I believe diversity is important in any career and in the veterinary medicine world, there is only one vet school that fosters and promotes diversity. I feel blessed to attend that school...Tuskegee University. It is one of the oldest vet schools recognized for graduating the most diverse student classes and has a legendary history.
First, let’s dive in into the historical background of my veterinary school. In 1945, Dr. Patterson and Dr. Evans established Tuskegee University. These two veterinarians wanted to establish veterinary professional training to African-American students closer in the South. Both of them went to Iowa State University to receive their doctorate in veterinary medicine. So, in 1949, the first veterinary class graduated…and Tuskegee became the only veterinary school that provided high-quality education in times of segregation.
For many years, my school has sought to help educate many unrepresented minorities in the veterinary profession including Hispanics, African-Americans, and Asians. Tuskegee also maintains the smallest veterinary classes among all the veterinary schools at an average of 65 students per class. This promotes a more family oriented environment among students and a better interaction with professors.
My Class of 2020 consists of 65 students from all over the United States and Puerto Rico. Some of my classmates are from Alabama, California, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, Puerto Rico, and other states. We all came from different places, ethnicities, and social/educational backgrounds. Indeed, we have shared our cultures, traditions, and languages with each other contributing to the diversity of our veterinary school. In addition, my Puerto Rican community has been growing rapidly in Tuskegee, it comprises around 14% of the students in my class.
I am happy to be part of the Tuskegee family and being part of a minority community not only in my veterinary school but also in the south. I cannot wait to receive a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Tuskegee University and add to the diversity in my profession.