Scholar Makayla Wiley earns coveted Bardsley Scholarship and entry into Mississippi State’s College of Veterinary Medicine

Hard work and dedication to her studies have earned one Alcorn State University graduating senior a prestigious scholarship in veterinary medicine.

The Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine recently awarded Makayla Wiley, a Kosciusko, Mississippi native, with the Bardsley Scholarship. Wiley is one of 12 students selected to the class of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program.

Bardsley Scholars must have demonstrated high academic performance by achieving at least a 3.75 GPA in their undergraduate studies. The scholarships are made possible by a gift from the estate of Dr. Charles and Viola Bardsley, who lived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and took a special in the Mississippi State’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Mississippi residents and students from West Virginia and South Carolina, who receive in-state tuition rates as a result of contract arrangements through their respective state legislatures, qualify for $25,000 scholarships, and those from other states, who pay out-of-state-tuition, qualify for $50,000 scholarships.

Wiley said the scholarship will enable her to focus solely on her veterinary graduate studies.

“It is an honor to be a Bardsley Scholarship recipient,” said Wiley. “Receiving this scholarship greatly reduces my family’s financial burden, gives me peace of mind, and allows me to continue to pursue my educational dreams. I greatly appreciate the generous financial support and being connected to the Bardsley Scholars Program’s outstanding mission.”

The scholarship affords Wiley other advantages that will prepare her for a promising future.

“The scholarship includes various benefits such as priority scheduling of courses, externships, and clinical rotations. These privileges afford me great long-term opportunities that are essential to achieving my career goals. I look forward to discussing critical subject matters like business planning and leadership with the administration and my peers.”

Wiley credits Alcorn’s Department of Biological Sciences for giving her the skills and support she needed to pursue a degree in veterinary medicine.

“Being a biology major at Alcorn has challenged me academically. Broad knowledge of varied biological sciences is essential for me to succeed in veterinary school and throughout my career. The Department of Biological Sciences has allowed me to network and gain experiences that have contributed to my academic success.”

Besides studying quality lessons given by her professors, Wiley also appreciates attending a university that requires her to apply her skills through hands-on activities.

“Throughout my tenure here, I have gained hands-on experience with different livestock animals that are raised for production and human consumption such as cattle and goats. It is important to gain as much animal experience as possible while considering a career in animal science and veterinary medicine. The exposure I’ve obtained has been foundational to my knowledge base.”

The spring semester has been filled with high marks and achievements for Wiley.

She was recently named the Department of Biological Sciences’ Outstanding Student in Biology. Earlier this year, she was named Alcorn’s Higher Education Appreciation Day-Working for Academic Excellence (HEADWAE) student honoree and represented the University at the State Capitol in Jackson.

Achieving these two accomplishments have inspired Wiley to pursue her goals with even more enthusiasm.

“I was thrilled to receive these two honors. By receiving these two honors, my academic achievements and successes have been fully recognized. These accomplishments fuel me to further strive for excellence and stretch myself throughout my academic pursuits.”

Wiley’s future looks equally bright. After completing her degree at Mississippi State, Wiley said that she plans to go into mixed animal practice. She then hopes to transition into government and regulatory medicine. She also intends to encourage other African American students to pursue similar careers in animal and veterinary medicine.

“I have always possessed a passion for helping animals. Veterinarians protect the health and welfare of animals. Also, there is only a small percentage of veterinarians in the United States that are African-American. By pursuing this career, I can educate my community on opportunities and careers in veterinary medicine.”