The American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) is pleased to announce the winner of the inaugural VTNE Celebrating Diversity Award is Tiana Smith, a graduating Veterinary Technology senior from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Since early childhood, Tiana knew she wanted to pursue a career as a veterinary medical professional. Her love for animals followed her through high school and led her to Florida's capital, where she enrolled in the Veterinary Technician program at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU).
This award is given to a Veterinary Technician/Nursing student who has demonstrated a commitment to celebrating diversity and inclusion in the veterinary profession to best serve the animals and public, as well as community involvement and how the recipient has exhibited cultural humility and competence as a veterinary professional.
"The pool of Veterinary Technology students that applied for this award are wonderful representatives of our amazing profession," said Dr. Roger Redman, President of the AAVSB. "In this time of change and perseverance, we need to award those that excel and encourage them to be the future leaders of tomorrow. The recent pandemic and its effect on growing public demand for veterinary care around the country has made it abundantly clear we need to lift up our technician teams and empower them to perform all that they have been trained to do."
During her time at FAMU, Tiana was heavily involved in the university's Veterinary Technology Club and held numerous leadership positions, ultimately serving as the club's president. She also served as membership committee co-chair of the FAMU chapter of SISTUHS, Inc., a community service-based campus organization supporting and serving the African American community. One of Tiana's most notable achievements while attending FAMU was developing a strategy to maintain a secure and safe transportation system for the university's veterinary technician students to travel to and from the extension farm in a neighboring town. The strategy proved to be a success and continues to support current veterinary technology students, and will continue to support future students in the program.
After graduating from FAMU and passing the VTNE, Tiana hopes to pursue specialties in lab animal research, rehabilitation, and wildlife & exotic medicine.
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