Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Vet Up! program receives INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine’s 2019 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award

Monday, August 19, 2019

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National recognition of programs that are making a difference for all underrepresented groups in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)

West Lafayette, Ind. —The Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine’s program named Vet Up!® The National Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) Academy for Veterinary Medicine has received the 2019 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine – the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education.  The Inspiring Programs in STEM Award honors colleges and universities that encourage and assist students from underrepresented groups to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).  Vet Up!® The National HCOP Academy for Veterinary Medicine received the award because of its long-term goal of diversifying the veterinarian-scientist workforce, which is currently over 90% White. The college is featured, along with 49 other recipients, in the September 2019 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

Funded by a $3.18 million federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Vet Up! is designed to expand access to the veterinary profession for talented individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds and address the need for more veterinarians serving rural areas and protecting food safety. The goal of the program is to fill veterinary shortage areas with equity-minded individuals from underrepresented populations and rural areas.

Inspiring Programs in STEM Award winners were selected by INSIGHT Into Diversity based on efforts to inspire and encourage a new generation of young people to consider careers in STEM through mentoring, teaching, research, and successful programs and initiatives.  Purdue Veterinary Medicine Dean Willie Reed said receiving this award is especially meaningful for the college.  “One of our college’s priorities is to inspire and equip people from diverse backgrounds to pursue rewarding careers in veterinary medicine,” Dean Reed said.  “Vet Up! has great potential to increase the diversity of the veterinary medical profession while also addressing the serious shortage of veterinarians in public health and rural/food animal practice, thereby enhancing the profession’s success in meeting the needs of both animals and people.”

Purdue has the only veterinary college in Indiana and is home to the Center of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion in Veterinary Medicine, the nation’s only such center. Vet Up! leverages PVM’s proven history of effective diversity programming and partnerships with high schools, historically black colleges and universities (HBCU), and state entities to design and deliver curricula that provide otherwise-inaccessible opportunities to students. A longstanding partnership with the Purdue University College of Education’s Evaluation and Learning Research Center will assess the impact of the programming on participants and the veterinary profession.

The Vet Up! National Academy consists of three programs with a competitive selection process for admissions:

  • Vet Up! Champions is a yearlong program to prepare high school students, working adults, and undergraduate students to attain their next level of education on the path toward a veterinary medical degree.
  • Vet Up! College is a summer immersion program to prepare undergraduate students to competitively apply to a veterinary medical degree (DVM) program.
  • Vet Up! DVM Scholars supports Purdue veterinary medical students throughout their professional degree program and prepares them for careers in veterinary shortage areas.

“Vet Up! enables us to expand the influence of our creative approaches to improving the diversity of the veterinary profession,” said Dr. Sandy San Miguel, PVM associate dean for engagement and program co-leader with Dr. Latonia Craig, PVM assistant dean for diversity and inclusion. “We have assembled an amazing team of collaborators and look forward to what we can accomplish through this new National HCOP Academy for Veterinary Medicine,” Dr. San Miguel said.

Dr. Craig said Vet Up! has all the right components for making a lasting positive impact on veterinary Medicine and the health and well-being of both animals and people.  “We are very excited about the prospects for drawing a much wider array of students to veterinary school, and then supporting and sustaining them as they pursue their dream of becoming veterinarians.  Through Vet Up! we can help these individuals catch a vision for the difference they can make as they expand the profession’s diversity and meet the veterinary medical needs in underserved regions,” Dr. Craig said.

“We know that many STEM programs are not always recognized for their success, dedication, and mentorship for underrepresented students,” said Lenore Pearlstein, owner and publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We want to honor the schools and organizations that have created programs that inspire and encourage young people who may currently be in or are interested in a future career in STEM. We are proud to honor these programs as role models to other institutions of higher education and beyond.”

A call for nominations for this award was announced in April 2019.

For more information about the 2019 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award and INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, visit www.insightintodiversity.com.

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education today and is known for its annual INSIGHT Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, the only award that recognizes colleges and universities for outstanding diversity and inclusion efforts across their campuses. INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine presents timely, thought-provoking news and feature stories on matters of diversity and inclusion in higher education and beyond. Articles include interviews with innovators and experts, as well as explorations of best practices and profiles of exemplary programs. In our Career Center, readers will also discover career opportunities that connect job seekers with institutions and businesses that embrace a diverse and inclusive workforce. Current, archived, and digital issues of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine are available online at insightintodiversity.com

Writer(s): Kevin Doerr | pvmnews@purdue.edu

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