Office of Diversity Affairs

Miles For Smiles Event 2013

The College of Dental Medicine (CDM) Office of Diversity Affairs (ODA)has been the internal support system for underrepresented minority students, faculty and staff.  The ODA also plays an integral role in the recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority students for CDM.  Many programs have been implemented through the ODA to increase the training of underrepresented minorities in the CDM pre-doctoral and postdoctoral programs.  Following are descriptions of programs supported by the ODA, in keeping with the office’s mission: to support, promote and encourage a climate for diversity, multiculturalism and inclusion within the CDM for students, faculty, staff and patients.

Contact any member of the staff if you are unsure as to whom you should address your questions.

Dennis A. Mitchell
Senior Associate Dean for Student Development
(212) 342-3714

Sandra Garcia
Assistant Dean
Admissions and Student Affairs
(212) 342-1697

Dr. Marlene Klyvert
Senior Advisor to the Office of Diversity Affairs
(212) 305-9035

Beverly Cummings
Administrative Aide
(212) 342-3714

The Underrepresented in Dentistry (UID) program was instituted at CDM in 2003 as a collaboration between the ODA and Office of Admissions & Student Affairs. The program seeks to increase the diversity of the CDM student body as a means to enhance diversity within the dental profession.  This mission is a reflection of the CDM admissions policy for diversity, which affirms the school’s commitment to “assure a critical mass of underrepresented in dentistry students, as well as a student body which is diverse in many respects.”  UID students receive mentoring and support, including guidance to identify research and community service placement opportunities, from several dedicated CDM faculty members. The success of this initiative is reflected within the CDM pre-doctoral class.  The freshman cohorts enrolled since the UID program’s inception have included increasingly larger numbers of students underrepresented in the dental profession.


Columbia University College of Dental Medicine Admissions Policy on Diversity

The College of Dental Medicine seeks a diverse student body reflecting not only the many faces of the patients who will be treated by the graduates of the college, but also for the creation of a diverse body of thought and interest within this community of scholars. Our definition of diversity includes race/ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and more, but is certainly not limited to those considerations. The candidate’s background in the sciences, future career intentions, unique abilities, personality, and general accomplishments also are carefully reviewed in seeking to have a diverse student body. For instance, a student who has demonstrated unique talents and skills in research, or who has a unique life mission in public health service, brings to our student body another important measure of diversity.

The college sets no quotas nor has set asides; regardless of race or ethnicity, all applicants are considered in the same competitive pool using the same policies and procedures and Admissions Committee members. Our Admissions Committee protocols insure that all applicants receive individualized consideration using a flexible policy in which race/ethnicity is one of a number of diversity related considerations or factors taken into account.

Historically, the college has made a good faith consideration of workable race neutral alternatives to race conscious policies. Such alternatives have proven inadequate in creating the desired nature of the student body. In dentistry in particular with the very small national applicant pools for those groups who are under-represented in dentistry, race neutral alternatives are particularly limited.

In summary, it is the intent of these “narrowly tailored” policies to assure a “critical mass” of under-represented in dentistry students, as well as a student body which is diverse in many respects. Such a student body is best prepared to meet the health care needs of our local community and society at large. As part of the institutional outcomes annual review, these policies and the results of their implementation are carefully reviewed and subject to future modification.

Summer Medical & Dental Education Program The Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP) is supported...
Student National Dental Association In collaboration with the CDM Office of Student Affairs, the ODA supports the...
NEW YORK, NY (September 18, 2015) --The Columbia University College of Dental Medicine (CDM) received the 2015 Higher...