Niccole Bruno, DVM
Dr. Niccole Bruno, is the CEO & Founder of BLEND, a veterinary hospital certification program in diversity, equity, & inclusion (DEI). Raised in Queens, New York, Dr. Bruno became interested in veterinary medicine at the age of 12 years old. Despite living in a “melting pot” of diversity, the inability to obtain mentorship from a minority veterinarian within her population was a daunting reality for this Afro-Latina.
During her undergraduate matriculation at Tuskegee University, Dr. Bruno not only achieved her Bachelor of Animal Science degree magna cum laude in 2002, she thrived amongst the educational support and representation she so deeply desired. Her love for veterinary medicine flourished at Tuskegee University and propelled her into the pursuit of her veterinary career.
While attending Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine, she and fellow classmates developed VOICE (formally named Veterinary Students as One in Color and Ethnicity) in 2003, to aid in fostering an inclusive atmosphere for Cornell veterinary students, and bring campus-wide awareness to the deficits surrounding diversity in the veterinary profession. Dr. Bruno graduated from Cornell in 2006, receiving her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree.
Dr. Bruno’s journey throughout her veterinary career has been thoroughly rewarding. Unfortunately, her navigation into veterinary medicine as a minority has had its share of challenges. During her career, the experiences of racism, misogyny, and stereotypical behaviors, caused Dr. Bruno to subliminally develop micro-aggressions and a sense of disengagement for a profession she once dearly loved. Nevertheless, her perseverance prevailed and the passion for veterinary medicine resumed when she was offered the role of Medical Director, for a local New York city veterinary hospital. For roughly eight years, her sincere and dedicated service as a hospital leader fueled her heartfelt endeavors to ensure a culture of diversity and inclusiveness.
Today, Dr. Bruno continues in her efforts of diversity, equity, and inclusion through speaking engagements, mentorship, and building the pipeline of BIPOC students (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) into the profession. Following completion of the Purdue University and Inclusion program in 2020, her awareness, continual exploration and study into the diversity deficiencies of our profession, ignited her vision to create BLEND. Dr. Bruno currently remains a member of the Cornell University Advisory Council, Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA), National Association for Black Veterinarians, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and serves as Advisory Board member for Pawsibillities and the DEI Commission for the American Veterinary Medical Association, (AVMA). In her spare time, she enjoys activities with her family, traveling, exercise, sports, and binge-watching her favorite shows.