Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

Committee Overview

The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee contributes to the overall strategic focus of the Jefferson Office of Diversity, Inclusion & Community Engagement to ensure that the composition of our faculty, staff and students reflect the communities we serve, while focusing on improving health outcomes by training physicians, nurses and staff to provide culturally appropriate care.

Specifically, Jefferson College of Nursing’s DEI Committee aims to:

  • Put People First: Sustain diversity leadership through the activities of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee and other initiatives at Jefferson College of Nursing to enhance a broader range of perspectives and approaches at the larger university and community level to better serve our diverse population of faculty, students, staff, and communities.
  • Be Bold and Think Differently: Provide a culture of trust, respect, and transparency, by understanding the influencing factors and intersections of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, people with disabilities, novice and experts, religious and political beliefs, and other ideologies and perspectives.
  • Do The Right Thing: Have a zero-tolerance standpoint for indifference, inaction, and disrespect for issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Stephen DiDonato Associate Professor; Chair of DEI Committee
Clara Granda-Cameron Associate Professor; Past Chair of DEI Committee
Karla A. Bell Associate Professor
Kathryn Shaffer Associate Professor
Lisa Whitfield-Harris Associate Professor
Cecilia Borden Assistant Professor
Mei Lin Chen-lim Assistant Professor
Marilynn Murphy Assistant Professor
Maya Bryant Instructor
Barbara Butynski Instructor
Michele Orzehoski Instructor
Leah Keslen Director, Human Capital Management
Molly Waldeck Executive Assistant to the Dean
Matthew DiMarco Manager, Office of Research & Innovation
Kennedy Whalen Education Coordinator III, Graduate Programs

Annual Goals

Each year, the Jefferson College of Nursing DEI Committee sets goals in the areas of Education, People and Community. This includes an overarching College of Nursing DEI action plan.

Education: Goals are aimed at ensuring that faculty, students and staff have the knowledge, skills and abilities to model culturally responsive behavior. That faculty have the knowledge, skills and abilities to deliver an academic experience that demonstrates inclusive excellence, and that students graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities to deliver culturally responsive care in their respective disciplines. Goals for 2023-2024:

  1. Pilot the Inclusive Course Design and Teaching Tool across undergraduate and graduate courses
  2. Increase student voice by holding stakeholder groups with students to understand their perception of JCN’s approach to DEI
  3. Provide ongoing DEI professional development to JCN faculty and staff. 

People: Goals are aimed at ensuring that inclusive practices are implemented to recruit, retain and promote a highly skilled workforce and student population that reflects the diversity of the communities Jefferson serves. Goals for 2023-2024:

  1. Hold Conversations that Matter with students to help create a safe space for student voices
  2. Launch the JCN DEI website
  3. Stand up a JCN DEI Student Advisory Council

Community: Goals are aimed at engaging college faculty, staff and students in community efforts that increase the College’s impact. Goals for 2023-2024:

  1. Develop DEIB best-practices for engaging with communities on research and other-related projects
  2. Develop a DEI Newsletter

Complete a geomap of community-based projects that the JCN community is supporting to help identify opportunities to increase community engagement. 

Jefferson Resources

Nursing Resources