By Katheryn L. Sullivan Kutil on February 20, 2018
Featuring Matthew Kuhn

Matt Kuhn, fourth-year DVM and Medical Science Training Program (MSTP) dual-degree student, was awarded MSU’s Council of Graduate Studies (COGS) Disciplinary Leadership Award for his demonstrated leadership in and dedication to MSU’s DVM and MSTP Programs.

While applying for the COGS Disciplinary Leadership Award, Kuhn looked over the biographies of past recipients and was intimidated by their impressive credentials and moving leadership activities. “I am quite humbled to have received this award. I know how hard others have worked to be recognized for their achievements, and I hope that I can live up to those expectations as well,” says Kuhn.

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“I was nominated for this award by my associate dean, Dr. Julie Funk,” says Kuhn. “Dr. Funk has been a mentor of mine since I started veterinary school and she has continually encouraged my aspirations as they have changed throughout my schooling. I could never thank Dr. Funk enough for her continued support of my hope to attain a non-traditional veterinary career.”

The MSTP is a training program that streamlines advanced education toward MD and PhD graduate degrees. The goal of the MSTP in conjunction with the DVM is to produce human physicians and veterinary medical scientists who can translate laboratory discoveries into effective treatments for human and animal patients.

As a DVM and PhD student, Kuhn has a unique understanding of medicine. His DVM degree focuses on whole animal health, while his PhD concentrates on a specific area of human and animal health—immunology. “The two areas—whole animal health and immunology—complement one another very well, especially for problem solving cases,” says Kuhn. “I am hoping to go into a career in public policy that aims at finding solutions to problems facing animals and the veterinary field through regulatory and legislative pathways.”

“I think one of the best parts of being a veterinary medical student is the vast number of opportunities our futures hold,” says Kuhn. “The DVM is such a malleable degree that can be applied to so many different careers. One of my hopes while I am still in school is to show other students that not only are there other alternatives to practicing medicine, there also are many industries in need of veterinarians and the unique skillset we bring to the table.”