ADEA Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee

The ADEA Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee (ADEA DIAC) advises the ADEA Board of Directors on issues related to diversity and inclusion in dental education.

The ADEA DIAC is comprised of the former ADEA Minority Affairs Advisory Committee (ADEA MAAC) and ADEA Women’s Affairs Advisory Committee (ADEA WAAC). The rationale for combining the two committees was based on contemporary diversity and inclusion frameworks, ADEA strategic goals, and the prevailing diversity and inclusion models on academic health center campuses that include multiple dimensions of diversity in academic dental institutions. 

The newly formed ADEA DIAC will retain a unique focus on women’s issues and those related to racial and ethnic minorities. Unique issues relative to racial/ethnic minority communities, women and the LGBT community include:

  • Underrepresentation in the dental school community and patient populations, and
  • Identity, advancement and a host of other topics that deserve unique focus and attention.

Within the new consolidated structure, committee members will continue to bring attention to and address issues regarding diverse communities. At the same time, cross-cutting issues exist that can impact learning and the quality of patient care, including inequity in treatment and general climate (cultural insensitivity, microaggressions, etc.).

The creation of the ADEA DIAC:

  1. Creates synergy between the issues.

    Consolidation creates an intentional space to increase the knowledge base within the membership about promising practices and provides an opportunity to share what works across the diversity and inclusion spectrum.

  2. Follows the trend at academic institutions across the country.
    Movement across the nation toward making excellence inclusive (quality and comprehensive strategies are needed) highlights learning and creating environments that maximize the benefits for all. All of the dimensions of diversity are included under one umbrella.
  3. Allows for more impactful program development.
    The consolidated committee will allow for a broad discussion about campus-wide diversity policies and practices in a holistic and comprehensive way. 

2022-23 Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee (ADEA DIAC) Members 

Eugenia Mejia, M.A., M.Ed., Ph.D. (Co-Chair)
Assistant Dean for Admissions & Enrollment Management
NYU College of Dentistry

Dennis A. Mitchell
, D.D.S., M.P.H. (Co-Chair)
Executive Vice President for University Life
Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement
Columbia University in the City of New York

Bertha Alarcon
, D.D.S.
Coordinator for Diversity & Inclusion Activities
Western University of Health Sciences
College of Dental Medicine

Diego Ardenghi
, D.D.S., M.A., M.Sc.
Assistant Professor in Prosthodontics
University of Saskatchewan
College of Dentistry

Carter Bruett
, D.D.S., M.Ed.
Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology Resident
New York Presbyterian-Queens Hospital

Rosa Chaviano-Moran
, D.M.D.
Associate Dean for Admissions
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey School of Dental Medicine

Jaerae Dell

University of Michigan School of Dentistry

Todd V. Ester
, D.D.S., M.A.
Assistant Dean, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
University of Michigan School of Dentistry

M. Nathalia Garcia, D.D.S., M.S.
Chair and Associate Professor of Periodontics
Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine

Colin M. Haley
, D.D.S.
Associate Professor of Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences
University of Illinois Chicago College of Dentistry

Rachel Hogan
, D.M.D., M.Ed.
Assistant Professor of Restorative Dentistry
Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry

Jacinta Leavell
, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean for Ethics & Professionalism
Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry

Jia Xin Li

McGill University Faculty of Dental Medicine and Oral Health Sciences

Tena Phillips
, D.D.S.
Associate Professor
Chattanooga State Community College

Sonia Rocha-Sanchez
, M.B.A., M.Sc., Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Research
Creighton University School of Dentistry

Yun Saksena
, D.M.D.
Associate Dean for Education, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry

Lynne Taiclet
, D.M.D.
Assistant Professor
Director of the Center for Patients with Special Needs
University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine

ADEA Board of Directors Representatives

Michael Larry Bates, D.D.S.
Board Director for Faculties
Clinical Associate Professor
Louisiana State University Health New Orleans School of Dentistry

Laura Romito
, D.D.S., M.S., M.B.A.
Board Director for Sections
Professor and Assistant Dean of Indiana University Interprofessional Practice and Education Center
Indiana University School of Dentistry