Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion


What is Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at the UR School of Nursing?

Diversity at the University of Rochester School of Nursing is a guiding philosophy of inclusiveness and respect that not only recognizes racial and ethnic differences, but diversity of gender, religion, ability, experience, and socio-economic background.

Through formal initiatives and informal dialogues, we strive to create a welcoming learning environment that reflects and values the diversity of faculty, staff, and students at the School of Nursing. We expose our students to different viewpoints and life experiences to create a better educated, more culturally sensitive and attentive health care workforce that will be well-prepared to meet the needs of patients.

We are united by mutual respect, understanding, and a love for learning.


Who We Are


Associate Dean Mitchell Wharton on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

School of Nursing Diversity Officers 



Syed Mahmud, RN

Student Diversity Officer
Student, Accelerated Master's Program
Stephanie Murphy

Stephanie Murphy, ‘17N

Student Diversity Officer
Student, Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program

“This degree is not something that is handed to you. You have to earn the right to be called a nurse. There are only so many who can be in this club. And to be able to be in there is amazing to me.”

Jonathan Wetherbee

Jonathan Wetherbee

Staff Diversity Officer
Information Analyst II

“There’s such a broad definition of diversity and inclusion here that I don’t have outside of this work that’s really refreshing for me, because it’s something that I’ve found that I’m very passionate about.”

Kristin J. Hocker

Kristin J. Hocker, EdD

Faculty Diversity Officer
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing

"My dream is that equity and the quality of diverse people’s inclusion and participation is at the forefront of all our policies, systems and practices so that the values that we enact truly reflect the values we espouse."

Maria Quinones-Cordero, PhD

Maria Quinones-Cordero, PhD

Faculty Diversity Officer
Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing

What's Going On?


Diversity Event Calendar

What Sets Us Apart

A Look Back: Recent Diversity Milestones and Initiatives at the School of Nursing

Diploma certificate


New courses, “Special Topics: History of HIV” and “Diversity and Equity in Healthcare” are introduced.
Rochester Black Nurses' Association Header


The Rochester Black Nurses Association implements a peer mentoring program for APNN students and new graduate nurses in early transition to a nursing career.
Rochester Black Nurses' Association Logo


The UR School of Nursing becomes the university sponsor for the Rochester Black Nurses Association.
Award badge


The newly-renamed Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion implements a Student Diversity Award.
Dean Kathy Rideout


Dean Kathy Rideout institutes Dean’s Diversity Scholarships to increase financial support for APNN students underrepresented in nursing.
Diploma certificate


A new course, “Special Topics: Social Determinants of Health,” is introduced.
Nursing Students


Street Outreach – a collaboration between medical and nursing students at the University of Rochester – forms to provide weekly health screenings, first aid, mental and emotional support, and other resources to Rochester’s homeless population.
UR Medical Center aerial view


A holistic admissions process is formalized in consultation with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).
Students at a poster presentation


The East High School Career Transitions Program is developed to introduce high school students from diverse backgrounds to health care professions and enhance awareness of nursing as a viable career.
Window with Safe Space decal


A Student Diversity Officer position for CODI is created. Safe Space Training is also implemented for faculty and staff.
Books on various religions


The Mary Dombeck Diversity Library offers a collection of diversity, equity, and inclusion-related books as a resource for the UR Nursing community.
Jonathan Wetherbee


A Staff Diversity Officer position for CODI is instituted to ensure a voice for staff related to diversity and inclusiveness issues. The University of Rochester Medical Center implements the URMC Office of Inclusion and Culture Development.
Diploma certificate


New courses, “Culture, Health and Diversity” and “Religions, Spirituality, and Health” are introduced.
Professors and Robert Wood Johnson Scholars


The Robert Wood Johnson New Careers in Nursing Program awards funds to support 91 scholars, including 57 from underrepresented groups. The School was one of only five schools in the country to receive this award for all seven years of funding.
LIFT logo


LIFT (Leading with Integrity For Tomorrow) is formed as a student-led initiative to provide opportunities for students to engage in learning and discussions related to leadership, advocacy, and diversity.
Dr. Harriet Kitzman


The Harriet Kitzman Endowed Fellowship in Health Disparities supports the recruitment of an early tenure track faculty member who is underrepresented in nursing.
Religious symbols overlayed by a stethoscope


The Spirituality Subcommittee – a subcommittee of the Council on Diversity and Inclusiveness – is implemented to recognize that spiritual, religious, and moral beliefs are related to health, illness, healing, suffering, and dying.
Smiling nursing student


The Nursing Doctorates on Course (NDOC) program is implemented to develop a pipeline of faculty from underrepresented groups in nursing. The program helped provide mentoring, as well as financial support for six students through doctoral education.
2012 Deans Advisory Council Members


The Dean’s Advisory Council for Diversity restructures to become the Council on Diversity and Inclusion (CoDI). The new council becomes an elected body featuring faculty, staff, and students — a shift that recognizes the Council’s work as essential to the School’s operations.
Mary Dombeck Diversity Award


Annual diversity awards, the Mary Dombeck Diversity Enhancement Faculty Award and the Mary Dombeck Diversity Enhancement Staff Award are implemented.
University of Rochester aerial view


The University institutes a university-wide role for Faculty Diversity Officers to support and improve the recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty within each school.
Dean Patricia Chiverton


A diversity objective is incorporated into Dean Patricia Chiverton’s Management Plan, to “create a welcoming environment that reflects and values increasing the diversity of faculty and students.” Dean Chiverton also forms the Dean’s Advisory Council for Diversity.
Dr. Mary Dombeck


“Cultural Sensitivity and Promotion of Diversity,” a 1-credit course developed by Dr. Mary Dombeck, launches and is made available for faculty, staff, and students.

Five-time Winner of HEED Excellence in Diversity Award

By the Numbers



The number of students from underrepresented groups in nursing has increased 74% over the last five years at UR Nursing.


The number of male students has increased 39% over the last five years at UR Nursing.


The number of faculty from underrepresented groups in nursing has increased 45% over the last five years at UR Nursing.


The number of male faculty has increased 36% over last five years at UR Nursing.

They talk about diversity, but they halt when it comes to the practice of equity: I wrote to more than 50 colleges, but nobody accepted my credentials in medicine and psychiatry from Bangladesh. The School of Nursing not only welcomed me but has eased my path by providing a diversity scholarship.
Syed Mahmud, RN
Student Diversity Officer
Student, Accelerated Master's Nurse Practitioner Program

Share your Feedback

We encourage you to share your thoughts or feedback with the Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the School of Nursing. Your submission will be shared with CoDEI faculty and staff diversity officers and the associate dean for equity and inclusion.