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Jennifer Starvetsky is shown receiving the prestigious Dr. Jack Walther Leadership Award during the 91st annual Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Starvetsky is one of 37 individuals to earn the honor.

Starvetsky honored with national veterinary leadership award

Jennifer Starvetsky, a third-year veterinary medicine student at Lincoln Memorial University-College of Veterinary Medicine, was honored on Feb. 19 with the Dr. Jack Walther Leadership Award. Starvetskky is one of 37 students to earn the prestigious honor during the 91st Annual Western Veterinary Conference, held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“As a student, my leadership efforts have involved facilitating, learning and networking opportunities that may not be included in core curriculum classes. In my future career, I will focus my skills on being an ambassador for both animals and other veterinarians in the profession we love,” said Starvetsky.

The award is named in honor of the late Dr. Jack Walther, who attended the annual WVC for more than 50 years, serving as a committee chairman, board member and president. Given annually, the award recognizes students who are actively involved and show long-term leadership potential at their veterinary college.

Starvetsky received a $1,000 award and complimentary registration, lodging, airfare and a daily stipend to attend the conference.

“Jennifer has been actively involved in leadership roles since she stepped foot on the LMU campus,” said Dr. Jason Johnson, LMU-CVM vice president and dean. “At LMU-CVM, it is in our mission to embrace compassionate veterinary care that values diversity, public service and leadership. Jennifer is a great example of what it means to be a leader, and we look forward to seeing where her career as an LMU-trained veterinarian takes her in the future.”

Starvetsky, a member of the LMU-CVM Class of 2020, serves as the vice president of the LMU-CVM Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medicine Association. Over the summer, she served as the Lead Endangered Bat Survey Technician for Ecological Engineering. Starvetsky has participated in various student club activities such as the Josh Project Auction Committee, Turtle Shell Repair Lecture and Wetlab, the Georgia Aquarium Veterinarian Behind the Scenes Tour and a variety of guest speaker events.

“LMU offers many avenues for leadership. These opportunities to students are important because once we graduate and put on that white coat, we will be looked to as leaders. Becoming involved in these opportunities as students gives us the chance to practice social and emotional intelligence, teamwork, delegation and conflict resolution skills,” said Starvetsky.

She says she hopes to work in a small and exotic animal general practice immediately upon graduation. She then aims to move into a position working with zoologic and wildlife species with a focus toward one health, public health and conservation medicine.

Starvetsy is the daughter of Leo and Shiri Starvetsky, of Warner Robins, Georgia.