Skip to content

Penn State College of Medicine honored for commitment to diversity

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine has recognized Penn State College of Medicine with a national award for its commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The prestigious 2020 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the only application-based national recognition honoring educational institutions for diversity. The magazine will devote its December publication to the 46 recipients of the award from across the country.

Both logos of the HEED Award are shown – the Insight into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award 2020 and the Health Professions version.

“Our goal is to provide an inclusive culture and open environment for our staff, students, learners and faculty,” said Lynette Chappell-Williams, vice president and chief diversity officer of Penn State Health and associate dean of diversity and inclusion at Penn State College of Medicine. “We are thrilled that the College of Medicine has received this national recognition. Although much work remains to be done, everyone involved should be proud of what we have already accomplished.”

Chappell-Williams said College of Medicine efforts to increase diversity and inclusion are ongoing and generally fit into three categories: respectful culture, recruitment and retention and support services.

This is the fifth time that the College of Medicine has earned the award.

To enhance its respectful culture, the College of Medicine and Penn State Health have created advisory groups of diverse populations, along with focus groups and town halls that address diversity issues. In addition, medical student courses are now required to include some aspect of diversity, equity or inclusion.

To improve diversity recruitment efforts, the Penn State University Faculty Senate updated its policies in April to include more diverse members on selection committees and among faculty as a whole. A College of Medicine protocol also ensures that at least one candidate for any open senior leadership position represents a woman or racial/ethnic minority before the search can go forward.

Chappell-Williams continues to work on a list of objectives on diversity and inclusion, many driven by feedback from students.

If you're having trouble accessing this content, or would like it in another format, please email Penn State Health Marketing & Communications.