Columbia University’s College of Dental Medicine Receives Excellence in Diversity Award

Posted on September 18, 2015

NEW YORK, NY (September 18, 2015) —The Columbia University College of Dental Medicine (CDM) received the 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. As a recipient of the annual HEED Award—a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion—CDM will be featured along with 91 other recipients, including Columbia University, in the November 2015 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.  This is the second year that CDM has been named as a HEED Award recipient.

“At the College of Dental Medicine, we continue to foster a student body diverse in thought, background, and experience within an inclusive environment,” said Dr. Dennis Mitchell, vice provost for faculty diversity and inclusion at Columbia University, and senior associate dean for student development at CDM. “Accomplishing this requires that diversity be a fundamental academic priority for our University and our school, as exemplified through equity in recruiting, advancement and retention.”

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected the College of Dental Medicine based on our exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives, which include embracing a broad definition of diversity on our campus, including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities, members of the LGBT community, and well as all other underrepresented communities.

The CDM admissions policy for diversity affirms the College’s commitment to assuring a “critical mass” of Underrepresented in Dentistry students.  Our Predoctoral classes include unprecedented numbers of students underrepresented in the dental profession.  CDM ranks first among our peer northeast private dental schools for enrollment of underrepresented minority dental students, and we continue to support 3 half-tuition scholarships for these students. The Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP), funded through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and administered with the College of Physicians & Surgeons (P&S) Office of Diversity, is one of our most successful pipeline programs. Staff members in the Office of Diversity attend annual conferences targeting promising UID students, including the Hispanic Dental Association Annual Conference, the National Dental Association Conference, the Morehouse College Public Health Awareness Conference, and the SMDEP annual recruitment fair sponsored by the Northeast SMDEP sites. Student organizations work with the Office of Student Affairs and Admissions to provide recruitment events on campus and participate in our successful hosting program for UID applicants during interview season.

“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. We take a holistic 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 accomplished every day across a campus,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

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