“Write It Out” Event Promotes Inclusion

January 30, 2017


By Ashiana Jivraj

On Monday January 30, 2017 the Harvard School of Dental Medicine community came together for a special tea to promote inclusion and belonging on campus. Dr. Josephine Kim, director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, organized the tea with the newly announced Diversity and Inclusion (D & I) student fellows.

Dr. Donoff greeted the community by urging them to come together to stand for peers from different backgrounds and religions. He then introduced Andrew Carranco, DMD17, a fourth year D & I fellow to share his experience at Harvard. He reminded us that, “for every difference we find between one another, there is something that unites us.”  He called for students to share their feelings on post-it notes and to support one another in this trying time.

The Harvard community was once again reminded that we are one community, made stronger by the variety of voices represented. The colorful post-its on the walls represented the variety of colors, backgrounds, ethnicities, races, and religions—all of whom are a part of our greater school. After the formalities were over, members of the HSDM community were encouraged to write notes of support to post on the wall. These notes remained on the wall for two weeks to remind people about the power of community.

diversity fellowsHSDM’s Diversity and Inclusion student fellows (from left to right with Dean Donoff) are: Leigh Yarborough, DMD18; Ashiana Jivraj, DMD19; Christina Cho, DMD19; Chloe Wong, DMD18; Jenay Davis, DMD18; Andrew Carranco, DMD17; Mindy Truong, DMD19 and Vicky Herrera, DMD19.

Watch a video (by Chloe Wong) from the event.

See also: DiversityStudents



Gift Kicks Off the Freeman, Grant, Franklin Scholarship

October 28, 2016

Gift Kicks Off the Freeman, Grant, Franklin Scholarship

Colgate-Palmolive Company has made a generous $50,000 gift toward the establishment of the Freeman, Grant, Franklin Scholarship. The scholarship will pay tribute to prominent African American figures in the School’s history — Robert Tanner Freeman, DMD1869, George Franklin Grant, DMD1870, and Dolores Mercedes Franklin, DMD74. The funding will support a DMD student from an underrepresented minority group or with significant financial need.

The need for dentists representing all ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds is critical. The percentage of African American dentists has not changed dramatically since 1970. While 12.6 percent of the U.S. population is African American, only 3.4 percent of the nation’s 230,000 dentists are according to the American Dental Association (ADA).

The Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) was an early proponent of diversity in dentistry. It was the very first dental school in the country to accept African American students. Dr. Freeman was in the School’s first graduating class of six in 1869 after the close of the Civil War. He is widely recognized as the first African American to earn a doctorate degree in dentistry. His auspicious career was cut short by his unfortunate death at age 27 just four years after graduation.

Dr. Grant graduated in 1870. Soon afterward he became the first African American faculty member of the University and the School. Internationally known, he invented an oblate palate for cleft palate patients and is widely regarded for his invention and patent of the modern golf tee. He counted among his patients such men at Harvard president Charles William Elliot.

Dr. Franklin was one of the first female graduates and the School’s first African American woman to graduate with a DMD in 1974. She earned an MPH at Columbia University in a joint degree program with Harvard and was a PD clinical fellow in dental public health at HSDM. Her career has spanned leadership positions in academia, industry and public policy, breaking the glass ceiling for both gender and race. She blazed the trail as assistant dean at New York University College of Dentistry – the nation’s largest dental school; the highest ranking dentist executive at the former Sterling Drug, Inc. — a world leader in the development of local anesthetics; and as assistant commissioner in New York City and later with dual reporting to the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation – the nation’s largest urban healthcare agency. Dr. Franklin became a consultant and researcher for the U.S. Department of Labor and the Colgate-Palmolive Company, a clinical professor, author, and an advocate for oral health as integral to overall health. She served on the Board of the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) as the HSDM representative, and was a recipient of the Distinguished Alumnae Award from HSDM and the Harvard University Alumni Achievement Award for Excellence in Dental Medicine from the HAA and the Black Harvard Alumni Society.

Colgate’s gift will help ensure that HSDM is able to admit the best and the brightest students regardless of their ability to pay. To find out more about supporting the Freeman, Grant, Franklin Scholarship, contact Wanda Mock.

See also: DiversityGiftsStudents



HSDM Stands Together for Peace

December 15, 2015

HSDM Stands Together for Peace

On Monday, December 14 the HSDM community came together for a special tea time event focused on promoting peace. The event was organized by students with the support of the Office of Diversity Inclusion

Dr.Peggy Timothé greeted the crowd of students, faculty and staff, and introduced Hend Alqaderi a fourth year resident in the Dental Public Health program. Alqaderi spoke about recent headlines and anti-Muslim rhetoric and how the community can stand together against bigotry and hatred in the nation and the world.

"Each one of us has a role to play in our community at HSDM and beyond, to be a voice and support for others." Alqaderi said. "We must not forget that we are all human beings, and we should stand up for each other, and be considerate and compassionate to our brothers and sisters regardless of color, race, or faith."

After Alqaderi's speech, members of the community signed a holiday peace poster, shared conversation, and enjoyed Arabic sweets and tea.

See also: DiversityStudents



HSDM General Practice Resident Shanele Williams receives the Joseph L. Henry Oral Health Fellowship

June 23, 2015

HSDM General Practice Resident Shanele Williams receives the Joseph L. Henry Oral Health Fellowship

Dr. Shanele Williams, a general practice resident at Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) working at the Cambridge Health Alliance, recently received the Joseph L. Henry Oral Health Fellowship in Minority Health Policy. The fellowship is given to oral health leaders, particularly minority oral health leaders, who pursue careers in health policy, public health practice and academia.

“I come from a family of migrants who did not have exposure to the concept of preventive dental care, and was raised in an underserved, predominantly African American neighborhood,” Williams said. “I see the need to improve access to dental care among so many groups – especially among members of minority populations. I believe that this fellowship will give me an opportunity to acquire essential knowledge and further develop the leadership skills I need to make a positive and hopefully, significant impact in communities with the greatest needs.”

Williams is currently the supervising dentist for the Boys and Girls Club of Boston, as well as a dedicated public health and community service advocate who serves as a clinic volunteer for ACTION (Action for Children and Teens in Oral Health Needs); HSDM Wampanoag Oral Health Initiative; iSCAPE (Improve Special Care Access and Patient Equality); and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children of Boston). She is a native of Jamaica and a first-generation college graduate, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Integrative Biology from the University of Florida (Gainesville, FL) in 2007, and a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) from Meharry Medical College – School of Dentistry (Nashville, TN) in 2014.

“As a dentist I have the opportunity to not just provide helpful treatment, but I also get to use dental appointments and outreach events as opportunities to educate and motivate others about maintaining oral as well as overall health. Having the opportunity to witness the significant need for oral health services and education among vulnerable groups compelled me to focus my time and energy in the dental field,” Williams said. She will receive her Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 2016 while completing the Fellowship.

The Joseph L. Henry Oral Health Fellowship in Minority Health Policy is named after Dr. Joseph L. Henry, who served for twenty-one years as a distinguished faculty member at HSDM and as its interim dean during a critical period for the School from July 1990 to June 1991. A memorial page for him states, “Henry was a calm but persistent leader within his profession during the Civil Rights Movement. Being the first African American to break through a number of professional barriers, he carried the civil rights movement into the health professions. Dr. Henry lived what he taught: that health professionals should be clinically competent, civically active, politically informed, and serve the community with a socially conscious commitment.” 

The fellowship in his name is supported by the Dental Service of Massachusetts/Delta Dental Plan and previously the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) through a cooperative agreement between the Office of Minority Health and Minority Faculty Development Program at Harvard Medical School.  

See also: AwardsDiversity




Peggy Timothe Named 2015 Michael Shannon Excellence in Mentoring Awardee

April 10, 2015

Peggy Timothe Named 2015 Michael Shannon Excellence in Mentoring Awardee

Dr. Peggy Timothé, MPH02 has been named the recipient of the 2015 Michael Shannon, MD, MPH  Excellence in Mentoring Award.  This Award is co-sponsored by the Harvard Medical School Office of Recruitment and Multicultural Affairs; Massachusetts General Hospital Multicultural Affairs Office; Brigham and Women's Hospital Office for Multicultural Faculty Careers in the Office for Faculty Development and Diversity; Children's Hospital (Boston, Mass.) Diversity and Cultural Competency Council; and, the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Dr. Peggy Timothé is an instructor in the Department of Restorative Dentistry and Biomaterials Sciences at HSDM and the Director of the Office of Diversity Inclusion at HSDM. She completed her DDS in 1994 from New York University College of Dentistry.

See also: DiversityFaculty