Under the guidance of Assistant Dean of Admissions, Scholarships, and Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Hilda Mejia Abreu, the College’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (OD&I) announces its success in receiving three grants that will help it to address the dimensions of diversity outlined in its 2017–2022 Strategic Plan.
The OD&I was awarded the Creating Inclusive Excellence grant (CIE) in May 2017. This one-year award is funded through Michigan State University’s Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives for programs and activities that create and support an inclusive university. The award will enable the OD&I to work on creating a Virtual Knowledge Center—a digital library of diversity and inclusion resources that is in alignment with the College’s Strategic Plan. It’s a goal to leverage this Virtual Knowledge Center to inculcate diversity and inclusion principles in all parts of the College.
September 2017, the OD&I was awarded the This is How We “Role” grant. The grant is a program focused on educationally disadvantaged elementary-school-aged students and the advancement of their science and math educational experiences. The program is designed to increase awareness of the vital role that veterinarians play in keeping people and their animals healthy. As one of the four partners with the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University is aimed at diversifying the veterinarian-scientist workforce with the help of this grant.
The OD&I has recently developed a partnership with the Edgewood Village Network Center in East Lansing, a nonprofit housing corporation that provides safe, high-quality, affordable housing and facilities for low income, disabled, or senior individuals and their families. Working closely with staff members at Edgewood, the principal investigator, Abreu, will oversee the implementation of a curriculum that will advance the diversity mission for the College, the veterinary profession, and the exposure that disadvantaged youth will have to science. “I am convinced that this partnership will stimulate and nurture young adults to consider veterinary medical education,” says John Baker, DVM, dean of the College.
The leader and principle partner with Abreu in establishing the after-school curriculum at Edgewood is Assistant Professor, Veterinary Oncologist, and head of MSU’s Oncology Service at the Veterinary Medical Center, Dr. Paulo Vilar Saavedra. Assisting him are student mentors who are interested in teaching, mentoring, and expanding youth interest in science. These mentors are currently receiving training and coaching from the Diversity Team at MSU and at Purdue. In addition, the College’s Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences has committed resources to support Saavedra’s involvement, which will enhance the efforts of diversifying the veterinarian-scientist workforce.
We are paying close attention to the recruitment of students from underrepresented groups into veterinary medicine
On November 3, 2017, the OD&I received a grant and notification for the King-Chavez-Parks (KCP) grant from the Talent Investment Agency of the State of Michigan’s Department of Talent and Economic Development. The KCP grant is a part of the Martin Luther King, Jr.-César Chávez-Rosa Parks Initiative. The grant’s goal is to increase the number of the most educationally disadvantaged citizens in Michigan with the opportunity to complete college degrees and experience career success as active participants in a knowledge-based global society and economy.
The OD&I received the 4S grant, which is the Select Student Support Services Program and is one of three competitive grant programs of the KCP Initiative. KCP 4S grantees design their programs in consideration of identified institution specific barriers impacting equality of opportunity and achievement of students identified as academically or economically disadvantaged.
The grant is for six years with a $750,000 award toward supporting grades K-College including K-12 outreach for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) and career exploration in Greater Lansing and Metro Detroit. MSU undergraduate students will receive support for mentoring, leadership development, supplemental instruction, and career exposure and exploration. The KCP grant also will provide support for approximately 100 undergraduates and 500 K–12 students via outreach efforts that aim to improve the graduation rate of KCP 4S eligible students and introduce students to shelter medicine and other career pathways in veterinary medicine. “We are paying close attention to the recruitment of students from underrepresented groups into veterinary medicine,” says Dean Baker.
“The OD&I is thankful for receiving this funding as it will help us to advance diversity and inclusion and expand the STEAM pipeline in veterinary medical education,” says Abreu.
The objectives for all grants are in alignment with the Diversity and Inclusion 2017–2022 Strategic Plan, which strives to develop a series of strategies and tactics that will guide the College to advance its diversity mission. Being awarded the CIE, This is How We “Role,” and KCP grants help the College to put forth the work necessary to continue to operate as a veterinary college with an inclusive culture. It’s through this vision, awareness, and resolution that the College intentionally and transparently identifies, attracts, and retains talented students, faculty, and staff who are reflective of the diversity of the populations in our state, the nation, and the world.