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



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

Damaris Javier, M.A.

As the Director, Mrs. Javier 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 Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP), 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 work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you have not found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all the matters of the hear, you'll know when you find it." -Steve Jobs  

Samantha McLaughlin, M.A.
Program Coordinator

As the Program Coordinator, Ms. McLaughlin coordinates SMDEP and MedPrep programs.  Additionally, Ms. Mclaughlin provides support to the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and other programs.

“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

Chelsea Doub, MPH
Program Coordinator

As the Program Coordinator, Ms. Doub coordinates SPHSP.


"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle


Mary Rose Saint-Cyr, MS
Program Assistant
Ms. Saint-Cyr serves as the Program Assistant for the S-PREP, SMDEP and MedPrep programs. Additionally, Ms. Saint-Cyr provides support to the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and other programs.

"We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee". - Marian Wright Edelman

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