Patterson Scholarship recipients
Briana Arias (left) and Kate Alucard are the first two recipients of the Frederick Douglass Patterson Scholarship in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The first two recipients of the Frederick Douglass Patterson Scholarship in the College of Veterinary Medicine have a lot in common.

Kate Alucard and Briana Arias are both first-year students in the college and are native Californians. And both say they originally planned to go to another veterinary school.

Then they were offered the Frederick Douglass Patterson Scholarship, an award created to honor the personal merits and attributes of Patterson, a 1923 Iowa State DVM graduate who served as president of the Tuskegee Institute and is the founder of the United Negro College Fund.

“Financially another school was the most economic school of choice, even though I was in love with Iowa State,” said Alucard. “I was at that other school when Interim Dean (Pat) Halbur called me to let me know I had been awarded the Patterson scholarship.

“Then and there I told Dr. Halbur I would see him in the fall and that’s when I made my decision to attend Iowa State.”

Arias says initially Iowa State wasn’t on her list of vet schools to even consider. Then “something told me to look into Iowa State and I never looked back. It possessed everything I was looking for in a school from an award-winning faculty and clinicians to the numerous opportunities to explore the many aspects of veterinary medicine.”

When Arias received word she too had received the Frederick Douglass Patterson Scholarship, it was the final confirmation that Iowa State was where she wanted to be.

“I am honored and blessed to have been awarded a scholarship such as this,” Arias said. “I can only aspire to be as impactful as Dr. Paterson was. I believe I share his passion for education, especially among young aspiring veterinarians.”

Alucard says Patterson’s commitment to disenfranchised communities along with his passion for inclusion of people from diverse backgrounds is important to her.

“As a future member of the veterinary medical community, it is important to be conscious of different paths people may walk in their life and consider how I may contribute to my community’s inclusion and diversity,” she said.

Arias agrees with her.

“When I am a veterinarian I want to work with young students to explore their interests and education in veterinary medicine,” she said. “I hope to create a program dedicated to teaching all ages from children to teens to college students about veterinary medicine.”

As the founder of the United Negro College Fund in 1944, Patterson created a program that continues to this day and administers 10,000 scholarships annually. The College of Veterinary Medicine is seeking funds to honor Patterson’s legacy and fund outstanding students like Kate Alucard and Briana Arias in future classes.

Individuals wishing to contribute to the Frederick Douglass Patterson Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship should contact the CVM development team at or 515-294-0867.

December 2018