Celebrating Black History Month

February 27, 2020

As Black History Month comes to a close, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) would like to take a moment to celebrate the accomplished Black students, faculty, staff, and friends of the college who have walked our halls or partnered with us. Click the links embedded below to learn more about the impact left on the CVM by each of these impressive individuals: 

Rosemary Klass is the first Black veterinary technician ever hired at our hospital. She began an internship at the Veterinary Medical Center (VMC) in 1993 and has worked at the VMC since 1998. She is also an entrepreneur and a member of the clergy. 

B. Robert Lewis, DVM, was the first African American to serve on a Twin Cities school board, and to be elected to the Minnesota Senate. He was a veterinarian who practiced in St. Louis Park. Our small animal hospital building at the VMC is named after him.  

Sarah Penn was the first Black person from the CVM to win the Charlotte Striebel Equality Award from the UMN Women's Center. She is also the first veterinary technician to co-chair a committee at the CVM — she co-chairs the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. 

Llewellyn C. Peyton, ’74 DVM, was recently inducted into the hall of fame at his undergraduate alma mater, Alcorn State University, for his contributions and leadership in the field of veterinary medicine in August 2019. He was one of the first African Americans to graduate with a DVM from the CVM. 

Miranda Shaw, ’18 DVM, was the first student to graduate from the College of Veterinary Medicine through the College’s Veterinary Leadership through Early Admission for Diversity(VetLEAD) program. She is now a veterinarian at Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice, Inc.

Catherine St. Hill, ’99 DVM, ’00 PhD, was the first Black student to complete the College’s DVM/PhD program. Now, she is research director and associate professor at the University of Minnesota’s College of Pharmacy. 

Our college has a long way to go in celebrating and welcoming members of the Black community, and this list is by no means exhaustive. If you know of someone to add to this list, please acquire their written consent and send it, as well as the information you have, to [email protected]. Please also reach out with any feedback or edits on this post.