The meeting of IVC Evidensia’s Ethnic Diversity Scholars, which took place in September at the Birmingham Science Museum, comes after the third cohort of the scholarships have recently been awarded, ensuring that another group of students from varying cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds were able to not only meet each other, but also several members of the senior IVC Evidensia leadership team
Amanda Boag, Sarah Heath and Daniella Dos Santos were all able to meet our scholars, and Simon Smith, group CEO, gave a welcome via video message.
Also in attendance were the IVC Evidensia Ethnic Diversity Scholarship Board, Scholars from the Vets Now programme and a stellar line-up of guest speakers including:
- Professor Dan Chan – Royal Veterinary College
- Dr Fabian Rivers – British Veterinary Association Young Vet of the Year award winner
- Dr Tshidi Gardner – Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
- Gurpawan Khalsa – Veterinary Student and founder of Emerald Enkindle
IVC Evidensia committed in 2020 to taking action to address the diversity imbalance within the veterinary profession by supporting a veterinary student scholarship, and within Vets Now, a veterinary nursing student scholarship.
The end goal of the Ethnic Diversity Scholarships is of course not only to support these scholars through university but to nurture and develop the professionals of tomorrow to have long and enjoyable careers.
Having a networking event in-person allows for the scholars to spend high-quality time together with each other, while making and building relationships for the future.
Mandisa Greene, medical director at Vets Now and organiser of the event, commented: “It was fantastic to have all of our scholars meet face-to-face for the first time and share their experiences, along with our new cohort who were just starting their scholarship journey.
“Hopefully this will be the first of many in-person events and I can’t wait to welcome more scholars into the programme and keep building our network in the future.”
Attending Ethnic Diversity Scholars also had a lot of positive feedback to give, especially when it came to the community that was being built and how enriching it had been to attend in-person and meet their peers in a networking capacity.
Saira, a second-year veterinary student, passed on her thanks and described what she took away from the event: “I just wanted to say another huge thank you to all the IVC Evidensia team for putting together such a wonderful event for us.
“I personally really enjoyed it and felt a connection with everyone there with our joint feelings in this profession. Well done for creating such an amazing network and community for us all and a safe space for us to feel comfortable in.”
Inayah, another second-year student, added how valuable it was to attend the meeting of the Ethnic Diversity Scholarship students: “The networking event was extremely useful and I feel very privileged to have been a part of it. It was great to speak to vets and vet students who share the same struggles which might otherwise begin to feel like very isolated and individual experiences.
“The advice given by the panel was very eye-opening, and despite the vastly different routes each had taken, there were countless points to take away.
“Having the opportunity to speak to BAME vets individually about their experiences, and how they have and continue to overcome them, was invaluable.”
If you would like to learn more about the Ethnic Diversity Scholarship scheme, you can read more on their website.