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My name is Flo Tseng (she, her, hers) and I’m the Associate Dean Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Climate (ADDIEC) at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. I graduated with my BA from Oberlin College in 1976 and my DVM from the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University in 1981. After several years in private practice, I focused on wildlife veterinary medicine through an internship and clinical experience at a variety of different wildlife centers around the United States. I came to the Cummings School in 2000 and became Director of the Wildlife Clinic in 2008, stepping down in March 2020 when I became the ADDIEC.2020.  

My interests in issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and climate have been longstanding.  As an Asian-American, I witnessed and experienced targeting because of my racial identity.  As a teacher, mentor, and active campus citizen, I’ve become very aware that, though some things have improved, there are many different forms of injustices that still demand to be addressed.  My goals as the Cummings School ADDIEC are to increase awareness of these issues on our campus in collaboration with our Tufts Veterinary Council on Diversity, provide educational resources for all of our stakeholders, and work towards institutional change to address these issues, both large and small.  I’m proud to be part of the larger University diversity and inclusion efforts and look forward to collaboration with my colleagues focusing on these issues.  

What motivated you to become the ADDI for your unit/area/school?

I wanted to become more involved in our fledgling DEI efforts at Cummings School, after spending a number of years working with TVCD. Some of this was motivated by my desire to contribute to the school on a broader level but also by the work that I’ve been doing over the years with our admissions processes. We’ve worked hard to try to reduce bias in our admissions work and this led to my interest in further DEI work. In addition, I was applying at the time when COVID was just starting to come out from Wuhan, China and I was infuriated by the anti-Asian sentiment that arose from the pandemic!

What are the biggest D&I initiatives you are working on right now?

Some of the biggest D & I initiatives that I’m working on right now are in collaboration with our Anti-Racism Task Force, which has faculty, staff and student representatives. We are conducting a series of mini-trainings for our campus on implicit bias, microaggressions, and going from bystander to ally. In addition, I’ve been working with our senior leadership team on revising our faculty hiring practices to include more DEI considerations. This work also extends to our work with the hospital leadership in order to bring DEI into the house officer selection process. I also sponsored 10 faculty, 10 staff, and 10 students to take the Purdue University Certificate in Diversity & Inclusion in Veterinary Medicine. Lots of other work going on, but this is probably enough for now!