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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. steve schwab

Steve J. Schwab, MD
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center


Dr. Ken Brown

Kennard D. Brown, JD, MPA, PhD, FACHE
Executive Vice Chancellor
Chief Operations Officer
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center


 Dr. Michael Alston

Michael Alston, EdD, CCDP/AP
Associate Vice Chancellor, 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 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, staff, trainees, and students and is in alignment with the Chancellor’s priority on Equity and Inclusion.

Fall 2021

Diversity Certificate Program

Applications are closed for the Fall 2021 Cohort. 

Diversity Certificate Program

The Diversity 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, three elective courses, and one workshop. 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 Chancellor Schwab, participants must pass a final exam, covering content from the six core courses, with a score of 75% or higher. This test will be delivered via Blackboard the week after each cohort ends.

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: What’s Law Got to do With It? Required 1.5
3 Managing Conflict in a Diverse Workplace Required 1.5
4 Diversity and Inclusion Literacy Required 1.5
5 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
  • Avoiding Sterotypes in the Workplace
  • Safe Zones and LGBTQ+ Populations
  • Gender Bias Workshop
  • Representation Matters – Recruiting and Retaining Students from Diverse Identity Groups
  • The Growing Problem of Workplace Incivility

View or download the Fall 2021 DCP Schedule

Faculty, Speakers, and Presenters

Diversity Certificate Program Leader

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


  • Chandra Alston, EdD
  • Eric Bailey II, EdD
  • Halli Drake
  • Dominique Crockett, MHA
  • Rebekka Terrell Freeman, Esq. 
  • Phuong Nguyen
  • Vikki M. Massey
  • Isabella Porcaro, MA
  • Olivia Ralph, JD
  • Tiffinie Snowden, MA

Program Coordinator

  • Isabella Porcaro, MA
How to Apply

The Diversity 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: August 20th, 2021

Last Published: Aug 23, 2021