Retired UF professor honored for efforts to promote diversity in veterinary medicine

Dean Jim Lloyd, right, presents Dr.  Louis Archbald with a plaque during a recent UF College of Veterinary Medicine gathering. A retired professor at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine recently received the inaugural Champion of Diversity Award in recognition of his lifetime efforts promoting inclusion within the veterinary medical profession.

Louis F. Archbald, D.V.M., Ph.D., a UF professor emeritus of theriogenology, or animal reproduction, was honored during the fifth biennial Southeast Regional DiVersity Matters Symposium, which the college hosted this year. The focus of the symposium was the pipeline for recruiting students to D.V.M. programs. The award is sponsored by Zoetis, a global animal health company.

Early in her career, Christine Jenkins, D.V.M., senior director of veterinary medical services and outcomes research for U.S. operations at Zoetis, worked with Archbald in the area of diversity and inclusion in veterinary medicine while on the faculty at the University of Tennessee and as an intern in UF’s small animal medicine program.

“Dr. Archbald was dedicated to supporting all students at UF and was extremely active in recruiting under-represented groups into the university and our profession,” said Jenkins. “He was a significant player and advocate for promoting diversity in the veterinary medical profession and was the perfect recipient of the inaugural Champion of Diversity Award, as he truly embodies what this award represents.”

Jenkins also added that Archbald had been a great collaborator on national and regional efforts to recruit and retain qualified and exceptional veterinary students.

Although he was unable to receive the award in person at the symposium, Archbald said in a statement read during the event by the college’s dean, James W. Lloyd, D.V.M., Ph.D., that he accepted it “with utmost humility and deep introspection.”

“This award is not about me, but rather about the many students who gave me the opportunity to be part of their lives,” Archbald said. “It has been a very mutually beneficial experience.”

Archbald joined UF’s faculty in 1984 and retired in 2008 after a distinguished career. While at UF, he directed initiatives in support of increasing the representation of minority students and faculty within the veterinary medical profession. Through these initiatives, later known as multicultural and special programs, he continued to advise and mentor minority students, even in retirement.

Archbald is a past recipient of the Iverson Bell Award, presented to him in 2001 by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges in honor of his commitment to promoting diversity in academic veterinary medicine. He also received the UF College of Veterinary Medicine’s Distinguished Service Award in 2009 for his career achievements.

 The University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine is supported through funding from UF Health and the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

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Sarah Carey

Public Relations Director, College of Veterinary Medicine

Sarah Carey, M.A., A.P.R., is director of public relations at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, a job she has held since 1990. Formerly, she was editor of...Read More