technologies, but I was able to find mentorship through the connections I made at the conference. These doctors are practicing the kind of medicine I aspire to practice and are paving the way in an industry that still has so much left to discover. Being granted this opportunity was an incredible experience and allowed me to make connections with future colleagues and discover new research and opportunities for my future veterinary practice.

Thank you so much, AETA, for allowing me to be a 2022 scholarship recipient; this was an incredible experience. I am forever grateful for everything I had the privilege to learn and for the connections I was able to form!

Austin Byrd

Texas Tech University

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