The Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences’ (CVM) Broad Spectrum was among the 18 recipients from across the Texas A&M campus to be honored with a 2018 Accountability, Climate, and Equity (ACE) Awards.
Members of Broad Spectrum received their ACE Award in the category of Diversity Programming by a student organization, during the 2018 ACE Awards Ceremony on April 11 in the Bethancourt Ballroom, located in the Memorial Student Center on the Texas A&M campus.
“We are absolutely honored to win this award,” said Broad Spectrum vice president Jenna Ward. “Considering the great work done by the diversity groups on main campus, as well as the amazing events put on by the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative and VOICE on our own little campus, we are surprised and thrilled to have been chosen for the Diversity Programming Award.
“It is definitely going to inspire us to work hard in future years to continue bringing diverse events to the vet school campus so that people can learn about the LGBTQ+ community in a safe and welcoming environment,” Ward said.
The Diversity Programming Award, sponsored by Student Government Association Diversity Commission, is presented to a student or student organization that has successfully executed a program pertaining to diversity and inclusion in efforts to advance the campus climate of Texas A&M and educate members of the student body on a variety of issues.
Among the programming hosted annually by Broad Spectrum—which works to educate the CVM about the importance of the LGBTQ+ community within our profession and to increase awareness of LGBTQ+ issues—are the Show Your Colors event, which invites the entire CVM to have lunch and tie-dye shirts with members.
“During lunch, we play a TED Talk or inform people about an LGBTQ+ issue currently in the news, and then have small group discussions about what we just saw,” Ward said. “The goals of this event are to allow everyone to take a fun break from studying and improve our mental wellness through tie-dying and fun conversation, as well as to bring awareness to parts of the LGBTQ+ community that people may be unaware of or elevate the voices of those in the LGBTQ+ community speaking on their identities and their experiences in the world.”
Some quotes from the nomination packet include:
“The college is so proud of this group. There is nothing more important than creating a learning and working environment that is welcoming to everyone, regardless of how you identify, where you are from, what your goals are, and what makes you truly unique and valuable. We want everyone—students, staff, faculty, and guests—to feel like they are a part of this remarkable college team. Each and every person makes us better.” —Dr. Eleanor Green, the Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M
“This group has stood up, led, and helped create an inclusive environment at TAMU, which has rippled across North American colleges of veterinary medicine.” —Dr. Kenita Rogers, CVM executive associate dean and director of Diversity & Inclusion
“I really joined the group to find solidarity. I’ve talked to a lot of people who say, ‘Oh, that’s just for gay people.’ Well, no, it’s not just for gay people; it’s for anybody who wants to take a stand and show solidarity with a minority on this campus.” —Sarah White, alumna and former member of CVM Broad Spectrum
“In 2017, the organization considered and decided to open their membership to undergraduate students in the biomedical sciences and university studies—veterinary medicine majors in the college. This offer will come to fruition in 2018 and will be outstanding for many reasons: peer mentorship, mentorship regarding the veterinary profession, a new dimension of support for our undergraduate students and a tangible way to demonstrate inclusion, and to provide a positive environment for our undergraduates.” —Dr. Elizabeth Crouch, associate dean for undergraduate education
“I have been at the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences for over 20 years now and I can honestly say that the environment at our college has never been as inclusive as it is today.” —Dr. Joerg Steiner, professor and director of gastrointestinal laboratory
“Most of our membership is from allies, so we do really count on that support; we also wanted to include faculty who wanted to be supportive of Broad Spectrum.” —Angela Harrington, alumna and former president of CVM Broad Spectrum
Prior to the awards ceremony, a reception was hosted for award winners, nominators, and special guests in the MSC’s Forsyth Galleries.
The ACE Awards, named in the spirit of the Texas A&M Diversity Plan, acknowledge and honor students, faculty and staff for their demonstrated commitment to the Texas A&M core value of respect by promoting respectful treatment of others, affirming and encouraging individuals to take pride in their social and cultural identities, and including all in their definition of the “Aggie Family.”
The awards are sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs, Office for Diversity, Department of Multicultural Services, Department of Disability Services, Women’s Resource Center, Aggie Allies, Consensual Language, Education, Awareness, and Relationships Office and Student Government Association Diversity Commission.
The CVM’s Office of Inclusion & Diversity recognizes inclusion and diversity as a cornerstone of the CVM experience and essential for preparing veterinary leaders with a global biomedical and veterinary perspective.
The CVM is one of the only veterinary colleges in America to dedicate an associate dean to diversity for the college, which shows the college’s dedication to supporting our students, faculty, staff, and administrators with diversity initiatives and training.
The CVM affirms and supports many different dimensions of diversity including age, race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical abilities/qualities, country of origin, religion, culture, socio-economic status, and political views.
For more information, visit http://vetmed.tamu.edu/diversity.