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Diversity Certificate Program

"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, former University of Tennessee president


Dr. Peter Buckley

Peter F. Buckley, MD
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center


 Dr. Michael Alston

Michael Alston, EdD, CCDP/AP
Associate Vice Chancellor for Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity
Chief Diversity Officer
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center


About the Program

The Office of Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity is excited to announce the Civility Certificate Program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). Increasingly, civility is becoming a strategic business driver that have a direct impact on organizational effectiveness and reputation. Investing in civility 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 civility 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 learning opportunity for faculty, staff, trainees, and students and is in alignment with UTHSC's strategic plan.


Fall 2022

Diversity Certificate Program

Applications for the Fall 2022 Cohort are closed

Civility Certificate Program

The Civility Certificate Program was designed to offer participants an opportunity to explore their own backgrounds, identities and values, and connect those to the foundational concepts of diversity and inclusion. Participants will attend ten virtual sessions that include the six core courses, four elective courses. All ten sessions are required in order to receive the certificate. Please view the curriculum and schedule below for more details.

To earn the certificate, signed by the Chancellor, participants must each of the six core course quizzes with a score of 75% or higher. These quizzes will be administered during the program via Microsoft Teams. 

More information about electives and enrollment will be provided upon acceptance into the program.


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 six-week 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 participate in four (4) elective courses to complete and participate in experiential learning activities.

  Course Name Course Type Units
1 Interactive Process: ADA & Religion Required 1.5
2 Management Supervision and Law Required 1.5
3 Managing Conflict Required 1.5
4 Diversity and Inclusion Literacy Required 1.5
5 CREATE: Strategies for Practicing Cultural Humility Required 1.5
6 Unconscious Bias Required 1.5
Total 6 Required Courses    

Elective Courses (A minimum of four required.)

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Complaints: Informal and Formal
  • Self-Awareness
  • Safe Zones and LGBTQ+ Populations
  • Inclusive Language
  • Gender Bias Workshop
  • Bystander Intervention
  • The Growing Problem of Workplace Incivility

View or download the Fall 2022 DCP Schedule

Faculty, Speakers, and Presenters

Diversity Certificate Program Leader

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


  • Chandra Alston, EdD
  • Abigail Caritan, MA
  • Miriam Ghandi
  • Phuong Nguyen
  • Vikki M. Massey
  • Isabella Porcaro, MA
  • Olivia Ralph, JD
  • Miki Sisco-Sankrityayan, JD

Program Coordinator

  • Erika Luna 
How to Apply

The Civility Certificate Program is offered by the Office of Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity to only UTHSC faculty, staff, trainees, and students at all locations. A complete application will include the following:

  1. Application
  2. A separate document with answers to open-ended questions
  3. Supervisor’s endorsement (does not apply to student applications)

To apply, submit a complete application following the steps above. 

Application submission deadline: September 2nd, 2022

Sep 21, 2023