A student group at MU’s College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) has received a 2017 Catalyst Award from the university’s LGBTQ Resource Center.
Mizzou Broad Spectrum, founded in 2015, is a chapter of the Broad Spectrum Veterinary Student Association, a North American group that works to promote acceptance and inclusion in the veterinary profession.
“We’re so thankful for this award,” said Madison Minter, Broad Spectrum co-President and second-year CVM student. “We work very hard to make our club inclusive to students, residents, clinicians, faculty, and staff because we really believe in our club’s message. Not only do we want to raise awareness about LGBTQ+ issues and make a difference, but we want our allies — people who do not identify as LGBTQ+ — to join us and feel empowered as well.”
The Catalyst Awards is an annual event aimed at bringing together activists, volunteers, students and local residents to recognize individuals or organizations who work to support the LGBTQ+ community. LGBTQ+ is an inclusive initialism for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, questioning, asexual and other individuals who self-identify on sexual orientation and gender expression.
Established in 1998, the awards were originally created to honor activists who worked to bring sexual orientation to the UM System non-discrimination policy. According to the LGBTQ Resource Center, the awards “honor those who speak up, out, and often” for the LGBTQ+ community.
“This award means a lot to our organization as it shows that our efforts are having an impact, not just in the CVM community, but also in conjunction with other LGBTQ+ groups and individuals on main campus,” said co-President Rhiannon Koehler, a second-year student at the CVM. “We believe that the experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals in veterinary medicine are unique and important, and we appreciate any opportunity to educate others on this topic. We hope this award will lead to additional partnerships so that we can continue to spread our message to more people and make a real difference for LGBTQ+ individuals in our admirable and cherished profession.”
Mizzou Broad Spectrum was nominated for the award by its faculty advisors, Joan Coates, DVM, MS, DACVIM, a professor of neurology at the CVM, and Eileen Hasser, PhD, a professor at the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center.