Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

At UMB, our experts are committed to creating, developing, and setting policy in health care, research, law, and our community to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion.


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Richard P. Barth, PhD, MSW

Social Work Education


Foster Care

The author of 12 books and more than 200 scholarly articles, Dr. Barth is recognized as a leading expert on several social topics including social work education, adoption, foster care, and child welfare. Dr. Barth, who is the former dean of the School of Social Work and past president of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare, speaks across the globe on important social work topics and ways social work helps improve communities and the human condition.

Neijma Celestine-Donnor, JD, MSW

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

As the School of Social Work’s first assistant dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion, Neijma Celestine-Donnor will help lead the school's diversity and anti-oppression efforts and guide the achievement of a new standard for inclusive excellence. As a member of the dean’s executive leadership team, Celestine-Donnor has a strategic position responsible for promoting and enabling an inclusive environment for faculty, students, and staff while championing organizational change. Grounded in pursuing social justice for minority populations and supporting equity in higher education, Celestine-Donnor is an experienced leader focused on providing strategic oversight for protocols, services, and policies related to campus climate. She uses her clinical and conflict resolution skills to provide individual and systemic trauma-informed outreach, advocacy, and support for all. Her extensive experience developing, facilitating, and assessing professional development workshops, training, and programming designed to enhance the intercultural competency of students, faculty, and staff will be a tremendous benefit to the school. Celestine-Donnor comes to the school from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she served as director of campus climate support and engagement in the Division of Diversity and Inclusion. She is a 2009 graduate of the School of Social Work’s MSW program and previously served as a clinical training instructor and adjunct faculty member at the school. In addition, Celestine-Donnor is studying for a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Baltimore.

Yvette Conyers, DNP, MS, RN, FNP-C, CTN-B, CFCN, CFCS, CNE

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Social Determinants of Health and Health Equity

Dr. Conyers is the associate dean for equity, diversity, and inclusion and an assistant professor, teaching excellence tenure track, at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. In this role, Conyers serves as the primary advisor to UMSON’s dean, senior academic leadership team, senior administrative team, and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Council on operational and strategic goals related to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Sarah Dababnah, PhD, MPH, MSW


Developmental Disabilities


Sarah Dababnah, PhD, MPH, MSW is an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore School of Social Work (United States), a Faculty Affiliate at Yonsei University School of Social Welfare (South Korea), and a recent US Fulbright Scholar at the American University in Cairo (Egypt). She specializes in practice, policy and research related to the health and well-being of families of individuals with intellectual and developmental differences. Dr. Dababnah’s research focuses on family-centered, community-engaged and culturally relevant strategies to address racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in autism services. Dr. Dababnah received specialized training in early childhood and disability practice, research, and policy at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (Chapel Hill, NC), the Kennedy Krieger Institute (Baltimore, MD), the Columbia University National Center for Children in Poverty (New York, NY), and the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health (Washington, DC). She earned advanced degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Johns Hopkins University.

Eleanor Fleming, DDS, PhD, MPH, FICD

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Dr. Eleanor Fleming, PhD, DDS, MPH, FICD, is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health. She earned her dental degree from Meharry Medical College, completed her dental public health residency at Boston University, and earned her PhD from Vanderbilt University. She completed additional post-graduate training as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer where she investigated disease outbreaks and conducted studies to promote health equity. Over the course of her career, she has developed subject matter expertise on infectious and chronic disease epidemiology, and previously served as the dental epidemiologist overseeing the Oral Health Component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. She has been the principal investigator on a number of studies and has informed public health surveillance at state, national, and international levels. She holds leadership positions in the American Association of Public Health Dentistry and the American Public Health Association, where she completed a term on the APHA Science Board; she was also actively involved in the National Dental Association serving on its Coronavirus Task Force. Dr. Fleming currently serves as ex-officio member of the UMB Diversity Advisory Council.

Shani Fleming, MSHS, MPH, PA-C

Language, Literacy, and Culture

Health Professional Workforce Diversity

Professor Fleming has devoted her career to promoting social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion within the health care community. She serves as an associate professor in the Graduate School’s Physician Assistant (PA) Program and Intercultural Leadership Certificate Program. She also is an executive team member of the Physician Assistant Leadership and Learning Academy. She has significant clinical, academic, and leadership experience as a PA, practicing primarily in underserved communities and advocating for and coordinating curricula addressing social determinants of health, LGBTQ+ care, and cultural humility within PA education programs. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and earned master’s degrees in public health and health science from George Washington University. She is a diversity and inclusion leader within national and state organizations, reaching thousands of underrepresented racial and ethnic high school and college students and advocating for increased representation in the health professional workforce. She encourages, leads, and fights for inclusive and just environments for faculty, staff, and students. She is pursuing her PhD in language, literacy, and culture from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, completing a dissertation examining the impact of advancing academic credentials on health professional workforce diversity.

Diane Forbes-Berthoud, PhD, MA

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Diane Forbes Berthoud is the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) inaugural chief equity, diversity, and inclusion officer and vice president (CEDIO/VP). Reporting directly to UMB’s president, Forbes Berthoud leads and advances the University’s equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) strategy, implementation, and accountability. She brings over 25 years of experience working in higher education, nonprofit, and government with a proven record of success in organizational change management and development, strategic planning, and assessment. Before joining UMB, Forbes Berthoud was the Associate Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at the University of California, San Diego, where she led the management of the university’s first Diversity Strategic Plan and designed and oversaw high-impact university initiatives. She was previously an Associate Professor and Department Chair of Communication at Trinity University, a Visiting Professor at George Mason University, and a Senior Fellow at the University of Maryland, College Park in leadership and public policy. She has been awarded faculty fellowships in the areas of women’s leadership, community-based research, public policy, and curriculum design. While completing her doctoral work, Forbes Berthoud served as the lead consultant of an organizational effectiveness and diversity initiative in Montgomery County government impacting thousands of employees. Forbes Berthoud earned PhD and MA degrees in Organizational Communication and Social Psychology from Howard University, and a BA in Communication and a certificate in Spanish Translation and Interpretation from Barry University. She earned a management certificate from the University of California, a certificate in mediation from the National Center for Conflict Resolution, and is a graduate of the UC-Coro Systemwide Leadership Program.

Jodi J. Frey, PhD, LCSW-C, CEAP


behavioral health

suicide prevention

Dr. Jodi J. Frey, PhD, LCSW-C, CEAP is a full Professor with tenure at University of Maryland, School of Social Work. She serves as Associate Dean for Research and chairs the Social Work in the Workplace & Employee Assistance Sub-specialization. She is the Founder and Faculty Executive Director of the Behavioral Health and Well-Being Lab (BHWell Lab). For 10 years (until 2022), she chaired the Financial Social Work Initiative. Dr. Frey’s research focuses on adult and emerging adult behavioral health and well-being with an emphasis on suicide prevention, mental health, substance use and the workplace. She has published over 100 articles, books and book chapters, in addition to presenting research at international conferences and receiving numerous awards for her research and teaching. Dr. Frey co-chairs the Workplace Suicide Prevention and Postvention Committee where she is working to disseminate the National Guidelines for Workplace Suicide Prevention.

Reetta Gach, MS, MBA

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Reetta Gach is the acting program director at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. In this role, Reetta advances strategic planning and manages high-profile, ongoing campus-wide projects that the EDI Office launches. Her responsibilities also include program management and campus-wide assessment of equity, diversity, and inclusion outcomes. Gach has been with the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) since 2013. She has 26 years of operations management experience and has worked in the private, nonprofit, and public sectors. In addition to operations management, she has experience planning and managing events, projects, and programs. Prior to joining OEDI, she was a senior program specialist for the UMB Center for Interprofessional Education under the School of Nursing. Reetta earned a master’s degree in management with a specialization in project management in 2015 and an MBA in 2020, both from University of Maryland Global Campus, and a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Baltimore in 2012.

Courtney Jones-Carney, DPA, MBA

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Dr. Jones Carney focuses many of her efforts on advancing student success and the development of cultural competencies to inform professional practice. Additionally, she challenges students, faculty, and staff to critically examine themselves and the ideals that they hold about others while understanding the role of oppression in the formation of policy, practices, and procedures in institutions and systems. She continues to hold a leadership role in administering, analyzing, and sharing the findings of the UMB Student Climate for Diversity Survey and serves as an ex-officio member of UMB’s Diversity Advisory Council. Dr. Jones Carney’s research areas of interest include the impact of microaggressions, intercultural development, and the relationship between acts of discrimination on campus climate and employee engagement. She is an alumna of Morgan State University and completed her doctoral studies in public administration at the University of Baltimore. Her dissertation examined the relationship between exposure to racial and ethnic microaggressions and employee engagement.

Diane Martin, PhD, MA


Quality of Later Life

Dr. Martin has been committed throughout her career to developing high-quality, impactful, and engaging academic and non-academic activities designed to increase the knowledge and skill sets of professionals and paraprofessionals employed in the senior service and care industry. As an applied gerontologist, her research has centered on quality-of-later-life initiatives, including person-centered care and aging in place. Dr. Martin is a member of the Gerontological Society of America and the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education. She earned her doctorate in psychology with a concentration in aging from Northcentral University, her master’s degree in experimental psychology from Towson University, and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.

Russell McClain, JD


Law School Associate Professor and Associate Dean Russell McClain graduated Order of the Coif from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1995. From 1995 until 2005, Professor McClain was a civil litigator in Los Angeles, California. Professor McClain began teaching in the fall of 2005 as a legal writing instructor at Howard University School of Law. Professor McClain began teaching at the University of Maryland School of Law in 2006, and he received a full-time appointment to the faculty in 2007. Since then, he has worked as the Director of the law school’s Academic Achievement Program, which focuses on assisting with the academic development of law students. In 2016, Professor McClain was promoted to law school associate professor, and he was appointed by the law school Dean to the position of Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion. He also is a member of the President’s Diversity Advisory Council of the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Professor McClain’s scholarly interest is in the psychological factors that affect academic performance, including stereotype threat and implicit bias. This research explores whether stereotype threat (the fear of confirming negative group stereotypes) and implicit bias (subconscious categorizations that are biased against racial/ethnic minorities and women) work together to suppress the performance of these groups in higher education, including in law school. See Russell A. McClain, Helping Our Students Reach Their Full Potential: The Insidious Consequences of Ignoring Stereotype Threat, 17 RUTGERS RACE & L. REV. 1 (2016); Russell A. McClain, Bottled at the Source, Recapturing the Essence of Academic Support as a Primary Tool of Education Equity for Minority Law Students, 18 MD. L.J. OF RACE, RELIGION, GENDER & CLASS 139 (2018). Professor McClain has made dozens of presentations and conducted numerous workshops for educational institutions and professional groups. Professor McClain is the President of the Association of Academic Support Educators. He also has served as a member of the Law School Admissions Council’s Diversity Committee. Professor McClain was honored by the University of Maryland Chapter of the Black Law Students Association as the 2006-2007 Alumnus of the Year. In 2011 and 2018, the chapter named him Professor of the Year.

Megan Meyer, PhD, MSW

Social Work Practice


Political Science

Dr. Meyer has taught community organization and macro social work practice at the School of Social Work for 17 years. Dr. Meyer’s research and publications have been interdisciplinary, spanning the fields of social work, sociology, and political science. She has sought to examine the practices and challenges of building social capital and organizing for social change in economically distressed urban environments, barriers to and practices in facilitating collaboration among community-based organizations and associations, and effective practices for community-university partnerships. She received her PhD and MSW degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles.

C. Daniel Mullins, PhD


Comparative Effectiveness Research

Health Disparities

Dr. Mullins’ research and teaching focus on community-engaged, patient-centered comparative effectiveness research to advance health equity. He has received funding as principal investigator from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Food and Drug Administration (through its CERSI initiative), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), various pharmaceutical manufacturers, patient advocacy organizations, and the insurance industry. In addition to his faculty appointment, Dr. Mullins is executive director of The PATIENTS Program at the School of Pharmacy and director of the Community & Collaboration Core for the UMB Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, as well as editor-in-chief for the journal Value in Health.

Nicole K. Palmore, MSW

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Nicole K. Palmore is the executive director of diversity, equity, and inclusion for Administration and Finance at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). Prior to assuming this role, Nicole was the director of diversity, inclusion, and intercultural learning at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. Nicole worked for four years as a senior organization and employee development consultant with Human Resource Services at UMB. She originally joined the University in 2016 after working in learning and development for over 15 years. Nicole held positions in organizational development with the Department of Transportation and Springfield Hospital Center, and as a training director with the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions. She also has consulted with companies in the nonprofit and health care industries. Nicole holds a bachelor’s in psychology cum laude from Georgetown University and a master’s in social work summa cum laude from the University of Maryland School of Social Work. She also completed a graduate certificate in instructional design technology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Most recently, she completed a graduate certificate in intercultural leadership at UMB.

Judy L. Postmus, PhD, ACSW

Domestic Violence

Intimate Partner Violence

Dating Violence

Dean Postmus’ research has focused on the physical, sexual, and economic victimization of women. She was the founder and director (2007-2018) of the Rutgers University Center on Violence Against Women and Children, which works to eliminate physical, sexual, and other forms of violence against women and children — and the power imbalances that permit them — through multidisciplinary research, education, and community engagement. In 2016, Dean Postmus received a grant from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), within the U.S. Department of Justice, to create the Rutgers Violence Against Women Research Consortium. The consortium works collaboratively with interdisciplinary researchers and NIJ scientists to identify, implement, and disseminate research and evaluation projects that fill the gaps in our current knowledge of intimate partner violence, sexual violence, stalking, and teen dating violence.

Sandra Quezada, MD, MS, AGAF

Unconscious Bias in Academic Medicine

Social Determinants of Health in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Diversifying the Physician Workforce

Dr. Quezada received her medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD, where she also completed her post-graduate residency training in internal medicine and fellowship training in gastroenterology and hepatology. She is passionate about equity, inclusion, and diversity, and brings this lens to her work in academic medicine. She is Associate Dean for Medical School Admissions and Associate Dean for Faculty Diversity and Inclusion at the School of Medicine (SOM), and has worked locally, regionally, and nationally to amplify physician workforce diversity, and to impact the climate in which future and current physicians train and practice. As co-Chair of the SOM Diversity Advisory Council, Dr. Quezada spearheaded the development of an Equitable Faculty Search Policy, and established an unconscious bias training initiative for SOM faculty, leadership and students. She led the SOM initiative to eliminate race in the estimation of GFR in the University of Maryland Medical System. She is faculty advisor to the SOM Student Diversity Council, and serves on the University of Maryland Baltimore campus Diversity Advisory Council. Dr. Quezada is a practicing gastroenterologist who subspecializes in inflammatory bowel disease, and is recent past-Chair of the Diversity Committee, current co-Chair of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Equity Project, and Chair of the Intersociety Group on Diversity in Gastroenterology. She is also a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation National Scientific Advisory Committee, and DEI Section Editor for Gastroenterology, the AGA's flagship journal. She was awarded the 2021 Distinguished Award for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion by the American Gastroenterological Association, and the 2022 Healio Disruptive Innovator Health Equity Award by the American College of Gastroenterology.

Kristin Reavis, MD

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Dr. Reavis joined the School of Medicine (SOM) faculty in 2013 and practices a full scope of family medicine. She is the faculty advisor for SOM’s chapter of the Student National Medical Association, co-faculty advisor for the Student Diversity Council, and has been an advisor for SOM’s House Advisory System since its inception in 2016. Additionally, she serves on the Diversity Advisory Councils at UMB and SOM. As a leader for equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) efforts at SOM, she is working to establish an Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in an effort to centralize DEI efforts at the school. Dr. Reavis is an inaugural member of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine’s Anti-Racism Task Force and is working to integrate anti-racism policies into the strategic plan of the leading organization that supports family medicine educators, thus affecting the future of family medicine. Dr. Reavis serves as the director of maternal child health and is a family medicine obstetrics provider for the Department of Family and Community Medicine. Her academic and clinical interests include women’s health and social justice/health equity. She is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and was the 2019 recipient of the Dean’s Alumni Award for Diversity and Inclusion. Dr. Reavis completed her undergraduate education at Morgan State University before earning her Master of Biological Sciences degree at Drexel University. She earned her medical degree from UMSOM and completed her residency and fellowship training in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Julia Scott



Anti-Racist Frameworks

Julia Scott develops diversity and inclusion-focused education, programs, and events for the School of Social Work’s faculty, staff, and students and the local community. She also works with Baltimore Racial Justice Action (BRJA), which collaborates with individuals and organizations to fight racism and other forms of institutional oppression. With BRJA, she serves as an Advisory Board member, primary trainer, and “13th of the Month” event co-coordinator. Her interest revolves around using anti-racist and anti-oppression frameworks to approach community building and leadership programming. Scott earned her bachelor’s degree in English literature from Morgan State University.

Wendy Shaia, MSW, EdD

Positive School Climate

Community Outreach

Wendy Shaia, Clinical Associate Professor and Executive Director of the Center for Restorative Change, is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Wendy obtained her Doctor of Education in Human and Organizational Learning from The George Washington University. She has more than 20 years of experience developing, implementing, and leading organizations and programs. In New York, she developed and operated a shelter for homeless pregnant and parenting young women in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and built transitional and affordable housing in East New York, Brooklyn. She provided technical assistance to community organizations for the Enterprise Foundation, and conducted the summative evaluation of the Red Cross’ long-term recovery effort after hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. Most recently, Wendy worked as a strategic planner for the Department of Defense, where she led change management efforts, and developed strategies around Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity. Wendy is also the co-founder of the Positive Schools Center at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Her work focuses on creating positive school climate and reducing the disproportionate suspensions and expulsions of children of color and children with disabilities from Maryland schools, particularly where children, families and school staff have experienced, complex, secondary and vicarious trauma. Wendy has been trained in restorative practices by the International Institute for Restorative Practices and in mindfulness by the Center for Mindful Awareness. She is passionate about issues related to poverty, social justice and oppression. Wendy is on the Board of Directors of the Community Law Center.

Corey Shdaimah, PhD, LLM, LLB

Sex Work

Foster Care

Child Care Policy

Dr. Shdaimah, who has degrees in law and social work, examines the impact of policy as it evolves through implementation, with a focus on child welfare, prostitution policy, and child care. She is an expert on alternative criminal justice responses to prostitution and street-based sex work and has consulted with jurisdictions across the country and internationally on development, implementation, and evaluation of such programs. In the field of child welfare, Dr. Shdaimah studies case processing. She advises the Maryland judiciary and has worked with the state’s Foster Care Improvement Program as well as a number of local jurisdictions on dependency court reforms and the involvement of stakeholders in the court process. She also is a leading voice on U.S. child care policy, speaking in academic venues and to the news media about the struggles faced by families and providers and the range of early education and child care policy responses to address them.

Chanel Whittaker, PharmD, BCPS, CGP, FASCP



Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Dr. Chanel Whittaker received her Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from Rutgers University. She completed a managed care pharmacy practice residency with Kaiser Permanente, Mid-Atlantic States and a primary care specialty residency at the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center, focused on chronic disease state management. Dr. Whittaker is a board certified pharmacotherapy specialist and certified geriatric pharmacist. She is residency program director for the PGY2 – Geriatrics Residency Program. Her practice and teaching specialties include geriatric pharmacotherapy and chronic kidney disease. She has practiced in a number of ambulatory and community settings providing services to older adults in the Baltimore area. Her current practice sites include the Geriatric Education and Medication Management Clinic and the ambulatory nephrology clinic at the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Whittaker’s research interests include health literacy, health communication, interprofessional education, and improving medication related outcomes in diverse older adults. She completed an interprofessional faculty development program in ethnogeriatrics with the Stanford Geriatric Education Center to develop educational programs to equip health care professionals to address the health care needs of culturally diverse older adults. She is currently conducting research in the community to evaluate knowledge of medication safety and poison prevention in culturally diverse older adults with low health literacy. In 2022, she was named the School of Pharmacy's inaugural assistant dean of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). In this role, Dr. Whittaker oversees the development and implementation of the School's EDI strategic plan and initiatives.