Listen in as Junior Saint Preux, past SAVMA Chapter President, and Ross veterinary student chats with Dr. Matt Holland about his journey of perseverance. They discuss everything from diversity, equity, and inclusivity efforts on the Ross Veterinary School campus, to the importance of role models, and knowing when to make your move in life is vital for success.
HOST AND GUEST BIOS:
Dr. Matt Holland
Matt Holland, DVM graduated from the University of Illinois CVM class of 2017. He is a Veterinary & Pre-Vet Student Advocate for the VIN Student Team and his interests are Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, mental wellness, environmental health, student debt, & policy. His interest in policy led him to Washington, D.C. after graduating, where he completed the AVMA/AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) Congressional Fellowship in the office of Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos and the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship at the USDA National Institute of Food & Agriculture. Originally from a suburb of Chicago, IL, he came to veterinary medicine as a second career. After graduating in 2007 from Drake University with a B.A. in radio and television journalism, he worked as a freelance television producer for various media outlets in Chicago and New York City including Big Ten Network, Major League Baseball Network, and the Chicago Bears. During veterinary school, he found a love for giving back to the profession, and one of his proudest achievements is serving as SAVMA President. He is thankful for the opportunity to keep giving back as a VIN Foundation board member and excited for the future of the VIN Foundation.
Junior Saint Preux
Junior Saint Preux is a 4th-year student at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. Originally from Orlando, FL he received his Bachelor’s of Biological Sciences from Bethune-Cookman University. After several twists and turns, Junior had to decide between his athletic career in track and field or continuing his education. Through the support of his fraternity brothers of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., he made his way to Florida A&M University Pharmacy School for one semester before ultimately realizing the importance of being passionate about a direction. Junior knew a career in veterinary medicine was his calling with a desire to help both people and animals. Upon starting at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine he recognized an opportunity to improve the veterinary school experience for himself and his classmates. He began to dedicate his time to SAVMA and was elected Chapter President, where he focused his efforts on addressing the importance of diversity and inclusion and making Ross a safer and more welcoming campus for minorities and underrepresented students. Junior also collaborated with classmates to start the first student chapter of the National Association for Black Veterinarians, creating a safe space for African Americans and allies at Ross. Through this effort, they have also been able to mentor undergraduate students, create their own mentoring program to connect with alumni for guidance and collaborate with the school counselors to address issues regarding the mental health of the minority students. Junior believes in the motto “lifting as we climb,” and continues to focus his efforts in the veterinary profession with this mission.
LINKS AND INFORMATION:
- National Association for Black Veterinarians: https://nabvonline.org/
- SAVMA: https://www.avma.org/membership/SAVMA
- Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine: https://vet.rossu.edu/
- University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine: https://cvm.missouri.edu/
- Omega Psi Phi Fraternity: https://oppf.org/
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