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.
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

Cindy Estevez, MPA
Program Coordinator

 As the Program Coordinator, Mrs. Estevez coordinates the SHPEP and MedPrep programs.

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.” ― Maya Angelou

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

Yancy Aracena
Program Coordinator
Mr. Aracena serves as the Program Coordinator for the S-PREP program.
“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand”. -Vince Lombardi
Katherine Rojas
Program Assistant
Ms. Rojas serves as the Program Assistant for the S-PREPSHPEP and MedPrep programs.

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

Jacqueline Scoon
Program Coordinator
Ms. 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
Program Assistant

Ms. Ajibola serves as the Program Assistant for SPHSP.

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." -Nelson Mandela