College of Dental Medicine Receives Higher Education Diversity Award

September 16, 2014

The Columbia University College of Dental Medicine (CDM) has received the 2014 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 with 82 other recipients in the magazine’s November 2014 issue.

“At the College of Dental Medicine, we are very proud of our targeted efforts to foster a student body diverse in thought, background, and experience within an inclusive environment,” says Dennis Mitchell, DDS, MPH, senior associate provost for faculty diversity and inclusion, associate professor of dental medicine, and senior associate dean for student development in the dental college. “As a school that strives to be the No. 1 destination for the world’s greatest scholars, we understand that we cannot achieve this aspiration without realizing our core values of inclusion and excellence. Accomplishing this requires that diversity be a fundamental academic accountability for our university, our schools, and our departments and evident through equity in recruiting, advancement, retention, and experience.”

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected CDM based on its exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives, as well as its ability to embrace a broad definition of diversity, including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities, members of the LGBT community, and other underrepresented communities. In keeping with the mission set forth by the CDM admissions policy for diversity, which affirms the college’s commitment to ensure a “critical mass” of underrepresented students, as well as a student body that is broadly diverse in character, the school has continued to enroll a diverse DDS class.

The two most recent entering classes of dental students at Columbia have included unprecedented numbers of students underrepresented in the dental profession (20 percent in both the Class of 2017 and the Class of 2018). Excluding the dental schools of Meharry and Howard University (historically black colleges and universities) and the University of Puerto Rico, CDM ranks in the top 10 percent of U.S. dental schools for enrollment of underrepresented minority dental students and ranks first among its peer private dental schools in the Northeast.

The Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP), funded through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and administered in collaboration with the College of Physicians & Surgeons Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, is a national pipeline program that enhances opportunities in science, medicine, and dentistry for underrepresented minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged students. CDM has enrolled 35 SMDEP graduates over the past decade, including 19 who graduated from the Columbia SMDEP program (three of whom are in the Class of 2017).

The CDM Office of Diversity Affairs sponsors recruitment trips to several conferences targeting promising students underrepresented in dentistry. Various student organizations sponsor recruitment events on campus and participate in CDM’s hosting program for applicants underrepresented in dentistry during interview season.

“We hope the HEED award serves as a way to honor those institutions of higher education that recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion as part of their everyday campus culture,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

Other recipients of the 2014 HEED award:

  • Alliant International University
  • California State University San Marcos
  • California State University, Fresno
  • California State University, East Bay
  • Capital Community College
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Central Michigan University
  • Central Washington University
  • City University of New York School of Law
  • Cleveland State University
  • Community College of Allegheny County
  • Cornell University
  • Cuyahoga Community College
  • Davenport University
  • DePaul University
  • East Carolina University
  • Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
  • El Paso Community College
  • Elon University
  • Florida State University
  • Framingham State University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Georgia Regents University
  • Georgia State University
  • Grand Valley State University
  • Greenville Technical College
  • Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District
  • Highline College
  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
  • Kansas State University
  • Kent State University
  • Louisiana State University
  • Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Michigan Technological University
  • Millersville University
  • Missouri State University
  • Montana State University
  • Moraine Valley Community College
  • North Carolina State University
  • Northern Virginia Community College
  • Oklahoma State University
  • Palo Alto University
  • Quinnipiac University
  • Raritan Valley Community College
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • San Diego State University
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Seminole State College of Florida
  • Southern Illinois University Carbondale
  • Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • Southwestern Law School
  • St. Cloud State University
  • SUNY Buffalo State College
  • SUNY Downstate Medical Center
  • SUNY Oneonta
  • SUNY System
  • Texas Tech University
  • The Pennsylvania State University
  • Union College New York
  • University of Akron
  • University of California, San Francisco
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • University of Louisville
  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  • University of Missouri-St. Louis
  • University of North Florida
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of the Rockies
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Toledo
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
  • Virginia Tech
  • Western Michigan University
  • William Marsh Rice University