Texas A&M Student Earns AAVMC Diversity Leader Scholarship

College Station, Texas – The American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) has named Texas A&M University veterinary student Erin Black, originally from McKinney, Texas, as the recipient of the 2017 Patricia M Lowrie Diversity Leader Scholarship. The scholarship recognizes veterinary students who have demonstrated exemplary promise as future leaders and have made significant contributions to enhancing diversity and inclusion in academic veterinary medicine.

From left: Dr. Eleanor M. Green, the Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine at the Texas A&M; College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences and AAVMC Immediate Past President, Erin Black, Texas A&M; veterinary medical student and recipient of the AAVMC’s 2017 Patricia M. Lowrie Diversity Leader Scholarship, and Dr. Douglas A. Freeman, dean of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan and AAVMC President

She will receive the award during the AAVMC’s 2017 Annual Conference and Iverson Bell Symposium March 10-12, in Washington, D.C., before more than 260 conference attendees, including veterinary college deans, faculty and associated dignitaries from throughout the United States and the world.

“Through this scholarship, we’re proud to honor veterinary medical students who are working to advance diversity and inclusion within our colleges and schools,” said AAVMC Chief Executive Officer Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe. “Erin is a truly remarkable young woman who has already accomplished a great deal in just a few short years, and I’m sure we’re going to be hearing more about her in the future. The leadership and passion she brings to her work and her community makes her an outstanding honoree.”

Black’s manifold efforts to promote diversity at the Texas A&M; College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) include mentoring minority students and being selected as the liaison for the national Student American Veterinary Medical Association and the national organization of Veterinary Students as One in Culture and Ethnicity.  She also serves as the president of the student chapter of the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative, and is a member of Project Diversity, which works to reach out to undergraduates at historically African American colleges and universities to encourage students to consider a career in veterinary medicine.

Black was also awarded the prestigious Western Veterinary Conference’s Dr. Jack Walther Leadership Award in recognition of her leadership and commitment to the veterinary profession and received a 2016 Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship.

In nominating her for the award, Dr. Eleanor Green, the Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine at the CVM, wrote that Black “has an unmatched work ethic and profound intelligence, while remaining humble about her multitude of accomplishments … I truly believe that all successful programs are driven by inspired and dedicated people who have a vision for excellence and the energy to fulfill that vision. Erin is one of those rare individuals who has all of those qualities, as well as a sincere passion for diversity programs and veterinary medicine.”

“I have known Erin since she joined the college as a first year DVM student,” said Dr. Kenita Rogers, executive associate dean in the CVM. “What I’ve learned is that she is fully engaged and will always say yes to helping with new and exciting initiatives, her passion for diversity and helping others is beyond compare, and she is an incredibly talented ambassador for our profession. I am truly proud of Erin, her accomplishments, and all of the ways that she makes us better. I cannot wait to see the difference that she makes in our collective future.”

Dr. Karen Cornell, associate dean of professional programs at the CVM added, “We could not be more proud of Erin, she has espoused our Aggie Core Values from the day she became a member of our CVM family. Her passion is contagious and she has demonstrated selfless service through not only her official leadership activities in our college but also her spontaneous acts of generosity.”

The AAVMC’s Diversity Leader Scholarship is named in honor of Patricia M. Lowrie, a long-time champion of diversity and inclusion in the veterinary profession who formerly served as director of the Women’s Resource Center and assistant to the dean at Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

The AAVMC is a nonprofit membership organization working to protect and improve the health and welfare of animals, people and the environment around the world by advancing academic veterinary medicine. Members include 49 accredited veterinary medical colleges in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean Basin, Europe, Australia and Mexico.

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