As a unique Latin woman serving as a full-time professor and the first Assistant Dean of Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice at the Pitt School of Dental Medicine, I have a strong commitment to supporting and advancing the culture of diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural humility in the academic environment. I am passionate about cultivating a diverse dental workforce to meet the needs of underrepresented minority communities, reducing inequities and disparities in oral health care and improving inclusive bias-free recruitment of trainees and faculty.
Throughout my 20 years of experience in leadership, teaching and research in academia, I have come to see how dental education may have an essential role in cultivating a dental workforce to meet the needs of our underserved communities. While chair of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry, and through my service on the University Senate Equity, Inclusion and Anti-discrimination Advocacy Committee as well as other Diversity Committees and Task Forces, I have contributed with an innovative vision and a deep knowledge of critical issues such as anti-bias and inclusivity. My understanding of the cultural challenges faced by underrepresented minorities, in addition to my continuous involvement with mentoring trainees, faculty and staff, gives me confidence and competence to use my training, skills and current position to ensure excellence and increase equity and diversity at the School of Dental Medicine.
I strongly support individuals, departments, groups and programs in identifying and implementing evidence-based inclusive practices and interventions which lead to equitable outcomes. I am extremely grateful to participate as a member of the Health Sciences Diversity Deans Committee and the Inclusion Network and to link Pitt Dental Medicine programing and efforts to those of the Office of Health Sciences Diversity and the University’s Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.