Our office provides and facilitate several outreach programs aimed at providing opportunities for students of different ages from underserved communities to learn more about the profession of veterinary medicine.
For Florida High School Students:
Gator Vet Camp
The Gator Vet Camp recognizes talented high school students and provides them with enriching and personal exposure to the veterinary medical profession and college life.
The rigorous activities, shared experiences and challenging exercises enable participants to identify courses important for college readiness and explore careers in veterinary medicine.
Gator Vet Camp is a part of the UF CVM’s commitment to providing a supportive learning environment through aggressive recruitment of students from underserved communities.
For Local Rural High School Students:
Gator Vet Start Mentoring Program
The overall goal of the Vet Start Mentoring Program is to grow and strengthen the veterinary medicine workforce by providing profession-specific mentorship and experiential learning opportunities to underserved high school students from local rural areas.
Student participants will connect with faculty from the college and DVM student mentors for ongoing conversations about the field of veterinary medicine and essential skills when preparing for college. Students will also shadow their mentors throughout the year and take part in laboratory activities to learn about antibiotic resistance, animal handling, suturing and the specialties within veterinary medicine. The program concludes with a celebration reception to recognize their growth and accomplishments.
For Kindergarten-4th Graders:
This Is How We Role
This Is How We Role is an afterschool enrichment program for students in grades K-4 within underserved communities. This program has the long-term goal of expanding the veterinarian-scientist workforce. Veterinarians, veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants and veterinary students educate and engage the elementary school students about the breadth of careers in the veterinary profession and how we can prevent and treat health conditions that impact both people and their animals. Developed and funded by Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, this program is supported by the Science Education Partnership Award of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health. Currently, it is offered at the Caring and Sharing Learning School in Gainesville, Florida, with the goal of expanding to other schools in the Gainesville area. Reach out to Wendy Mesa if you are interested in implementing this after-school program at your local elementary school.
For First-Generation and Underserved College Freshmen:
Gator Vet SMART Undergraduate Mentorship
The Vet SMART Undergraduate Mentorship Program was developed to build a community that supports historically underserved students interested in veterinary medicine. The mentorship program will provide first-year, second-year and transfer undergraduate students at the University of Florida with academic support, research opportunities and experiences with animals and veterinarians to help them be competitive applicants for the UF College of Veterinary Medicine. Applications for the 2023-2024 academic year will be available in the Fall of 2023. Reach out to Wendy Mesa for more information.
For Full-time First- and Second-Year UF Students:
UF CVM Biomedical Research Program
The UF CVM Biomedical Research Program is an 8-week program offered during the Spring semester designed for full-time first- and second-year students at the University of Florida. The program provides hands-on training on basic molecular techniques used in biomedical research. The objectives are three-fold:
- Instill interest in biomedical research during the early stages of the undergraduate program
- Help find a research mentor at the UF CVM to gain further research experience
- Attract historically underserved students to professional and graduate programs, in particularly the UF College of Veterinary Medicine. Applications will be available during the Fall of 2023.