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UTSD sends four to UTHealth’s Diversity, Inclusion Task Force

Published: September 25, 2020 by Kyle Rogers

Task force members from UTSD include (clockwise from top left): Dr. Lisa Cain, Dr. Ralph Cooley, dental student Ike Osemene, and administrative manager Grace Avila.
Task force members from UTSD include (clockwise from top left): Dr. Lisa Cain, Dr. Ralph Cooley, dental student Ike Osemene, and administrative manager Grace Avila.

Three employees and one student will represent the School of Dentistry on UTHealth’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force during the 2020-21 academic year.

Distinguished Teaching Professor Lisa Cain, PhD, associate dean for professional development and faculty affairs, will serve as UTSD’s diversity champion. Representing the faculty is Associate Professor Ralph A. Cooley, DDS, assistant dean for admissions and student services, while Grace Avila, administrative manager in the Office of Student and Academic Affairs, represents staff. Ike Osemene, a fourth-year dental student, is the student representative.

Following the May 25 death of Houston native George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, UTHealth President Giuseppe N. Colasurdo, MD, and other university leaders hosted a virtual town hall meeting on June 10 to discuss issues surrounding diversity and inclusion.

One outcome of the town hall was a commitment to start a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, with representation from each of UTHealth’s six schools.

Since an initial meeting on July 9, the task force has been working to create a list of recommendations addressing diversity, inclusion, and equity needs at the student, resident, employee, and administrator levels.

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