Campus Life

Texas A&M Colleges Win Prestigious HEED Award

The awards recognize the college of Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences for their outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.
By Texas A&M University Division of Marketing & Communications October 8, 2020

The Texas A&M University College of Dentistry and the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVMBS) have been awarded 2020 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Awards (HEED) from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. The HEED Award recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Texas A&M University was also named a 2020 HEED award recipient and a “Diversity Champion” for the second consecutive year.

The award is the first for the College of Dentistry, while the CVMBS has now won four HEED awards. The College of Dentistry also is a recent recipient of the 2020 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT for its Bridge to Dentistry pipeline program.

“Our college prides itself in supporting and promoting diversity and inclusiveness across our Dallas campus,” said Dr. Lawrence Wolinsky, Texas A&M College of Dentistry dean. “A truly diverse and inclusive campus brings great benefit to all and serves to promote a positive environment for learning and working.

“These awards could not have been possible without the unwavering support and guidance of the faculty, staff and students who represent our campus community,” Wolinsky added, also commending Dr. Lavern Holyfield, assistant dean for diversity and faculty development, for her dedication and leadership in the areas of diversity and inclusion education and programming.

The CVMBS cites its integrated and inclusive curriculum and initiatives that make higher education accessible to students at all levels and training opportunities for faculty and staff as keys to winning the awards.

“We are thrilled that our diversity and inclusion efforts have been recognized with a fourth HEED Award,” said Dr. John August, CVMBS dean. “The CVMBS operates like a jigsaw puzzle, with every member of our community serving as an important piece that, when we come all together, creates a beautiful picture. We take very seriously the responsibility of fostering an environment that supports everybody’s success and we continue to look for new areas in which we can improve.”

One highlight for winning the award was the “I am CVM” video series that celebrated the uniqueness of more than 40 CVMBS faculty, staff and students through short video testimonials, while reinforcing that all are connected through the college.

All 46 recipients of this year’s Health Professions HEED Award — representing U.S. medical, dental, pharmacy, osteopathic, nursing, veterinary, allied health, and other health schools and centers — will be featured in the December issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”

For more information about the 2020 Health Professions HEED Award, visit

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