In a field such as veterinary medicine which thrives on continuous growth and improvement, Stella Elwood, V23, is leading the charge to modernize an important education track for their fellow Cummings School students: diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
Co-chair of the Tufts Veterinary Council on Diversity, Elwood identifies as biracial and queer and lives with a disability. “Because the veterinary profession has been so white, so cis-gendered, so able-bodied for so long,” they say, “and even though times are changing and people are becoming more open-minded, I’m trying to use the privileges I have as someone with different lived experiences and bring together different points of view to spread awareness.”
As co-chair, Elwood has been an advocate of mandatory DEI training starting at orientation. Associate Professor Flo Tseng and fellow faculty and administrators have responded to Elwood and their predecessors with a new, mandatory Diversity and Professional Perspectives (DPP) course.
As just one of three students in their class to use “they/them/their” pronouns, Elwood has also created a program adding first pronouns identifier pins to student badges. “I’m only one a few right now,” they say, “but as more people are admitted, I want to set a precedent for them.”