College of Dental Medicine Receives Insight Into Diversity 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award

The Columbia University College of Dental Medicine (CDM) has received the 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. As a recipient of the annual HEED Award—a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion—CDM will be featured along with 82 other recipients in INSIGHT Into Diversitymagazine’s November 2014 issue.

“At the College of Dental Medicine, we are very proud of our targeted efforts to foster a student body diverse in thought, background, and experience within an inclusive environment,” said Dennis Mitchell, DDS, MPH, senior associate provost  for faculty diversity and inclusion, associate professor of dental medicine, and senior associate dean for student development in the CDM. “As a school that strives to be the No. 1 destination for the world’s greatest scholars, we understand that we cannot achieve this aspiration without realizing our core values of inclusion and excellence. Accomplishing this requires that diversity be a fundamental academic accountability for our university, our schools, and our departments and evident through equity in recruiting, advancement, retention, and experience.”

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected CDM based on its exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives as well as its ability to embrace a broad definition of diversity, including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities, members of the LGBT community, and other underrepresented communities. In keeping with the mission set forth by the CDM admissions policy for diversity, which affirms the College’s commitment to ensure a “critical mass” of underrepresented students, as well as a student body that is broadly diverse in character, the school has continued to enroll a diverse DDS class. The last two entering classes (2017 and 2018, 20 percent) have included unprecedented numbers of students underrepresented in the dental profession. Excluding the dental schools of Meharry and Howard University (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and the University of Puerto Rico, CDM ranks in the top 10 percent of U.S. dental schools for enrollment of underrepresented minority dental students and first among its peer Northeast private dental schools.

The Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP), funded through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is administered in collaboration with the College of Physicians & Surgeons Office of Diversity. CDM has enrolled a total of 35 graduates of the SMDEP program over the past decade, 19 of whom graduated from the CUMC SMDEP program (including three in the Class of 2017).

The Office of Diversity Affairs sponsors recruitment trips to several conferences targeting promising Underrepresented in Dentistry (UID) students. Various student organizations sponsor recruitment events on campus and participate in CDM’s hosting program for UID applicants during interview season.

“We hope the HEED award serves as a way to honor those institutions of higher education that recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion as part of their everyday campus culture,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

Other recipients of the 2014 HEED award are:

Alliant International University

California State University San Marcos

California State University, Fresno

California State University, East Bay

Capital Community College

Case Western Reserve University

Central Michigan University

Central Washington University

City University of New York School of Law 

Cleveland State University

Community College of Allegheny County

Cornell University

Cuyahoga Community College

Davenport University

DePaul University

East Carolina University

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

El Paso Community College

Elon University

Florida State University

Framingham State University

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Regents University

Georgia State University

Grand Valley State University

Greenville Technical College

Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community     College District

Highline College

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Kansas State University

Kent State University

Louisiana State University

Metropolitan State University of Denver

Michigan Technological University

Millersville University

Missouri State University

Montana State University

Moraine Valley Community College

North Carolina State University

Northern Virginia Community College

Oklahoma State University

Palo Alto University

Quinnipiac University

Raritan Valley Community College

Rochester Institute of Technology

San Diego State University

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Seminole State College of Florida

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Southwestern Law School

St. Cloud State University

SUNY Buffalo State College

SUNY Downstate Medical Center

SUNY Oneonta

SUNY System

Texas Tech University

The Pennsylvania State University

Union College New York

University of Akron

University of California, San Francisco

University of California, Santa Barbara

University of Cincinnati

University of Colorado Boulder

University of Georgia

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois at Chicago

University of Louisville

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

University of Missouri-St. Louis

University of North Florida

University of South Carolina

University of the Rockies

University of Texas at Austin

University of Toledo

University of Vermont

University of Virginia

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Virginia Tech

Western Michigan University

William Marsh Rice University

For more information about the 2014 HEED award, visit

Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, one of the first dental schools in the United States, was founded in 1916. Its mission is to train general dentists and dental specialists in a setting that emphasizes comprehensive dental care; to support research to advance the professional knowledge base; and to provide dental care to the underserved communities of Northern Manhattan. Its faculty has played a leadership role in advancing the inclusion of oral health programs in national health-care policy and has developed novel programs to expand oral care locally and in developing countries. CDM is developing an international program in education and service. For more information, visit

Insight Into Diversity, celebrating its 40th year in 2014, is the largest and oldest diversity p
ublication in higher education today. Known for its annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, this is the only award recognizing colleges and universities for outstanding diversity and inclusion efforts across campuses. In addition to its online job board, INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine presents timely, thought-provoking news and articles on matters of diversity and inclusion across higher education and beyond. Feature stories include interviews with innovators and experts, and profiles of best practices and model programs. Readers also find career opportunities that connect job seekers with institutions and businesses embracing a diverse and inclusive workforce. Current, archived and digital issues of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine are available online at