UMES partnership helps pre-veterinary students, and diversifies the veterinary field
PRINCESSE ANNE, Md. – At the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, pre-veterinarian students are getting a brighter promise for the future, particularly for those who are minority students, and it’s all thanks to a new partnership. “Now that I’m here and I’m at an HBCU, I’m learning more why you need to diversify the field more and these opportunities are great for that,” says Yahzamon Jackson, a second year pre-vet student.
UMES made a strategic move to partner with Ross University School of Veterinary medicine to help further student’s education, and be a part of the journey to diversify the veterinary field. “I think it’s starting to be important for these vet schools and medical schools to reach out to these HBCUs and land grant universities to give our students a little bit of a step forward,” says Dr. Kimberly Braxton, Veterinarian & Assistant Professor Department of Agriculture, Food, and Resource Sciences at UMES.
We’re told the program gives UMES students a designated spot to be interviewed for veterinary medical school. Part of the partnership is a chance to gain a partial scholarship equaling to one total semester of tuition, something pre-vet students tell us, would be beyond helpful on their journey. “It allows minorities and animal lovers like myself to actually build connections and have a strong foundation to go to the school that they want to pursue their aspirations,” says Zoie McIntosh, a second year pre-vet student who also tells us, she transferred from Salisbury University specifically for this program. Another second year pre-vet student tells us, “Before this, I just thought to finish school and then I’ll have to fend for myself. Now I know I have Dr. Braxton looking out for me and other people.” She adds, “It’s very overwhelming but it’s like a sense of family, like they really care about me and my well being so that’s very amazing.”
Dr. Braxton went to UMES herself and experienced first hand the challenging program, but tells 47 ABC, it set her up for success today. “I went to a top veterinary school in the program because of UMES, so I do truly believe in this program.”
The current hands-on experience the UMES pre-veterinary program provides includes working with animals such as goats and sheep, on the campus farm.
Students say, this new partnership gives them more hope that their hard work will pay off one day no matter the cost. “If I really enjoy doing something, then I’m going to figure out ways for me to stay in it,” says McIntosh. Aliyah Evans, another second year pre-vet student says, “It’s just a great opportunity for us pre-med students, for us minorities, for UMES, it’s just an amazing opportunity.”
If you would like to find out more information about the pre-veterinary program, just head to their website.