Two Purdue Veterinary Medicine Programs Receive INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine’s 2021 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award

Tuesday 17th August 2021

National recognition of courses that make a difference for all underrepresented groups in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (MINT)

Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine (PVM) today announced the Inspiring Programs in STEM Award 2021 from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest publication on diversity and inclusion in higher education, for two programs, “The League of VetaHumanz” and “Vet High! National HCOP Academy of Veterinary Medicine. ”The Inspiring Programs in STEM Award recognizes colleges and universities that encourage and support students from underrepresented groups to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, along with 78 other awardees, will be featured in INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine’s September 2021 issue.

Inspirational Programs in STEM Award winners were selected by INSIGHT Into Diversity based on efforts to inspire and encourage a new generation of young people to consider careers in the STEM field through mentoring, teaching, research and successful programs and initiatives draw.

Purdue Veterinary Medicine Dean Willie Reed said the award reflects the college’s commitment to finding innovative ways to increase diversity in veterinary medicine, which is an important STEM discipline. “One of our college’s priorities is to inspire young people from diverse backgrounds with rewarding careers in veterinary medicine,” said Dean Reed. “Supported by a talented team of employees, both ‘The League of VetaHumanz’ and ‘Vet Up! National HCOP Academy for Veterinary Medicine ‘have great potential to bring more diversity to the veterinary profession and thus increase the success of the profession in meeting the needs of animals and humans. “

The League of VetaHumanz is a global, inclusive veterinary superhero league where veterinarians from academia, practice, research, government and industry provide access and support to underserved youth with the goal of diversifying the veterinary workforce. VetaHumanz are people with “super powers” who protect the health of humans and animals, also called veterinarians. VetaHumanz is committed to excellence through diversity, equity and inclusion and uses its superpowers to prevent threats to animal and public health around the world. The League of VetaHumanz was launched on January 1, 2020 as a result of long-term support from the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) program of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including a new five-year Scholarship, “See Us, Be Us”.

Teams from various veterinary role models drive interest and preparation for a career in veterinary medicine by providing K-12 students with personal and remote role models that teach the impact of veterinary research on public and animal health challenges and at the same time career exploration and experience facilitate learning. The teams at VetaHumanz, VetaHumanz in Training (veterinary medicine students), and Allied Superheroes in 22 states provide personal role models and deliver STEM programs to underserved elementary school students through partnerships with schools and community centers. Almost 400 role models have already been certified to present the curriculum in an age- and culture-sensitive manner.

In addition, SuperPower Packs, which are self-directed MINT parenting experiences that can be used independently by children without access to veterinary role models, are made and distributed free to underserved children. Kids are invited to transform into a veterinary superhero who is an expert on the veterinary topic highlighted in each SuperPower Pack, and then do the STEM activity as if they were the veterinary superhero expert. Each SuperPower Pack contains an educational game, a VetaHuman trading card, a note from the featured VetaHuman, an official League of VetaHumanz cape, a sticker and a short, stamped assessment survey that the child can fill out and return.

The program also engages with youth through the League of VetaHumanz website (, where VetaHumanz shares the stories of their careers in veterinary medicine and veterinary medicine students share their career aspirations.

NIH NIGMS SEPA funding will initially be used to attract children to veterinary careers and then used to fund other independent and federally supported programs such as Vet Up!

Vet Up! is designed to expand access to the veterinary profession for talented people from disadvantaged backgrounds and to meet the need for more veterinarians to oversee rural areas and protect food safety. The program is funded by a federal grant of $ 3.18 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health, with the goal of filling veterinary scarcity areas with equals from underrepresented populations and rural areas.

“Vet! uses PVM’s proven history of effective diversity programming and partnerships with high schools, historically black colleges and universities (HBCU), and government agencies to design and deliver curricula that present opportunities to students otherwise inaccessible, ”said Dean Reed.

The vet on! The National Academy consists of three programs with a competitive selection process for admission:

  • Vet Up! Champions is a year-long program that prepares high school students, professionals, and college students to advance to their next level of education en route to a veterinary degree.
  • Vet Up! College is a summer immersion program that prepares students to competitively apply for a Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree.
  • Vet Up! DVM Scholars supports Purdue veterinary students throughout their careers and prepares them for careers in veterinary scarcity areas.

In conjunction with its opening year, Vet Up! also received the 2019 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award.

A long-term partnership between the college and the Evaluation and Research Learning Center (ERLC) at Purdue University sees the evaluation of the League of VetaHumanz and Vet Up! The ERLC assesses how the league affects both the role models and the participating children. In the case of Vet Up! the ELRC assesses the impact of the programming on participants and the veterinary profession.

“We know that many STEM programs are not always recognized for their success, commitment, and care for underrepresented students,” says Lenore Pearlstein, owner and editor of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We would like to honor the schools and organizations that have developed programs that inspire and encourage young people who are currently in STEM or who are interested in a future career in STEM. We are proud to recognize these programs as role models for other universities and beyond. “

A call for nominations for this award was published in April 2021.

For more information on the Inspiring Programs in STEM Award 2021 and INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, visit


Kevin Dörr
Director, Public Affairs & Communication
Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine


The League of VetaHumanz

Dr. Sandra San Miguel
Program founder and deputy dean for engagement
Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine

Vet Up! National HCOP Academy for Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Latonia Craig
Deputy Dean for Inclusive Excellence
Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine

Author (s):
Kevin Doerr |

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