By: Jazmine Runyon
Florida A&M University (FAMU) veterinary technology student Tiana Smith is the winner of the inaugural Veterinary Technician National Exams (VTNE) Celebrating Diversity Award by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB).
The first-generation student from Fort Lauderdale is scheduled to graduate from the College of Agriculture and Food Sciences’ veterinary technology program in December. As Smith prepared for her board certification exam in July, she learned she not only won the award, but it also covered the cost of the exam.
“The award is an honor because I believe it is very important to be a voice and representative of people who look like me in veterinary medicine,” Smith said. “Black professionals make up less than 5 percent in this industry, and Black women are even a smaller percent.”
This award will be presented annually to a veterinary technician/nursing student from an American Veterinary Medical Association-Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (AVMA-CVTEA) or Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) accredited veterinary technology/nursing program. The award is presented to one minority student who is traditionally underrepresented in the veterinary technician profession.
“The pool of veterinary technology students who applied for this award are wonderful representatives of our amazing profession,” said AAVSB President Roger Redman, DVM.