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Student Affairs - Student Advisory Board

The Student Advisory Board consists of representatives from all four classes, the student senate, and the following student organizations: LMSA, MedPride, AMWA, SNMA, APAMSA, AWS, MHIG, MIM, and JMSA. SAB members provide bi-lateral communication and feedback between the student body and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion. The board works to influence SOM administrative policy and advocates for diversity and inclusion initiatives.

SAB invites all SOM student organizations to host events that align with the board’s goals and submit proposals for financial and publicity support through our Lunch and Learn Series initiative.

This year the board will re-implement the Difficult Dialogues in Healthcare Lecture Series. This series will educate and challenge participants to explore their own personal boundaries, critically examine traditional ways of thinking and strengthen their capacity for cultural humility and competency through a variety of activities ranging from lectures to small peer group discussions and physician-patient panels. All activities will focus on teaching and reinforcing knowledge, skills, and awareness of diversity issues in medical education related to but not limited by race, gender, phobias, sexual orientation, and religion.

SAB Members

Student Director

Khawla "Shefa" Suhaila 

Members at Large 
 Ex Officio Members 

Bhavan Modi, MS4 Class Representative

Ankit Bansal, Student Senate

Sikandar Raza, MS3 Class Representative

Zain Aryanpour, MedPride 

Chibuike Obinwa, MS3 Class Representative

Daniela Sanchez, Latino Medical Student Association

Omolola Olaleye, MS3 Class Representative

Nikki Panzica, American Medical Women's Association

Matthew Kiszla, MS2 Class Representative

Jillian Tinglin, Student National Medical Association

Jernell Simmons, MS2 Class Representative

Samual Chang, Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association

Nikki Panzica, MS2 Class Representative

Kaitlin Crocker, Association of Women Surgeons, Student Chapter 


Amanda Fang, Association of Women Surgeons, Student Chapter


Kristina Redd, Medical Humanitarianism Interest Group


Rabisa Khan, Muslims in Medicine Interest Group


Ala'a Abu-Spetani, Muslims in Medicine Interest Group


Itamar Shapira, Jewish Medical Students Association

Faculty Advisory Board

The Faculty Advisory Board consists of educators, faculty (pre-clinical and clinical) and community members who support medical student diversity and inclusion efforts at the School of Medicine. Advisory Board members have demonstrated an interest in medical education as it relates to diversity, equity and inclusion. Areas of focus include but are not limited to: Student Affairs - Faculty Advisory Board

  • Advise on different approaches for working with diverse patient populations
  • Serve as subject matter experts and guest speakers for medical students (curricula and non-curricula based)
  • Connect the Office for Diversity and Inclusion to external resources 
  • Advise on and champion the Office for Diversity and Inclusion Student Advisory Board’s initiatives
  • Recruit mentors for house staff and medical students 
  • Participate in Career Advising Dinners for URiM students (PRIMe Mentoring program)

PRIMe Mentoring Dinners

PRIMe Mentoring is a series of Career Advising Dinnersfor Underrepresented in Medicine (URiM) Medical Students, House Staff and Faculty.  These dinners are an opportunity for students (Mentees) to gain knowledge, build a support network and strengthen the sense of community with URiM Faculty and House Staff (Mentors).  IMG 7536

Mentors serve as panel experts on predetermined topics, sharing their knowledge and experiences while leaving plenty of time for questions and dialogue.  Mentees benefit from interacting with professionals who can relate to and validate their experiences. 

Mentors rotate attendance based on availability and content familiarity, therefore, providing Mentees with valuable insight and exposure to the larger professional URiM community at UAB.  Ultimately, increasing the number of “homegrown” URiM students in UAB Residency programs.   

Diversity & Cultural Celebration

Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Celebration of Service (January)
Martin Luther King Day Celebration of Service is an opportunity for the UAB School of Medicine Community to come together and share the legacy of Dr. King by highlighting the importance of service. Speaker(s) provide insights about the various ways in which Birmingham-based doctors are addressing health disparities through research, service, and practice.

Black History Month (February):
Black History Month is an annual observance originating in the United States, where it is also known as African American History Month. It has received official recognition from governments in the United States and Canada, and more recently has been observed unofficially in Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. It began as a way for remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. It is celebrated in February in the United States and Canada, while in Ireland, the Netherland, and the United Kingdom is it observed in October.

Chinese New Year Celebration (February):
Chinese New Year (or generally referred to as Lunar New Year globally) is the Chinese festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. The festival is usually referred to as the Spring Festival in mainland China, and is one of several Lunar New Years in Asia. Observances traditionally take place from the evening preceding the first day of the year to the Lantern Festival, held on the 15th day of the year. The first day of Chinese New Year begins on the new moon that appears between 21 January and 20 February.

National Hispanic Heritage Month (September/October):
National Hispanic Heritage Month is the period from September 15 to October 15 in the United States and Canada, when people recognize the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the group's heritage and culture. 

Heritage posters:
The ODI seeks to provide opportunities for a greater understanding, acknowledgement and awareness of the contributions diversity and excellence have made to medical education.  The ODI proudly displays posters that spotlight pioneers and modern day titans of medicine for the school to enjoy.

Student Profiles

The goal of this voluntary program is to help students get to know their peers and highlight the different forms that diversity takes within the student body.  Student profiles are displayed on the Office for Diversity and Inclusion’s Wall of Fame.