Eight students from across North America received the annual awards on December 7 during the annual AAEP convention in Salt Lake City, Utah. The $2,500 scholarships support veterinary students whose future career plans focus on equine medicine.
Stanton, who is in her fourth and final year at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), was the only Canadian recipient of the AAEP-Markel award.
After she completes her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree program in the spring of 2015, Stanton will begin a clinical internship at Moore Equine Veterinary Centre near Calgary, Alta.
"I have worked there [Moore Equine] for the past few summers. After completing five other externships in the U.S. during these past few months and getting a few other offers, I chose to go there ... because they are awesome!" said Stanton, whose future plans may include an equine surgical or sports medicine residency.
College representatives can annually nominate one of their institution's senior students for the award. In addition to academic excellence, nominees are evaluated by their leadership abilities and involvement with activities benefiting the health and welfare of horses.
During her time at the WCVM, Stanton has been an active member of the college's Student Chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (SCAAEP) and served as the chapter's president in 2013-2014.
The Alberta student's interests have revolved around horses for much of her life. For years Stanton worked at her parents' guest ranch, Brewster Mountain Pack Trains, helping with tours in the Rocky Mountains.
During her high school and university years, she competed in amateur, professional and college rodeos. Stanton was the 2009 Canadian Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (CIRA) barrel racing champion, the CIRA 2011 season leader in barrel racing and pole bending, and the association's All Around Cowgirl in 2011.
Before attending the WCVM, Stanton completed three years of a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree at the University of Alberta.
Now in its twenty-sixth year, the AAEP-Markel's annual scholarship program awards financial support to senior students who are proven leaders at their veterinary schools, advocates for equine welfare and academic achievers. Since the program began in 1989, 186 veterinary students have received more than $400,000 in scholarship support.
Markel has more than 40 years of expertise in insuring horses and horse businesses. The AAEP Foundation serves as the charitable arm of the American Association of Equine Practitioners to improve the welfare of the horse.