Scholarships and awards promote diversity and inclusion

A trio of awards are shining a spotlight on the values of equity, respect and dedication to learning and belonging in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Two of the awards are scholarships for veterinary students and the other award is eligible to faculty and staff members in the college.

Random Keegan and Dr. Callie Rost

Dr. Callie Rost (right) presents the Dr. Walter C. Bowie Scholarship to fourth-year student Random Rahyne Keegan after the White Coat Ceremony.

Random Rahyne Keegan, a fourth-year veterinary student who has lived in Waterloo, Illinois, and Olathe, Kansas, is the recipient of the Dr. Walter C. Bowie Scholarship. This scholarship was created to promote bringing diverse people together and/or to serving disadvantaged populations.

“I believe that fostering diversity both inside and out of the veterinary profession is incredibly important to both support people but also to be a well-rounded individual, clinic and community,” Random said. “Different perspectives, cultures, ideas – they all make up this beautiful world we live in. As a student I try to make a difference by being a champion for voices that are less heard. I recognize that while I have had my own obstacles, I also have a lot of privileges and it is my responsibility to utilize those to help make positive changes. One of the quotes I try to live by every day is ‘We rise by lifting others.’”

After she completes her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, Keegan plans to pursue a two-year fellowship that she said will help nurture her passions of ownership, small animal general practice, exotic companion animal care and surgery.

Sophie Xie with Dr. Callie Rost and Hodes Family Dean Dr. Bonnie Rush

Dr. Rost and Hodes Family Dean Dr. Bonnie Rush congratulate Mengqiao (Sophie) Xie on being the very first recipient of the new Dr. John William Brown – Vanier Family Scholarship in Veterinary Medicine.

Mengqiao (Sophie) Xie, second-year veterinary student from Beijing, China, is the inaugural recipient of the Dr. John William Brown – Vanier Family Scholarship in Veterinary Medicine. This scholarship, created by Dr. Howard and Ann Erickson, is presented to a student enrolled in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

“Diversity is crucial to me because it enriches perspectives, fosters innovation, and ensures equitable representation,” Sophie said. “As a veterinary student, I actively promote diversity through participating and organizing multicultural events hosted by both our college and our brand-new K-State chapter of Association of Asian Veterinary Medical Professionals, aiming to create an inclusive environment. Post graduation, I aspire to provide multilingual service to Asian clients, and ensure accessible and culturally sensitive veterinary care for all pet owners.”

“The Dr. John William Brown and Dr. Walter C. Bowie Scholarships are fantastic opportunities to recognize students who are not only excelling academically but also making a positive impact within the KSU College of Veterinary Medicine,” said Dr. Caroline Rost, assistant dean of admissions.

Lindsy Clark and Dr. Raghavendra Amachawadi with Dr. Callie Rost and Hodes Family Dean Dr. Bonnie Rush

Lindsy Clark and Dr. Raghavendra Amachawadi are the two recipients of the college's Master JEDI Awards, as nominated by fellow members of the CVM community.

Lindsy Clark, student programs coordinator, and Raghavendra Amachawadi, associate professor of food animal therapeutics in the clinical sciences department, were named as recipients of the college’s Master JEDI award.

“The creation of the JEDI and Master JEDI awards in our college demonstrates a commitment to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment,” Dr. Rost said. “Recognizing faculty, staff and students who advocate for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion sends a powerful message about the values of the institution and the importance of these principles in shaping the community. It's inspiring to see efforts to celebrate and leverage the strength in our differences to create a more vibrant and supportive community for everyone involved.”

“Receiving this award is such an honor,” Lindsy said. “I strongly believe that access is an essential component to a more equitable society. Being in a role where I can help students, faculty and staff connect with the resources and information necessary for their success is incredibly fulfilling, and I am grateful to be part of such a supportive community.”

“I am honored and humbled to have received this award from the College of Veterinary Medicine,” Dr. Amachawadi said. “To be recognized by my peers at work for diversity, is very special. I extend my heartfelt appreciation to the selection committee for this honor and to all those who have supported me along this journey. I am grateful to the College of Veterinary Medicine for providing a platform where we can advocate for justice, foster equity, embrace diversity and promote inclusion.”

About the Dr. Walter C. Bowie Scholarship

Dr. Bowie earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at K-State in 1947. He earned a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in mammalian physiology from Cornell University in 1955 and 1960, respectively. He performed a postdoctoral study at Michigan State University and was a scholar-in-residence at Howard University.

In March 1947, Dr. Bowie joined the faculty at Tuskegee University and served as a teacher, research scientist, head of the physiology department and associate dean. In 1972, he was appointed as dean at Tuskegee's School of Veterinary Medicine and served in that position for 18 years. He died in October 2009.

About the Dr. John William Brown – Vanier Family Scholarship in Veterinary Medicine

Dr. John Brown went to Fort Scott (Kansas) High School and entered Kansas State Agricultural College at age 16, earning his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1912 as K-State’s first African American graduate in veterinary medicine. From 1912-1913, he was head of agricultural instruction at Tuskegee Institute, most likely working with George Washington Carver. He returned to Fort Scott in 1913 to practice veterinary medicine. When World War I broke out, Dr. Brown was the first Black officer commissioned in the US Army Veterinary Corps in July 1917. After the war was over, he practiced briefly and then joined the USDA Bureau of Animal Industry. He is buried in Fort Scott National Cemetery.

To support future scholarship recipients, gifts can be made to the Bowie and Brown scholarships online at

About the JEDI and Master JEDI Awards

The JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) award is given to members of the KSU College of Veterinary Medicine community who stand up for justice of others, provide opportunities for equity, support and celebrate and diversity and promote inclusion for all. Faculty, staff and students are eligible to be nominated by a fellow community member throughout the fall and spring semesters. Master JEDI awards are voted upon and celebrated each spring.