For the third year in a row, the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University has been recognized for its efforts to enhance diversity in its academic environment.
The college received the 2023 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity, or HEED, Award from Insight Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.
As a recipient of the annual Health Professions HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. health colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — Kansas State University will be featured, along with 64 other recipients, in the November/December 2023 issue of Insight Into Diversity magazine.
“We are grateful to be chosen a third time for the Health Professions HEED Award,” said Bonnie Rush, Hodes family dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “As we prepare the leaders of tomorrow, we are committed to fostering the values of equity, respect, dedication to learning and belonging as our extraordinary graduates move forward in their careers. I thank Dr. Callie Rost, our assistant dean for admissions and director of diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging, for helping our college maintain a high standard and continuing to lead our efforts for this critical mission.”
Insight Into Diversity magazine selected K-State because of the veterinary college’s efforts to identify and incorporate opportunities for growth in diversity, equity and inclusion.
“Recognition from Insight into Diversity with the HEED Award reflects the efforts of our students, faculty and staff who take pride in contributing to the culture of belonging in our college,” Rost said. “We regularly seek feedback to evaluate our progress and to identify new opportunities to enhance our learning environment.”
Faculty, staff and students are provided opportunities to complete a wide variety of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging training through the Diversity and Resilience Institute of El Paso, the Purdue Certificate for Diversity and Inclusion in Veterinary Medicine and the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Brave Space Certificate Program.
In addition to training, the Walter C. Bowie Scholarship is specifically designated for students demonstrating commitment to bringing diverse people together and serving disadvantaged populations. Fourth-year veterinary student Cristina Marquez was most recently presented with the Bowie Scholarship. She was noted for her interest in promoting non-profit events to improve access to veterinary care and promote the human-animal bond in the rural areas of Puerto Rico, which is where she is from.
The College of Veterinary Medicine also experienced growth by expanding its recruiting practices with two USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture grants: SPARK and SPRINT. These programs focus on recruiting students from rural Kansas and students with indigenous, native or tribal heritage.
Internal activities include the development of a monthly “Intercultural and Inclusion Lunch and Learn” series. Outreach activities include “This is How We ROLE,” a program where veterinary students demonstrate the potential for a career in veterinary medicine to a local, underrepresented youth population. A large group of faculty, staff and students participate annually in “Everybody Counts — Manhattan,” a grassroots effort to provide social services and information in Riley County.
The college’s Community Veterinary Outreach Program regularly travels to provide animal health services at the Santee Sioux Reservation in Nebraska, the Metro Lutheran Ministry Mission in Kansas City, Missouri, the Street Dog Coalition in Topeka, and other regional locations.
“We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a Health Professions HEED Award recipient,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “Our standards are high, and we look for schools where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”