Anissa L. Riley, TUCVM Director of External Affairs
Shelby MacLeod, Assoc. Director, Brand Strategy & Corporate Communications
TUSKEGEE, Ala. – The Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine (TUCVM) is pleased to announce the first students selected as the IDEXX Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine Scholars. Brittany T. Howard, Justin A. Hodrick, and Sydney N. Johnson are all first-year veterinary students and members of the TUCVM Class of 2025. They were selected this fall to be the first three recipients of this landmark initiative in which nine first-year Tuskegee veterinary students will benefit in total. For the entering classes in 2022 and 2023, six more students will be selected.
“Our first three scholarship recipients were grateful to have been selected to represent as IDEXX scholars. IDEXX’s intentional commitment to support each recipient’s full academic journey through acquiring their DVM from the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine speaks to IDEXX’s extraordinary and strategic vision for the future of veterinary medicine,” said Dr. Ruby L. Perry, dean of the college.
“With IDEXX as a committed partner, we can continue to advance diversity and equity in veterinary medicine, which are hallmarks in the history of TUCVM,” Dr. Perry concluded.
This multi-year initiative with the IDEXX Foundation is designed to drive comprehensive and positive outcomes for diversifying the veterinary field. The initiative includes nine full scholarships, mental health support for veterinary students, emergency funding for students in need, and monies for important capital improvements at the TUCVM facilities. Each of these elements was identified through engagement with the TUCVM leadership to maximize the positive impacts of this meaningful collaboration.
“Having been inspired by these scholars’ stories and ambitions, we are confident that they will have an immensely positive impact on veterinary medicine for decades to come,” said Jay Mazelsky, IDEXX President and Chief Executive Officer. "We worked closely with our partners at Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine to support an initiative that helps students thrive by going beyond full academic scholarships to include the complete student experience.”
The TUCVM is the only veterinary medical professional program in the United States located on the campus of a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). A pioneer in veterinary medical education for 75 years, the TUCVM has a proven track record of increasing access to veterinary medical education, educating 70% of African American veterinarians.
Meet the inaugural IDEXX - TUCVM Scholars:
Brittany Howard is a first-year veterinary student now attending Tuskegee University who attended Fort Valley State University and earned her bachelor’s degree in animal science. Ms. Howard is from Birmingham, Alabama, and the oldest of four siblings all raised by a single mother who poured all she could in them to be high achievers. Ms. Howard is a woman of faith and believes that God called her and her siblings to work hard and achieve. She plans to use her background knowledge of animal agriculture and animal welfare to further her education while earning her DVM degree.
Ms. Howard has not settled on what she would like to specialize in yet; however, her career interests include owning a veterinarian cooperation chain. She desires for this chain of veterinarian-related businesses to consist of private practices, specialty practices, shelters, pet stores, and more. Ms. Howard’s other interests outside of veterinary medicine include reading the Bible, meditating, and practicing yoga.
Justin Hodrick is from Houston, Texas, and a member of this year’s first-year class of veterinary students enrolled in the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine. Mr. Hodrick has been pursuing his interests in veterinary medicine for six years. Prior to entering the veterinary professional program, he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in animal science from Texas Tech University. Mr. Hodrick is currently interested in small animal orthopedic surgery and large animal theriogenology with hopes to open his own practice in his hometown, Houston.
He is profoundly involved in his community and has enjoyed his time volunteering at the Houston Humane Society, South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, and mentoring at-risk youth in the Lubbock, Texas area. Mr. Hodrick wishes to continue to be active in his community throughout his academic and professional career.
Sydney Johnson is a first-year veterinary student attending the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine and is originally from Upper Marlboro, Maryland. She loves suburban areas and has the future ambition, after receiving her DVM, to start her next adventure in a suburban community. Currently, Ms. Johnson, is unsure of what she desires to specialize in as a veterinarian but is open to learning all the options available in the profession and knows she enjoys working especially with small animals. Her current interests include veterinary dentistry, orthopedic surgery, sports medicine and rehabilitation.
Ms. Johnson is a woman of faith and at her home church, she was very involved in serving as a volunteer in the media and elevation ministries. She assisted the crew in filming the services and helped the unemployed find work. A few of her hobbies include reading, working out, and trying new foods.
All three recipients have expressed their gratitude to IDEXX for allowing them as first-year students the opportunity to receive this scholarship and assist as they pursue their dreams to become veterinarians and give back to their communities in the future.
About Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine
Located in Alabama as one of the state’s two accredited veterinary programs, it was envisioned in 1944 by Dr. Frederick D. Patterson, founder of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), and officially established at Tuskegee in 1945. It is the only veterinary medical professional program located on the campus of a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in the United States. The College’s primary mission is to provide an environment that fosters a spirit of active, independent, and self-directed learning, intellectual curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, ethics, and leadership; and promotes teaching, research, and service in veterinary medicine and related disciplines. For more information, visit: www.tuskegee.edu/vetmed.
About IDEXX Foundation
The IDEXX Foundation is a donor-advised fund administered by a national donor-advised fund program. The IDEXX Foundation’s mission is to create positive, lasting impacts for people, animals, and the environment through inclusive and outcomes-focused initiatives in communities around the world. In addition to creating opportunities for the diverse leaders of tomorrow, the IDEXX Foundation also prioritizes projects that improve access to veterinary care for underserved communities, disaster relief, and animal-assisted therapy, and cultivates community-focused solutions to the global challenges of access to safe water, impacts of climate change, and food sustainability.
IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. is a member of the S&P 500® Index and is a leader in pet healthcare innovation, offering diagnostic and software products and services that deliver solutions and insights to practicing veterinarians around the world. IDEXX products enhance the ability of veterinarians to provide advanced medical care, improve staff efficiency, and build more economically successful and effective practices. IDEXX is also a worldwide leader in providing diagnostic tests and information for livestock and poultry and tests for the quality and safety of water and milk and point-of-care and laboratory diagnostics for human medicine. Headquartered in Maine, IDEXX employs over 10,000 people and offers products to customers in over 175 countries. For more information about IDEXX, visit: www.idexx.com.
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