Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) was recently honored for its diversity and inclusion efforts, receiving a 2018 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. The Award honors colleges and universities nationwide that encourage and assist students from underrepresented groups to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
HSDM was chosen for developing a Pathways into Dentistry pipeline program which invites middle school, high school and college students to envision a career in dentistry.
“We’re honored to receive national recognition for our program,” Dr. Josephine Kim, director of Diversity and Inclusion said. “Our DMD students, particularly the Diversity and Inclusion Fellows, are great advocates and mentors for young students who may otherwise lack opportunities to learn about the field of dentistry. It is truly a team effort with students, faculty and staff from all areas of the School contributing to the program.”
HSDM’s offices of Diversity and Inclusion and Admissions partner with organizations such as the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, MEDscience (HMS), MGH/Revere Cares, Reactions in Action (HMS), National Student Leadership Conference, Seeds of Hope (HMS), and Indian Island School, to bring young students who would not likely be exposed to career opportunities in dentistry to HSDM to introduce them to the field. Students who express an interest in dentistry can participate in further pipeline programming with job shadowing opportunities with local dentists.
“While we have the students with us, we also teach them about oral health and oral hygiene practices so we can contribute to the prevention of oral disease,” Kim said. “Students leave with knowledge about the field, information on the admissions process, and equipped with oral hygiene products (toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss),” she added.
“If we can convince one middle school student that they can do it and give them guidance on what it might take to get there, then we create a ripple effect. We’ve now helped one more person get there, and this person will become another advocate for countless others,” said Mindy Truong (DMD 2019), senior Diversity and Inclusion fellow.
HSDM is featured, along with 77 other Inspiring Programs in STEM Award recipients, in the September 2018 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.