New scholarship to promote DEI efforts in veterinary medicine

March 3, 2021
dvm360 Staff

Pathway Vet Alliance CEO and his family create a new scholarship to help increase representation of underrepresented populations in the profession and support students committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine (UIC) recently announced a brand-new $500,000 scholarship to help tackle diversity issues within veterinary medicine.

The Hadley Diversifying Opportunity in Veterinary Education (DOVE) scholarship, provided by Pathway Vet Alliance CEO Stephen Hadley, DVM, MS, and family, will be awarded to veterinary students from underrepresented populations and those committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within the profession.

“My family and I wanted to put care into action and start removing the systemic barriers that have been preventing access to the veterinary profession for decades. It is our common responsibility as the leaders to make a difference that will lead to greater equity and diversity within the profession,” says Hadley in a UIC press release.

Veterinary medicine is still considered one of the least diverse professions, but according to recent Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) data, the percentage of veterinary students from underrepresented backgrounds has gone from less than 5% in 1980 to about 21% in 2020.

Despite these numbers, there’s still work to be done, according to Sean C. Garrick, vice chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He’s hopeful that the scholarship will help to create lasting change.

“By increasing access to the world-class education and training at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, the Hadley Family DOVE Scholarship will significantly transform the lives of our students and the field of veterinary medicine itself,” he says, in the release.

Yvette Johnson-Walker, DVM, PhD, a clinical instructor at the veterinary college agrees. “The Hadley Family DOVE Scholarship is a shining example of veterinarians taking the initiative to invest in the future of veterinary medicine by recognizing the value of having a diverse and inclusive profession,” she says in the release.

The Hadley family is also recognized for their long history of philanthropic support, establishing the Dr. Stephen P. and Mrs. Denyse L Hadley Christian Veterinary Mission Scholarship back in 2005, a scholarship designed to encourage veterinary students to serve people and communities in developing countries.