ADEA Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee

The ADEA Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee (ADEA DIAC) advises the ADEA Board of Directors on issues related to diversity and inclusion in dental education.

The ADEA DIAC is comprised of the former ADEA Minority Affairs Advisory Committee (ADEA MAAC) and ADEA Women’s Affairs Advisory Committee (ADEA WAAC). The rationale for combining the two committees was based on contemporary diversity and inclusion frameworks, ADEA strategic goals, and the prevailing diversity and inclusion models on academic health center campuses that include multiple dimensions of diversity in academic dental institutions. 

The newly formed ADEA DIAC will retain a unique focus on women’s issues and those related to racial and ethnic minorities. Unique issues relative to racial/ethnic minority communities, women and the LGBT community include:

  • Underrepresentation in the dental school community and patient populations, and
  • Identity, advancement and a host of other topics that deserve unique focus and attention.

Within the new consolidated structure, committee members will continue to bring attention to and address issues regarding diverse communities. At the same time, cross-cutting issues exist that can impact learning and the quality of patient care, including inequity in treatment and general climate (cultural insensitivity, microaggressions, etc.).

The creation of the ADEA DIAC:

  1. Creates synergy between the issues.

    Consolidation creates an intentional space to increase the knowledge base within the membership about promising practices and provides an opportunity to share what works across the diversity and inclusion spectrum.

  2. Follows the trend at academic institutions across the country.
    Movement across the nation toward making excellence inclusive (quality and comprehensive strategies are needed) highlights learning and creating environments that maximize the benefits for all. All of the dimensions of diversity are included under one umbrella.
  3. Allows for more impactful program development.
    The consolidated committee will allow for a broad discussion about campus-wide diversity policies and practices in a holistic and comprehensive way. 

2020-21 Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee (ADEA DIAC) Members 

Ana N. López-Fuentes, D.M.D., M.P.H. (Co-Chair)
Professor and Former Dean
University of Puerto Rico School of Dental Medicine

Dennis A. Mitchell, D.D.S., M.P.H. (Co-Chair)
Executive Vice President for University Life
Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Development, Columbia University
Professor, Columbia University College of Dental Medicine

Bertha Alacorn, D.D.S.
Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion
Wester University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine

Patricia Blanton, D.D.S., Ph.D. 
Private Practice

Rosa Chaviano-Moran, D.M.D.
Associate Dean for Admissions
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, School of Dental Medicine

Todd V. Ester, D.D.S., M.A.
Assistant Dean, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
University of Michigan School of Dentistry

M. Nathalia Garcia, D.D.S., M.S.
Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine

Colin M. Haley, D.D.S.
Assistant Professor
University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry

Rachel Hogan, D.M.D., M.Ed.
Assistant Professor of Restorative Dentistry
Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry


Christina Jones
Student, D2
University of Michigan School of Dentistry

Eugenia Mejia, M.A., M.Ed., Ph.D.
Assistant Dean for Admissions
NYU College of Dentistry

Tena Phillips, D.D.S.
Assistant Professor
Chattanooga State Community College

Scott Schwartz, D.D.S., M.P.H.
Assistant Professor
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

ADEA Board of Directors Representatives

Laura Romito, D.D.S., M.S., M.B.A.
Board Director for Sections
Professor and Assistant Dean
Indiana University Interprofessional Practice and Education Center
Indiana University School of Dentistry

James R. Lott, D.M.D.
Board Director for Faculties
Associate Professor
University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Dentistry