MANHATTAN — The Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine is being recognized nationally for its commitment to diversity and inclusion with a 2021 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence, or HEED, in Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

K-State’s College of Veterinary Medicine is one of only six veterinary schools nationally to receive the honor and is the only health-related school in Kansas to be recognized.

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 — the College of Veterinary Medicine will be featured, along with 50 other recipients, in the December 2021 issue of the magazine. INSIGHT Into Diversity is the nation’s oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

“Our first Health Professions HEED Award represents recognition of significant collegewide initiatives in cultural transformation,” said Bonnie Rush, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “The award is also a reminder of our responsibility to continue to strengthen and grow in our efforts to provide a welcoming environment for all. We are committed to preparing the leaders of tomorrow to carry the values of diversity, equity and inclusion to their future destinations, magnifying the impact of this work. I am grateful for Dr. Callie Rost’s vision and inspiration to lead these efforts.”

Rost is the college’s associate dean for admission.

The magazine selected K-State because of the veterinary college’s efforts to identify and incorporate opportunities for growth in diversity, equity and inclusion.

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to complete a variety of training through the Diversity and Resilience Institute of El Paso and the Purdue Certificate for Diversity and Inclusion in Veterinary Medicine. The college also offers the WCB Scholarship to recognize students demonstrating commitment to bringing diverse people together and serving disadvantaged populations.

The College of Veterinary Medicine has experienced growth by expanding its recruiting practices with two U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture grants: SPARK and SPRINT. These programs focus on recruiting students from rural Kansas and students with an Indigenous, Native or tribal heritage.

Internal activities include the development of a monthly Intercultural and Inclusion Lunch and Learn series and the creation of student organizations such as VOICE, or Veterinarians for One Inclusive Community for Empowerment, and the LatinX Student Veterinary Medical Association.

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, and other regional locations.

“The Health Professions 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 Health Professions HEED Award recipient. 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.”

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