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UMN VOICE recognized as Chapter of the Year

  • Members of VOICE at Brave New Workshop

    UMN VOICE recognized as Chapter of the Year

    The student organization was recognized nationally for their dedication to serving the local community

    In October 2019, the U of M VOICE team enjoyed a night of volunteering with Gay for Good Twin Cities at The Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre.

Of the 25 chapters nationwide, the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) chapter of Veterinarians as One Inclusive Community for Empowerment (VOICE) recently won the 2020 Chapter of the Year Award at the virtual National VOICE annual retreat in recognition of work the group did in 2019. VOICE is a student-run organization that seeks to increase awareness of, respect for, and sensitivity to diversity among all individuals and communities in the field of veterinary medicine. In its celebration of diversity, VOICE seeks to foster a campus environment where all feel welcome and empowered to succeed.

This is the second time that the U of M chapter was awarded a national award since it was founded in 2016. In 2019, the U of M chapter was chosen for the Excellence in Servitude and External Relations Award, recognizing the group’s hard work put into organizing various service events and volunteering at local non-profits such as Cookie Cart and the Twin Cities Pride Parade in 2018. “Winning the Excellence in Servitude and External Relations award last year was extremely exciting and was a huge driver for us as a student group to continue expanding and developing our student organization this year,” says Jessi Coryell, social chair of VOICE.

In October, students from VOICE volunteered with Gay for Good Twin Cities at the Brave New Workshop, making over 2,000 sandwiches to distribute to people navigating homelessness in Minneapolis. VOICE has participated in several outreach events with Gay for Good Twin Cities, as Matt Sullivan, the service chair of VOICE, has initiated a strong relationship with the organization.

Although the majority of VOICE’s community outreach and social events were either canceled or postponed this year, the group plans to use the funds from this award to support more events when shelter-in-place orders loosen. The leadership board is currently planning a Veterinary Wellness Clinic hosted at the Aliveness Project, hosting LGBTQ+ networking events, and diversity lunch-and-learn events in the Fall and Spring semesters. 

Says Coryell: “Although we haven't been able to celebrate in person, we are looking forward to a time when we can get together as a team and with our members to celebrate this amazing accomplishment!”