From an integrated and inclusive curriculum to initiatives that make higher education accessible to students at all levels and training opportunities for faculty and staff, the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences’ (CVMBS) commitment to celebrating diversity and inclusion is multifaceted.
For the CVMBS’ efforts over the years, the college has been one of only two veterinary schools across the United States to be recognized with three consecutive Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award.
On Thursday, Oct. 1, INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine announced that the CVMBS is again one of two veterinary colleges to earn a fourth consecutive HEED Award, joining three other veterinary colleges and the Texas A&M College of Dentistry as 2020 recipients.
“We are thrilled that our diversity and inclusion efforts have been recognized with a fourth HEED Award,” said Dr. John August, CVMBS dean. “The CVMBS operates like a jigsaw puzzle, with every member of our community serving as an important piece that, when we come all together, creates a beautiful picture. We take very seriously the responsibility of fostering an environment that supports everybody’s success and continuing to look for new areas in which we can improve.”
The Health Professions HEED Awards are presented annually in recognition of U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.
All 46 recipients of this year’s Health Professions HEED Award—representing U.S. medical, dental, pharmacy, osteopathic, nursing, veterinary, allied health, and other health schools and centers—will be featured in the December issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. Texas A&M University was also named a 2020 HEED award recipient as a “Diversity Champion” for the second consecutive year.
In addition to programs and trainings, this year, the CVMBS’ Diversity & Inclusion Office has initiated a number of activities designed to promote inclusion, diversity, and access.
Those include weekly well-being emails sent by executive associate dean and D&I director Dr. Kenita Rogers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, a new monthly Diversity & Inclusion Digest enewsletter, and the newly formed Committee on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accountability (C-IDEA), charged with promoting a welcoming, inclusive, and respectful environment for all individuals within the college community.
Another highlight of this year was the “I am CVM” video series that celebrated the uniqueness of more than 40 CVMBS faculty, staff, and students through short video testimonials, while reinforcing that all are connected through the college.
These new initiatives expand upon the college’s strong student and college organizations that are dedicated to supporting a welcoming learning environment. These include the Graduate Student Association, which provides consistent multicultural programming; VOICE (Veterinarians as One Inclusive Community for Empowerment), a student-run organization that addresses socio-cultural awareness among veterinary students, faculty, and staff; and Broad Spectrum (PRIDE), which works to connect, support, and empower LGBTQ+ veterinary students and allies.
In addition, the veterinary student-led CVMBS White Coats are dedicated to maintaining a culture of universal acceptance and selfless leadership in order to preserve the ideals of inclusion and excellence within the CVMBS.
“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees—and best practices for both—continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”
For more information about the 2020 Health Professions HEED Award, visit insightintodiversity.com.
Contact Information: Jennifer Gauntt, Director of CVM Communications, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences; firstname.lastname@example.org; 979-862-4216