Society & Culture

UGA College of Veterinary Medicine to host regional student diversity symposium

UGA College of Veterinary Medicine to host regional student diversity symposium

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine will host the second Southeastern Veterinary Student Diversity Matters Symposium, beginning Friday, Feb. 26 through Sunday, Feb. 28. The symposium is aimed at promoting greater diversity in veterinary medicine and related fields.

This year’s theme is “Diversity and Veterinary Medical Education: Building on Our Individual and Collective Strengths.” Speakers include Cheryl Dozier, University of Georgia associate provost for institutional diversity; Warwick Arden, interim provost and executive vice chancellor of North Carolina State University; and Lisa Greenhill, associate executive director for institutional research and diversity, American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges.

“While veterinary medicine continues to be the most non-diverse medical profession, the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine is dedicated to recruiting and retaining a diverse student body and faculty, and this symposium is just one example of that commitment,” said Dr. Paige Carmichael, the college’s associate dean for academic affairs.

The symposium opens Friday evening with a “Meet and Greet Social.”The Saturday sessions, which begin with breakfast at 7:30 a.m., run through dinner; the Sunday sessions begin with breakfast at 8 a.m. and end at noon with tours of the UGA veterinary medicine college.

The event is held in collaboration with the AAVMC’s “Diversity Matters” initiative. Students, faculty and staff from most of the major colleges of veterinary medicine in the Southeast are expected to attend (UGA, Auburn University, Mississippi State University, University of Florida, Tuskegee University, North Carolina State University and University of Tennessee) as well as faculty from Purdue University and Michigan State University.

The symposium is open to the public, but registration is required. There is a $25 registration fee, which includes meals. For more information about the conference or to register online, go to or call 706/542-8411.

The first symposium, in 2006 at North Carolina State University, was attended by more than 100 people, including representatives from industry, medical schools, and private businesses.

This year’s program is supported in part by the University of Georgia President’s Venture Fund through the generous gifts of the University of Georgia Partners. Supporters also include Merial, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, and Banfield, The Pet Hospital.

The UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, founded in 1946, is dedicated to training future veterinarians, to conducting research related to animal diseases, and to providing veterinary services for animals and their owners. Research efforts are aimed at enhancing the quality of life for animals and people, improving the productivity of poultry and livestock, and preserving a healthy interface between wildlife and people in the environment they share. The college enrolls 102 students each fall out of more than 550 who apply. For more information, see

The current UGA College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital, built in 1979, serves more than 18,000 patients per year in one of the smallest teaching hospitals in the U.S. The college is currently working to raise $15 million toward building a new Veterinary Medical Learning Center, which will include a new teaching hospital as well as classrooms and laboratories that will allow for the education of more veterinarians. The goal is to increase enrollment to 150 when the Veterinary Medical Learning Center is built. For more information, see