2023 College of Public Health Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives

2023 DEI Annual Report


Dear College of Public Health community,

I’m pleased to share the College of Public Health’s third Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Annual Report. This report looks back at the activities that took place over the 2022-23 academic year.

In past years, the College of Public Health (CPH) DEI Committee was responsible for developing and overseeing a strategic plan for DEI initiatives. More recently, DEI was integrated into the college’s FY22 strategic initiative. Now, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, alongside Student Success, Research and Discovery, and Engagement, form the college’s four strategic priority areas.

Our belief and commitment:

The College of Public Health interprets diversity as embracing and respecting all aspects of human difference, social identities, and social group differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, creed, color, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual identity, socio-economic status, language, culture, national origin, religion/spirituality, age, (dis)ability, military/veteran status, political perspective, and associational preferences. The college believes that diversity in the classroom is a vital component of educating future public health professionals and scientists. A well-rounded, culturally competent public health workforce is required to meet the health needs of the nation’s growing ethnic and racial populations and to address the pressing health disparities faced by many groups. The college is committed to facilitating an atmosphere rich in cultural perspectives and actively supports and promotes diversity in the college and public health workforce.

Our objective is to create an environment in which all students, staff, and faculty feel valued, safe, and encouraged as they grow their connection with the College of Public Health. Our goal is to integrate DEI into research, education, and engagement within a collegiate atmosphere of respect, authenticity, cultural competence, and humility. This objective is supported through four critical tasks, which are detailed throughout this report along with accompanying tactics.

We offer this report as a summary of key DEI developments and select activities in the College of Public Health over the past year. Readers will find links to further information listed within these pages. We invite you to explore this topic in more detail on the college’s DEI web page (cph.uiowa.edu/diversity/).

I’d like to thank the members of the DEI Committee for their continued dedication and service and look forward to working with members of the college and university as we continue to implement our DEI activities.

Margaret Chorazy
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Clinical Associate Professor

Chair, CPH DEI Committee

Critical Task 1:

Enhance educational offerings related to diversity, equity, and inclusion for all learners within the College of Public Health.

Tactic: Review and revise curricula within the College of Public Health to ensure all students receive diversity, equity, and inclusion focused content.

The DEI Committee’s Curriculum and Pedagogy Sub-Committee (co-chaired by Dr. Knute Carter and Dr. Kelly Baker) completed its review of graduate and undergraduate courses. The review was planned in two phases. First, sub-committee members reviewed existing course syllabi to identify DEI-focused content in course learning objectives, readings, lectures, other learning materials, and course policies. This work has been completed and the information gathered will be used to inform the second phase of this project in which faculty members will be asked to reflect on their own courses, using their course syllabus as a guide.

The goals of this curriculum review were to assess the extent to which DEI-focused content is currently being taught to CPH students, to identify opportunities for additional DEI-focused content to be taught across the curriculum, and to encourage faculty to increase the extent to which they cover DEI topics in their courses. As a Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)-accredited college, CPH provides a learning environment that prepares students with broad competencies regarding diversity and cultural competence, recognizing that graduates may be employed anywhere in the world and will work with diverse populations.

Tactic: Increase the amount of and participation in co-curricular diversity, equity, and inclusion learning opportunities for students, staff, faculty, and community members within and outside the College of Public Health.

Spotlight Series

During the academic year, the College of Public Health provides regular enrichment events (i.e., Spotlights). The DEI Committee organizes three Spotlights per semester. Selected highlights of the past year included:

  • a workshop on bystander intervention techniques to create safer communities facilitated by staff from the Women’s Resource and Action Center (WRAC) and the Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP)
  • training sessions on understanding implicit bias and recognizing and responding to microaggressions facilitated by staff from the Carver College of Medicine’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • a workshop on managing difficult conversations facilitated by staff from the university’s Inclusive Education and Strategic Initiatives team
  • a panel discussion with Iowa City employees to discuss ongoing DEI initiatives supported by the city’s departments
  • a panel discussion of the Afghan refugee resettlement process and challenges
CPH DEI Committee Co-sponsored Events
  • The Health Equity Advancement Lab, a college-wide enrichment program for social justice, once again organized the Science of Health Equity summit on April 5, 2023. This annual event brings together students, staff, faculty, and community members who are devoted to advancing equity in public health activities. This year’s keynote presentation was by Dr. Ellen W. Harris, PhD, Executive Director for the Institute for Food & Development Policy, better known as Food First. Dr. Harris’s extensive experience within food systems was highlighted through her keynote presentation titled, “Forging Partnerships Through a Career in Food, Nutrition and Agriculture.”
Other Sponsorships
  • NAACP Cedar Rapids Chapter BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) High School Graduation Program
  • Lambda Theta Nu Latina Youth Leadership Conference
  • University of Iowa Latino Native American Cultural Center’s Latinx/a/o Graduation Program
  • My City. My Health: Iowa City Conference

Critical Task 2:

Recruit, retain, and advance a diverse collegiate community of students, staff, and faculty.

Data Snapshot:  Our CPH Community, 2022-2023

Selected demographic data for CPH faculty, staff, and students is provided below. These data are shared to highlight an area for continued focus in the college with respect to our efforts to recruit, retain, and advance a diverse collegiate community.

Student data represent MAUI Fall 2023 Census data. Faculty and staff data represent University Human Resources Information Systems data on June 30, 2023.



  • 8.11% Black/African American
  • 0% American Indian/Alaska Native
  • 11.35% Asian
  • 8.11% Hispanic/Latinx
  • 3.78% Two or more races
  • 0.54% International
  • 1.08% Not specified
  • 67.03% White, not of Hispanic origin

20% are first generation students

71% are Iowa residents; 13 other states represented

International students from five countries

Sex: Male 14.59%, Female 84.86%, Not specified 0.54%

Note: information about gender identity was not available for inclusion in this report



  • 7.71% Black/African American
  • 0.59% American Indian/Alaska Native
  • 8.01% Asian
  • 6.23% Hispanic/Latinx
  • 3.86% Two or more races
  • 14.24% International
  • 1.78% Not specified
  • 57.57% White, not of Hispanic origin

52% are Iowa residents; 33 other states represented

International students from 25 countries

Sex: Male 36.20%, Female 63.20%, Intersex 0.30%, Not specified 0.30% 

Note: information about gender identity was not available for inclusion in this report



  • 2.94% Black/African American
  • 0% American Indian/Alaska Native
  • 10.29% Asian
  • 0% Hispanic/Latinx
  • 0% Two or more races
  • 7.35% Not specified
  • 79.41% White, not of Hispanic origin

Sex: Male 52.94%, Female 47.06%

Note: information about gender identity was not available for inclusion in this report

STAFF (P&S and Merit)


  • 2.42% Black/African American
  • 0.48% American Indian/Alaska Native
  • 4.83% Asian
  • 2.42% Hispanic/Latinx
  • 1.45% Two or more races
  • 3.38% Not specified
  • 85.02% White, not of Hispanic origin

Sex: Male 25.12%, Female 74.88%

Note: information about gender identity was not available for inclusion in this report

Tactic: Seek out and develop local partnerships to broaden the diversity of the CPH student populations.

High School Recruitment Initiative

The college hosted Eastern Iowa high school students from marginalized groups (e.g., racial/ethnic minority, economically disadvantaged, and first-generation students) for a one-day, non-residential public health educational program. Students from Muscatine, West Liberty, and Wilton were invited to participate. Students heard from faculty about their research, toured CPH labs, and heard from current students about their experiences.

Additional Updates
Recruitment Scholarships

As a part of ongoing efforts to recruit students to our graduate programs, the DEI Committee awarded five scholarships and two, 25%-time Graduate Research Assistantships to incoming students. Support is provided for two years. The total value of awards to new and returning students for the current fiscal year is $84,455.

Summer Health Professions Education Program

For the eighth consecutive year, the College of Public Health has partnered with the UI Colleges of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmacy to offer the Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP). The University of Iowa welcomed a cohort of 80 scholars to campus for summer 2023. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, SHPEP is a free, six-week summer enrichment program for undergraduate students interested in health professions. Notably, SHPEP delivers a curriculum to strengthen the academic proficiency and support the career development of students from backgrounds that are underrepresented in the health professions, including (but not limited to) individuals who identify as African American/Black, Native American or Alaska Native, and Hispanic/Latino, and who are from communities of socioeconomic and educational disadvantage.

Iowa Summer Institute in Biostatistics

The Iowa Summer Institute in Biostatistics (ISIB) is a seven-week program funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute that provides biostatistical research education and research opportunities to undergraduates and graduates with interest in the field. Priority admission is given to disadvantaged students and to students from small liberal arts colleges which do not offer substantial coursework in statistics or biostatistics. The UI College of Public Health’s Department of Biostatistics has hosted the ISIB program every summer since the program began in 2008. From 2008 to 2022, 228 students have participated in ISIB, and 55% of ISIB graduates are attending or have attended graduate school programs in biostatistics, statistics, or data science. Forty-six students have attended the graduate program in CPH’s Department of Biostatistics.

Critical Task 3:

Ensure a welcoming, inclusive, and accessible physical and virtual environment.

Tactic: Explore additional ways to seek feedback regarding our physical environment and develop strategies to address items identified.

The college has implemented various strategies to seek feedback including but not limited to:

  • establishing a CPHB Floor Coordinators group to seek input and support in ensuring a welcoming and safe physical environment
  • requesting student feedback regarding physical environment during open student forums
  • facilitating a Collegiate Facility Network with other collegiate units to share best practices, discuss current issues, facilitate group discussions with Central Administrators, and work to build consensus to advocate for improvements

As a result of feedback received, the college:

  • will be adding automatic door openers and building lockdown buttons for departmental suites based on feedback from staff and student seeking greater accessibility
  • continued to advocate for funding to support University Classrooms (including accessible podiums and adaptable furniture)
  • installed Area of Rescue Phones in CPHB to provide greater connection to Campus Safety
  • installed additional AED machines on all levels of CPHB based on feedback from CPHB Floor Coordinators to provide quick access to potentially life saving devices.

Tactic: Develop and implement policies to improve content accessibility, e.g., increased use of microphones and video captioning.

The CPH Office of Communications and External Relations strives to follow and model best practices in digital content accessibility. Some examples include captioning videos, providing transcripts of the CPH student-produced podcasts, providing alt text with images, conducting accessibility trainings, and using Siteimprove to monitor and improve the accessibility of CPH web content. The CPH web manager provides digital accessibility training, promotes additional UI training opportunities, and recommends best practices in periodic email communications to a collegiate communicators group. Our college’s website accessibility ratings are consistently among the best on campus, and our site is recognized as an accessibility exemplar.

Tactic: Promote the core values of the college.

CPH students, faculty, and staff are regularly presented with the Core Values of the College of Public Health at orientations, forums, and other events and communications. Our college’s core values reflect those of the University of Iowa: Creativity, Community, Excellence, Inclusion, and Integrity. We seek to implement these values in ways that enhance the health and well-being of all Iowans, especially the most vulnerable segments of Iowa’s population. The Core Values of the College of Public Health include:

  • Excellence. The CPH is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in public health scholarship, teaching, and community service.
  • Learning. The CPH is dedicated to the discovery and dissemination of knowledge that will improve the health status of all people, especially those with rural roots and experiences.
  • Community. The CPH is committed to collaboration and actively seeks to engage community partners in its education, research, and public service.
  • Diversity. Diversity is key to a vibrant intellectual environment. Respect for, and inclusion of, all persons and valuing their unique experiences and contributions is essential to achieving our mission.
  • Integrity. The CPH adheres to the highest standards of honesty, fairness, respect, and professional and scholarly ethics.
  • Respect. The CPH is committed to maintaining an environment that recognizes the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and that fosters tolerance, sensitivity, understanding, and mutual respect.
  • Responsibility. The CPH is dedicated to the stewardship of all resources entrusted to it and fosters public policies that promote sustainability in all human activities, including environmental protection, agricultural production, economic development, and community health.
  • Social Justice. All activities within the CPH are motivated by a commitment to social equity and fairness, a spirit of compassion for all persons, and a desire to apply the tools of scientific knowledge to pressing societal health concerns. The College strives to improve the conditions in which everyone lives and thereby contribute to the formation of a just society.

Critical Task 4:

Strengthen and support collegiate administrative structures and processes that enhance and recognize our commitment to DEI, with particular emphasis on accountability and communication for transparency.

Tactic: Review and revise collegiate and departmental policies and processes with an equity lens to ensure our policies support all student, faculty and staff and do not undermine advancement.

Inclusive Leadership Discussions

Following a DEI-focused retreat for CPH Executive Committee members in Summer 2022, the college moved forward with its plan to review and revise collegiate and departmental policies and processes with an equity lens to ensure our policies support all student, faculty and staff and do not undermine advancement. As a first step, an inclusive leadership discussion series was developed using the American Council on Education’s Shared Equity Leadership framework to further support the development of departmental plans. The discussion series will continue throughout the 2023-2024 academic year.

Additional Resources

College of Public Health Strategic Plan

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the College of Public Health

University of Iowa Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion