Three Penn State College of Medicine students are seen sitting in an outdoor courtyard in fall 2019, laughing together. A laptop is open on a table in front of them.

Diversity, Equity and Belonging

Get Involved

Photo of medical student Kyle Sundberg in a lab, looking at a test tube with an assistive viewing device.

Spotlight

Thanks to the support of the College of Medicine’s Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Kyle Sundberg has tools to assist him in pursuing his passion – science.

Read Kyle's story

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Learning Opportunities

Inclusion Academy

Penn State Health and College of Medicine has established an Inclusion Academy for students, and all employees, including human resources professionals, managers and supervisors and those with patient care responsibility.

Hershey All Things Diversity

Penn State Health partners with local organizations to provide information on different aspects of diversity and inclusion. The program, Hershey All Things Diversity, is coordinated by the Derry Township municipality in conjunction with the Hershey Story Museum and with support from Penn State Health, Hershey Company, and Hershey Entertainment and Resorts. Educational sessions are held every other month and focus on a broad range of diversity-related topics.

Explore Diversity Training Resources
A photo of two people reacting and smiling as Dr. Rachel Levine presents.
Culturally Responsive Health Care: Katharine Dalke, left, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral health, and Yendelela Cuffee, right, assistant professor of public health sciences, react to comments by Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine during a lecture on Culturally Responsive Health Care at Penn State College of Medicine on Dec. 17, 2019.

Awards and Funding Opportunities

Penn State Health and College of Medicine take pride in efforts to be recognized as "best in class" for commitment to diversity and inclusion for students, its workforce, and patients. In addition to organizational recognitions, Penn State Health and College of Medicine, through the Campus Council on Diversity and Inclusion, recognize individuals who have advanced the organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Current Students

Diverse Student Groups

Students have an opportunity to connect with others through a number of diverse student groups such as the Student National Medical Association, Latino and Amigos Medical Student Association, Military Medical Interest Group, Penn State COM Pride for LGBT students and allies, students with disabilities, graduate students, or the Multicultural Awareness Club.

Each of these organizations hosts educational and social events throughout the year.

Click or touch each group's name to learn more about its mission, activities, leadership and membership.

Learn More about all student groups Penn State offers

Student leaders Brandon Williams, Leon Lin, Robert Fort, Pardis Pooshpas, David Booth, Felicia Cooper, Nd Ekpa and Andrew Feldman are pictured on a group trip to the National Museum of African American History in Washington, D.C., in 2017. The students were representatives or leaders for Student National Medical Association, Military Medical Interest Group, PSUCOM Pride, American Medical Women Association, LAMSA and Jewish Union of Medical Professionals. The students are pictured standing on a lawn with the museum visible in the background. The photo was taken in 2017.
Student leaders Brandon Williams, Leon Lin, Robert Fort, Pardis Pooshpas, David Booth, Felicia Cooper, Nd Ekpa and Andrew Feldman are pictured on a 2017 trip to the National Museum of African American History in Washington, D.C. The students were representatives or leaders for Student National Medical Association, Military Medical Interest Group, PSUCOM Pride, American Medical Women Association, LAMSA and Jewish Union of Medical Professionals.
A photo of a group of people wearing formal dresses, standing together in front of blue and silver streamers and smiling.
More than 180 people attended the 2019 College of Medicine Multicultural Awareness Club gala and raised money for local charities, Downtown Daily Bread and the RASE Project.

Diverse Student Champion Program

Penn State College of Medicine’s Office for Diversity, Equity and Belonging has launched the Diverse Student Champion Program, which pairs students considered Underrepresented in Medicine (UiM) with diverse mentors (“champions”).

Through these pairings, the Champion Program provides an opportunity for students to learn from distinguished College of Medicine alumni and faculty members, as well as clinicians and researchers on our campus. Students will benefit from this supportive relationship by sharing successes and challenges unique to diverse learners in the medical community, strengthening their career networks, and receiving guidance about their educational paths.

Faculty and students interested in learning more about the Diverse Student Champion Program may contact the Office for Diversity, Equity and Belonging.

Current Residents and Fellows

A diverse group of students in white coats standing together and reciting an oath during the 2017 College of Medicine White Coat Ceremony.
2017 College of Medicine White Coat Ceremony

Network of Under-represented Residents and Fellows (NURF)

Penn State College of Medicine is also working to increase the diversity of its graduate student population and its residents. Recently, the college established the Network of Under-represented Residents and Fellows (NURF) to provide an opportunity for diverse residents and fellows to network and build a sense of community.

Faculty and Staff

Resources for Faculty and Staff

Details on these and other specific diversity resources for faculty and staff at Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine are available on the Faculty and Staff website.

 

Explore these resources

 

Find Your Connection

As part of its focus on diversity and inclusion, Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine are committed to providing a sense of community for its workforce, students, and patients and their families. As a result, there are numerous opportunities, both on and off its campus, for individuals to connect with others from the same or totally different backgrounds.

Affinity Groups

Faculty and staff can join an affinity resource/network group that focuses on the interest and identities of individuals with various aspects of diversity. These affinity resource/network groups support recruiting efforts, contribute to creating an inclusive work environment, and identify strategies for an extraordinary patient experience for diverse patients.

Please contact us to learn more

A photo of two people folding an American flag during an outdoors memorial day ceremony, as a group of people watch.
The Military and Veteran Affinity Group holds a Memorial Day event each year. This photo was taken prior to the enactment of COVID-19 precautions.

Advocacy and Research Opportunities

Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine's academic programs are enriched by faculty and researchers who look at the challenges and disparities faced by underrepresented populations.

They also study the impact of diversity on social and institutional situations affecting health and wellness.

Penn State Health's research provides an opportunity for dialogue on important diversity related health disparity issues and serves as an important global resource for leading-edge examination of the dynamics of health and social, cultural, structural and institutional differences.

Photo of Amarpreet Ahluwalia, a medical student at the time, presenting research, in 2019.
Amarpreet Ahluwalia, then a fourth-year medical student at Penn State College of Medicine, explains her poster, “Identifying a Shared Mental Model for ‘New’ faculty competencies to better align education with health care transformation,” during the 2019 Medical Student Research Symposium.

Support the Diversity Pipeline

Diversity pipeline programs are structured experiences for students from underrepresented backgrounds in grades K-12 and undergraduate programs that spark interest in pursuing careers in medicine. There are many ways to support our diversity pipeline programs, from speaking engagements and lectures to hosting clinic tours and shadowing opportunities. Click here to share your interest – our program director will follow up with more information.

If you wish to make a financial contribution to support pipeline programs please contact Tiffany Brandt-Thomas at tbrandtthomas@pennstatehealth.psu.edu. If you would like to make an impact by supporting students through our Educational Equity scholarships visit engage.pennstatehealth.org/EdEquity.

A photo of Connie Augusto presenting her research to Anirban Paul, an assistant professor of neural and behavioral sciences.
Connie Augusto presents her poster about the cycle of addiction to Anirban Paul, an assistant professor of neural and behavioral sciences at Penn State College of Medicine, during the 2019 Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium.
A photo of Natalie Yoshioka presenting her poster project to others.
Natalie Yoshioka, a graduate student at Penn State College of Medicine, discusses her poster project during the 2019 Faculty and Student Research Retreat.