Diversity team members outside

Diversity Team

The diversity mission of the College of Medicine is to support an environment that fosters cultural understanding, cultural competency, and opportunities for individuals of all backgrounds. To support our mission and our vision to become a nationally recognized model of excellence for U.S. medical schools, the Group on Diversity Affairs (GDA) works to enhance diversity among our students, residents, and faculty by implementing and maintaining programs designed to support underrepresented in medicine individuals. The College of Medicine defines diversity specifically related to underrepresented in medicine individuals (African Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanics) and women in leadership positions.

Our initiatives include pipeline programs designed to provide exposure to middle, high school, and undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine; mentoring programs for current medical students with ongoing support to foster success throughout the basic science and clinical years; resident programs that provide mentoring for our residents and foster relationships with physicians in the community of Charleston; and faculty programs that focus on various aspects of diversity. The GDA has an “open door” policy and is readily available to assist all members of the College of Medicine. 

The Diversity Team oversees the Diversity Committee, whose members serve as liaisons to each department, assisting with departmental plans, and providing diversity related resources.

Dr. de Arellano Headshot

Michael de Arellano, Ph.D.

Senior Associate Dean for Diversity

Kristen Hood Watson 

Kristen Hood-Watson, M.D.

Assistant Dean for Resident Inclusion

Natalie Johnson 

Natalie Johnson, MA

Associate Dean for Diversity Affairs

Kelli Jenkins 

Kelli Jenkins, MS Ed

Assistant Director for Diversity Affairs

Claudia Salazar 

Claudia Salazar

Graduate Student

Sherrie Nesbitt 

Sherrie Nesbitt

Administrative Assistant