Students Receive AKC Scholarships

Two Cummings School scholars among 18 nationwide to earn assistance for their studies
Young woman, Diana Chan, sitting on the couch holdinng her black and white dog, Alice
AKC Scholarship recipient Diana Chan, V24, with her dog, Alice.

Two Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University students are among 18 selected to receive 2022–23 American Kennel Club (AKC®) Veterinary Outreach Scholarships.

Cummings School’s Diana Chan, V24, received a $5,000 award while Samantha Scott, V23, earned a $2,000 scholarship.

Mari-Beth O’Neill, AKC vice president of sport services, applauds this year’s winners. “It’s not easy balancing academia with AKC events and more, but each of these students has risen above and beyond the challenge. We are confident and excited about their ability to make a difference in the world of veterinary medicine.”

Diana Chan, V24
Diana, from Old Saybrook, Connecticut, was among five students to receive an AKC Scholarship for the second consecutive year. After taking a dog handling class at a young age, Diana later became a handler, showing dogs in junior showmanship and in the breed ring.

She gained experience working for a professional handler during the summers and went to Australia after graduating from high school to serve as a handler. She is also an AKC junior showmanship judge and thankful to the Windham County Kennel Club for sponsoring the scholarship.

“I am beyond grateful for the AKC and their affiliate clubs,” she explains. “The AKC was so valuable to me growing up as I gained confidence and learned about good sportsmanship. As a judge, I want to give back and be a light for kids and make it a great experience for them.”

Currently focused on small animal medicine at Cummings School, Diana is leaning toward entering a general practice after earning her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. She has served as a technician at a privately-owned small animal practice in Avon, Connecticut, where she was mentored by its owner and has an interest in returning.

In addition to her coursework, Diana recently volunteered for a week as a vet student through Rural Area Veterinary Service (RAVS) in South Dakota after two previous volunteer stints as a technician. RAVS offers free veterinary care to companion animals on native American reservations.

She holds an associate’s degree in veterinary technology from Northwestern Connecticut Community College and a B.S. in animal science from the University of Connecticut.

Young woman, Samantha Scott, sitting on a brick patio with her black and brown dog, Bodie
AKC Scholarship recipient Samantha Scott, V23, with her dog, Bodie.

Samantha Scott, V23
A native of Newton, Massachusetts, Samantha serves as a board member of the Canine Club while pursuing a D.V.M. The Canine Club is affiliated with the Ladies’ Dog Club of Massachusetts, which aims to build a strong relationship between the AKC and Cummings School students, organizing opportunities for involvement.

“I am honored to receive this scholarship and to represent the AKC at Tufts,” Samantha shares. “I have dedicated a lot of my academic career to advancing canine medicine as well as the human-canine bond and it feels great to receive recognition.”

Samantha earned a B.S. in animal science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and worked as a veterinarian technician for four years before enrolling at Cummings School. She has participated in research on hemangiosarcoma with Vicky Yang, V09, associate professor, Department of Clinical Sciences. This form of cancer commonly affects large breed dogs such as golden retrievers and German shepherds.

After graduation Samantha hopes to complete a rotating internship with the goal of eventually specializing in cardiology. “My particular area of interest is canine mitral valve disease,” she says.

The world’s largest purebred dog registry, AKC scholarships support those with backgrounds in AKC events and programs promoting animal health and medicine. A total of $70,000 was awarded this year and Cummings School was among only three institutions that had two scholarship award winners.