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UF honors retired professor for promoting diversity in vet medicine

Dr. Louis F. Archbald, a University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine professor emeritus of theriogenology, recently received the inaugural Champion of Diversity Award

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The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine recently honored Louis F. Archbald, DVM, Ph.D., with the inaugural Champion of Diversity Award in recognition of his lifetime efforts promoting inclusion within the veterinary medical profession. Dr. Archbald is a UF professor emeritus of theriogenology.

The award is part of the fifth biennial Southeast Regional DiVersity Matters Symposium, which the college hosted this year. The award is sponsored by Zoetis.

Dr. Archbald was unable to receive the award in person, but in a statement read during the event, said 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. 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.

Christine Jenkins, DVM, 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,” Dr. Jenkins said. “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.”

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