Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Speaking to a campus-wide audience of faculty, staff and students, School of Medicine Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA reflected on the importance of diversity at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. "We come from many different backgrounds, many cultures, and from many different parts of the world, said Dr. Reece. But here we are united in our relentless pursuit of excellence everyday."
Hundreds of people packed the auditorium of the Medical School Teaching Facility (MSTF) to hear the dean's keynote address, titled "Diversity: A Point of Pride and Leadership." The audience also listened to a concert of spirituals performed by Kevin A. Carr, director of the Coppin State University Gospel Choir, and honored the winners of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity Recognition Awards.
Using the DNA molecule to illustrate his point, Dr. Reece said that the need for diversity is fundamental to our very being. Made up of diverse nucleotides, the DNA molecule produces proteins, cells and ultimately the organs that make up our bodies, explained Dr. Reece. "We are built on the premise of diversity and inherently crave an environment that reflects such a picture."
Dr. Reece noted that there are at least 150 ethnic and racial groups in the United States, and by 2010, minority populations will constitute 32% of the U.S. population. "We must equip our students to be sensitive to the needs of a diverse population," said Dr. Reece. "They will be required to reach out to diverse cultures; therefore, we must prepare them to face a changing world."
Dr. Reece said diversity is vitally important to the University's success and to achieving the School of Medicine's missions of education, research, patient care and community service. Through diversity, medical students become culturally competent physicians who can treat people from a range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. "Diversity makes us better in our teaching, in our learning, and in our research," said the dean.
The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity Recognition Awards are presented for individual and group achievements in the areas of diversity and inclusiveness. The awards represent equality, justice and opportunity for all people. The recipients serve as models of the ideals epitomized by the life and work of Dr. King.
Outstanding UMB Faculty/Staff Award
Doris E. Scott, PhD, RN
School of Nursing, Department of Family & Community Health
For nearly a decade, Doris Scott has provided mental health services to hundreds of high risk children in the William Pinderhughes Elementary School of Sandtown-Winchester in Baltimore.
Outstanding Student/Students Group Award
A Bridge to Academic Excellence (ABAE)
School of Pharmacy (coordination), campus-wide work
ABAE is a community service project of the School of Pharmacy, UMB students and Community partners. The goal is to provide high school students with help in the core academic building blocks of future professional education programs such as math and the sciences.