By Wendy Sarubbi | January 27, 2014 1:38 pm

The College of Medicine is beginning a new Diversity Champion program, designed to recognize the medical school’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and “the differences that make us stronger.”

Starting in January, the college is offering a year-long series of Lunch and Learns that will look at changing trends in our globally-connected world and ways to make the medical school a more inclusive environment where faculty, staff and students can all learn, thrive and grow. As part of this effort, the college will formally recognize as a Diversity Champion individuals who take specific steps in committing to diversity and inclusion.

To be eligible for the designation, participants must attend at least four of the six Lunch and Learns and make a short presentation to the medical school’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) on how the series challenged their beliefs or behaviors.

Diversity Champions will receive an honorary certificate and lapel pin and the designation will be part of their personnel file and can be used in their annual evaluations, resumes and vitas.

The office of Dr. Lisa Barkley, assistant dean for diversity and inclusion, will keep participation records and schedule CDI presentations to verify individuals have met the criteria for the Diversity Champion designation. If you are interested in seeking such a designation, please email Sarah-Vaughn Dottin at

These 30-minute Lunch and Learns provide insight on a variety of interesting topics, ranging from intergenerational communication – “Young People Are Speaking a Foreign Language” – to engaging disabled people more fully into our culture.

“I hope faculty, staff and students will take the opportunity to participate in this important effort that celebrates the differences that make us stronger,” said Dr. Deborah German, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine.

Here is the 2014 Diversity and Inclusion Lunch and Learn Schedule.

Session 1 – January 28, 2014 — Intergenerational Communication: “Young people are speaking a foreign language”

Session 2 – March 11, 2014 — The Changing World of Gender Identity

Session 3 – May 6, 2014 — Engaging Disabled People More Fully in our Culture

Session 4 – July 29, 2014 — Better Mentoring Through Innovation and Inclusion

Session 5 – September 9, 2014 — Working, Living and Communicating in a Globally-Connected World

Session 6 – November 4, 2014 — Promoting Inclusion Through Technology

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