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Diversity & Inclusion 

Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine is committed to building an environment where all students, faculty, staff, and invited visitors from varying backgrounds and life experiences, feel a sense of belonging, are engaged, and are valued and respected for their voices and contributions.

These differences include, but are not limited to, internal dimensions such as personality, race, age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, culture, health, ability, learning, thinking and communication style; external dimensions such as geographical location, marital and family status, economic background, access to resources, educational background, work experience, religious, philosophical, and spiritual beliefs, and political views. We acknowledge that categories of differences are not always fixed but also can be fluid. We respect individual rights to self-identification, and we recognize that no one identity is intrinsically superior to another.

Inclusion means more than just acknowledging and/or tolerating difference. The concept of inclusion encompasses acceptance and respect. Inclusion is a set of conscious actions that involve knowing how or learning to relate to those qualities and conditions that are different from our own. It is through inclusion that our learning environment is enriched by the varied perspectives and experiences that each unique member brings to the community and through which we positively affect the healthcare of our world.

Contact Us

Office phone: (248) 370-2076

Tiffany Williams, Ph.D., Director
[email protected]

Kenya Lawton, MSW
[email protected]

Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion recognized by Society of Black Pathologists

Vonda Douglas-NikitinCongratulations to Vonda Douglas-Nikitin, M.D., for receiving this year's Vivian W. Pinn, MD Award for Excellence in Leadership in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine presented by the Society of Black Pathologists for demonstrating leadership and inspiring excellence in her 20+ years of teaching, mentoring and practice in the field of pathology.

Dr. Douglas-Nikitin has served as the medical director of the Flow Cytometry Laboratory since she joined Beaumont Hospital (now Corewell Health) in 2004. She is currently an assistant dean for Diversity & Inclusion and associate professor of Pathology for OUWB. Read full bio below in the Meet the Team tab.

The award is in honor of the accomplishments of Vivian W. Pinn, M.D., who was the only Black woman in her graduating class from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, the first Black woman to chair an academic pathology department in the United States, and the first full-time director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Find out more about the award here.

Anti-Racism and Diversity Resources

Below is a collection of links, recommended readings, and other resources to get general information and learn about anti-racism, anti-oppression, and injustice and privilege. 

Bailey ZD, Krieger N, Agénor M,Graves J, Linos N, Bassett MT.
Structural racism and health inequities in the USA: evidence and interventions.
Lancet 2017; 389: 1453–63

Bonilla-Silva E.
Rethinking racism: toward a structural interpretation.
Am Sociol Rev 1996; 62: 465–80
Boyd RW.
The case for desegregation.
Lancet 2019; 393: 2484-5.5.
D’amico D, Pawlewicz RJ, Earley PM, McGeehan AP.
Where are all the black teachers? Discrimination in the teacher labor market.
Harvard Educat Rev 2017; 87: 26–49

Hardeman RR, Medina EM, Kozhiman-nil KB.
Structural racism and supporting black lives — the role of health professionals.
N Engl J Med 2016; 375: 2113-5

Tamorah Lewis, MD, PhD
Racism and Health I: pathways and scientific evidence.
Am Behav Sci 2013; 57: 1152–73
Michelle Alexander
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

James Baldwin
The Fire Next Time

Edward Baptist
The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Makings of American Capitalism

Robin J. DiAngelo
White Fragility:  Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Race

Randall Kenan
The Fire This Time

Ibram X. Kendi
How To Be An Antiracist
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racism in America

Ijeoma Olou
So You Want To Talk About Race

Dorothy Roberts
How Science, Politics, and Big Business Recreate Race in the Twenty-First Century

Eli Saslow
Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist

Annaliese A. Singh
The Racial Healing Handbook: Practical Activities to Help You Challenge Privilege, Confront Systemic Racism & Engage in Collective Healing

Harriet A. Washington
Medical Apartheid

Alex Zamalin
Antiracism: An Introduction
Films and TV Series to Watch
  • 13th (Netflix)
  • American Son (Netflix)
  • Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975 (Rental)
  • Blindspotting (Hulu with Cinemax; Rental)
  • Clemency (Rental)
  • Dear White People (Netflix)
  • Fruitvale Station (Rental)
  • I Am Not Your Negro (Netflix)
  • If Beale Street Could Talk (Hulu)
  • Just Mercy (Amazon Prime, Apple TV)
  • King In The Wilderness (HBO)
  • See You Yesterday (Netflix)
  • Selma (Rental)
  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (Rental)
  • The Hate U Give (Hulu with Cinemax)
  • Trial 4 (Remy Burkel) (Netflix)
  • When They See Us (Netflix)
Organizations to Follow on Social Media

Pathway Programs


Diversity & Inclusion at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine is organizing a two-day intensive summer educational experience that stimulates interest in science and medicine for high school students interested in medicine or other health-related fields.The program is scheduled to take place from June 25-26, 2024 (in-person) and aims to encourage and motivate students to explore STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) majors in college, and consider becoming a physician after earning a baccalaureate degree.

Online Enrichment Programs
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine has created an Online Enrichment Programs platform that occurs twice a year (Spring and Summer). This program was designed to virtually expose high school students to careers in medicine, prepare them for high-level scientific engagement, and give them a greater understanding of the social determinants of health and health inequality that impact all individuals from various backgrounds. Our five-day online programs are taught by OUWB Foundational Medical Studies faculty members. 

Online Spring Enrichment Program will be offered March 25-28, 2024. 
The application can be found here.

OUWB Student Events and Activities

The following are a few of the many Diversity & Inclusion events.

To organize our activities, we use OUWB MedSync: an interactive, online tool powered by OrgSync.com that fosters communication, cooperation, and creativity between students organizations and their members.

Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Drive

A few tables set up offering information about the Organ Donor driveBone Marrow and Organ Donation Drive occurs every October in conjunction with Gift of Life, the Medical Library, Student National Medical Association and the Minority Association of Premedical Students. The event addresses the dire need for more individuals to register as bone marrow and organ donors.

Dinner with a Doctor

Students attend a dinner with a doctor event. They're sitting at a table together.Dinner with a Doctor was created as a way to connect Beaumont physicians with our medical and pre-medical students through storytelling. The narrative-driven event allows medical and pre-medical students to ask participating speakers about their own journey to becoming a physician.

Diversity Lecture Series
The Diversity Lecture Series is designed to highlight health equity in medicine and health care, as well as critical challenges of diversity and the way we practice in our community. 
Lectures are consistent with OUWB Diversity & Inclusion's mission - to facilitate and promote OUWB's diverse and inclusive medical learning community through pipeline programs, student support and interest groups, educational programs, and community outreach events.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Health Fair and Taste Fest

An OUWB student takes someone's blood pressure at the annual Health Fair and Taste TestThis annual community health fair takes place every January.

It is open to both Chandler Park Academy students and the surrounding neighborhoods, with attendees receiving basic health screenings and flu shots as well as participating in various educational activities related to the medical field. Read more about it here.

Health Equity Symposium

Health Equity Symposium is an annual program co-sponsored by the Oakland University School of Nursing and Beaumont Health System in honor of National Minority Health Month, which is supported by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. It is observed every year in April to highlight the health disparities that persist among racial and ethnic minority populations and the ways in which legislation, policies and programs can help advance health equity.

Kaleidoscope Project

An image of those from the OUWB community who supported National Coming Out Day in 2019The Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine Kaleidoscope Project began as a student-led initiative and has been warmly embraced by our OUWB leadership. The project celebrates the LGBTQ+ community at OUWB and promotes inclusivity amongst all realms of medical education — from the classroom to patient care

Click here to learn more.

Meet the Team

Diversity & Inclusion Team
Tonya Bailey, Ph.D.
Associate Dean, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Community Engagement

An image of Dr. Tonya BaileyAs associate dean for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion and Community Engagement, Dr. Bailey leads the school’s efforts in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) across the teaching and clinical activities, and in alignment with OUWB’s educational mission. Specific duties include strengthening student and career pathway programs, increasing educational program at all levels of the institution, and partnering with OUWB’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council to develop strategies to further the school’s strategic goals around DEI.

Her professional background consists of more than 25 years in higher education. Prior to arriving at OUWB, she held various leadership roles including chief diversity officer at Lansing Community College, director of Student Success at Michigan State University, and director of college level and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programming at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Bailey, a native of Flint, Michigan, is a graduate of the University of Evansville, Indiana, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in mass communication.  She earned a master’s degree in public administration at the University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School in Ann Arbor, and completed her doctorate in educational leadership at Central Michigan University. Dr. Bailey also is a Certified Diversity Executive.

Vonda K. Douglas-Nikitin, M.D. (She/Her/Hers)
Assistant Dean, Diversity & Inclusion
Associate Professor, Pathology

Vonda Douglas-NikitinVonda K. Douglas-Nikitin, M.D., is an assistant dean for Diversity and Inclusion and associate professor of Pathology. Dr. Douglas-Nikitin has served as the medical director of the Flow Cytometry Laboratory since she joined Beaumont Hospital (now Corewell Health) in 2004. She is also the program director for the Hematopathology Fellowship and co-chair of the Beaumont Graduate Medical Education Diversity Equity and Inclusion Council. Dr. Douglas-Nikitin served as the founding assistant dean for D & I at the inception of OUWB from 2010-2015, and she accepted a reappointment as assistant dean for D & I in July 2021, with the goal of further developing diversity, equity and inclusion resources and support for medical students, resident and fellows on the Beaumont (now Corewell Health) campuses. 

Dr. Douglas-Nikitin received her undergraduate training at Johns Hopkins University and Andrews University. She received her M.D. degree from the University of Michigan, where she also completed a residency in anatomic and clinical pathology.  She is subspecialized in hematopathologist having completed her fellowship training at the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University. 

Prior to her positions at OUWB and Beaumont Hospital (now Corewell Health), Dr. Douglas-Nikitin was at the University of Florida where she served as assistant dean for Minority Affairs and assistant professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

Tracey Taylor, Ph.D. (She/Her/Hers)
Assistant Dean, Diversity & Inclusion
Associate Professor, Department of Foundational Medical Studies
Taylor, Tracey, 2019Dr. Taylor joined Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in August 2014 as associate professor of Microbiology. She teaches microbiology and infectious diseases to M1 and M2 students. Dr. Taylor served as vice chair of OUWB's Department of Foundational Medical Studies from January 2018 until August 2019. She has served as an assistant dean of Diversity & Inclusion since August 2019. 

Prior to joining OUWB, Dr. Taylor was an assistant, and then associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Microbiology at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, where she taught microbiology to M1 and M2 osteopathic medical students.

Dr. Taylor received a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. in cellular, molecular, and microbial biology from the University of Calgary, Alberta, and a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the University of Western Ontario, London.

In 2014, the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners appointed her to its National Faculty in the Foundational Biomedical Sciences in the Division of Microbiology and Immunology. She served as vice president for the American Society for Microbiology, Missouri branch, and is a member of the International Association of Medical Science Educators and the National American Society for Microbiology.

Dr. Taylor’s main research areas are medical education research, and microbiology and pathogenesis. She is specifically interested in the use of online learning modules for microbiology laboratory teaching, medical student peer assessment, investigation of the quality of life of Polio survivors; how the aquatic bacteria Plesiomonas shigelloides cause diarrhea and other infections in humans, and infections (including the antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or (MRSA) among populations that are experiencing homelessness.

Tiffany Williams, Ed.M., Ph.D. (She/Her/Hers)
Director, Diversity & Inclusion

An image of Tiffany Williams

Tiffany Williams, Ph.D., is the director of Diversity & Inclusion. Currently, she oversees the diversity, equity, and inclusion programming and initiatives for the entire OUWB community. In addition, her role manages the outreach programs that include pipeline programs and community outreach initiatives.

Dr. Williams came to the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine after serving for seven years as assistant director for Pre-College Programs at Oakland University where she worked to inspire both pre-college aged and college-level students to continuously pursue post-secondary opportunities and graduate programs. She has more than 10 years of experience in administrative management roles related to student programming and student affairs with a focus on improving preparation, access, success and retention for diverse student populations. Her research interests include college readiness, social justice and equity issues, retention and student sense of belonging among underrepresented student populations. 

Dr. Williams earned her Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University, a master’s in educational leadership and policy administration from the University at Buffalo, SUNY, and her post-master's graduate certification in higher education and Ph.D. in organizational leadership from Oakland University.

Anya Culkeen (They/Their)
Office Assistant, Diversity & Inclusion

An image of Anya CulkeenAnya Culkeen joined OUWB in May 2024 as the office assistant, Diversity & Inclusion. In this role, Anya is helping to ensure the field of medicine is accessible to people from every background, and fostering a sense of belonging among all OUWB students.

Anya established their love for helping others by pursuing a degree in psychology from Wayne State University, while simultaneously working as a student assistant in the Ph.D. Office of the Wayne State University Graduate School. It was there that they found a passion for supporting students who are navigating a path through higher education.

After graduating from Wayne State University in 2022, Anya continued working for the Wayne State University Graduate School, expanding their role to include working with scholarships and awards offered through the department.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council (DEIC) is a working group that serves as a mechanism to address concerns regarding diversity, equity and inclusion for the entire OUWB community. The council was established to ensure a cross section of representatives and consists of more than 25 members from the student, faculty, and staff populations.

The group looks for ways to facilitate opportunities for successes of underrepresented populations, to identify strategies to enhance the OUWB environment with respect to inclusiveness with medical students, faculty and staff, advises administration on current issues and actions pertaining to DEI, and provides a collective, coherent voice and serves as a resource for all stakeholders on issues related to diversity.

All members of the OUWB community are invited to attend the monthly meetings, third Thursday, 12 – 1 p.m.

Current DEIC Members
Students: Kimberly Anyadike, Kerrin Bersani, James Blumline, Varneet Brar, Melanie Ermler, Rachel Harvey, Anisah Hashmi, Mahmoud (Moe) Hijazi, Charlene Hsia, Eric James, Rachel Kalthoff, Min Young Kim, Nathan Lwo, Kevin Pullukat, Kevin Roby, Abiba Salahou, Sukhmani Singh, Asia Susko, Kevin Van, Monique Waltman, and Katie Wheeler. 
Faculty: Abram Brummett, Claudio Cortes, Vonda Douglas-Nikitin, Suzan ElSayed, Douglas Gould, Sheala Jafry, Riya Kalra, Trini Mathew, Changiz Mohiyeddini, Akshata Naik, Arthur Rosner, Manveen Saluja, Payal Shah, Lori Stec, Varna Taranikanti, Tracey Taylor, Rennard Tucker, Sherry Viola, and Jason Wasserman.
Staff: Jean Brown, Berkley Browne, Patricia Cole, Angie Freeman, Trixy Hall, Julie Jagmin, Maurice Kavanagh, Deirdre Pitts, Robin Rivest, Janail Silver, Ann Voorheis-Sargent, Katie Weyand, and Tiffany Williams

Learn more about the council

Diversity Champions

The Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council (DEIC) kicked off the Diversity Champions program in early 2021, with a third cohort graduating from the program in May 2023. The third cohort of champions are: Janine DeWitte, Sujana Gundlapalli, Mary Hooker, Matthew Holtz, Sheala Jafry, Sylvia Kashat, Min Young Kim, Lori Mausi, Lynda Misra, Rima Stepanian, David Stewart, Amany Tawfik, Rennard Tucker, and Stephen Warnick, Jr.

The inaugural cohort (found below) consists of nearly 30 graduates representing various aspects of the OUWB community. More information about the program can be found by clicking here.

Kimberly AnyadikeM2
Kerrin BersaniM2
Vaneet BrarM3
Berkley Browne, Ph.D.Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
Abram Brummett, Ph.D.Assistant Professor, Department of Foundational Medical Studies
Heidi DonnellyStaff
Suzan ElSayed, Ph.D.Assistant Professor, Department of Foundational Medical Studies
Douglas Gould, Ph.D.Professor of Neuroscience and Chair, Department of Foundational Medical Studies
Mahmoud (Moe) HijaziM2
Charlene HsiaM2
Rachel KalthoffM3
Riya Kalra, M.D.Instructor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
Trini Mathew, M.D., MPHProfessor, Department of Internal Medicine
Sandra OskaM4
Mallory PetersM4
Robin Rivest, M.Ed., MBADirector of Curriculum Data Management
Kevin RobyM3
Arthur Rosner, M.D.Associate Professor, Department of Surgery
Manveen Saluja, M.D.Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Manraj SekhonM4
Sukhmani SinghM2
Julie StrongStaff
Tracey Taylor, Ph.D.Assistant Dean for Diversity & Inclusion, Associate Professor of Microbiology
Ann Voorheis-Sargent, Ph.D.Director, Center for Excellence in Medical Education (CEME)
Monique WaltmanM3
Katie WeyandStaff
Katie WheelerM2