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. 

2023-24 Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee Members (ADEA DIAC)  

Todd Ester, D.D.S., M.A. (Co-Chair)
Assistant Dean, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and
Clinical Assistant Professor
University of Michigan School of Dentistry

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

Maria Lucia Aguilar, D.D.S., M.S., M.Sc.
Clinical Associate Professor of Prosthodontics
University of Florida College of Dentistry

Diego M. Ardenghi, D.D.S., M.A., M.Sc.
Associate Professor of Teaching Restorative Dentistry/Prosthodontics
University of British Columbia
Faculty of Dentistry

Kamran Awan, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Associate Professor & Program Director, MS in Biomedical Sciences
Roseman University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine - South Jordan, Utah

Michelle Brady, D.D.S.
Assistant Professor  
University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry

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

Lisa Cain, Ph.D.
Associate Dean of Professional Development and
Faculty Affairs
UTHealth Houston, School of Dentistry

D'Lana Lee Carroll
Dental Assistant
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry

Jaerae Dell
University of Michigan School of Dentistry

Douglass Jackson,
D.M.D., M.S., Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
University of Washington School of Dentistry

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

Jia Xin Li

McGill University Faculty of Dental Medicine and Oral Health Sciences

Eugenia Mejia, 
Assistant Dean for Admissions & Enrollment Management
NYU College of Dentistry

Herminio Perez,
D.M.D., Ed.D., M.B.A.
Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, Diversity & Inclusion
Rutgers, School of Dental Medicine

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

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

Wendy Scripps, 
Director of Student Recruitment and Engagement
University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry

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

ADEA Board of Directors Representatives

Mert Aksu, D.D.S., J.D., M.H.S.A., Cert DPH.
Board Director for Deans

Larry Schnuck
Board Director for the Corporate Council