Message from the Dean

Chicago-Urbana Connections Diversify the Veterinary Profession

Participants in the Anti-Cruelty Society's Veterinary Mentoring Program attend Vet Med Open House.

This message will appear in the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association Bulletin.

I want to thank the many Chicago-area veterinarians who have been working with our college to bring veterinary opportunities to the attention of students from racial/ethnic backgrounds that are underrepresented in our profession.

Connecting Chicago and Urbana

You may know that for 30 years we have partnered with the Anti-Cruelty Society on the Veterinary Mentoring Program. This brings our college to Chicago to present seminar-style lectures on topics in veterinary science to high school students who are seriously considering becoming a veterinarian. We also bring these program participants to Urbana for our annual Open House event.

Chicago-area students attend a Q&A session at Open House
In 2022, 26 Chicago-area high school students from the Veterinary Mentoring Program and the Chicago High School for Ag Sciences attended a Q and A session with current veterinary students during Vet Med Open House. Photo provided by Dr. Shannon Greeley.

More recently, through the efforts of the Illinois State Veterinary Medicine Association’s DEI working committee, students from the Chicago High School for Ag Sciences have also attended the college’s fall Open House. Drs. Shannon Greeley and Amanda Hampton, co-chairs of the committee, work with Dr. Yvette Johnson-Walker, coordinator of diversity and inclusion at the college, to arrange transportation and a special Q and A session with current veterinary students during Open House.

Last fall, one of our own students spearheaded an initiative to bring Chicago high school students, primarily from Latine neighborhoods, to Open House. Third-year student Naomi Esquivel networked with several non-profit organizations to recruit 55 Chicago-area students to attend Open House on October 1. She worked with Dr. Johnson-Walker to arrange transportation and personally created an impactful itinerary, from pickup to drop off, to show these participants our veterinary program as well as the main University of Illinois campus.

How You Can Help

Naomi demonstrates that one person can make a difference. If you want to be part of outreach efforts to Chicago-area youth from underrepresented backgrounds, there are lots of ways you can help.

  • Share information about the Veterinary Mentoring Program at the Anti-Cruelty Society
  • Help us publicize the annual Vet Med Open House. You can even bring interested students with you. This year the event takes place on October 6.
  • Volunteer for diversity-focused efforts under way within ISVMA and CVMA.

Now Hiring: Chicago-based Veterinarian with Outreach Appointment

Want to incorporate outreach and student mentoring into your career? Our Medical District Veterinary Clinic recently opened a search for a veterinarian to join their care team and lead the college’s diversity outreach efforts in Chicago. This position will devote 40% of time to outreach and 60% to high-quality veterinary care. It offers a complete benefits package, a commitment to work-life balance, and a close-knit work community that enjoys an affiliation with an outstanding academic home.

View the position announcement online. The application period ends March 2. We welcome your interest!