medical students on helipad

Student Diversity

Student Admission and Recruitment Initiatives

The Associated Medical Schools of New York State (AMSNY) Post-Bacc Program

Person/Office Responsible: Isabelle Appler, Associate Director of Admissions

Description: As part of its commitment to increase diversity in medical education, Associated Medical Schools of New York offers a post-baccalaureate program at the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. This program is designed to increase the enrollment of academically qualified applicants from groups that are underrepresented in medical schools in New York State. Candidates are referred from SUNY Upstate’s Admissions Committee to the Post-bacc program in order to strengthen their academic preparedness for admission the following year. Students are offered conditional acceptance to the College of Medicine upon satisfactory completion of the program (as defined by the Admissions Committee). There are about five students per year who enter our medical college through this program.

Medical Science Education Transition (MEDSET)

Person/Office Responsible: Maryann Grandinetta, Director of Student Success Initiatives

Description: MEDSET is a four-week intro to the COM curriculum summer course aimed at preparing incoming first year medical students for transition to the rigors of the curriculum. Participating students are identified by the Admissions Committee and are introduced to academic content, support services and study techniques.

The Medical Scholars Master’s in Medical Technology Program

Person/Office Responsible: Isabelle Appler, Associate Director of Admissions

Description: This master’s degree provides academic enrichment, including course work taken by medical students, mentored research projects, and a master’s degree in medical technology. Students admitted to the Medical Scholars Program are guaranteed admission to the COM if they meet a threshold for academic performance in the program and on the MCAT. Learn more... 

The Rural Medical Scholars Program (RMSP)

Person/Office Responsible: Jennifer Welch, Associate Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid & Carrie Roseamelia, PhD, Director of the RMED Program

Description: The RMSP is designed to provide additional support for students who may want to practice medicine in the state’s underserved areas. Students accepted into the RMSP receive early assurance of acceptance into the Rural Medical Education Program (RMED), which pairs third-year students with board-certified family physicians in small communities in the region. Students in the RMSP program also have the opportunity in their first and second years of medical school to participate in job-shadowing experiences, lectures of interest, and on-site visits with current RMED students and preceptors. Students may matriculate into the RMSP at the time of admission or at any time within the first two years. The program averages an enrollment of 17 students per year. Learn more... 

MPH Medical Scholars Program

Person/Office Responsible: Isabelle Appler, Associate Director of Admissions

Description: The MPH Medical Scholars Program is similar to the Medical Scholars program. The MPH Medical Scholars program provides historically disadvantaged, underrepresented, or rural students the opportunity to strengthen and cultivate their academic, clinical, and analytical skills in preparation for medical school. Referred to the program by the Admissions Committee, students earn a master’s degree in Public Health and are offered conditional acceptance to the College of Medicine upon satisfactory completion of the program (as defined by the Admissions Committee).

Try on a White Coat Program

Person/Office Responsible: Sharon Huard, Associate Dean of Student & Multicultural Affairs

Description: Funded by our Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP), Upstate Medical University initiated the, “Try on a White Coat,” program. Currently college freshmen or sophomores who are on a pre-health track, can apply four our week-long health career immersion program. Opportunities include; exploring different careers in the healthcare field; interacting with current students and faculty at SUNY Upstate; an overview of the admissions process including tips on how to become a competitive candidate; service and community outreach opportunities in the Syracuse area; and, tips for academic success and mentoring. The Associate Dean for Multicultural Affairs, and Coordinator for Cross Cultural Awareness and Programming, host this week-long event.

SUNY Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI)

Person/Office Responsible: Nakeia Chambers, Diversity Initiatives Specialist

Description: The Graduate Diversity Fellowship Program is a SUNY-wide initiative that offers fellowships to students admitted to graduate or professional study. This program is intended to assist in the recruitment, enrollment and retention of students in doctoral/master’s level programs who can demonstrate that they contribute to the diversity of the student body, especially those who have overcome a disadvantage or other impediment to success in higher education. For the 2015-2016 year, ODEI distributed $6,468,751 to 25 campuses that awarded fellowships to 548 graduate students: 189 African-American recipients (34%); 195 Latino recipients (26%); 72 White recipients (13%); 15 Native American recipients (3%); and 29 Asian recipients (5%). Sixty-six percent (364) of the awards went to women, thirty-four percent (189) went to men. Learn more...External Link Icon 

Mercyworks SYNERGY Summer Internship Program at Upstate

Person/Office Responsible: Nakeia Chambers, Diversity Initiatives Specialist

Description: The Mercyworks SYNERGY Summer Internship Program is a strategic partnership between Upstate Medical University and Mercy Works, Inc. As a professional development program, it targets goal-oriented minority students from the city of Syracuse who are college bound high school seniors, or who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate college program. The goal of the program is to provide students with skills that will not only advance their academic and professional careers, but contribute to the future of Central New York's workforce and community. Learn more...External Link Icon 

Presidential Scholars Summer Internship Program

Person/Office Responsible: Nakeia Chambers, Diversity Initiatives Specialist

Description: This program is a strategic initiative sponsored by the Office of the President, and coordinated by the Office of Diversity & Inclusion in collaboration with the urban community. Program for spring graduating college seniors grad school bound (will consider college seniors not who are not graduate school bound) & graduate students (Masters or PhD), and current graduate students. Learn more...  http://www.upstate.edu/diversityinclusion/internship.php

Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection — Syracuse

Person/Office Responsible: Aldrine Ashong-Katai, Diversity & Inclusion & Nakeia Chambers, Diversity Initiatives Specialist

Description: Established in 1987 to help high school juniors and seniors in the Syracuse City School District at risk of dropping out to stay in school and achieve academic success. Our mission is to increase graduation rates of students in the city school districts of Rochester, Syracuse, and Buffalo, New York and Prince George’s County, Maryland by providing long-term advocacy, academic resources, life skills development, and job training, resulting in self-sufficient, contributing adults for the community. On average, Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection students graduate high school at twice the rate of their peers and between 70 and 80 percent of these graduates attend college. Learn more...External Link Icon 

Project Search

Person/Office Responsible: Nakeia Chambers, Diversity Initiatives Specialist and Christine Gustke, Human Resources

Description: The Project Search High School Transition Program is a one-year educational program for students with disabilities in their last year of high school. It is for students whose main goal is competitive employment. Occurring in a health care or business setting, total immersion in the workplace facilitates teaching and learning through feedback and application of new skills. Learn more... 

Funding and Resources for Student Admission and Recruitment Initiatives

  • The funding sources that the medical school has available:
  • The time commitment of these individuals:
  • The organizational locus of the individuals involved in these efforts (e.g., the medical school dean's office, a university office):

Student Retention & Support Initiatives

Collegiate Science & Technology Entry Program (CSTEP)

Person/Office Responsible: Sharon Huard, Associate Dean of Student & Multicultural Affairs

Description: CSTEP is an academic and career preparation program for historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students enrolled in programs leading to the STEM fields and licensure. CSTEP participants must be full-time matriculated students in good academic standing, and are required to participate in the broad range of program offerings such as: mentoring, tutoring, internships, career counseling, clinical skills development, and professionalism workshops. The program is funded by a grant from the New York State Education Department. CSTEP funds 75 students across all four colleges. More info...

CSTEP Retention Mentor

Person/Office Responsible: Sharon Huard, Associate Dean of Student & Multicultural Affairs

Description: In 2016, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, hired an alumna of Upstate’s College of Medicine, who now serves as faculty in Pediatrics, to mentor and support students of color during their clinical experiences. This position is funded by the CSTEP grant.

Multicultural Student Lounge Space

Person/Office Responsible: Sharon Huard, Associate Dean of Student & Multicultural Affairs

Description: A dedicated space in the hospital has been designated for students who are traditionally underrepresented in the field of medicine. This helps promote community and provides a safe space to interact.

Mentors in Healthcare (MiH)

Person/Office Responsible: Sharon Huard, Associate Dean of Student & Multicultural Affairs

Description: Upstate’s Office of Multicultural Affairs manages a comprehensive mentoring program for underrepresented students. There are thirty mentors who are underrepresented faculty, residents, staff and upper-classman. Large group meetings are held 3 – 4 times per year and individual mentoring is encouraged throughout the year. This program is for students in all of our colleges, and easily lends itself to Interprofessional Education goals. More info...

Academic Support Services

Person/Office Responsible: Maryann Grandinetta, Director of Student Success Initiatives

Description: Academic Support Services, has a principle goal of facilitating student success in the classroom by offering a variety of services and programs to students of all colleges. Services provided include workshops, academic counseling, peer tutoring, and Upstate Academic Strategies. More info...

Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Medical Student Honor Society

Person/Office Responsible: Lynn Cleary, MD, AOA Counselor for the Upstate Gamma Chapter and Maryann Grandinetta, Director of Student Success Initiatives

Description: Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Student Honor Society provides substantial academic support for students, including tutoring, review sessions prior to exams in the first two years, USMLE prep. AOA members support a student Clerkship Liaison program as a resource to clerkship students and clerkship directors. More info...

Office of Multicultural Affairs

Person/Office Responsible: Sharon Huard, Associate Dean of Student & Multicultural Affairs

Description: The Office of Multicultural Affairs sponsors events and cosponsors or collaborates with the various offices and student organizations on programs to support diversity and cultural awareness, foster an inclusive community, and build cultural competence. Examples include the diversity Lecture, events celebrating cultural history, and dialog programs. More info...

UnSafe Spaces: Dialogues on Community, Culture and Healthcare

Person/Office Responsible: Sharon Huard, Associate Dean of Student & Multicultural Affairs

Description: The (Un)safe Spaces Series consists of facilitated conversations exploring social justice issues and their relationships to healthcare disparities. These conversations will be opportunities to share your experiences, learn from others, and discuss student life at Upstate. We invite students to consider viewpoints that differ from their own and challenge you to step outside of your comfort zone. Students will work toward gaining the skills needed to communicate about these challenging topics in hopes of developing cultural humility. The (Un)safe Spaces series is a Student Affairs and Upstate Student Government (USG) initiative. Learn more...  

Student Affairs Staff and the Student Counseling Services

Person/Office Responsible: Student Affairs & Student Counseling Services

Description: Student Affairs and the Student Counseling Services address the needs of students who may be vulnerable to exclusion and/or distress related to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. to help them thrive in our culture. Learn more...

Student-run clubs and interest and groups

Person/Office Responsible: Chuck Simpson, Director of Campus Activities & Special Projects

Description: There are several clubs and organizations that help students focus on cultural and special interests: American Medical Women’s Association, Asian Pacific American Medical Students’ Association; Chinese Student Association; International Federation of Medical Students Association; Jewish Medical Association; Latina Medical Student Association; LGBTQA Alliance; South Asian Medical Students’ Association; Student National Medical Association, Upstate Veteran’s Association. Clubs and organizations are funded through the Student Activities Fee. Learn more...

Campus Conversations

Person/Office Responsible: Julie White, PhD, Dean of Student Affairs and Sharon Huard, Associate Dean of Student & Multicultural Affairs

Description: In an effort to address national current events, the Student Affairs Deans host "open dialogue" opportunities for students to express concerns, problem-solve, demonstrate empathy and understand issues related to diversity, inclusion and discrimination. Campus Conversations in the last year have centered on race relations, police interactions, comfort on campus, etc.

President's Advisory Council on Women's Issues (PACWI)

Person/Office Responsible: TBH, Affirmative Action Officer

Description: PACWI is committed to advising the president about the status, challenges and opportunities for women across the University. The Council is comprised of students, residents, faculty, and staff, who are interested in addressing issues of equity and opportunity for women at Upstate. Learn more...  

The Center for Civic Engagement

Person/Office Responsible: Simone Seward, MPH, Director of the Center for Civic Engagement

Description: The Center for Civic Engagement sponsors service-learning opportunities through which students to engage students in service-learning through community projects. Examples include the Refugee Clinic, the Migrant Care Clinic, the Amaus Clinic, the Westside Clinic of the Syracuse Community Health Center, and others. Learn more... 

Health Neighbors Partnership

Person/Office Responsible: Simone Seward, MPH, Director of the Center for Civic Engagement

Description: In 2010, the Healthy Neighbors Partnership, was formed between Upstate Medical University, Syracuse Housing Authority External Icon, and the Pioneer Homes Tenant Association. The purpose of this strategic partnership is to foster collaborations in a sustainable effort to leverage resources and services that will improve the health and living conditions of residents of Pioneer Homes. The partnership represents an important opportunity for Upstate to collaborate with its nearest neighbors. Through this partnership, Upstate is supporting healthy living and quality of life goals that are identified and driven by the residents of Pioneer Homes. Pioneer Homes provides 578 subsidized, multifamily apartments for 1,194 people.

Funding and Resource for Student Retention and Support Initiatives

  • The funding sources that the medical school has available:
  • The time commitment of these individuals:
  • The organizational locus of the individuals involved in these efforts (e.g., the medical school dean’s office, a university office):
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