Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (Ross Vet) is pleased to welcome Kemba Marshall, DVM, MPH, DABVP, as this year’s keynote speaker for Research Week 2022. On Wednesday, November 2, Dr. Marshall will deliver her address on this year’s theme of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in One Health. Specifically, Dr. Marshall will speak about unconscious bias, what it is, how it impacts the veterinary field, and what can be done to address it once it is uncovered.
“Research is where questions are answered,” said Dr. Marshall. “It can be a simple as what food does my animal need? What vaccines, toys, bedding, treats – any question we have, research is the answer, and the more people in our society that can understand science and have practical conversations about why research matters, the better outcomes we will create.”
Dr. Marshall currently serves as director of veterinary services for the Land O’Lakes Purina Animal Nutrition Center, a 1,200-acre facility and working farm dedicated to researching vital new data in areas such as digestive physiology, animal metabolism, and growth and development. In addition to providing on-farm veterinary support and veterinary technical support for the Purina customer service and sales teams, Dr. Marshall is also involved with new product development to drive testing of new diet formulations, innovative milk replacers, and nutritional programs.
In 2020, Dr. Marshall launched Marshall Recruiting Consortium, a job search platform to address the lack of DEI in agriculture and animal health sciences. She also began volunteering on the American Veterinary Medical Association-American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges joint Commission for a Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Veterinary Profession formed to drive change within the veterinary profession, expand the pipeline to include more people from diverse backgrounds, and encourage welcoming workplaces. DEI has always been a priority along Dr. Marshall’s journey –
“Because I am an African-American, cisgender woman, I live my life in the perspective of someone who does not always fit the typical mold of power, position, and privilege,” said Dr. Marshall. “My lived experience is what guides my overarching interest in DEI and making it so that there’s another little girl somewhere out there reading a book about animals and picturing herself as a veterinarian. What can I do to show them you can do this? How do I position myself to be part of someone’s normal?”
Dr. Marshall earned her Bachelor of Science in biology from Howard University and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Florida. After completing her veterinary degree, Dr. Marshall went on to complete an avian/exotic animal residency at the University of Tennessee and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. Dr. Marshall has since built her career in private practice, university laboratory animal practice, and corporate retail veterinary practice. She has also been a guest editor and first author for publications in the Veterinary Clinics of North America: Exotic Animal Practice and is also published in Blackwell’s Five-Minute Veterinary Consult, American Journal of Veterinary Research and Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery.
In addition to her keynote address on Wednesday, Dr. Marshall will also present at the Evening Symposium on Thursday, November 3 and in between her speaking engagements, she will spend time meeting with the Diversity Committee and DEI Steering Group on campus. “I am excited to take part in those meetings to come away with best practices, novel ideas, and new approaches to DEI. The topic of DEI is so vast that it is easy to say it is too much to do, but it is so important that any way we can keep coming together to communicate, be in the same room, and hear each other’s ideas will spark new perspectives.”