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INSIDE THIS ISSUE 2019 Campus Awards. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 New Team Member. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 New Roles in OED. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 NSAM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Altha Stewart. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Black History Month. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Commemorative Observances. . . . . . 4 Community Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Religious Holidays. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Fall 2019 DCP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-8 (from left) Dustin Fulton and Daniel Cox

OFFICE OF EQUITY AND DIVERSITY TEAM Michael Alston, EdD, CCDP/AP Assistant Vice Chancellor/CDO


Lauren Rotonda, JD, MBA Compliance Officer

To honor the memory of Tommy Lichterman and in celebration of his dedicated and enthusiastic service to UT Health Science Center, the Lichterman family and many friends have established the Thomas Connell Lichterman Employee of the Year Award. This award is presented annually to a non-exempt employee who demonstrates the high standards and positive characteristics exemplified by Lichterman. The 2019 recipient is Daniel Cox, who works in the Department of Information Technology Services as an IT Administrator II.

Dominique Crockett, MHA Associate Assurance Consultant


Tiffinie Snowden Inclusion and Engagement Coordinator

This award was created to recognize non-faculty exempt employees who have demonstrated outstanding service and/or who have made significant contributions to the University community beyond that normally expected for their positions. Michael Alston, EdD, CCDP/AP, assistant vice chancellor for Equity and Diversity, Title IX coordinator, and chief diversity officer, and Chandra Alston, EdD, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, associate vice chancellor of Human Resources, are the primary donors behind this award.

Olivia Ralph, JD Compliance Officer

Isabella Porcaro, MA Administrative Aide

The University of Tennessee is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/ Section 504/ADA/ADEA/V institution in the provision of its education and employment programs and services.

Dustin Fulton, MS

The 2019 recipient is Dustin Fulton, who serves as the associate director of Student Affairs for Conduct and Community Standards and the student conduct officer for UTHSC.




Dominique Crockett


Dominique Crockett was promoted to associate assurance consultant. Her new duties entail providing leadership and serving as a subject matter expert for recruitment and employment transactions in Taleo according to UTHSC search procedures, policy, and regulatory compliance. Additionally, she will be leading investigations and ensuring university compliance with EEO/ AA, Title IX and Title VI through programming activities, training workshops, and collecting and reviewing data. Effective December 2, 2019, Tiffinie Snowden was promoted to inclusion and engagement coordinator from the former role of OED assistant. Her new duties include but are not limited to: delivering educational and informational presentations, coordinating special diversity and inclusion events, creating strategic plans to engage with the campus community, and periodically developing and delivering customized trainings per departmental requests.

Tiffinie Snowden

ISABELLA PORCARO Administrative Aide Isabella Porcaro is the Administrative Aide for the Office of Equity and Diversity, having joined UTHSC in September of 2019. Previously, Isabella worked as a French teacher for the University of Memphis during her graduate program. As Administrative Aide, Isabella is responsible for a broad array of duties, including facilitating communication from OED by way of announcements, trainings, programs, and classes, preparing and processing a variety of financial transactions, and inputting, managing, and interpreting data received from numerous information platforms as it relates to OED functions. Additionally, she serves as the coordinator for the Diversity Certificate Program and the Lichterman Award. Originally from New York, Isabella attended the University of Memphis for both her BA in French Studies and her MA in Romance Languages with a French Pedagogy concentration.

NATIONAL STALKING AWARENESS MONTH In January 2004, the National Center for Victims of Crime launched National Stalking Awareness Month (NSAM) to increase the public’s understanding of the crime of stalking. NSAM emerged from the work of the Stalking Resource Center, a National Center program funded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice, to raise awareness about stalking and help develop and implement multidisciplinary responses to the crime. Stalking, defined as a pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that causes fear, impacts over 1 in 6 women and 1 in 17 men in the United States. Many stalking victims experience being followed, approached, monitored and/ or threatened – including through various forms of technology. NSAM’s theme, “Stalking: Know It. Name It. Stop It,” is a call to action for everyone at UTHSC, in the Memphis/Shelby County community and across the country. In observance of National Stalking Awareness Month, the Office of Equity and Diversity tabled and disseminated literature twice in January, as well as sent out a quiz on stalking facts where participants entered into a drawing to win a free t-shirt. 2



Written by Peggy Reisser When the executive dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center sought someone to lead a new initiative to further extend the work of the college into the community, one name rose to the top – Altha Stewart, MD. Dr. Stewart holds many titles at UTHSC. The newest is senior associate dean for Community Health Engagement in the College of Medicine. She also continues as an associate professor of psychiatry, the director of the Center for Health in Justice Involved Youth, and chief of Social and Community Psychiatry for the College of Medicine. She is the founder and directs the Youth Advocacy Coalition, which opened in late August at the university. In this new role, Dr. Stewart will develop the “Everyone Has a Provider” program envisioned by College of Medicine Executive Dean Scott Strome, MD. A work in progress, the initiative aims to meet unmet health care needs in the community by expanding access to health care to every individual in Shelby County. “The program is designed as part of Dr. Strome’s vision for the university being outward facing, so that the Memphis and Shelby County community sees the work that we do here, the services we offer, the training we provide, and the research that we conduct as having value in this community,” Dr. Stewart said. “It will address, we believe, some of the needs of the underserved populations in the Memphis and Shelby County area and it will leverage the vast resources of UTHSC and its partners in health care delivery.” With her history of service in the community and extensive contacts, Dr. Stewart is charged with putting a framework together for the idea, initially working with the leadership of the College of Medicine and anticipating that the entire university will eventually join the initiative.

other health care providers. “We want to help people become a partner in their own health,” she said. Dr. Stewart recently completed a year as president of the American Psychiatric Association and is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in public sector and minority issues in mental health care and in the effects of trauma and violence on children.

The first step involves a needs assessment in the community, she said. “What we hope we can establish with the needs assessment is that for some people who have generally good health but don’t have access to the necessary services to maintain good health, that we can find a way to give them that, whether it’s an annual checkup, or addressing a specific issue that we know they have,” she said. “And for people who we know have chronic medical conditions, hypertension, cardiovascular problems, diabetes, chronic COPD, all of those chronic illnesses, we know that with proper maintenance, with proper interventions, we can go a long way in helping them to not continue to be challenged by these things and wind up visiting the ER because they lack primary care service.”

She grew up in South Memphis, graduated from public and parochial schools in the city, and was among the first class of women admitted to what is now Christian Brothers University. She received her medical degree from Temple University Medical School in Philadelphia and completed her residency at Hahnemann University Hospital there. “I’m a Memphian, and the work I have done with the Center for Health In Justice Involved Youth has kept me in the community and gives me a certain visibility and credibility to be a messenger from the university and to bring the university with all of its history and resources and other things that we have to offer into the community,” Dr. Stewart said.

Access to care could involve connecting individuals with physicians, nurse practitioners, counselors, community clinics, nutrition information, mental health services, and 3



proclamations noting Negro History Week.

Each year, institutions around the country join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.

The celebration was expanded to a month in 1976, the nation’s bicentennial. President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” By this time, the entire nation had come to recognize the importance of Black history in the drama of the American story. Since then each American president has issued African American History Month proclamations.

The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The response was overwhelming: Black history clubs sprang up; teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils; and progressive whites, not simply white scholars and philanthropists, stepped forward to endorse the effort. By 1950, Negro History Week had become a central part of African American life and substantial progress had been made in bringing more Americans to appreciate the celebration. At mid–century, mayors of cities nationwide issued

The Office of Equity and Diversity and the Office of Special Events will host a series of events during the month of February. Adapted from

COMMEMORATIVE OBSERVANCES Want to know more about the Office of Equity and Diversity’s (OED) programming efforts with commemorative months? Visit for a list of notable observed commemorative months. These recurrent observances are used by various governments, groups and organizations to raise awareness of an issue, commemorate a group or event, or celebrate something. OED’s programming efforts related to commemorative months are offered to enhance the knowledge and understanding of cultural diversity, cultural competence and inclusion, but more importantly are in support of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s (UTHSC) mission. The Law Library of Congress provides commentary and recommended resources for selected national observances and commemorative months.

Selected Commemorative Observances Celebrated at UTHSC Black History Month


Women’s History Month


Asian Pacific Heritage Month


LGBT Pride Month


Constitution Day and Citizenship Day

September 17

National Hispanic Heritage Month

Sept. 15 – Oct. 15

National Disability Employment Awareness Month


Veterans Day

November 11

American Indian Heritage Month




RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS January 1 Mary, Mother of God – Catholic Christian

Gantan-sai (New Years) – Shinto

Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus – Orthodox Christian January 5

Twelfth Night – Christian Guru Gobindh Singh birthday – Sikh

January 6 Dia de los Reyes (Three Kings Day) – Christian

Nativity of Christ – Armenian Orthodox


January 13

Maghi – Sikh

National Civil Rights Museum | January 20 8:00 am-6:00 pm

January 18–25 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – Christian

On the national holiday Monday, January 20, the National Civil Rights Museum will remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the most prolific humanitarians and leaders of the American Civil Rights Movement. The focus of the celebration is community service and social justice in honor of Dr. King’s impact on global society. Activities include daylong performances, youthcentered "edutainment," a health pavilion and the National Civil Rights Museum experience. For more information, visit

January 19

Timkat – Ethiopian Orthodox Christian

January 20

World Religion Day – Baha'i

January 20–21 Tu BiShavat * – Jewish January 21

Mahayana New Year ** – Buddhist

January 25

Conversion of St. Paul – Christian

February 2 Candlemas – Presentation of Christ in the Temple – Christian Imbolc – Lughassad * – Wicca/Pagan – Northern and Southern hemispheres

Saint Brighid of Kildare – Celtic Christian

February 3

St. Blaze Day – Christian

Setsebun-sai (beginning of spring) – Shinto

Four Chaplains Sunday – Interfaith

February 5 Chinese New Year – Confucian, Daoist, Buddhist


February 8

Nirvana Day – Buddhism

February 14

St. Valentine's Day – Christian

February 15

Nirvana Day ** – Buddhist – Jain

February 26

Intercalary Days begin – Baha'i

Ballet Memphis Fly Studio | February 14-23 Three choreographers Uri Sands, Julie Marie Niekrasz and 2019 Ballet Memphis New American Dance Resident, Crystal Michelle Perkins, will create original work that takes inspiration from people and ideas that live as outliers of culture and society. These works will bring attention to contributions that are often overlooked by collective memory. This engaging and meaningful dance performance is not to be missed. For ticket information, visit

* Holy days usually begin at sundown the day before this date. ** Local or regional customs may use a variation of this date.




DIVERSITY CERTIFICATE PROGRAM FALL 2019 Written by Amber Carter The Diversity Certificate Program (DCP) at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center graduated 24 faculty and staff members in December. The program, which began in 2017, is led by the Office of Equity and Diversity.

vice chancellor for Equity and Diversity, Title IX Coordinator, and chief diversity officer.

The program demonstrates that embracing diversity and inclusion can bring a broader range of perspectives and backgrounds into UTHSC and lead to more-effective decision-making. Participants gain an understanding of the latest research and best practices in the fields of crosscultural competency and diversity.

Graduates of the Diversity Certificate Program received their certificates during a ceremony in the Hamilton Eye Institute’s Freeman Auditorium. They are: Allen Barton (Facilities); Alan Burns, MPPA, (College of Medicine); Lawson Culver, MBA, (Electronic Research Administration); Nikki Dyer, EdD, NCC, (Pediatric Dentistry and Community Oral Health); Jasmine Garrett (Department of Pediatrics); Kistal Hamlett (Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation); Janice Harper, RDA, EFDA, (College of Dentistry); T.J. Hollingsworth, PhD, (Department of Ophthalmology); Max Langham, MD (Department of Surgery); Sue Langham, DMD, MA, (General Practice Dentistry); Beth Mobilian, RDH, Med, (College of Dentistry); Mallory Morgan (Academic, Faculty, and Student Affairs); Mary Newell, MS, (Office of Enrollment Management); Cody Quon (Office of Finance); Kamaria Robinson, MS, (Student Life and Community Engagement); Quintin Robinson, MS, (Student Life and Community Engagement); Nathan Roy (Facilities); Scovia Rushing (Health Disparities Education and Community Engagement); Tiffany Seagroves, PhD, (College of Medicine); Junling Wang, MS, PhD, (Clinical Pharmacy and Translational Science); Clay Woemmel, EdD, NCC, ACS, (Student Academic Support Services and Inclusion); Kaining Zhi, PhD, (Plough Center), and Jasmine Zust (Communications and Marketing).

“The DCP is about the training and development, and the greatest takeaways for graduates are knowledge and understanding in the value of a respectful and inclusive workplace,” said Michael Alston, EdD, CCDP/AP, assistant

The abbreviated, conference-style version of the DCP will be held in the spring. Selected participants will learn the same material previously mentioned over the course of two days. The traditional format will return fall 2020.

The program aims to develop a more knowledgeable workforce by enhancing competencies and capacity around diversity and inclusion in order to leverage them toward achieving and sustaining campus-wide excellence. This initiative aligns with the chancellor’s strategic plan for diversity. To date, 101 UTHSC team members have completed the program. “The OED Diversity Certificate Program was a great experience that not only covers issues with diversity and inclusion in the workplace, but also how to relate to others who are different from you,” said Jasmine Zust, digital content specialist in the Department of Communications and Marketing, who was in the fall 2019 class. “It helped me get to know people I otherwise would not have been able to meet during a normal workday. I would highly recommend this program to every faculty or staff member at UTHSC.”



Allen Barton HVAC Superintendent Facilities

Anna Bukiya, PhD Associate Professor Department of Pharmacology

Alan Burns, MPPA Communications Coordinator College of Medicine

Lawson Culver, MBA Director Electronic Research Administration

Nikki Dyer, EdD, NCC Assistant Professor Pediatric Dentistry and Community Oral Health

Jasmine Garrett Administrative Aide Department of Pediatrics

Kistal Hamlett Administrative Specialist II Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation

Janice Harper, RDA, EFDA Clinical Supervisor College of Dentistry

T.J. Hollingsworth, PhD Research Instructor Department of Ophthalmologyn

Max Langham, MD Professor and Vice Chairman Department of Surgery

Sue Langham, DMD, MA Associate Professor General Practice Dentistry

Beth Mobilian, RDH, MEd Assistant Professor Dental Hygiene, College of Dentistry

Mallory Morgan Marketing and Communications Coordinator Academic, Faculty, and Student Affairs

Mary Newell, MS Admissions Compliance Counselor Office of Enrollment Management

Cody Quon Accounting Assistant III Office of Finance





Kamaria Robinson, MS Assistant Director Student Life and Community Engagement

Quintin Robinson, MS Student Life and Health Careers Programs Coordinator Student Affairs

Nathan Roy Sr. Skilled Craftsman Carpentry, Facilities

Scovia Rushing Community Engagement Specialist Health Disparities Education and Community Engagement

Junling Wang, MS, PhD Professor Clinical Pharmacy and Translational Science

Clay Woemmel, EdD, NCC, ACS Counselor Student Academic Support Services and Inclusion

Kaining Zhi, PhD Research Scientist Plough Center

Jasmine Zust Digital Content Specialist Communications and Marketing

For more information, please contact: Office of Equity and Diversity | 920 Madison Ave. | Suite 825 t 901.448.2112 | f 901.448.1120

Tiffany Seagroves, PhD Professor and Associate Vice Chancellor for Research-Core Labs Pathology, College of Medicine

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OED Diversity Matters Newsletter - January/February 2020  

OED Diversity Matters Newsletter - January/February 2020  

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