New Brunswick Kennel Club Scholarship

NJ Veterinary Student Scolarship Program Rev. 2016

Dear Dean,

The New Brunswick Kennel Club has established a scholarship program for NJ veterinary students.  Funds are accrued throughout the year from our programs.  However, we need your help to identify and give this application to an eligible postgraduate NJ student.  (See Eligibility below.)

If you have postgraduate NJ students who are interested in applying for the scholarship, please have them complete the application and send it to the co-chairman of the scholarship committee (below).  If the student receives the scholarship but changes addresses for the Dean or financial office, please tell our co-chairman.  Please retain this revised scholarship application package indefinitely until revoked by the New Brunswick Kennel Club.

Co-Chairman’s Address is: Diana Henry, NBKC Scholarship Co-Chair,  28 Lawrence Brook Drive, East Brunswick,
                                         NJ, 08816 (email address is

Eligibility and Award

A scholarship of at least $500.00 but not more than $1,500.00 will be awarded to a qualifying student (this year our award is $500.00).  The student must be entering their third or fourth year of a post-graduate veterinary program of an accredited university or veterinary school.  The scholarship is available to any NJ veterinary student attending a veterinary school.  The deadline for applications every year will be December 22nd  and every December 22nd  thereafter.  Please retain for your files and update your information whenever it changes.

Thank you very much for your cooperation.

New Brunswick Kennel Club Scholarship Committee


Process for selecting a winner

The scholarship committee will meet by mid January every year to determine the winner.

  • 1. The committee will accept completed applications that are received by December 22nd  only.  Applicant will receive an email from committee chairman when chairman is in receipt of their completed application.  A completed application includes:

    • a. Application completely filled out – additional sheets may be attached if needed.      
    • b. Two letters of reference - one should be personal and one should be of an academic nature (school, administration, faculty,  etc).    
      The personal reference should not be from members of the applicant's family.
    • c. Official veterinary school transcripts (any breaks of school attendance must be explained).
    • d. NJ residency proof (copy of driver license or a photo state ID card)
    • e. Two essays:  See application for topics

  • 2. The committee will consider the applicant based on the documentation received re: the following categories/criteria for evaluation:

    a. Essays c. letters of reference e. Career goals
    b. Accademic Excellence (3.0 min.) d. Community service and volunteer activities f. Demonstrated financial need

  • 3. The committee will arrive at a consensus winner and present the winner's name to the New Brunswick Kennel Club  in March of every year.  The winner will be notified after the selection is made.  The check will be issued to the bursar’s office. The winner will be responsible for forwarding school information to the club treasurer no later than March 1st.

Printable Application


Matthew Cook

I am currently a 3rd year veterinary student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. A native of Freehold, NJ, I graduated from the Academy of Allied Health and Science in Neptune, NJ and went on to and graduated from Loyola University Maryland in 2012. While in veterinary school, I conducted research on swine vocalization patterns and was selected to present the results of that work at the 2013 American Association of Swine Veterinarians Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas. I also spent a summer working at the Vet and Agric Consultants Clinic in Gaborone, Botswana where I had the opportunity to gain international experience working with small animals and wildlife in Africa. After graduating from veterinary school, I hope to complete an internship and residency to work towards a career in small animal emergency and critical care. Aside from veterinary school, I enjoy traveling, reading, supporting the New York Yankees and Giants, and hanging out with my Bull Mastiff, Lola.

Our 2013 Scholarship Winner

Chelsea Opdyke

This year's winner of the New Brunswick Kennel Club Scholarship is Chelsea Opdyke. Chelsea's home is in Lambertville, New Jersey when she is not attending the University of Tennessee CVM. She is a graduate of Hunterdon Central Regional High School and graduated early (3.5 yrs.) from West Virginia University. After graduation, Chelsea hopes to work at a mixed animal practice. She would like to return to the clinic that she has been working at for the past four and half years.

Our 2014 Scholarship Winner

Katie Pesce

I am currently a 4th year at The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and am excited to graduate in May. My other passion in life aside from veterinary medicine is cooking. I am very adventurous and am happy doing any outdoor activity, although taking my Great Dane, Bella, to the beach is my favorite. I have lived in Hillsborough, NJ my entire life and am returning to NJ to complete an internship program at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital upon graduation. My ultimate goal is to complete a residency in neurology. I would also like to provide veterinary care for working dogs, such as Seeing Eye dogs and Police K-9 units in addition to practicing neurology.

Michelle Zappacosta is a former recipient of our Scholarship Program

Growing up as a horse-crazy little girl in South Jersey, my dreams for a future career never included becoming a veterinarian. But now I couldn't imagine doing anything but.

My love for the sciences began in high school at Our Lady of Mercy Academy thanks to my marine biology and anatomy teacher, Mrs. Coppinger. I then moved on to the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and received my Bachelors of Science in Biology. It was my advisor, Dr. Ralph Werner, at Stockton that planted the seed that placed veterinary medicine on my radar map. Why would I want to be that? I didn't even really understand a vet's job.

My family adopted a wonderful dog named Cydney my senior year in high school. Not until a few years later when I became panicked over a scare in her health did I really come to realize how important our veterinarian was in Cydney and my lives. So I finally gave in to my Stockton advisor's advice on giving veterinary medicine a try. I shadowed Dr. Robin Love at Bethel Mill Animal Hospital - and haven't looked back since. I've been working there for 4 years now, and I am starting my third year at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine.

While I enjoy the bond created with the animals we care for, I truly love meeting their owner's and view our relationship as partners in caring for their pets. Surgery is also a passion of mine, and although I have not eliminated the possibility of becoming a specialist, I truly enjoy the range of care and treatments I would have as a general practitioner. I must admit that I’m partial to dogs; currently I am working with PennHIP to research and discover ways to lessen the prevalence of canine hip dysplasia.

I wouldn't be where I am without the love and support of my great family, influential teachers, and the spark from that little brown dog named Cydney.


Michelle Zappacosta accepting this years scholarship at the NBKC show presented by Donna Welty.