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Arizona Veterinary Medical Foundation - Scholarship Recipients
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Arizona Veterinary Medical Foundation

Scholarship Recipients


The Arizona Veterinary Medical Foundation (AzVMF) has awarded six $1,000 scholarships to third-year students at AVMA accredited veterinary colleges throughout the country.

To be eligible, the students had to have an Arizona connection and be a student member of the association. They were also required to demonstrate need, academic excellence, participation in organized veterinary medicine, and discuss their future plans for their careers in veterinary practice.

AzVMF worked with the American Veterinary Medical Foundation to distribute the applications to the colleges and screen the candidates to ensure they met the criteria. The AzVMF board made the final selections and would like you to meet the recipients.

Nichole Arbona, a resident of Queen Creek, Arizona, attends Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Her goal is to practice wildlife/zoo medicine. Ms. Arbona is involved in research. She has worked on lemur research in Madagascar and on vaccines. She has also written research papers, including a case report on an Amazon parrot. Last summer, she was a research associate at the University of Arizona’s Valley Fever Center for Excellence where she spent her time on a canine vaccine and on a retrospective feline study. Her paper was published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery last February and was the first of its kind since 1995. Ms. Arbona has been chairman of the ethics board and treasurer of the exotics club. She is involved in the campus international student club where she assists international students with their transition to the United States.

"I am so very grateful to be selected as a recipient of the AZVMA scholarship. My passion for veterinary medicine continues to grow every day and I could not be happier to be appreciated in this regard. This scholarship will help me in so many ways, ultimately helping me pursue my lifelong goal of becoming a zoological veterinarian." - Nichole Arbona


Madeline Beebe attends Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and is studying companion animal/equine medicine. She is an Arizona resident and plans to return to the state to work in an underserved community and engage in wildlife rescue. Ms. Beebe has a long history of volunteerism for animal and human causes. She has also been an active proponent of the profession, serving as president of the student chapter of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine during which time she managed a team of student officers, while overseeing the planning of several laboratories and lectures. She was also the symposium coordinator for the Zoological Medicine Society. Currently Ms. Beebe is engaged in a research project to assess sugar glider nutrition and blood calcium levels which will be submitted for publication. She is in the process of completing an externship at Navajo Technical University and another at Edinburgh, Scotland.

"This scholarship means that I can focus more on my patients, my future, and my community, and I'm so grateful to have been recognized by the VMA in the state I call home! Thanks again!" - Madeline Beebe


Marion Cambrelin is also an Arizona resident and attends Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Upon graduation, she is committed to return to Arizona to practice emergency room medicine. Ms. Cambrelin, who is a WICHE student, also plans to work at least one day a week at a shelter or clinic that provides spay/neuter services. She is a first- generation student and is grateful for the opportunities that this US has offered her to achieve her dream of becoming a veterinarian. She is currently the manager for the Hill’s food discount program, which she credits for giving her leadership and teamwork skills. She has also volunteered for clinics on the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana. Currently she is an after-hours technician in the veterinary teaching hospital for quarantine patients and has worked as a biological field assistant and laboratory technician on a research project.

"Thank you for your gift and contribution to my education and career path. As students, my colleagues and myself would not be able to achieve everything that we do without the help of organizations like the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association. I am truly appreciative of the AzVMA for their belief in me as a rising veterinarian and I hope to embody their vision and to give back to the Arizona community as a DVM. It is because of their generosity that I will be able to continue learning quality medicine and obtain the skills to one day bring this back to animal populations in Arizona. Moving into my fourth-year as a veterinary student, I am very motivated to become an outstanding advocate for my patients and clients. For me, this begins with people like the committee members of the AzVMA who believed in my capacity to succeed here at Colorado State University and beyond." Marion Cambrelin


Emily Franklin, a Tucson Arizona native, attends Tufts University. She is working to obtain DVM and MS degrees in Laboratory Animal Medicine. Her goal is to be a clinical laboratory animal veterinarian in a large academic institution where she can practice laboratory animal medicine, support research and participate in the education of graduate students. She worked as a Summer Veterinary Research Fellow in the Division of Comparative Medicine at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she was part of the anesthetic team for MIT’s first successful emergency caesarian section in a common marmoset. A member of many clubs and organizations, including the American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners and the Wildlife Zoo, Aquatics and Exotics, she is co-president of the Student Association of Veterinary Ethics.

"I am honored to be recognized by the AVMF and the AzVMA as a dedicated veterinary student. I will graduate from Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in May, 2020 with a DVM and a MS in Laboratory Animal Medicine. This award will help me to achieve my goal of board certification in Laboratory Animal Medicine as I apply to the VIRMP and take the NAVLE this fall. I cherish my home town of Tucson, Arizona and would love to return there after residency training to practice laboratory animal medicine and to help mentor the next generation of veterinary students. Thank you so much!" - Emily Franklin


Emily Leahey is an Arizona native. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Arizona before enrolling in the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. She is studying wildlife/zoo medicine and plans to return to Arizona with the goal of serving as the veterinarian for the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum. Her goal is to work in clinical medicine, conservation and education. Following her first year of veterinary school, she volunteered to participate in a Rural American Veterinary Service project on the Apache reservation east of Globe to help with the challenge of lack of access to quality veterinary care. She is president of the Shelter Medicine Club and leads an executive board and a 30-member club that conducts monthly lectures, fundraisers and outreach to local shelters. She is the small mammal chair of the Avian Wildlife and Exotics Club, and assists the faculty, staff and clinical students in the after-hours emergency clinic. She has traveled to Guatemala, Belize and locations around the United States to work on conservation, wildlife diseases, aquatic animal health and exotic animal medicine.

"Being selected for the Arizona VMA Scholarship is a tremendous honor and I am incredibly grateful! I am the only person in my veterinary class from Arizona, and while I love the University of Tennessee, I miss my home state and the people in it. This scholarship makes me feel like I have a cheering section coming all the way from home. The support of the Arizona VMA will ease some of the financial challenges of veterinary school and provide a big morale boost as I move forward into my 4th year.  Thank you!" Emily Leahey


Nicholas Shen resides in Scottsdale, AZ and is attending Lincoln Memorial University, pursuing a DVM degree in food animal/aquaculture. He received his BS from the University of Arizona and his MSc from Arizona State University. He plans to return to practice in Arizona to ensure food safety. Mr. Shen was the SAVMA Treasurer for 2017-2018. His responsibilities included managing finances to create more funding for students pursuing professional development events. He co-chaired the advertising committee for the Josh Project, a fundraiser to lift spirits of terminally ill children in hospitals. Mr. Shen also was a coordinator for the FAC Bovine Wet Lab and founded a Facebook group to organize bovine palpation opportunities at a local dairy farm. He served as the AABP junior and senior delegate in 2018-2019.

"The Arizona VMA Scholarship has tremendously helped lessen the financial costs of living and travel during my clinical year. With the externships that I have planned to increase my experience and potential value as a graduating veterinary student, this scholarship has greatly increased my flexibility in pursuing these and achieving my goals for this year." Nicholas Shen


AzVMA congratulates these rising young veterinary stars for their commitment to excellence and to serving the profession.



Updated: 8/15/19