Cummings School Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Statement

Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University understands the importance of diversity, inclusion, and equity as an integral component of the educational excellence for which it is renowned. Its campus-wide efforts are underscored within the Cummings 2020 Strategic Plan with its focus on prioritizing people.

We value the many experiences and perspectives each individual member brings to our community and welcome diverse ideas and experiences. By promoting a culture that attracts, recognizes and values people as our greatest resource, Cummings school students, faculty and staff, departments, and organizations work together to create an optimal graduate and professional student experience that is respectful of diversity, inclusion, and equity practices. Together these groups work to:

 

Eliminate Barriers

Eliminate barriers to student admission applications and increase rates of matriculation

Cummings Host International (CHI) Ice Cream Social
Cummings Host International (CHI) Ice Cream Social

Students are drawn to an environment that fosters a welcoming and inclusive culture and where they can relate to the faculty and staff. To attract a diverse applicant pool, Cummings School has implemented these proactive initiatives to break down barriers critical to making a Tufts education possible and appealing for a broad range of students:

  • Cummings School’s participation in the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) increases our reach nationally and internationally for prospective veterinary students and creates an efficient application process consistent national best practices.
  • The elimination of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) as an admissions requirement and in consideration during our admissions process.
  • Admitted Students Day provides DVM students with an opportunity to experience firsthand the culture of Cummings School for a day and see all that it has to offer.
  • Open House for Graduate MS programs where prospective students network with current graduate students, faculty and alumni and learn about financing, housing, campus climate, and living in central Massachusetts. Information sessions via Skype, WebEx or phone are also available for those unable to attend in person.
  • Increasing scholarship funds so we may offer competitive financial aid packages to accepted students.
  • Expanding our loan repayment assistance for graduates in public sector and not-for-profit employment.
  • Reducing interest rates on Institutional Loans for our students.
  • Educating students about external funding sources and alternative financing approaches.
  • Monitoring student retention rates and actively working to support academic excellence in our student body.
  • Campus-wide, Annual Open House welcomes hundreds of visitors, including prospective students for DVM and graduate programs. The admissions office staffs an information booth and conducts presentations and Q&A sessions.
  • Cummings Hosts International is a campus-run program that focuses on creating a welcoming environment for international visitors and hosting events that celebrate diverse cultural traditions.

 

Pipeline Programs

Promote pipeline programs that provide outreach to younger students about veterinary medicine

Students and faculty working in a classroom
Students in the Adventures in Veterinary Medicine Program learning about the profession from faculty and students at Cummings School

Cummings School boasts a broad range of pipeline programs targeting students across the educational system, many from educationally and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. These programs provide academic enrichment, mentoring and internship opportunities for pre-professional and pre-graduate students, and are effective in increasing the diversity of the applicant pool.

 

Learning Communities

Encourage a diverse and inclusive learning community where students, faculty, and staff are supported to explore issues of diversity, inclusion and equity.

A student making a presentation
A student presents her research at One Health Day

Recruiting students from racially/ethnically and socioeconomically diverse backgrounds is one step in addressing issues of diversity, climate, and inclusion. Beyond that, programs such as those that promote inclusive behaviors, help underserved communities, emphasize cultural humility and discussion of global health issues, ensure an effective transition, active engagement and success for all students.

  • The Office of the Assistant Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Climate serves as a central hub to bring awareness of and positive change regarding these issues to the entire community.
  • Tufts Veterinary Council on Diversity: Students, faculty and staff champion campus-wide efforts to foster an environment where all individuals are respected, and diversity and inclusion are embraced.
  • The Anti-Racism Task Force has been created to address racism, especially against black members of our community, in all operational facets of the Cummings School.
  • Curriculum development in order to broaden our perspectives beyond science, addressing the importance of communication and the pitfalls of implicit bias.
  • Global Health/International Learning Opportunities equip students with skills that ensure success in a culturally diverse community within and beyond Cummings School.
  • Co-curricular activities provide opportunities to participate in areas outside one’s comfort zone and gain exposure to faculty and staff with diverse interests.
  • The University Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching provides many different opportunities for faculty to explore methods to incorporate diversity and inclusion into the courses that they teach.
  • Faculty Development Grants offer opportunities to broaden the faculty experience to include exposure to other cultures in ways that will benefit the entire Cummings community.
  • Educational development grants funded by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) bring speakers to campus to address issues relevant to diversity and inclusion, mindfulness and communication.

 

Mentoring Opportunities

Increase mentoring opportunities and offer other student support services

A picture of a group of students and faculty outside

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the many university resources and programs that provide mentoring opportunities and promote wellness and mindfulness for our students.

  • Big brother/sister mentoring for first year students to help them acclimate to veterinary school
  • Tufts at Tech provides opportunities for veterinary students to mentor high school students studying to become veterinary assistants within an academic setting that has a different demographic than Cummings School
  • Technician Internships where students have the opportunity to learn from our board certified veterinary professionals, and gain experience and knowledge
    • Faculty-student mentoring in academic fields within veterinary medicine is promoted through students’ involvement in many of the co-curricular activities offered.
    • Tufts Veterinary Council on Diversity champions the efforts of several organizations to foster an environment where all individuals are respected, and diversity and inclusion are embraced.
  • MS/PhD-faculty mentoring
  • Tufts Veterinary Orientation Program (TVOP) offers incoming veterinary students experiential educational and team building exercises to help them become more aware of their own strengths and communication styles, as well as explore learning/working in a team. Students find ways to support each other and the importance of being open to differences between themselves and their peers.
  • The Healer’s Art course offered to 1st and 2nd-year veterinary students provides a foundation to help them cope with the mental health and well-being pressures of the veterinary profession.
  • Cummings Support Center (CSC) provides resources to assist students in sustaining their overall well-being through Student Academic Support Service, the Career Counseling Service, and Cummings Behavioral Health Service.
  • Wellness Program: Many wellness programs are available to students, faculty and staff. The vast array of resources available is now documented on new Wellness website launched by Cummings School
  • Provost’s Diversity Reception brings together diverse graduate students from across the campuses in a social and networking atmosphere.
  • Multi-Ethnic Graduate Alliance Recruiter (MEGAR) is a program designed to support departmental efforts to recruit underrepresented students.

 

Career Services

Provide mentoring opportunities and offer other student support services

Faculty and students at Cummings School lead a campus discussion about diversity in veterinary medicine profession.
Faculty and students at Cummings School lead a campus discussion about diversity in veterinary medicine profession.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the many university resources and programs that provide mentoring opportunities and promote wellness and mindfulness for our students.

  • Faculty-student mentoring for academic and non-academic growth.
  • Big sibling mentoring for first year students to help them acclimate to veterinary school
  • Tufts Veterinary Orientation Program (TVOP) offers incoming veterinary students experiential educational and team building exercises to help them become more aware of their own strengths and communication styles, as well as a chance to explore learning/working in a team. Students find ways to support each other and learn the importance of being open to differences between themselves and their peers.
  • Veterinary Technician Internships where students have the opportunity to learn and gain experience from our board-certified veterinary professionals.
  • Provost’s Diversity Reception brings together diverse graduate students from across the campuses in a social and networking atmosphere.
  • Multi-Ethnic Graduate Alliance Recruiter (MEGAR) is a program designed to support departmental efforts to recruit underrepresented students.
  • The Healer’s Art course offered to 1st and 2nd-year veterinary students provides a foundation to help them cope with the mental health and well-being pressures of the veterinary profession.
  • Cummings Support Center (CSC) provides resources to assist students in sustaining their overall well-being through Student Academic Support Service, the Career Counseling Service, and Cummings Behavioral Health Service.
  • Wellness Program: Many wellness programs are available to students, faculty and staff. The vast array of resources available is now documented on the new Wellness website launched by Cummings School.

 

Community Engagement

Support programs that encourage student community engagement

Honos Civicus celebrates and publicly recognizes graduating students who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to community service and civic engagement during their studies at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.
Honos Civicus celebrates and publicly recognizes graduating students who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to community service and civic engagement during their studies at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

Programs that integrate community engagement into the curriculum, whether it’s through community-based practicums, community service learning, or clinical rotation, provide opportunities to expand our students’ experiences and increase Tufts’ visibility in, and civic engagement within the community.