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New steering committee helps define, guide diversity initiatives

To help drive Penn State College of Medicine’s equity and inclusion initiatives, the Office for Diversity, Equity and Belonging has established the Diversity, Equity and Belonging Steering Committee. The 25-member committee is composed of staff, faculty, students and community leaders. Members are appointed based on their interest, expertise and roles within the College and community.

As one of their responsibilities, the steering committee established a formal definition of diversity to support campus-wide efforts. Moving forward, all initiatives will strategically align with the following definition:

“To Penn State College of Medicine, diversity means recognizing the inherent value, dignity and equality of all human beings. We strive to create an institutional culture in which all facets of identity, unique demographics, experiences and beliefs are respected.”

The committee, which meets on the third Monday of each month, provides guidance on assessing policies, procedures and programs that affect the College’s culture. The group is also responsible for addressing topics and responses outlined in the Diversity, Inclusion, Culture and Equity (DICE) Inventory, a survey developed by the Association of American Medical Colleges that is designed improve inclusion efforts within academic institutions.

If you would like to learn more about becoming involved in the steering committee, please email the Office for Diversity, Equity and Belonging at

Members of the Diversity, Equity and Belonging Steering Committee include:

  • George Blackall, PsyD, MBA, ABPP
  • Katharine Dalke, MD, MBE
  • Dwight Davis, MD
  • Brianna Evans, BA
  • Cassie Farrelly, MA
  • Victoria Francois
  • Lisette Garcia
  • Inginia Genao, MD, FACP
  • Bernadette Gilbert, MD
  • Beatrice Gonzalez, MS
  • Ashley Helsel
  • Melissa Huffman-Bittinger, MA
  • Charles Lang, MS, PhD
  • Martha Levine, MD
  • Taylor Marcellus, EdD
  • Zari McCullers, BS
  • Aravind Menon, MHA
  • Uzma Muzammil, MBBS
  • Ifesinachi Ndukwu, MD, MBA
  • Sonnya Nieves, MSW, LCSW
  • Haorui Sun
  • John Tawil, BS
  • Larissa Whitney, DBA, MHS, PA-C
  • Pamela Witt

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