Hilda Mejia Abreu, PhD, assistant dean for the Office of Admissions and Scholarships and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) at the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine, was one of two individuals awarded the 2018 LGBTQ+ Advocacy Award by the Broad Spectrum Veterinary Student Association (BSVSA). The award is given to individuals who have demonstrated commitment to BSVSA’s mission by developing awareness of the LGBTQ+ community and its importance within the realm of veterinary education and practice.
“I am incredibly honored to receive a 2018 LGBTQ+ Advocacy Award,” says Mejia Abreu. “Receiving this award means a great deal to me because it provides an opportunity to honor the work that my team and I—and the College—are doing for not only LGBQT+ students, but all students and members of the College community.”
BSVSA is a student-run association that aims to connect, support, and empower LGBTQ+ veterinary medical students and allies in North America and the Caribbean. Mentored by the Lesbian and Gay Veterinary Medical Association (LGVMA), BSVSA is the national leadership board and umbrella organization for LGBTQ+ veterinary campus chapters.
I am proud to be a part of a College community that embraces and supports LGBTQ+ individuals. We are creating a culture of accountability, where we not only recognize diversity as one of our seven values, but we embrace and celebrate it.
“It is important to connect, support, and empower all human beings,” says Mejia Abreu. “The LGBTQ+ individuals are important members of the College’s community, the nation, and our world.”
Since her appointment as assistant dean for the ODI in January 2016, Mejia Abreu and her team have developed methods to not only understand diversity, but to live it.
“I am proud to be a part of a College community that embraces and supports LGBTQ+ individuals,” says Mejia Abreu. “We are creating a culture of accountability, where we not only recognize diversity as one of our seven values, but we embrace and celebrate it.”
To further solidify the College’s vow to create and support a diverse and inclusive culture, Mejia Abreu, the ODI team, and the College’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee have created a Diversity Strategic Plan that aligns with the College’s Strategic Plan. The purpose of the ODI’s Strategic Plan is to develop a series of strategies and tactics that will guide the College to advance the diversity mission. This work is being achieved through structural, curricular, and climatic dimensions of diversity.
“The College is motivated to embrace diversity, and takes pride in celebrating its LGBTQ+ colleagues,” says Mejia Abreu. “I have the best job on earth because I get to work with individuals who really want to change our world to one that respects and welcomes all people.”