PVM Hosts Successful Iverson Bell Midwest Regional Diversity Summit
Nearly 120 faculty, staff, and students from eleven universities across the country attended the Iverson Bell Midwest Regional Diversity Summit at Purdue University in May. The biennial event is a collaboration among the colleges and schools of veterinary medicine at Purdue, Michigan State University, the University of Minnesota, The Ohio State University, and the University of Wisconsin, with additional sponsorship by Zoetis. The three-day program was packed with presentations, workshops, discussions and an awards ceremony.
The summit kicked off at lunch Friday, May 18, with a keynote address by Glenn E. Singleton, founder of the Pacific Education Group, which seeks to achieve racial equity in education. The author of Courageous Conversations about Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools (2006), a protocol for sustained, deep dialog, Singleton has devoted more than 30 years to constructing racial equity worldwide and developing leaders to do the same.
Kathy Wong (Lau), chief diversity officer at San Jose State University, and Anna Yeakley, Intergroup Relations Program director at UCLA served as facilitators for the summit, which included workshops focused on the theme of “Courageous ConversationsTM”. Purdue Veterinary Medicine faculty members also assisted as facilitators for different tracks. Summit participants were able to choose between the topics of “Diversity Curriculum Infusion – in the Classroom,” facilitated by Dr. Henry Green; “Student Affairs for a Multicultural Environment – Institutional Framework,” facilitated by Dr. Susan Mendrysa; and “Putting Inclusion into the Institutional Culture,” facilitated by Drs. Kathy Salisbury and Sandy San Miguel.
Additional sessions included Intergroup Dialogue Skills and a panel discussion featuring students, staff, and faculty. Throughout the event, participants took time to develop role-play scenarios to demonstrate how to have both planned and spontaneous, courageous conversations in the context of the curriculum, student affairs, and institutional culture.
Besides the attendees from Purdue and the collaborating veterinary schools and colleges, participants also came from Oklahoma State University, the University of Georgia, Tuskegee University, the University of California – Davis, the University of Florida and the University of Illinois.
On Saturday evening, May 19, Purdue Veterinary Medicine Dean Willie Reed presented two Zoetis Diversity and Inclusion Awards at the Zoetis Awards Reception in the Lynn Hall of Veterinary Medicine courtyard. One of the recipients was PVM’s own Dr. Henry Green, III, associate professor of cardiology in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences.
The Zoetis Diversity and Inclusion Award honors faculty and staff who have shown exemplary dedication to the advancement of diversity and inclusion, thereby supporting an academic environment that is welcoming, inclusive, and conducive to the success of all faculty, staff, and students. Other key selection criteria include having a positive impact on students and helping other faculty and staff to become allies to issues around equity and inclusion.
Before the awards were presented, Dr. Christine Jenkins of Zoetis commended the Midwestern veterinary colleges for the progress being achieved in developing inclusive environments at their institutions. “I am so amazed at the progress that you all are making and I am so optimistic that through the colleges of veterinary medicine we will deliver an inclusive veterinary medical profession,” said Dr. Jenkins, who serves as chief medical officer and vice president of veterinary medical services and outcomes research at Zoetis.
As Dean Reed presented the awards, cheers broke out when he announced the award for Dr. Green, prompting him to remark, “He has quite a fan club!” Dean Reed went on to explain how, in 2003, Dr. Green became the first African American board certified veterinary cardiologist in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. He also noted that Dr. Green “…has mentored numerous undergraduates, DVM students, interns, and residents, and probably other faculty, and on and on and on.”
Dean Reed also pointed out that Dr. Green is a key co-investigator in the NIFA USDA Purdue University Multicultural Scholars Program, which supports recruitment and retention of multicultural DVM students. In 2012, he received a Diversity Fellows Grant focused on multicultural education for the global veterinary profession. A recipient of several prestigious teaching awards, Dr. Green also serves on the Purdue Veterinary Medicine Diversity Action Committee, the Purdue University Focus Committee on Intercultural Competence, and the Provost Advisory Committee on Diversity. Additionally, Dr. Green established a minority internship position in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and led development of a departmental diversity residency position. “In summary, Dr. Green has had a major impact on the culture of Purdue Veterinary Medicine through his dedication to supporting an academic environment that is welcoming, inclusive, and conducive to the success of all,” Dean Reed said.
In accepting the award, Dr. Green said he appreciated and is humbled by the recognition. “A lot of times you just go through the day doing the work… but you don’t realize the impact you’re having.”
The recipient of the other Zoetis Diversity and Inclusion Award is April Pugh, director of admissions, recruitment, and special events for The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She was recognized for playing a pivotal role in the recruitment of educationally, economically, and culturally diverse students to her college.
Writer(s): Kevin Doerr | firstname.lastname@example.org