CHANCE CONVERSATION BENEFITS VET TECH STUDENTS INTO THE FUTURE
A spur of the moment conversation led to the Heart of America Kennel Club, Inc. (HOAKC) establishing
a Veterinary Technology scholarship at Metropolitan Community College-Maple Woods, one of five campuses
comprising the Metropolitan Community College (MCC) system in Kansas City, MO.
The idea began on February 27, 2008 when Melissa Andrasik, RVT, and instructor of Vet Tech at Maple Woods
arrived at the kennel club's meeting site to speak on "Basic First Aid for Pets". Melissa arrived well in advance
of the meeting time to set up her video equipment and was met by Janet Rees, club secretary, and her husband Dick
who also arrived early to set up the room. While helping Melissa with her equipment, they engaged her in a
conversation about the Veterinary Technology program and the financial commitment of the students.
That chance conversation ultimately led to preparation of a proposal for consideration by the club's board of
directors. Club members toured the Vet Tech facilities and board approval was granted on November 12 to establish
an endowment fund to award a $500 Vet Tech scholarship each spring semester based on the applicants' fall semester
GPA, financial need and submission of a paper limited to 500 words describing the individual's experience with
animals, motivation for choosing the Vet Tech course of study and career goals. The scholarship was established
with a renewable feature for each succeeding semester until graduation based on specific criteria.
In December 2008, the club funded the Heart of America Kennel Club, Inc. Bob and Judy Goodin Vet Tech
Endowment in recognition of the long service by Bob as the club's president and by Judy as the club's Show
Chairman. The endowment was funded so that the annual earnings will fund an annual scholarship award. Representatives
of the club were invited to the MCC's regular Cabinet Meeting on February 23, 2009 for a symbolic check
presentation ceremony that was attended by the MCC Chancellor and Presidents of each of the five MCC campuses.
In addition, approximately 150 community members were in attendance since the meeting was also scheduled as a
Town Hall meeting on the state of the economy.
The first $500 award, was granted for the spring semester of the 2008/09 academic year and was presented
to Stephen Sallee, a first-year student. Stephen was recognized at HOAKC's regular meeting on March 25,
2009 and received a certificate from club president Bob Goodin. Dr. Chris Morrow, Coordinator of the
Veterinary Technology Program, and Jessica Ramirez, MCC Community Relations and Fund Raising Manager,
represented the Metropolitan Community Colleges at the ceremony.
In late 2009, the club's board of directors approved a modification of the program's scholarship criteria
to award a new $500 scholarship each semester rather than just in the spring semester. At the same time,
the scholarships will no longer be renewable in favor of a one-time award to a recipient student in order
to permit more students to receive a scholarship. In 2012, the club's board approved an addition to the
endowment in memory of Judy Goodin who passed on March 14, 2012 and increased the scholarship award to
$750 per semester. The scholarship program's goal is to expand the number of scholarships awarded each semester
in the future. To further honor Bob and Judy, in November 2014 the scholarship award was increased to $1,500 each
semester beginning with the scholarship recipient named in December 2014.
The scholarship and an accompanying stethoscope program were implemented by HOAKC in recognition of the importance of the
service provided by trained Veterinary Technology graduates to the many veterinarians that care for the dogs of all
members of the kennel club. The club firmly believes that the programs are an investment in a professional field
that is of utmost importance to all animals and the owners of those animals.
Dick & Janet Rees, March 2009, Updated January 2017.