Updates on Multicultural Initiatives in the KSUCVM
The college diversity committee, at times in collaboration with the international committee, has been active the past year and a half along with a number of individuals in the CVM and on the main campus. This would be a good time for a brief update. The committee members can be found here.
Assisted by a small “Tilford” grant from the Office of the Provost a website has been established. It is now accessible as a link on the college home page: http://www.vet.k-state.edu/about/diversity/index.html
This website is and always will be a work in progress. It is intended to be an information and communication center. Suggestions are welcome as to how best to develop it further.
Note that the site includes a link labeled “Pathways to Opportunities”. This provides a sketch of the multiple means by which minority and first generation individuals are being recruited and supported as pre-veterinary and veterinary medicine students. A number of our faculty are doing a great job serving as mentors of the Developing Scholars Program (DSP) which is the critical link to students coming to K-State in pre-veterinary medicine. The incoming class (of 2011) promises to be the most culturally diverse group in recent years; maybe ever. It should be emphasized that none of this would be possible if it were not for the generous support of Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Their support has been put forward in terms of money and, at least as importantly, in terms of personal commitment. This year fourteen pre-veterinary medicine and biology students in the DSP and two students in the professional curriculum have been supported by Hill’s.
Students in the college are actively pursuing a new club under the SAVMA umbrella to bring organization and energy to study abroad and multicultural education and experience. The students clearly recognize the changing nature of the world in which they will serve as professional veterinarians.
Plans also are in the works to provide an opportunity, at the department level, for each individual faculty member to take the Myers Briggs and cultural self-awareness surveys. It is anticipated that this will provide individuals an opportunity for self-assessment similar to that being experienced by the students. It also will provide an opportunity to compare the overall characteristics of the faculty with those of incoming students. To that end, individual results of these two instruments would be shared only with the individual taking the tests. Anonymous composite data could be used for reference by the individuals that took the tests and comparison with aggregated student data as well as other possible applications although none are specifically under consideration at present.