Diversity Certificate Program

Download application here.


Supporting an environment rich in diverse perspectives, cultures, beliefs and experiences allows us to foster a more thoughtful and welcoming community and strengthen our ability to work cooperatively toward our core mission. 

Joe DiPietro, UT President


Steve J. Schwab, MD
The University of Tennessee
Health Science Center
Kennard D. Brown, JD, MPA, PHD, FACHE
Executive Vice Chancellor & COO
The University of Tennessee
Health Science Center
Lori S. Gonzalez, PhD
Vice Chancellor for Academic,
Faculty and Student Affairs

The University of Tennessee
Health Science Center


The Office of Equity and Diversity is excited to announce the Diversity Certificate Program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). Increasingly, diversity and inclusion are becoming strategic business drivers that have a direct impact on organizational effectiveness and reputation. Investing in diversity and inclusion is paramount to improving employee engagement, serving students more effectively, increasing institutional innovation, and preparing more knowledgeable health care professionals. 

The program will demonstrate that embracing diversity and inclusion can bring a broader range of perspectives and backgrounds into our organization, leading to more effective decision-making. Participants will gain a sound understanding of the latest research and best practices in the fields of cultural competency and diversity. 

This initiative is a training opportunity for faculty and staff and in alignment with the Chancellor’s priority on Equity and Inclusion.



Participants in the program can expect to:

  • Explore their own background, identities, and values.
  • Develop critical competencies relevant to a wide variety of disciplines.
  • Deepen their understanding of historical and institutionalized policies that continue to impact inequities for diverse and marginalized populations.
  • Learn tools for decreasing bias and supporting a more inclusive climate for underrepresented minorities at UTHSC.


To develop a more knowledgeable workforce by enhancing staff competencies and capacity relevant to diversity and inclusion, in order to leverage these toward achieving and sustaining campus-wide excellence. 

Specific objectives:

  • Understanding foundational concepts for diversity and inclusion.
  • Connect the impact of diversity and inclusion to key organizational goals to identify critical gaps that impact overall effectiveness.
  • Help create a culture that values differences and celebrates a global outlook in understanding diversity.
  • Considerations and tools for creating an inclusive climate at work and within the community.
  • Professional development.
  • Contribute to the University community by addressing unmet diversity needs.


The curriculum focuses on exploring foundational concepts essential to enhancing an inclusive work environment, through lecture, experiential activities, and independent learning activities.

The 4-month certificate program’s curriculum builds knowledge, understanding, and application methodologies to address dynamics within a diverse academic health science center. Those who pursue the certificate will learn more about ways in which they can assist and improve their ability to contribute in a manner that is welcoming and inclusive.

To earn the Certificate in Diversity, participants must complete six (6) required courses. Additionally, participants must select four (4) elective courses to complete and participate in experiential learning activities.



Course Name

Course Type



Accommodation Process: ADA & Religion




Management Supervision:  What’s law Got To Do With It?




Managing Conflict in a Diverse Workplace




Diversity and Inclusion Literacy




Developing Cultural Competence




Communicating with Diverse Personalities (MBTI)




6 Required Courses




Elective Courses (A minimum of four required.)

  • Complaints: Formal and Informal
  • Star Power Workshop
  • Generational Diversity in the Workplace
  • Drop by Drop Workshop
  • Interrupting Bias in the Search Process
  • Unconscious Bias: Do Your Employees Feel In or Out?
  • Safe Zones and LGBTQ
  • Sexual Harassment in the #MeToo Era


Faculty, Speakers, and Presenters

Diversity Certificate Program Leader

  • Michael Alston, EdD, CCDP/AP, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Equity and Diversity & Title IX Coordinator

Resident Instructors

  • Lauren Rotonda, JD, MBA
  • Olivia Ralph, JD
  • Tasha Clark, MHA
  • Sophia Mosher, MPA
  • Dustin Fulton, MS
  • Jenna Mednikow, SHRM-CP

Program Coordinator

  • Sophia Mosher, MPA

How to Apply

The Diversity Certificate Program offered by the Office of Equity and Diversity is competitive with a selective admissions process. A complete application will include the following:

  1. Application
  2. A separate document with answers to open-ended questions
  3. Supervisor’s endorsement information

To apply, complete an application.

NOTE: Your supervisor will not be contacted until you submit your complete application. To ensure all application materials are received by the deadline, please submit your application with sufficient time for the Office of Equity and Diversity to contact your supervisor for their endorsement prior to the deadline.


The program is open to all UTHSC staff. In an effort to enrich the personal experiences and interpersonal interactions of each participant, a limited number of applicants will be selected each year. Each participant must commit to attend every session, and obtain the appropriate release time for the program.

For each cohort, an application review committee offers admission to a select and diverse group of participants to enrich the classroom experience. Applicants should have openness to feedback- both offered and solicited; capacity for self-examination; and willingness to challenge one's own beliefs and biases.

A certificate will be awarded upon completion of the program.

Submission deadline: August 17, 2018


The University of Tennessee is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA/V institution in the provision of its education and employment programs and services.