News Release

Columbia University College of Dental Medicine receives diversity award

College of Dental Medicine receives Insight Into Diversity 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award

Grant and Award Announcement

Columbia University Irving Medical Center

Columbia University College of Dental Medicine Wins National Diversity Award

image: The Columbia University College of Dental Medicine has received the 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. view more 

Credit: Columbia University Medical Center

NEW YORK, NY (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 along with 82 other recipients in INSIGHT Into Diversity 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," said 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 CDM. "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 last two entering classes (2017 and 2018, 20 percent) have included unprecedented numbers of students underrepresented in the dental profession. 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 first among its peer Northeast private dental schools.

The Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP), funded through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is administered in collaboration with the College of Physicians & Surgeons Office of Diversity. CDM has enrolled a total of 35 graduates of the SMDEP program over the past decade, 19 of whom graduated from the CUMC SMDEP program (including three in the Class of 2017).

The Office of Diversity Affairs sponsors recruitment trips to several conferences targeting promising Underrepresented in Dentistry (UID) students. Various student organizations sponsor recruitment events on campus and participate in CDM's hosting program for UID applicants 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 are:

    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


Media Contact: Karin Eskenazi, 212-342-0508,

Office of Communications
701 West 168th Street
New York, NY 10032

For more information about the 2014 HEED award, visit

Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, one of the first dental schools in the United States, was founded in 1916. Its mission is to train general dentists and dental specialists in a setting that emphasizes comprehensive dental care; to support research to advance the professional knowledge base; and to provide dental care to the underserved communities of Northern Manhattan. Its faculty has played a leadership role in advancing the inclusion of oral health programs in national health-care policy and has developed novel programs to expand oral care locally and in developing countries. CDM is developing an international program in education and service. For more information, visit

Insight Into Diversity, celebrating its 40th year in 2014, is the largest and oldest diversity publication in higher education today. Known for its annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, this is the only award recognizing colleges and universities for outstanding diversity and inclusion efforts across campuses. In addition to its online job board, INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine presents timely, thought-provoking news and articles on matters of diversity and inclusion across higher education and beyond. Feature stories include interviews with innovators and experts, and profiles of best practices and model programs. Readers also find career opportunities that connect job seekers with institutions and businesses embracing a diverse and inclusive workforce. Current, archived and digital issues of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine are available online at

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