Public Release: 

College of Dental Medicine receives Diversity Award

Columbia University Medical Center

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.


Other recipients of the 2015 HEED Award are:

Alamo Colleges
Alliant International University
Anne Arundel Community College Arizona Summit Law School
Augsburg College
California State University, East Bay California State University, Fresno
California State University, San Marcos
Capital Community College
Case Western Reserve University
Central Washington University
City University of New York School of Law
Cleveland State University
College of Southern Maryland
Columbia University
Community College of Philadelphia
Cornell University
Cuyahoga Community College
Davenport University
DePaul University
East Carolina University
Edinboro University
El Paso Community College
Estrella Mountain Community College
Florida Coastal School of Law
Florida State University
Framingham State University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Highline College
Houston Community College
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Indiana University Bloomington
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University
Juniata College
Kansas State University
Kennesaw State University
Kent State University
Louisiana State University
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Millersville University
Moraine Valley Community College
Northern Virginia Community College
Oklahoma State University
Palo Alto University
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Raritan Valley Community College
Rice University
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

For more information about the 2015 HEED award, visit

For more information about the College of Dental Medicine go to

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 is the largest and oldest diversity publication in higher education today and is known for its annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, the only award recognizing colleges and universities for outstanding diversity and inclusion efforts across their campuses. In addition to its online job board, INSIGHT Into Diversity presents timely, thought-provoking news and feature stories on matters of diversity and inclusion across higher education and beyond. Articles include interviews with innovators and experts, as well profiles of best practices and exemplary programs. Readers will also discover career opportunities that connect job seekers with institutions and businesses that embrace a diverse and inclusive workforce. Current, archived and digital issues of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine are available online at

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.