New scholarships aim to increase diversity in veterinary sector
The goal of the scholarship program is to help underrepresented students studying veterinary medicine or veterinary pharmacy.
Two new scholarships developed with the goal of increasing education awards to diverse and underrepresented students studying veterinary medicine or veterinary pharmacy at The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Veterinary Medicine and at the University of New England (UNE) School of Pharmacy have been created by Covetrus, an animal-health technology and services company.
The Covetrus Diversity Scholarship in Veterinary Medicine and the Covetrus Diversity Scholarship in Veterinary Pharmacy were developed to enable more accessibility and diversity within the veterinary industry.
The scholarships will be awarded starting with the 2021-2022 school year, according to the company. Covetrus is providing $15,000 in scholarship funds every year for 4 years to each institution to support students who demonstrate financial need, are in good academic standing, and contribute to the diversity of these institutions.
According to a 2020 survey from the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, researchers found admission offers were lower for candidates from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups, recipients of Pell Grants, awarded for those with significant financial need; first-generation college students, candidates from rural communities, and those aspiring to practice in rural communities. Furthermore, according to the nonprofit National Association for Black Veterinarians, the number of Black veterinarians dropped from 2.1% of the total veterinarian population in 2016 to below 1% in 2019, which is largely due to accessibility and lack of diverse leadership.
“It’s imperative as leaders in animal health to provide accessibility for all and foster diversity and inclusion among the next generation of veterinarians and pharmacists,” said Dustin Finer, Chief Administrative Officer at Covetrus, in a press release. “The veterinary industry should reflect the pet parents we serve in the communities we service—and that means making space for diverse candidates.”
According to Covetrus, the company supports the UNE by offering advanced pharmacy practice experience to pharmacy doctoral candidates enrolled there. This program was one of many university partnerships that Covetrus sponsored or developed in order to help prepare a new generation of pharmacists with the tools and knowledge to improve the health care of animals through cohesive collaboration with veterinarians. Similarly, Covetrus has partnered with The OSU College of Veterinary Medicine by donating products for use in the university’s clinical skills lab, which is an open, hands-on, environment where students can practice clinical and surgical skill on anatomic models.
UNE pharmacy students may apply annually for the Covetrus Scholarship through the school’s scholarship committee. The scholarships application process for The OSU will be available for the upcoming school year at the end of each Autumn semester through the university’s website.
Covetrus announces $120K in scholarships to support diversity in veterinary sector [news release]. August 3, 2021; Covetrus. Accessed August 9, 2021. https://covetrus.com/covetrus-announces-120k-in-scholarships-to-support-diversity-in-veterinary-sector/