About Our Organization

Mission Statement
Broad Spectrum Veterinary Student Association’s mission is to connect, support and empower community for LGBT+* students and allies across veterinary education.
*LGBT + will be used as an inclusive acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer,Questioning, Asexual and others who self-identify on the sexual orientation and/or gender expression continuums.

Vision Statement
Broad Spectrum desires greater support and a sense of community for all LGBT+ students and allies throughout veterinary medical education. We actively strive to counter episodes of bigotry and marginalization with positive messages of diversity and inclusion. We have healthy, supportive and encouraging relationships with pre-veterinary, veterinary and graduate students, faculty, staff and administrators. We are known for advocating for the respect and equality of seen and unseen LGBT+ members in the academic veterinary community and beyond. We contribute to the development of safe and welcoming veterinary school environments for pre- and current veterinary students. Broad Spectrum makes veterinary schools more inclusive for all students, especially LGBT+ students. We accomplish this by starting important and courageous conversations about LGBT+ inclusion, in addition to maintaining much needed support for LGBT+ students in veterinary medicine.

Our History

We were founded in 2011 at the SAVMA Symposium hosted by UC Davis. The name 'Broad Spectrum' came out of a calculated attempt to be as inclusive as possible to any student who falls anywhere on the spectra of sexuality, sex, or gender. We welcome all students no matter their sexuality, gender identity, or gender expression. And yes, allies, this means we welcome you, too!

Our Links

Friday, February 15, 2013

LGVMA and BSVSA Board of Directors Strategic Planning Meeting

     Your Broad Spectrum VSA leaders have finally made it to Las Vegas for the LGVMA Board of Directors Strategic Planning Meeting. We are looking forward to working with the members of the LGVMA to discuss future hopes for both organizations! Pictures and updates will follow at the end of the weekend! Want to stay in the loop? Here is a rough itinerary of what the weekend will be like. We hope to get a lot accomplished for the future of both LGVMA and BSVSA!

Friday, February 15

            6:00 PM         Introduction to the Retreat                                                  J. Lloyd
·      Purpose
·      Expected outcomes
·      Process
Background (large group)
·      LGVMA History
·      Previous LGVMA strategic planning
o   Mission
o   Strategic priorities
·      Pre-Retreat Survey
Plan for Tomorrow
            8:00 PM         Adjourn for the Day

Saturday, February 16

            8:00                Breakfast Buffet
            9:00                Opening Comments                                                              J. Lloyd
                                    Identification of Strategic Issues
        • Discuss Pre-Retreat Survey Results (small groups)
          • Mission
          • Core Values
          • Strengths
          • Weaknesses
          • Opportunities
          • Threats
        • Vision (small groups)
            10:30              Break
            10:45              Continue Discussions
            12:30 PM       Lunch (on your own – food court and restaurants)
1:30                Review and Prioritize Strategic Issues
            2:30                Action Planning Discussions (small groups)
            3:15                Break
            3:30                Continue Action Planning Discussions
            5:30                Adjourn for the Day

6:30 PM         Optional Dinner Buffet (RSVP if interested)

Sunday, February 17

            8:00 AM         Breakfast Buffet
            9:00                Review Progress                                                        J. Lloyd
9:15                Continue Action Planning Discussions
            10:30              Break
10:45              Continue Discussions
            12:30 PM       Summary, Reflection, and Next Steps
            1:00                Adjourn for the Meeting

            1:30 PM          Optional desert hike and lunch (RSVP if interested)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Interview with Dr. James Morrisey, DVM, DAVBP

We are very excited to present our interview with Dr. James Morrisey as the third interview in our on-going series.

Dr. Morrisey could you please introduce yourself?
I am currently a Senior Lecturer at Cornell University and the head of the Companion Exotic Animal Medicine Service. I teach about exotic pets and zoological species in the clinics, the class room and in the field. I also teach communication skills here at Cornell. In my free time I sing, dance and act as well as teach aerobics, cycle and eat out.

Dr. Morrisey with a young Howler monkey in Honduras

Hi Dr. Morrisey!  Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed.  Please introduce yourself.  Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school?
I grew up in Maryland outside of DC and Southern California, so consider myself bi-coastal! We moved to southern California when I was 11 so spent my formative teenage years in a nice, laid back beach community. I went to undergrad at the University of Maryland and majored in Zoology and Dance. I went to vet school at Cornell University. 

Tell us about your job.  Did you always know you wanted to be a wild life and zoo veterinarian?  What made you decide to pursue this career?
Yes, I grew up going to zoos and loving wildlife and exotic animals so I always wanted to work with them in some form. I found I liked science and medicine so becoming a zoo vet became my goal. During my internship at Kansas State I found I really enjoyed the client contact and working with exotic pets, so now work mostly with those species and only do zoo/wildlife work when I’m travelling in Central and South America.  

What is your most memorable experience in your career this far?     
I have had a lot of great experiences in my job and feel very lucky to do what I do. I get to travel around the world, teaching and working in a variety of places. I’ve had some great experiences working in Central and South America lately. We take students on trips to Honduras and I’ve worked with a wildlife refuge in Bolivia that’s been very exciting.

What are your thoughts on the state of acceptance of the LGBTQ population within the veterinary field and in zoo/wildlife medicine in particular?  Have you ever had any positive or negative experiences?
I have been fairly blessed in my life and rarely have had negative experiences relating my sexuality. I am a positive person by nature and try to approach any situation with a positive attitude and find that works very well for me. I’ve found the field of veterinary medicine to be very accepting of the LGBTQ population, which isn’t surprising since it tends to attract smart, kind and caring people.

Do you have any advice for negotiating your first job, especially with issues like partner benefits? 
My advice is to remain positive and accept yourself for who you are. If you act like  being gay or asking for partner benefits is an ‘unusual’ request then it may be construed that way, but if you act like that’s the most natural thing in the world, it tends to be less of an issue. It’s no different than asking about benefits for your spouse if you’re a heterosexual couple. 

Do you have any advice or a system for whom to come out to in the work setting?
Again, I think accepting yourself for who you are and realizing that it is simply one, very natural, part of what makes you the unique person you are will go a long way towards making it a non-issue. I think we get so stressed out and worked up in our minds about how to tell people but it’s really no different than telling people you’re ethnicity or the color of your hair. It’s simply a part of the whole package that is you.  

Did you have any memorable LGBTQ mentors?
When I was in vet school, there were a few other students and faculty that were very helpful in getting me to accept my sexuality as another piece of the puzzle that makes me unique. Tom Graves and Larry Carbone were so easy going and accepting and just said “oh hi, you’re gay, cool, now let’s talk about this other cool thing..” it was really great to just be accepted and then treated like a friend. 

What are your thoughts on the current climate for the LGBTQ community (e.g. with upcoming presidential elections, our current struggles for marriage equality, etc.)?
I think we are making progress slowly and steadily, which is the best way to go. Not forcing issues but not dropping them either. The best thing that each of us can do is just be a good person and open about our sexuality. It’s much harder for people to oppose and dislike that which they don’t know, so make friends in all areas of life especially those people that are very different from you. Treat them with the respect and openness with which you would like to be treated.  I think that sends a powerful message.

What is your favorite non-veterinary pastime?
I’m an avid biker. I love to do multiple day, long distance rides for charities, it’s a great feeling to be working with people towards a common goal.  I also love watching cheesy sci-fi and horror movies

Anything else you’d like to say?
Stay positive, stay fit and love what you do!

Thank you so much!