About Us

Established in 1968, the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs assists with the mission of recruiting, counseling and nurturing a diverse student body. The office provides counseling services to help students adjust to medical school and guidance concerning future career choices. In addition, the office is actively engaged in multiple pipeline programs for students from high school to recent college graduates.

The Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs supports multicultural student organizations which provide a forum for student participation in campus affairs, student recruitment, social events, and service activities in the local community. Through these activities, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons enjoys tremendous diversity throughout its student body, distinct faculty, and patient population.

"Columbia’s Location in New York City and numerous affiliates provide a certain richness of culture and ethnicity which is reflected in the way medicine is taught at P&S." - Kimberly A. Forde


Meet Our Staff

Dr. Hilda Hutcherson, M.D., M.S.
Senior Associate Dean, Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs

Samantha McLaughlin, M.A.

As the Director, Ms. McLaughlin coordinates P&S diversity recruitment efforts, coordinates the Annual Multicultural Recruitment Day Conference (MRDC), the David Ta-Keng Huang Memorial Scholarship, and provides support services to the current underrepresented and the Black and Latino Students Organization (BALSO) students at P&S. She also serves as the director for programs such as the State Pre-College Enrichment Program (S-PREP), Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP), the Northeast Regional Alliance MedPrep Program (MedPrep), Summer Public Health Scholars Program (SPHSP), and the Strategic Testing Application Techniques Program (STAT); she directly serves as the Program Coordinator for the S-PREP and STAT program. These programs are all designed to increase the number of underrepresented minorities and economically disadvantaged students in medical or health professions.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma- which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” -Steve Jobs

Marcus Howard, MPH
Program Coordinator

 As the Program Coordinator, Mr. Howard coordinates the SHPEP and MedPrep programs.

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suzette Espeut, MS
Program Coordinator

As the Program Coordinator, Ms. Espeut coordinates multicultural, religious, LGBT and other ODMA events in conjunction with student groups. Additionally, she provides support services to the current underrepresented and the Black and Latino Students Organization and organizes programs for the ODMA. Suzette also works as an assistant to Dr. Hilda Hutcherson, Senior Associate Dean.

“I have learned that success is to be measured no so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles one has had to overcome while trying to succeed.” –Booker T. Washington

Katherine Rojas, BS
Program Coordinator
Ms. Rojas serves as the Program Coordinator for the S-PREP program.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Jacqueline Scoon, MD, MPH
Program Coordinator
Dr. Scoon serves as the Program Coordinator for the SPHSP program.
“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” – Mother Teresa

Whitney Ajibola, MPH
Program Assistant

Ms. Ajibola serves as the Program Assistant for SPHSP.

“Never underestimate the valuable and important difference you make in every life you touch. For the impact you make today has a powerful rippling effect on every tomorrow.” – Anonymous