ADEA/W.K. Kellogg Foundation Minority Dental Faculty Development Program

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) first funded the ADEA Minority Dental Faculty Development (ADEA MDFD) program from 2004 to 2010 with a $2.4 million grant (MDFD I).  In 2012, ADEA expanded the program’s critical efforts to improve diversity among populations of dental students and faculty with a new $200,000 WKKF grant (MDFD II).  Most recently, WKKF awarded a $400,000 grant to the program to enhance the formation of academic and community partnerships for dental health professionals, and ultimately reduce oral health disparities for vulnerable children and communities (MDFD III). As the program evolves, a crucial purpose of MDFD continues to be increasing student diversity and the recruitment, retention and leadership development of underrepresented minority (URM) faculty.


MDFD highlights the importance of leadership, institutional climate, mentoring and valuing diversity, academic and academic/community partnerships.  MDFD also provides a framework for mission-driven activities in diversity programming. Current grant goals include: 

  1. Training support for URM allied dental health (dental hygiene) professionals.
  2. Developing cultural competency in URM allied dental professional program.
  3. Recruiting allied health professionals to reach a minimum of 250 children per grantee in medically underserved communities.
  4. Allied health professionals and MDFD schools building relationships and preventative dental services with school-based programs and remote care sites in underserved communities (where dental caries prevention and sealants can be provided).


The MDFD “family” now includes 13 dental schools:


MDFD I

  • Columbia University College of Dental Medicine
  • Howard University College of Dentistry 
  • New York University College of Dentistry
  • Oklahoma University College of Dentistry
  • Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine
  • Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry  
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry
  • University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine
  • University Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry
  • University of Michigan School of Dentistry  
  • University of Rochester Eastman Institute for Oral Health 

MDFD II

  • Howard University College of Dentistry 
  • University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry 

MDFD III

  • University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry
  • Georgia Regents University College of Dental Medicine
  • Howard University College of Dentistry 
  • University of Minnesota School of Dentistry
  • University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry  


ADEA serves as the Central Program Office (CPO) for the grant oversight, administration and  reporting. As CPO, ADEA conducts institutional and virtual site visits with dental schools for communication and reporting updates. ADEA also holds virtual call-meetings with program leaders to provide oversight and advice regarding outcomes and sustainability.