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INSIDE THIS ISSUE A Confidential Resource. . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Darrylinn Todd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 SASSI Adds Staff. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Q&A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Chancellor's Exempt Staff Award. . . 4 Hispanic Heritage Month. . . . . . . . . . . 4 DVAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Unconscious Bias. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Constitution Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 NDEAM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Diversity Certificate Program. . . . . . . . 5 COD Orientation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Official UTHSC Holidays . . . . . . . . . . . 6 TIP Closing Ceremony. . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Religious Holidays. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Community Events. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

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

Olivia Ralph, JD Sr. Compliance Consultant

Lauren Rotonda, JD, MBA Sr. Inclusion Strategist

SASSI: A CONFIDENTIAL RESOURCE Student Academic Support Services and Inclusion (SASSI) offers free counseling and other support services to students at UTHSC. As such, it is designated within the university’s Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, Stalking, and Retaliation policy as a confidential resource, meaning that information shared with SASSI cannot be revealed to any other party without the express permission of the individual. This is an important distinction, since all other employees (other than University Health Services and Student Behavioral Health, who are also confidential resources) on UTHSC’s campuses are mandatory reporters, meaning they are bound by policy to notify the Title IX Coordinator or his designee of any report of sexual misconduct.

Sophia Mosher, MPA Sr. Administrative Specialist

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.




DARRYLINN TODD NAMED ASSOCIATE VICE CHANCELLOR OF STUDENT AFFAIRS AND ENROLLMENT SERVICES Written by Amber Carter Darrylinn Todd, EdD, has been named associate vice chancellor of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services at UTHSC. In this role, she will provide executive leadership for and oversee several administrative units that provide centralized campus support activities and services to students, including the Offices of Admissions, Financial Aid, Registrar’s Office, Student Life, Student Affairs, and the One-Stop Shop. She will represent UTHSC as the chief student affairs officer. Dr. Todd will also assume an active role in the campus-wide wellness efforts in collaboration with the Office of Student Academic Support Services and Inclusion, UTHSC colleges, and the Memphis community. Dr. Todd brings over 20 years of higher education experience. She has held a number of academic leadership positions and previously served as executive administrator at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, the senior director of Online Learning at DePaul University and vice president of Academic and Student Affairs at Malcolm X College-City Colleges of Chicago. During her tenure as vice president, Dr. Todd was instrumental in managing academic and student affairs initiatives and health care programs in an urban setting. In this role, she provided leadership and management of a broad range of student services to assist students in achieving their academic and life goals. Her staff served health science students in selecting health care pathways, identified financial support, supported ongoing completion and graduation initiatives, offered career and transfer assistance, sponsored student clubs and organizations, and provided assistance for veterans and students with disabilities. A native of Chicago, Illinois, Dr. Todd earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from the University of Northern Colorado, a Master of Arts in Education from Oakland University, and an MBA and doctoral degree from Northern Illinois University. The position will directly report to Lori Gonzalez, PhD, vice chancellor of Academic, Faculty, and Student Affairs at UTHSC. 2


PLANS TO EXPAND STUDENT MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT Written by Jackie Denton Through the recommendation of the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management, the Office of Student Academic Support Services and Inclusion (SASSI) has increased its staff.

New additions to the team include Rachel Bolick, care navigator; Justin Dodson, a full-time counselor; and Clay Woemmel, a counselor focusing on residents in the Office of Graduate Medical Education. With more staff, SASSI plans to have after-hours counseling available to students at least three nights a week. “This will assist us as a health science campus in leading the way to normalize mental hygiene, mental health and self-care to impact learning, performance, and hopefully, communicate how valuable our students and residents are to us and will be to their future patients,” Assistant Vice Chancellor for SASSI Kathy Gibbs said. Later this year, SASSI plans to launch an app for faculty, staff, and students to further assist the campus on prevention and awareness of mental health and wellbeing. In the fall, Gibbs and her team will offer suicide prevention training to help people identify symptoms of depression and respond accordingly. A CARE network website will launch later in the year, which will be a central hub for resources in areas from financial aid to food insecurity. All these improvements, Gibbs said, are because of the continued support of administrators at UTHSC, including Ken Brown, JD, MPA, PhD, FACHE, executive vice chancellor and chief operations officer, and Lori Gonzalez, PhD, vice chancellor for Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs at UTHSC. “What will make this successful is working as a community with faculty, staff, and students so that all SASSI services (academic and counseling) will be integrated into our campus culture,” Gibbs said. “It will be just what students do to adjust quicker to the academic demands, learn even more, and better cope with challenges they have not had before, such as balancing self-care and studying. Our hope is that integrating and normalizing accessing services and resources in our community will facilitate a more preventive approach, thereby reducing stress and anxiety.”



Q&A WITH SASSI’S NEW COUNSELORS CLAY WOEMMEL, SASSI COUNSELOR Education: EdD, counseling/counselor education, the University of Memphis; MS, counseling and personal services, the University of Memphis; BS, double major: psychology/public relations, Southeast Missouri State University Why did you pursue counseling as your profession? While growing up, I benefited greatly from the care and concern that teachers and counselors showed for me. When I entered college, I knew that I wanted to pursue education and a career that would allow me to pay it forward by helping others. What do like most about your job? I love interacting with students. Can you share any of the new SASSI programs, initiatives, or services in which you are involved? As a counselor, my primary responsibility will be to work with medical residents. Beyond that, I have been active in promoting SASSI to the campus, helping to develop our #takecare campaign, assisting with planning special events, and meeting with first-year medical students as they begin their studies. How do you de-stress? I enjoy reading and watching movies and documentaries. These activities allow me to escape my stress, while often learning something in the process.

JUSTIN DODSON, SEXUAL ASSAULT AND SUICIDE PREVENTION COUNSELOR Education: BS psychology, UT Chattanooga; MS professional counseling, Lipscomb University; currently working on a PhD in counselor education/supervision Why did you pursue counseling as your profession? Growing up, I always wanted to be a lawyer. I even went so far as to join an all-star mock trial team with MLGW. But as I started applying to colleges, I knew that my purpose was to help others lead better lives through talk therapy. As a child, I faced bullying, anxiety, and low selfesteem, so I always knew that I wanted to be the person I didn’t have. I believe counseling is my purpose because overcoming my own experiences has helped me decrease my judgment and increase my empathy for others. I believe relationships and conversation bring an awareness that is invaluable for growth and change. Can you share any of the new SASSI programs, initiatives, or services in which you are involved? Right now, counseling services has a lot of great things going on. We have started to market our services to campus with new student orientations and meeting with the various colleges to educate them on what we offer. We are gearing up for our #takecare campaign and wellness month kick off for September that will include adoption dogs, a yoga specialist, PT 901, and other wellness vendors to offer free services to our students. I recently just organized a suicide prevention training with the Memphis Crisis Center for all SASSI staff. How do you de-stress? I typically de-stress by doing three things. Many times, I reflect on how I got to the point that’s causing me stress and seek to take responsibility for whatever role I contributed, whether it was saying yes too many times, procrastinating, or simply feeling overwhelmed. Once I can be accountable, I try not to shift blame to anyone else and reflect on how to manage better, so that I don’t end up in the same space. Secondly, I choose to see the positive in everything. We often hear that everything happens for a reason, but I like to say that we can find meaning in everything. The last thing I like to do is laugh. Smiling simply makes you happy.






The Office of Equity and Diversity, in conjunction with the Chancellor’s Office and the Chancellor’s Exempt Staff Award Selection Committee, presents the 2018 Annual Chancellor’s Exempt Staff Award. The Chancellor’s Exempt Staff Award evolved during the UT Family Campaign in 2007 by Drs. Michael and Chandra Alston, co-chairs for non-exempt staff and non-faculty exempt staff groups. This award was created to recognize one deserving non-faculty exempt employee who has demonstrated outstanding service and/or who has made a significant contribution to the university community beyond the normally expected duties for his/her position. The winner will be announced and presented with a plaque and a $1,500.00 award during the December award ceremony. The winner’s picture will be displayed on OED’s website.

Many Hispanic Americans trace their roots to the cultures of the indigenous peoples of the Americas – including the Arawaks (Puerto Rico), the Aztecs (Mexico), the Incas (South America), the Maya (Central America), and the Tainos (in Cuba, Puerto Rico and other places).

NOMINATION PERIOD: September 1 – October 1, 2018 – The Chancellor’s Exempt Staff Award nominations should be submitted no later than October 1, 2018, by 5:00 p.m. Each nomination must be supported by a minimum of three (3) nominators, including the contact person. The contact person is encouraged to elicit a maximum of three (3) letters of support from individuals/ sources who can speak to the nominee’s candidacy for this award. The nominee’s manager/supervisor must be included as either a nominator or a signatory on a letter of support.

Hispanic Heritage Month, with roots back to 1968, begins each year on September 15, the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile and Belize also celebrate their independence days during this period and Columbus Day (Día de la Raza) is October 12.

The nomination form and all information related to this award can be found on the OED website.

Some trace their roots to the Spanish explorers – who in the 1400s set out to find an easier and less costly way to trade with the Indies. Other Latinos trace their roots to the Africans who were brought as slaves to the New World. Today, the term Hispanic or Latino, refers to Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race. On the 2010 Census form, people of Spanish, Hispanic and/or Latino origin could identify themselves as Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or "another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin." During National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) we recognize the contributions made and the important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States and celebrate their heritage and culture.

Today, 57.5 million people or 18% of the American population are of Hispanic or Latino origin. This represents a significant increase from 2000, which registered the Hispanic population at 35.3 million or 13% of the total U.S. population. Share in this special annual tribute by learning and celebrating the generations of Hispanic and Latino Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society. Adapted from

NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) evolved from the "Day of Unity" held in October 1981 and conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent was to connect advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children. The Day of Unity soon became an entire week devoted to a range of activities conducted at the local, state, and national level. The activities conducted were as varied and diverse as the program sponsors but had common themes:

In October 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. That same year marks the initiation of the first national domestic violence toll-free hotline. In 1989, the U.S. Congress passed Public Law 101-112 designating October of that year as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Such legislation has passed every year since with National Coalition Against Domestic Violence providing key leadership in this effort. Each year, the Day of Unity is celebrated the first Monday of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

• Mourning those who have died because of domestic violence

Please keep an eye out for updates regarding OED’s activities in observance of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

• Celebrating those who have survived

Adapted from the 1996 Domestic Violence Awareness Month Resource Manual of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, dvam/DVAM-history

• Connecting those who work to end violence These three themes remain a key focus of DVAM events today. 4






Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is observed each year on September 17 to commemorate the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787, and “recognize all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become citizens.”

Michael Alston, EdD, Assistant Vice Chancellor and Title IX Coordinator, gave a presentation on “Unconscious Bias at Work” for Pediatric Anesthesiologists, P.A. meeting last month. The Pediatric Anesthesiologists, P.A. are the anesthesia group that falls under the Department of Surgery at Methodist Le Bonheur Pediatric Anesthesiology.

This commemoration had its origin in 1940, when Congress passed a joint resolution authorizing and requesting the President to designate the third Sunday in May as “I Am An American Day.” In 1952 the date was moved to September 17 to commemorate “the formation and signing, on September 17, 1787, of the Constitution of the United States.” This law urged civil and educational authorities of states, counties, cities and towns to make plans for the proper observance of the day and “for the complete instruction of citizens in their responsibilities and opportunities as citizens of the United States and of the State and locality in which they reside.”

Alston covered how unconscious bias affects our actions, the main biases that affect the work environment, how unconscious assessments may affect patient care, and how to become more aware of our biases with the group.

In 2004 under Senator Byrd's urging, Congress changed the designation of this day to "Constitution Day and Citizenship Day" and added two new requirements in the commemoration of this Day. The first is that the head of every federal agency provide each employee with educational and training materials concerning the Constitution on September 17th. The second is that each educational institution which receives Federal funds should hold a program for students every September 17th. Pediatric Anesthesiologists

To celebrate Constitution Day, the Office of Equity and Diversity will offer free copies of the Constitution of the United States in the Madison Plaza Lobby on Monday, September 17.


Adapted from constitution-day.php

FALL 2018

Each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is observed throughout the country, led by the U.S. Department of Labor. Dating back to 1945, NDEAM began as a week-long public observance. In 1988, Congress expanded the observance period to include the entire month of October.


NDEAM celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and promotes public awareness and education regarding the value of a workforce inclusive of diverse skills and talents. As a reflection of the valuable contributions all employees make to an institution’s success, the Department of Labor announced that this year’s theme for the observance will be “America’s Workforce: Empowering All.” As a public institution of higher education and a federal contractor, UTHSC is committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse workforce. Each year during NDEAM, UTHSC hosts events and activities which are designed to increase awareness of issues related to accessibility and promote equal access and fair opportunity within our community. The Office of Equity and Diversity is planning their observance of NDEAM. Please stay tuned for additional details.

The Office of Equity and Diversity kicked off its third session of the Diversity Certificate Program on Tuesday, August 28, with orientation for the 28 faculty and staff members accepted into the program. Cohorts participated in a “get-to-know-you” exercise and went over rules and expectations for the fall session. 5



COLLEGE OF DENTISTRY ORIENTATION In August, OED partnered with the College of Dentistry in welcoming their incoming D-1 students. OED staff presented four Ethics and Diversity workshops as part of their Dental Ethics and Human Values course. The workshops included a variety of topics designed to heighten awareness and introduce students to challenges

they may encounter as they prepare to enter the healthcare field. Students and OED staff discussed various topics, including cultural competence, understanding unconscious bias and diversity, professional boundary challenges, and diversity related conflict and resolution. OED has been working first year College of Dentistry students since 2002.



January 1 (Mon)

New Year's Day

January 15 (Mon)

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

March 30 (Fri)

Spring Holiday

May 28 (Mon)

Memorial Day

July 4 (Wed)

Independence Day

Sept. 3 (Mon)

Labor Day

Dr. Neal Beckford, Associate Professor in College of Medicine and ENT-otolaryngologist based in Germantown, was the keynote speaker, at the Tennessee Institutes for PreProfessionals closing ceremony on July 19, 2018. The program celebrated students for the completion of a seven-week residential program designed to increase the representation and active participation of underrepresented groups in the healthcare field by preparing undergraduate students for a future in the health sciences. TIP contact person is Kamaria Robinson, MS, Assistant Director of the Office of Student Life.

Nov. 22 – 23 (Thurs and Fri) Thanksgiving Dec. 24 – 28 (Mon - Fri)

Winter Holiday






Sept. 1:

Religious year begins – Orthodox Christian


Sept. 3:

Krishna Janmashtami ** – Hindu

Tom Lee Park and Downtown Memphis | Sept. 28 – 30

Sept. 8:

Nativity of Virgin Mary – Christian

With over 15,000 attendees, Memphis Pride Fest has become one of the south’s largest and most colorful civic events. Enjoy a full day of entertainment, music, food, drink, education, and celebration. The Pride Festival includes two stages of national and local talent, and will host nearly 200 exhibitors including local community groups and businesses, food vendors, and organizations looking to promote their products and services to our community. Engage, learn, and celebrate with the many diverse organizations that represent us. For more details, visit

Sept. 10–11: Rosh Hashannah * – Jewish Sept. 12:

Hijra – New Year * – Islam

Sept. 13:

Ganesh Chaturthi ** – Hindu

Sept. 14:

Elevation of the Life Giving Cross (Holy Cross) – Christian

Paryushana Parva ** – Jain

Sept. 19:

Yom Kippur * – Jewish

Sept. 21:

Ashura * – Islam

Sept. 22:

Equinox Mabon – Ostara* – Wicca Northern and Southern hemispheres

CHARLES LLOYD & THE MARVELS Germantown Performing Arts Center | Sept. 28, 8:00 pm Legendary Jazz Memphian. The iconic Charles Lloyd – jazz saxophonist, flutist, composer, arranger and native Memphian – celebrates his 80th birthday in 2018 riding high on a second wave of popularity and innovation. The 2015 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master’s latest offering is with his ace ensemble, The Marvels (Bill Frisell, Greg Leisz, Rueben Rogers and Eric Harland). For more details, visit charles-lloyd.

Sept. 24–31: Sukkot * – Jewish Sept. 27:

Meskal – Ethiopian Orthodox Christian

Sept. 29:

Michael and All Angels – Christian

Oct. 1:

Shemini Atzeret * – Jewish

Oct. 2:

Simchat Torah * – Jewish

Oct. 4:

St Francis Day – Catholic Christian

Oct. 8:

Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Oct. 9–16:

Navaratri ** – Hindu

Oct. 19:

Dasara ** – Hindu

Oct. 20:

Birth of the Báb * – Baha'i

Installation of Scriptures as Guru Granth – Sikh

Oct. 31:

Samhain–Beltane – Wicca Reformation Day – Protestant Christian

SOULSVILLE USA FESTIVAL College & Macklemore, Soulsville USA District October 20, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm In addition to the stellar music line-up spread across three stages, the festival features free entry to the Stax Museum of American Soul Music; the ARTent with demos from an array of visual artists; the Knowledge Quest Kids Zone with games, face-painting, caricature drawings, and other fun activities for kids of all ages; and interactive ballet, contemporary, jookin/b-boy, and stepping dance demos on our dance stage. Add all of that to 40+ craft/vendors & food trucks, plus the fact that you get all of this for FREE and what do you get? A beautiful day at the Soulsville USA Festival! For more details, visit

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

For more information, please contact: Office of Equity and Diversity | 920 Madison Ave. | Suite 825 t 901.448.2112 | f 901.448.1120 7

UTHSC Diversity Matters September-October 2018  
UTHSC Diversity Matters September-October 2018