February 2022
A Focus on Black History Month: Moving the Needle on Diversity and Inclusion in Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Willie Reed: A Leader and Trailblazer

When Dr. Willie M. Reed decided that he wanted to go to veterinary medical school, he didn’t have as many options as young people do today. There were fewer veterinary schools, most schools didn’t accept out-of-state students or black applicants and very few had ever accepted an African American student. Tuskegee was one of a very few options at the time that admitted black students. He earned his veterinary medical degree from Tuskegee University before going on to a distinguished career in veterinary medical education, including serving as dean of the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, where he has been since 2007.
Dr. Reed has held many leadership positions in veterinary medical organizations, including serving as AAVMC president, where he focused on increasing diversity in veterinary medicine. In September 2014, Purdue began offering online certificate programs in diversity and inclusion for veterinarians, veterinary technicians, educators and students through the Center of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion in Veterinary Medicine. The center was developed by Purdue's College of Veterinary Medicine in partnership with the AAVMC and the American Veterinary Medical Association. In 2011, he also received the AAVMC’s Iverson Bell Award.

"If the veterinary profession is to achieve excellence, it must be grounded on the foundation of diversity, equity and inclusion," said Dr. Reed. "The many programs at Purdue have the overarching goal of helping individuals underrepresented in veterinary medicine achieve their dream of becoming a veterinarian."

He is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, a Charter Diplomate of the American College of Poultry Veterinarians and has served on a number of committees for the National Institutes of Health and the United States Department of Agriculture.
“Forgotten Olympian” was a Veterinarian and the First African American Gold Medalist 

Some people consider Dr. John B. Taylor to be the “forgotten Olympian,” which is quite astonishing considering his achievements. He was the first African American athlete to represent the United States in any sport, and the first to win gold at the 1908 London Olympic Games as a member of the U.S. one-mile relay team.

He was a member of the University of Pennsylvania’s track and field teams in 1903, 1904, 1905, 1907, and 1908, where he also attended the university’s school of veterinary medicine. During his years at Penn, he contributed significantly to the university’s athletic standing, and it was said that he ran like “greased lightening.”

Dr. Taylor qualified for the 1908 Summer Olympics and graduated with a degree in veterinary medicine that same year. He was the second African American to graduate from Penn Vet.

At the Olympics, he ran the 400-meter run and the 1,600-meter medley relay. Team USA won the relay, with Taylor running the third leg, thus becoming the first African American gold medalist.

He planned to open a veterinary clinic upon returning to the U.S., but tragically, he died five months later on Dec. 2, 1908, of typhoid pneumonia. He was 26 years old.
“While Black History month is a time to celebrate the innumerable contributions that Black Americans have made within every aspect of American life – including those within the University of Pennsylvania, and the broader veterinary profession – it also serves as a poignant reminder that systemic racism still exists in every corner of our society,” said PennVet Communications Director Martin J. Hackett.

“Despite the tremendous achievements of John Baxter Taylor, he was in no way exempt from facing unrelenting racism. In fact, according to Marvin Lyon’s essay, ‘Blacks at Penn, Then and Now’, ‘track and field and cross country were the only sports in which blacks were allowed to participate at Penn.’ “

“Even today, there remains much work to be done to create a more equitable and inclusive future for Black Americans and other under-represented minorities, both in-and-outside of the veterinary profession. At Penn Vet, Baxter Taylor’s academic and athletic triumphs - along with those who have followed in his steps - have propelled our conviction and commitment to fostering a profession reflective of the diverse population we serve.”

See a summary of Dr. Taylor’s illustrious career here on Twitter or learn even more here.
Join us for the AAVMC’s 2022 Annual Conference & Iverson Bell Symposium “Catalyze 2022” at Washington D.C.’s famous Watergate Hotel March 3-5, 2022. This year’s meeting will be presented as a hybrid: virtual and in-person.

Exciting sessions have been planned and will explore how advancements in admissions, instruction, discovery, and organizational development are impacting academic veterinary medicine. Substantial programming will focus on how Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and wellbeing programs can enhance institutional success.

Three world-class guest speakers will present during the conference: authors Nikole Hannah-Jones, Randy Bass and Anthony Carnevale. To learn more and register, please click here.

Online registration closes on February 18, 2022.
DEI - Diversity and Inclusion on Air
The 100th Episode of Diversity and Inclusion on Air aired last month. If you haven’t caught it, click the link here to listen. Congrats Dr. Lisa Greenhill on providing this important content.

This month will feature two new episodes: “Access to Care During Covid” on February 9 and “Transgender and Non-Binary BIPOC in Veterinary Medicine" on February 16.
Professional Development
AAVMC’s VetCAN is hosting the 2022 Spring DVM Virtual Career Fair on Saturday, February 19 from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. ET. This free event focusing on small animal medicine, is open to veterinary students and alumni looking to explore post-graduation or summer employment, externship, internship, and other learning opportunities.

Those who wish to participate have two ways to engage with employers:

Option 1 

Post your resume and be invited for a 1-on-1 discussion with participating employers. In this option you will receive an email prior to the event day with an invitation to speak with an employer at a specified time. You can choose to accept the invitation or decline. Even if you are not interested in the specific job, this is a great opportunity to practice interviewing and get a better feel for the job market.

For this option, get your resume ready and sign up now to participate.

Option 2 

On the day of the event, log in to visit with participating employers of your choosing. This option allows you to use the platform in the same manner as the VetCAN virtual career fairs that are hosted each fall.

Preregistration is encouraged, but not required.

Tips for a Successful Experience
  1. Conduct some research ahead of time on the practices you would like to engage with. This will allow you to ask specific questions related to the employer's organization. In addition, early research helps you strategize who you want to meet with in a systematic fashion. Finally, think of 2-3 questions that you want to ask of all the employers you meet with. 
  2. This event is virtual so dress is not as important as in-person; however, you may find yourself in a virtual video meeting with an employer, so be sure that you are dressed appropriately for a video call. 
  3. To start a conversation with employers introduce yourself, with your name and year in school. You may want to ask questions about their practice or organization. You may want to find out if they have opportunities available for graduating students (if you are one) or for non-graduating students (if you are years 1 through 3). From there, ask questions about their organization and let the conversation flow organically. 
  4. Important Details (Tutorials & Resources) for Candidates 
The Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) 2022/23 application cycle opened on January 20, 2022 and will close September 15, 2022. Learn more about updated Veterinary Medical School Admissions Requirements (VMSAR) via applytovetschool.org.

The Primary Care Veterinary Educators (PCVE) is focused on helping improve instructional practices in veterinary medical clinical education. Every year, the group convenes an annual meeting that explores and shares best practices in an area of academic veterinary medicine that helps faculty members best prepare students for clinical veterinary practice. Register here.

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture's Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) and Veterinary Services Grant Program (VSGP) can help veterinarians repay educational loan debt, offer more competitive salaries, provide compensation for overhead costs, and/or purchase new equipment to expand practices. The application period for 2022 opens in February, and applications will be accepted through April 15, 2022. More information is available on the VMLRP and VSGP webpages.
AAVMC Staff Updates/News
The AAVMC is pleased to welcome two new members to the team. Ms. Caryn Cabaniss, Program Assistant and Ms. Jennifer Ingalls, Executive Assistant. Caryn joins the team from Howard University where she worked as the Director of Student Services in the College of Engineering and Architecture. She will support the program managers with program development and execution. Jennifer was formerly with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Her role will support the needs of the CEO and Board. Both have varied professional experience that will be an asset to the team and help enhance overall operations for the AAVMC.
People in Motion

  • Dr. Mireille Bossy has been named Director General of the University of Lyon, VetAgro Sup
  • Dr. John VanLeeuwen has been named Interim Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Atlantic Veterinary College
  • Dr. Greg Keefe has been named Interim President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Prince Edward Island
  • Dr. Katherine Meurs has been named Interim Dean of the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Dr. Josh Slater has been named Interim Head of the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Melbourne
Academic Veterinary Medicine in the News
From Our Members
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The AAVMC is working hard to create a culture of diversity and inclusion in every dimension of academic veterinary medicine. To foster this goal, the photographs and illustrations which are used in our communications programs are aspirational, and do not necessarily reflect the levels of diversity and inclusion that currently exist.

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