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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the GSBS

Discovery, excellence and innovation 

Our services
• Dedicated staff
• Individual advising to students
• Recruitment and outreach
• DEI support to the GSBS community
• Promotion of institutional and national DEI efforts/opportunities


MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Office of Diversity and Student Affairs (DSA) aim to increase the recruitment, retention, and graduation of historically underrepresented groups in our PhD, MD/PhD and MS programs. The DSA is continually expanding existing efforts to ensure that our student body reflects the diverse populations of Houston and the United States. The DSA houses several diversity programs, including the newly minted program “The Academy at GSBS”. The Academy at GSBS aims to introduce a diverse group of pre-matriculated students to the rigor of graduate school. More information about our diversity programs and initiatives can be found here:

  • The Academy

    Academy group students only

    The Academy at GSBS 2021

    Pictured from Left to Right: PhD- Stephen Farmer, MS- Brianne Wharton, PhD- Rene Girard, PhD- Mekenzie Peshoff, PhD- Ericka Humphrey, PhD- Llaran Turner, PhD- Larissa Tavizon, PhD- Rene Girard, PhD- Samantha Mota. MS- Maria Grimaldo Not pictured: SMS- Latonya Alexander, PhD- Andrea Hernandez, SMS- Cindy Hernandez, PhD- Erin Snoddy, PhD- Broderick Turner, PhD- Jana Gomez, MS- Alexandra Flegle

    2022academy roster

    Academy at GSBS 2022


    The Academy at the GSBS is designed to train the next generation of leaders in the field of biomedical sciences.  The main goal of The Academy at the GSBS is to provide high-level and effective training to individuals from historically underrepresented backgrounds who pursue graduate degrees in the biomedical sciences. By actively participating in this program, students will gain the skills necessary to thrive in graduate school such as time management, navigating their biomedical career, and effective scientific communication. The Academy provides academic, professional and social enhancement skills for our students to build a fulfilling biomedical science career beyond the GSBS.


    In addition to the many benefits of being a GSBS Student, both Full* and Associate scholars receive the following:

    • Supplemental activities designed to help you focus on your success as a student and beyond.
    • Guidance through dedicated time and resources of the Office of Diversity and Student Affairs.
    • A social support network within your cohort and with current GSBS students from diverse backgrounds.

    (*Full Scholars receive a scholarship in addition to their stipend)


    Full and Associate Scholars are selected after the GSBS has offered admission and/or once the offer is accepted.


    Program Activities 2022-2023

    Monthly academic year seminars/activities

    Supplemental peer and individualized mentoring


    Program Contacts

    Cherilynn R. Shadding, Ph.D.
    Associate Dean of Diversity, Career Development, Alumni Affairs

    Tanieka Young, MBA, MSHRD
    Program Manager
    Diversity & Student Affairs 

  • DEI Outreach

    A cornerstone of our recruitment efforts at GSBS is attendance to large URM focused recruitment fairs which include: Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), Emerging Researchers National Conference (ERN) and California Forum for Diversity (Northern and Southern). These efforts are coupled with targeted outreach to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI’s) and minority serving programs such as MARC, RISE, PREP.  Our local/regional efforts includes outreach to schools such as Texas Southern University and Prairie View A&M, Univ of Houston-Downtown.

  • Heritage Month Series

    The Office of Diversity and Student Affairs (DSA) would like to celebrate nationally recognized heritage/diversity months. Heritage helps us examine our history and traditions and enables us to develop an awareness about ourselves. We will be highlighting scientists from diverse backgrounds throughout the year.

    Student and alumni heritage month game winners:

    FB banner-BMH 2021

    Student: Pragya Sinha 

    Alumni: Rina Bhagat

    FB banner-WMH 2021

    Student: Sara Murphy

    Alumni: Connie Larsson

    AAPI HM banner-FB

    Student: Jinhao Zou

    Alumni: Qian Liu

    Pride Month banner-FB

    Student: Maria Jose Gacha Garay

    Alumni: Alan Alexander

    Hispanic Heritage Month 2021

    Students: Caitlynn Barrows & Tristen Tellman

  • GSBS DEI Training
    •  Faculty - A critical part of the graduate school journey is the mentor-mentee relationship. With this understanding, the GSBS provides training to all GSBS faculty through Mentoring Works! based on nationally recognized curriculum. To optimize mentoring relationships, GSBS requires all faculty to participate in Mentoring Works!, which includes a module on DEI training.

    •  Students – As students enter the GSBS they have to chance to partake in our week-long orientation. During this time, students also participate in interactive DEI session where they learn about the advantages and opportunities to creating an inclusive environment.
  • Student Groups

    Students have the opportunity to augment their scientific journey with our seven student associations.  These associations promote professional development, school engagement, student leadership. We have several affinity groups who additionally focus on cultural awareness and inclusion (AMBR, First Generation, ISA, LGBTQ+). Learn more all about our student groups.