Class of 2025 GDB Scholarship Recipients

University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine first-year students Kaelyn Johnson and Kaylin Hall are this year’s recipients of Gentle Doctor Benefit scholarships.  The interest from the Gentle Doctor Benefit endowment provides significant scholarships to two incoming students. Additionally, the college provides $100 scholarships to each member of the incoming class.

Kaelyn Johnson

Kaelyn Johnson

Kaelyn Johnson, a native of Savannah, Missouri, is interested in pursuing a career as a mixed-animal veterinarian in a rural community. “I’d like to have a farm, so I think being able to implement that into my career would be good,” said Johnson. “My dad has been a vet for 25 years in a rural community. Being able to see how he can mix his personal life with his career is something that I love, and I hope that this is a career that I can take back to a community like that.”

Johnson’s father, Doug Johnson, DVM, was a 1996 graduate of the CVM. When it came to deciding which veterinary school to attend, the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine was the only option for Johnson. “Ever since I was young, my parents shared their passion with my siblings and me for bleeding black and gold,” Johnson said. “My sister and I both attended Mizzou for our bachelor’s degree, and when it came time for me to select a college where I would pursue a DVM, my father told me, our family only looks good in two colors: black and gold.”

Johnson is a member of the Shelter Medicine Club, the Mule Club and the Student American Veterinary Medical Association. When she’s not focused on her studies, she enjoys hiking, traveling, camping, and spending time with her family and her three-legged, mixed-breed dog, named Mac.

When it came to the GDB Scholarship, Johnson says that it takes financial stress off of her shoulders. “It’s a breath of fresh air,” said Johnson. “To be selected for such a reputable scholarship truly means the world to me and significantly lightens my financial obligations. I am so grateful to attend a university that always puts their students first and provides us with endless opportunities to succeed. Being a recipient of this scholarship is truly an honor and makes me eager to give back to students of this program in my career in veterinary medicine.”

Johnson says she has found a home at the CVM and is proud to be a student at Mizzou. “When I walk around the Veterinary Medicine Building, I feel like a part of the community and have a sense of pride,” she said. “Selecting Mizzou as the college to pursue my DVM has been one of the best decisions of my life.”

Kaylin Hall

Kaylin Hall

Kaylin Hall is a native of Roanoke, Texas, and attended Texas A&M University for her undergraduate degree. Hall is interested in becoming a mixed-practice veterinarian in a rural area. “I want to be able to practice in a lot of my favorite places and be a part of the community,” she said.

When it came to choosing Mizzou, Hall says that aside from Mizzou having a great DVM program, being eligible for in-state tuition after her first year was a big motivator. After the first year of instruction at the CVM, nonresident students can apply for in-state residency and save a significant amount of money on nonresident tuition in years two through four. “That kind of made my choice for me,” said Hall.

Hall is involved in the Bovine Club, Equine Club, Theriogenology Club and the Mule Club at the CVM. During her free time, she enjoys hiking with her dog, riding horses, swimming and reading. Her dog is a black Labrador retriever named Cicero. “He’s actually a failed-out guide dog for the blind,” said Hall. “He has a sensitive back, so he couldn’t always wear the harness. They sent him back to my sister, who raised him, and she gave him to me because he’s my favorite.”

When Hall moved to Missouri, her boyfriend of three years and his cattle, which she is sometimes responsible for, tagged along. “I told him he wasn’t allowed to come up here for me,” said Hall. “He’s got a lot of family up here, and I couldn’t stop him from moving to Missouri. It’s really nice to have so much family so close, I always have some place to go for dinner when I need it.”

Hall says that the GDB scholarship takes a lot of the financial burden off her shoulders. “I was very excited to see all those extra numbers on my financial aid statement,” she said. “It means that I get an opportunity to go to school and follow my dream without having to worry as much about how many loans I’m pulling out, and that I can actually go and practice the way I want to when I’m done with all of this work.”

By Nick Childress