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The Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Detroit Mercy in the Community

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Detroit Mercy Dental is dedicated to engaging and celebrating expressions of diversity.  A culturally-competent dental professional is more sensitive to the needs of patients and better able to interact with individuals from different walks of life.  

Through commitment to serving the underserved, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion aims to address the shortage of dentists from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds, focusing on facilitating and retaining students from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds. Entry into the health professions by underrepresented minorities, in proportion to their number in society, helps to alleviate health care provider shortages areas as the likelihood of underserved populations gaining access to care if there are an increased number of minority providers

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion help foster meaningful experiences for students through various programs, working directly with pre-professional and professional clubs at Detroit Mercy.  We facilitate educational advancement through outreach and mentoring activities, which are described below

Student Involvement


The Office of Diversity and Inclusion advises the Detroit Mercychapter for the Student National Dental Association/Student National Dental Hygienists’ Association (SNDA/SNDHA), teaming up for major events, including Women’s High Tea, Taste of Diversity, the annual Oral Cancer Walk and more!

Pre-Dental Student Association

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion cousels the Pre-Dental Student Association (PDSA).  By acting as a liaison between PSDA and the dental school, we are able to bring various dental specialists and professionals to discuss a variety of dental specialties and review case studies. Recently we initiated a Shadowing Program, allowing members to learn about the profession in real time.  

Lesson in a Lunchbox

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion collaborates with the Maryland Children's Oral Health Institute to deliver "Lessons in a Lunchbox" to children in Detroit.  The "Lessons In A Lunch Box: Healthy Teeth Essentials & Facts About Snacks" program allows teachers, parents and children to work together to help eliminate childhood caries. 

University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry is one of the many dental schools participating in "Lessons In A Lunchbox" program.  Dental, dental hygiene students, and the Pre-Dental Society spend an afternoon reviewing oral hygiene instructions and assisting 1st-3rd graders with assembling their lunchbox tool kit. Each year, more than 100 students receive a lunchbox containing a toothbrush, toothpaste, facts about healthy snacks and a carrot carrying case.

Pre-Dental Pipeline Programs

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion is dedicated to encouraging and recruiting underrepresented populations for careers in dentistry and oral health.  We do this through a variety of invaluable academic enrichment opportunities.  Our experiential programs vary widely in nature, all with the common goal to help interested candidates successfully apply to dental school.  We focus on improving science aptitude and enhancing academic skills, but also offer first-hand exposure to the profession and research experiences. 

Summer Enrichment Program (SEP)

Undergraduate/Recent Graduates: SEP provides educational and professional development experiences for underrepresented minorities and/or disadvantaged students so they can successfuly gain admission into dental school and pursue a career in dentistry.

Dental Imprint Program

K-12 Students: The Dental Imprint Program offers preliminary dental education, primary care exposure and a complete tour of the School of Dentistry.

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