Climate Study logo2The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) is launching a dental education-wide climate assessment survey to collect baseline data on diversity, equity and inclusion at U.S. and Canadian dental schools and allied dental education programs.

This inaugural climate assessment is a crucial step in assisting all campuses with measuring perceptions regarding the campus climate as one supportive of inclusion, equality and equitable outcomes for all stakeholders.

The climate study will also include questions on well-being and engagement among specific demographic groups. Collecting baseline data will allow dental schools and allied dental programs to evaluate their strengths and identify areas for improvement related to inclusion and diversity efforts and creating and sustaining a humanistic environment.

Additionally, the climate assessment data will be an essential tool in guiding new and enhanced strategic initiatives related to diversity, equity and inclusion in dental education.

Learn how to register your campus to participate.


ADEA Collaborative on Dental Education Climate Assessment (ADEA CDECA)




Diego M. Ardenghi, D.D.S., M.A. (Educ), M .Sc., Dip. Pros, FRCD (C) Associate Professor of Teaching, Department of Oral Health SciencesUniversity of British Columbia Faculty of Dentistry 
Anuradha Prakki, D.D.S., M.Sc., Ph.D. Associate Professor University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry 
Rosa Chaviano Moran, D.M.D.Associate DeanRutgers, The State University of New Jersey, School Dental Medicine 
Dennis A. Mitchell, D.D.S., M.P.H. Executive Vice President for University Life; Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement; Professor of Dental Medicine Columbia University 
M. Nathalia Garcia, D.D.S., M.S.Chair; Associate Professor; Section Head of Periodontics, Department of Applied Dental MedicineSouthern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine 
Scott Schwartz, D.D.S., M.P.H. Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center 
George W. Taylor, D.M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H.Professor; Associate Dean for Diversity and InclusionUniversity of California, San Francisco, School of Dentistry 
Carlos S. Smith, D.D.S., M.Div., FACD Associate Professor; Director–Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry and VCU Dental Care 
Todd V. Ester, D.D.S., M.A.
Co-Project Lead
Assistant Dean, Diversity, Equity and InclusionUniversity of Michigan School of Dentistry 
Rachel Hogan, D.M.D., M.Ed. Assistant Professor of Restorative Dentistry Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry 
Marita Inglehart, Dr. Phil. Habil.Professor of Dentistry, School of Dentistry; Adjunct Professor of Psychology, College of Literature, Science, and the ArtsUniversity of Michigan School of Dentistry 
Tawana Lee-Ware, D.D.S., M.S.D.  Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor Indiana University School of Dentistry 
Ana López-Fuentes, D.M.D., M.P.H.ProfessorUniversity of Puerto Rico School of Dental Medicine 
Felicia Tucker-Lively, Ph.D., M.P.H. Vice President The Academy for Advancing Leadership (AAL) 
Bertha Alacron, D.D.S.Coordinator of Diversity and InclusionWestern University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine 
Rachel C. Kearney, B.S.D.H., M.S. Associate Professor and Chair, College of Dentistry Division of Dental Hygiene The Ohio State University College of Dentistry 
Riki Gottlieb, D.M.D., M.S., FAGDClinical Professor; Associate Dean, Admissions and Student AffairsUniversity of British Columbia Faculty of Dentistry 



Sonya G. Smith, Ed.D., J.D.
Co-Project Lead
Chief Diversity Officer 
Jason Lee, J.D. Chief of Staff  
Tita Gray, Ed.D., M.B.A.Senior Vice President, Access, Diversity and Inclusion 
Angelo Lee, M.Ed. Senior Director, Access, Diversity and Inclusion  
Kelli R. Johnson, J.D.Director, Inclusive Programs and Services 
Alysha Davis, M.P.M. Program Manager, Access, Diversity and Inclusion  
Pamela Berry Banks, D.H.A.ADEA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant 
Omar A. Escontrías, Dr.P.H., M.P.H. Senior Director, Policy Research  
Rebecca L. Stolberg, RDH, M.S.D.H.Senior Director, Allied Dental Education and Faculty Development 
Kellie Bove, IOM, CAE Senior Director, Marketing and Branding  


Nonprofit HR is led by a highly qualified team of experts, each with deep experience in human capital management across multiple sectors. We pride ourselves on delivering stellar results with every engagement.

Established in 2000 and headquartered in Washington, DC, Nonprofit HR is comprised of over 70 human capital and talent acquisition professionals who have effectively partnered with organizations of all staff sizes, missions and budgets. At Nonprofit HR, we know that organizations are only as effective as their people. Our commitment to the social impact sector is unparalleled, and we have dedicated all our firm’s resources to working exclusively with mission-driven organizations nationwide.

Nonprofit HR’s DEI Team are the lead consultants, managers and investigators for the climate study. Our team specializes in facilitating the planning, design, development and implementation of DEI initiatives. Nonprofit HR will partner with ADEA to develop, administer and analyze data for a dental education-wide climate survey of the 78 dental schools and 589 allied dental education programs in the United States and Canada.

For more information about Nonprofit HR, contact:

Steven Krzanowski (he, him, his)
Senior Consultant, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Emily Holthaus (she, her, hers)
Managing Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion


Feasibility Study Conducted by CDECA – Phase 1

➤ Under the direction of ADEA President and CEO Dr. Karen P. West, the ADEA Collaborative on Dental Education Climate Assessment (ADEA CDECA) was created to explore the potential need for a climate survey across all dental schools and allied dental programs in the United States and Canada.

CDECA representatives appointed by Dr. West included:

  • Staff from the ADEA Offices of Access, Diversity and Inclusion; Policy and Educational Research; and Learning; representatives from the ADEA Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee; and
  • Independent researchers from four dental schools: University of Michigan School of Dentistry; Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry; University of California, San Francisco, School of Dentistry; Indiana University School of Dentistry; and a researcher from the American Academy of Leadership.

ADEA CDECA spent seven months conducting a feasibility study, which included surveys and focus groups with a variety of key stakeholders in academic dentistry. Data were gathered and analyzed from faculty, staff students and administrators by conducting six surveys and two sets of focus groups.

The data collected focused on three areas:

  1. Past climate survey activities at dental schools and allied dental programs, 
  2. Dental school and allied dental program perceptions and considerations concerning a future ADEA-led dental education-wide climate study and 
  3. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement on the cultural climate for all members of the dental education community and climate-related activities.

Based on the information gathered, ADEA CDECA recommended ADEA contract with an external climate survey consultant group to conduct a dental education-wide survey of all U.S. and Canadian dental schools and allied dental programs

The ADEA CDECA feasibility study was Phase I of ADEA’s climate assessment initiative and culminated in submitting an evidence-based report in September 2020 to Dr. West, ADEA President and CEO, recommending the hiring of an external consultant group to work with ADEA to conduct a dental education-wide climate assessment. Dr. West accepted the recommendation and ADEA issued an RFP in December 2020.

After two rounds of vendor interviews with ADEA staff and stakeholders, Nonprofit HR, a consulting group with offices in Washington, DC, and San Francisco, was selected as the climate study vendor. In June 2021, the ADEA Board of Directors approved funding for the dental education-wide climate survey.


Institutional Review Board (IRB) Review

➤ To ensure compliance and safety, ADEA’s dental education-wide climate survey proposal will be processed for required IRB approval.

More information on the final approval is forthcoming and will be provided here prior to any campus survey launch and implementation.

➤ The ADEA Office of Access, Diversity and Inclusion will maintain the ADEA climate study IRB approval letter.

For more information, please email


All Questions and Inquiries

ADEA Climate Study

Press and Media Inquiries

Kellie Bove
ADEA Senior Director of Marketing and Branding

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