Kansas State University’s U.S.-China Joint DVM Program recently celebrated its largest graduating class at its annual homecoming event.

Six new graduates joined a larger group at the celebration, which was composed of the program’s pre-veterinary and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students and graduates, along with a distinguished group of sponsors and VIPs. The graduates are Zezhong Zheng, Meng Li, Chiyu Guan, Huan Zeng, Xueying Zhou and Zhen Yang.

“This year is special as it marks 100 years since the first Chinese veterinary student, Luo Qingsheng, originally came to K-State to complete his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine,” said Bonnie Rush, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “We are delighted to congratulate our six new graduates in the U.S.-China Joint DVM Program. In addition, we appreciated the opportunity to connect and learn about the progress of the current students and the accomplishments of previous graduates.”

The U.S.-China Joint DVM Program consists of a one-year pre-veterinary program at Kansas State University and a four-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program at Kansas State University or U.S. partnering schools. The U.S.-China Center for Animal Health provides scholarships to cover the first year of pre-veterinary tuition and five years of student activities through funding from Zoetis, Yebio Bioengineering and Banfield Pet Hospital. The China Scholarship Council supports four years of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine tuition and living stipends for five years.

“The U.S.-China Joint DVM Program has received wide recognition both in China and overseas,” said Sheng Jianxue, secretary-general of the China Scholarship Council. “I’m very happy to see the classes of 2017, 2018 and 2019 have successfully completed their studies.”

Xuan Guo, director of research and development for Yebio Bioengineering Company, said the program is having a positive impact on the future of veterinary medicine in China.

“It seems animal health is facing a major transition and chaos along with opportunities,” Guo said. “With the academic achievement we have today with these students, what they can bring to this global animal health ecosystem is the ability to make it stronger and healthier.”

The program has also partnered with veterinary schools in the U.S. and China, the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Banfield Pet Hospital to provide students broad learning opportunities with the mission to train future leaders in Chinese veterinary profession.

“It has certainly been a privilege for the University of Minnesota to partner with Kansas State University and other participating veterinary schools,” said Trevor Ames, dean of the University of Minnesota’s veterinary college. “We look forward to seeing the graduates enhance veterinary education as well as animal health and welfare.”

“The U.S.-China Joint DVM Program not only meets our current needs, but will also influence the future of this profession,” said Wang Ming, vice president of the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association.

“Just think, one century ago, the first Chinese veterinary student began his studies right here at this very university: Kansas State University,” said John H. de Jong, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association. “Like Dr. Luo Qingsheng — who graduated in 1923 and returned to China to found the veterinary school at Nanjing Agricultural University — every subsequent graduate of the U.S.-China program has made and continues to make a lasting contribution to the veterinary profession.”

The homecoming event included reports from four alumni, six new graduates and 16 of the students who either just finished their pre-veterinary year at Kansas State University or are currently working on their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees at Kansas State University, the University of Minnesota, Iowa State University, University of Georgia and the University of California, Davis.

Yi Ding, a graduate with the class of 2017, now works as an associate professor at Huazhong Agricultural University in China.

“For the clinical parts of my job, last year I not only tried to improve my skills, but I wanted to challenge myself with more complicated cases and trying new things,” Ding said. “In the past two years I’ve also participated in international academic activities. It’s really not me doing all these things in China; it’s the program sponsors that are making positive impacts to veterinary education in China.”

Hao Shi, a current student and member of the class of 2021 at Kansas State University, shared some of her experiences during the second year of her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine studies.

“I think as students, we’re not supposed to know everything right now and it’s OK to make some mistakes during the exams,” Shi said. “The key is to learn from the exam, remember it and never make the same mistakes in the future.”

The U.S.-China Center for Animal Health established and has guided the program through partnerships with the governments, universities and animal health industry in the U.S. and China. Jishu Shi, the center’s director, explained the broader implications and expectations of the U.S.-China Joint DVM Program.

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