WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Role models can help children see themselves in future careers, and a new initiative at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine is helping develop veterinary role models that every child can relate to.
The college has launched a new organization called the League of VetaHumanz, an inclusive veterinary superhero league that works with member universities and organizations to diversify the 90% white veterinary workforce and provide access and support for careers in the underserved youth Veterinary field to provide field.
The league will feature role models as superheroes named VetaHumanz in academia, practice, research, government and industry, and provide resources for veterinary students to engage with children in their communities after graduation. The league offers P-12 training opportunities for aspiring vets, including virtual vet lessons, children’s books and an online game. For children without access to personal role models, resources in a box are under development so they can learn about a veterinary role model and conduct a veterinary educational activity at home with friends and family.
“We have a great team of superheroes including teachers, community leaders, artists, graphic designers, communications professionals, evaluators, students, veterinarians, and diversity, equity and inclusion experts who are all excited to take our role model programs to the next level and inspire future ones Veterinarians, “said Dr. Sandra San Miguel, Founder of the League of VetaHumanz and Assistant Dean for Commitment to the College of Veterinary Medicine. Every VetaHuman has a superhero identity and San Miguel goes from “Pink Phoenix”.
“We can all make the world a better place if we work together and use our powers forever,” she said.
There are 18 member institutions and organizations in the US, and the league plans to expand the program worldwide.
The league will be supported for the next five years with a grant of USD 1.35 million from the SEPA (Science Education Partnership Award) program of the National Institute of General Medicine of the National Health Institutes.
VetaHumanz’s league is expanding an existing SEPA-funded program, This is How We “Role,” developed in 2015 to raise awareness of the role veterinarians play in maintaining the health of people and their animals. So we have “Role” chapters in 20 states. The program received the 2020 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine.
The effects of the league of VetaHumanz on prospective veterinarians and role models are assessed by the evaluation and learning research center of the college of education. The evaluation will examine changes in attitudes towards the veterinary profession, knowledge of veterinary science, self-perception of the child’s ability to succeed, and the impact of live and virtual role models. The impact on veterinary student role models’ likelihood of continuing community service and their ability to interact effectively with prospective clients will also be assessed.
About Purdue University
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Writer: Kelsey Schnieders Lefever
Media contact: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-412-0864, firstname.lastname@example.org
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