AETA 2012 Scholarship Winner: Jason Anton

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Published on: December 21, 2012

I had the pleasure of being a scholarship recipient at this year’s American Embryo Transfer Association (AETA) meeting.  This meeting provided me the opportunity to meet professionals involved in embryo transfer (ET), learn about current and developing methodologies in the field of ET, and understand the integral relationship that exists between researchers and practitioners.  This meeting also broadened my perspective of the veterinarian’s role in food animal reproduction.  The various topics covered provided me with a well-rounded perspective of ART in academia and industry.  Also, I was greatly encouraged by the direction AETA is moving in hopes to create more opportunities for students and young practitioners.

One of the most beneficial aspects of attending the meeting was having the opportunity to meet numerous individuals that have dedicated their careers to embryo transfer.  I also appreciated meeting this year’s board members and learning more about their background in the profession. It was through these introductions and the candid conversations that allowed me to establish rapport with future colleagues.  I have always believed in the importance of mentorship, and I was grateful to be surrounded by practitioners that were more than willing to provide me support when needed.  Overall, I genuinely felt that the association as a whole was very welcoming and I look forward to being continually involved with AETA in the years to come.

I thoroughly enjoyed the diverse subjects covered in the talks, and I felt that the subject matter was broad and comprehensive.  I was pleased to see the topic of nutrition covered as it relates to reproductive efficiency and now have a better appreciation of the role that nutrition plays in assisted reproductive success. Since I became interested in embryo transfer, I was always told that there was a slight disconnect between academia and industry.  Specifically, I was informed that little collaboration occurs between our academic institutions and the private sector.  However, at this year’s meeting I found that more collaboration exists than what I was led to believe.  The individuals that represented academic institutions presented information that could be utilized in everyday practice of the ET practitioner.  The practitioner’s forum was one of my favorite aspects of the meeting.  As a budding ET practitioner, I don’t have the experience of trial and error on my side.  With that being said, I was able to listen to practitioners of varied backgrounds candidly discuss what methodologies worked and didn’t work.  This knowledge will better prepare me for success after graduation when I pursue a career in assisted reproductive technologies.

I am very grateful to the organization for increasing their educational budget this past year to facilitate more student opportunities.  It is clear that AETA has a genuine interest in generating veterinary and graduate student awareness of the association. I believe that the current attempts by AETA will only lead to more rapid growth and greater student involvement.  Furthermore, the foundation that is being established by AETA for young practitioners will only lead to greater retention of these members throughout the years.

In closing, I want to again thank the AETA and its members for the opportunity to be a part of this year’s meeting as a scholarship recipient.  I look forward to attending future meetings, and I hope to continually give back to the association in the years to come.

Jason Anton

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