News & Events

  • Part 3: Caribbean American Influence at UAB

    Part 3 Caribbean American Heritage MonthIn Part 1 of our Caribbean American Heritage month series, we explained the importance of the culture in the U.S.; however, the impact can be felt much closer to home—on UAB’s campus.

    For the last part of our series, we will show the breadth of Caribbean American heritage at UAB through three spotlighted individuals.

  • Part 2: Caribbean-American Heritage Month Spotlight - Pauline Ford

    Pauline Ford Headshot 2In part one of our series celebrating Caribbean-American heritage month, we introduced UAB’s own, Pauline Ford.

    Pauline is the Program Coordinator for the Department of Radiology’s Neuroradiology Fellowship program. Outside of that, she is the founder of the Central Alabama Caribbean American Organization (CACAO).

  • Part 1: Why Caribbean American Heritage Month?

    FlagsThe significance of commemorating heritage months can be felt on multiple levels. One way, alluded to by Pauline Ford, Program Coordinator for the UAB Department of Radiology’s Neuroradiology Fellowship program, stated that Caribbean people “have an indomitable spirit—a perspective that I think can benefit everyone.”

    SOM Office for Diversity and Inclusion agrees with Ford, and since June is Caribbean American Heritage Month, we will spotlight the heritage and culture of Caribbean-Americans in the context of the U.S., Birmingham, and at UAB.

    This article is the first in a series where we discuss the history and significance of Caribbean-Americans in the makeup of the United States. Then, each of the SOM newsletters throughout June will include a featured article to help you learn something new.

  • Blazing Trails in Student Training & Technology

    Virtual Shadowing SquareThere’s no doubt about it—the past year has changed the way we use technology to do business, go to school, attend doctor’s appointments, and now participate in medical school shadowing.

    Near the end of 2020, Carmel McNicholas-Bevensee, BSc, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology, wanted to find a way for students to participate in shadowing. Dr. McNicholas-Bevensee explained, “Students were having anxiety because they know that they’re expected to have shadowing when they apply for medical school. Because of COVID, those opportunities were taken away. And, while it was a worldwide problem, it didn’t stop the worry.”

  • 2021 Photo Contest Winner: About the Photo

    A picture by itself can be worth 1000 words, but as the 1st place photo in the Office for Diversity & Inclusions’ photo contest, we wanted to give it a few more.

    Mike Sloane

  • Muslims in Medicine, UME – Student Interest Group Launches

    muslim in medicine banner

    The impact felt by interest groups and associations is often two-fold. First, these organizations develop a sense of camaraderie and shared belonging—elements that prove beneficial throughout one’s medical school training and career. Second, the awareness garnered by these groups helps educate people who may not have had exposure to different cultures and life experiences.

    Currently, the UABSOM Office for Diversity and Inclusion’s Student Affairs office is home to groups and associations for a range of ethnic and gender diverse students, including the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA), Asian Pacific Medical Student Association (APAMSA), MedPride, and American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA).

    Now, with the help of Ala’a Abu-Spetani (MS3), Rabisa Khan (MS1), Shefa Suhaila (MS2), and Muhammad Amjad (MS3), we will be adding the first religious student interest group, Muslims in Medicine. Giving us a sneak preview of what we can expect from the new group is Ala’a Abu-Spetani.

  • Unconscious Bias Training

    Unconscious Bias TrainingThroughout April, a time also recognized as diversity month, the Office for Diversity & Inclusion will be facilitating unconscious bias training for leadership and supervisors.

    Senior Associate Dean for Diversity & Inclusion, Dr. Mona Fouad, explains, “By starting our training sessions with UAB managers, we aim to set the School of Medicine on a path toward inclusion for all—starting at the top.”

    Hosted by Dr. Brian Gittens, this 90-minute virtual program will introduce team members to concepts and approaches for navigating unconscious bias.

  • Women's History Month 2021 - A Letter From Dr. Fouad

    Hello Everyone,

    I want to wish you all a happy Women’s History month! As you probably know, before March was officially designated Women’s History Month in 1987, we celebrated March 8th as International Women’s Day (IWD). But did you know the first IWD can be traced back to 1911?

    Our mothers and grandmothers have actually advocated for gender equity in our country for hundreds of years, and the month of March is officially a time to reflect on their accomplishments and to advocate for equity around the world.

  • A Taste of Diversity: ODI 2021 Virtual Diversity Fair Recap

    Taste of Diversity Cookbook SquareRecap, Impact, Cookbook, Winners, and Acknowledgements

     The idea of coming together was challenging in 2020 and has continued to be in 2021. However, with the hardships faced this past year, “togetherness” is perhaps what we needed most.

    Since 2016, the School of Medicine Office for Diversity & Inclusion has hosted a Diversity Fair to raise awareness and celebrate the different cultures found at UAB. Carefully selected to fall on Second Look Weekend, this event embodies what it means to work and learn at our school—how each one of us can come together to create something amazing.

  • Diversity Grand Rounds Recap – Dr. Eliseo Pérez-Stable

    Dr Eliseo RecapThank you to everyone who attended the SOM Office for Diversity & Inclusion Grand Rounds last Friday (2/5) featuring Eliseo Pérez-Stable, M.D., Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. The lecture, “Enhancing Diversity in the Clinical and Biomedical Workforce: An Imperative for Excellence,” was an extension of Second Look Weekend.

    Traditionally, this annual event is held in person, but like many things throughout the pandemic, was moved to a virtual format. In attendance were guests from varying stages in their career—including faculty, staff, residents, fellows, and potential residents.

  • Inaugural ODI Professional Excellence Award Winners (2021)

    Award Icon Image v2To celebrate and honor URiM faculty members who have demonstrated excellence in their careers, as well as emulated the Minorities in Medicine & Science principles, the UAB School of Medicine Office for Diversity & Inclusion created the Professional Excellence Award.

    Winners of this award must have significant accomplishments within the past 1-3 years in at least one of the following areas: research, teaching, or service. Additionally, priority is given to individuals who help UAB School of Medicine create an environment where minorities in medicine choose to be.

  • 2021 Diversity Fair Submissions are Open

    Square Diversity Fair Video Mock UpODI’s very own Carolyn Maddox has created a sample video for “Saved Eggs” (an-egg free play on Deviled Eggs) to show you how easy creating a video for the virtual diversity fair can be.

  • Microaggressions: What are they and how do we prevent them?

    Microaggressions website imageMost commonly, a micro-aggression has been described by Derald Wing Sue as, “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults toward marginalized groups.”

    Sue also divided these micro-aggressions into three distinct groups—microassult, microinsult, and microinvalidation.

  • New & Improved Diversity Calendar

    Diversity Calendar Dec2020With the many different cultures, religions, and countries represented at UAB, it might feel overwhelming when trying to be respectful of everyone’s calendars. To help, the SOM Office for Diversity and Inclusion is offering all faculty, staff, and students access to the diversity calendar.

  • Gratitude for Our Women in Medicine

    September Might Be Over, but Our Gratitude Is Year-Long. 

    A few weeks ago, we announced and shared our excitement for Women in Medicine month. To commemorate this time, we asked leadership from each department in the School of Medicine to submit the names of women whose contributions have instrumental in helping UAB fight COVID-19. 

    Regardless of title or job position, we want to extend our sincerest thank you to all women at UAB who help keep our school and hospital running. This video is for you.


  • Spotlight: Ashita Tolwani, M.D.

    Ashita TolwaniEach September, organizations from across the country honor the contributions of women in medicine. At UAB, we are fortunate to have faculty and staff who continually push to advance their respective areas of medicine. Recently, award-winning Ashita Tolwani, M.D., Assistant Nephrology Fellowship Director and Director of ICU Nephrology, was able to get FDA approval during the COVID-19 pandemic to use a solution she created in 2004.

  • SOM Students Share Their Story to Promote UAB Partnership with Young Physician's Initiative

    Julio Dasiel 1For many aspiring medical students, the steps required to become a doctor may not be obvious. Things such as taking appropriate undergraduate courses, entry exams, internship programs, and residency are just a few things for which applicants have to be prepared. Thankfully, those with a family friend who is a physician or who make regular trips to the doctor, get exposure to medical professionals at an early age— which is critical in the development of one’s career.

    Now, take a moment to imagine navigating the medical education system in a foreign country, whose primary language isn’t your own. With a career choice such as medicine, this dream could be a seemingly daunting mission. 

    Thankfully, the passion that fueled Julio Cesar and Dasiel Bellido De Luna, who are currently MS4 and MS3 respectively at UAB School to Medicine, to pursue their medical degree outweighed the fears and uncertainty that inevitably raced through their minds. 

  • Your Racial Justice Questions, Answered.

    A Q Blue WebAfter the forum for racial justice, hosted by the School of Medicine in June, we compiled a listed of questions that team members wanted answered. To start, we have selected and answered two of those questions.


  • SHPEP's Virtual Launch

    SHPEP Virtual ImageEntering the summer of 2020 was a complicated time. As a state, Alabama was starting the process of reopening. As an institution, the University of Alabama at Birmingham remained in limited business operations—managing University courses online and administrative responsibilities via work-from-home. This in-between stage created many questions for people enrolled in UAB programs, especially those coming from other states with their own set of COVID-19 guidelines.

  • LaidBlack Podcast

    LaidBlack PodcastAs a construct, Racial Justice has been around since the United States was founded and arguably since the beginning of time. However, as a term, Racial Justice is something many people are just now coming to understand. Uniformly, racial justice has been described by NEA Ed Justice as “the systematic fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for all.” Depending on the industry, these injustices can take many forms. In medicine and medical education, it can mean the difference between life and death—making the fair treatment of all people of utmost importance.