LMU-CVM students hope to inspire future veterinarians

Published 6:49 am Wednesday, January 31, 2018

HARROGATE, Tenn. — Lincoln Memorial University-College of Veterinary Medicine (LMU-CVM) has partnered with Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine to deliver an afterschool program called “This is How We ‘Role’,” with the goal of diversifying the veterinarian-scientist workforce. The six-week role-modeling program led by LMU-CVM students and faculty will begin Feb. 1 at Rose Hill Elementary School in Ewing, Virginia.

The project is supported through the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) program of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, a part of the National Institutes of Health. The program is designed to increase awareness of the vital role that veterinarians play in keeping people and their animals healthy. Activities will include interactive science and math lessons for students in kindergarten through fourth grade, with a focus on those who are educationally disadvantaged due to socioeconomic status, race or ethnicity.

“We hope this will give kids a greater understanding of the different job opportunities available in veterinary medicine and encourage students toward being critical thinkers about animals and the world around them,” said Dr. Gil Patterson, assistant professor of veterinary medicine at LMU-CVM and program manager for the Center for Animal and Human Health in Appalachia. “Plus, there will be some fun conversations about animal anatomy, as well as craft activities!”

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Final program assessments will focus on changes in the children’s attitudes toward veterinarian scientists and knowledge of veterinary science, as well as their perceptions of themselves and their capability to achieve success. The program’s effect on the LMU-CVM student role models also will be assessed by measuring their likelihood to continue community service in the future and their ability to interact effectively with future clients.

LMU is one of three schools working in partnership with Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine. In addition to LMU, the partnership includes Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

“Elementary school students are a group that is particularly important to reach regarding the importance of veterinary medicine,” Patterson added. “If we can ignite a passion in them to become veterinarian-scientists at an early age, they may go on to serve in our community, find cures for diseases and change the world.”