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HSCommunity: Diversity Week

HSCommunity: Diversity Week

HSCommunity is a newsletter highlighting diversity, equity and inclusion at WVU Health Sciences.

September 2023: Diversity Week

/ Court Side

Happy September! I hope you are settled and in a good rhythm. As you begin to look for activities beyond classes, we have a full week of events planned for you! This Sunday kicks off Diversity Week for WVU campuses, and Global Health Week at Health Sciences begins Monday. I invite you all to take some time to check out the events at the Health Sciences Center, across campus and online. Also, enjoy this playlist I made while you are on your way to the events and share any songs you think should be added!

Why do we have diversity week? It’s simple. It is a dedicated and intentional time to take about people who are different than yourself; it can also be a time where you can learn more about your own cultures, or even reconnect. While these are practices that we should carry every day of the year, it is important to take designated time to acknowledge and celebrate each other.

Following Diversity Week, there is another week of activities planned for Week of Purpose, where we can connect with each other and explore self-discovery.

Have a wonderful September – I cannot wait to celebrate each other together!

Take care,


/ Court Lanham, MSW
Director of Diversity, WVU Health Sciences
Chancellor and Executive Dean’s Office

/ Share Your Thoughts

All students, faculty and staff are invited to share their opinions and suggestions for diversity, equity and inclusion at WVU Health Sciences. Your participation will help develop strategic initiatives and plan future efforts.

Fill out the online survey.

/ Diversity Week

The events below are presented by WVU Health Sciences units and are open to all WVU students, faculty and staff.

Sunday, Sept. 17

  • Community Heroes Award Ceremony and Reception; 6-8 p.m.; Mountainlair Ballrooms; The award’s first honoree, Charlene Marshall, will speak about her achievements in diversity work within West Virginia. Marshall became the state's first African American female mayor in 1991 and later served 14 years in the West Virginia House of Delegates.

Monday, Sept. 18 – Friday, Sept. 22

  • Helping People Help People: Caring for Our Community Experiencing Homelessness; HSC-South 6th Floor; Donation drive to collect supplies to support the efforts of MUSHROOM (Multidisciplinary UnSheltered Homeless Relief Outreach of Morgantown), an organization bringing together volunteers to reach individuals experiencing homelessness and offer the basics of care. Presented by the School of Nursing.

Monday, Sept. 18

  • Storytelling with the Country Roads Program; 1:30-3 p.m.; Mountainlair Mountaineer Room; The Country Roads Program prepares students with disabilities for independence by providing academic courses, social engagement and real-world work experiences. Hear stories from students in the program and learn about the Peer Mentor program. Presented by the WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities.
  • I Can’t Breathe; 3 p.m.; Zoom; A history of disparities for underserved populations in oxygen production, distribution and healthcare workforce needs exploring the origins of the disparity and its historical development over the years in Banjul, the Gambia. Presented by Oluwakemi Tomobi, MD, Clinical Research Scientist, Department of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine.

Tuesday, Sept. 19

  • Art & Music from Around the World; 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.; Pylons Commons; Enjoy international works of art (such as baskets, headdresses and painting) and their stories and live music from the home countries of our Health Sciences community members. Presented by the Office of Research and Graduate Education and Operation Blue Sky.
  • A Taste of OLLI Open House; 3 p.m.; Zoom; Designed for adults 50 and over, learn about OLLI and its lectures, workshops, discussion groups and social activities. RSVP online. Presented by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at WVU.

Wednesday, Sept. 20

  • WVU Medicine Farmers Market; 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.; WVU Eye Institute parking area; International food trucks vendors including Bombay Grill, Stray Cat Chimmi Shack, Rollie Pollie Egg Roll Factory and Sundae Driver providing tasty lunch options and a great environment to connect with the Health Sciences community.
  • Irving Goodman Aging Lecture; 1 p.m.; Mountaineer Mall and Zoom; Christy Kunkle, professor in the Department of Communication Studies, will present “Strengthening Families Through Our Differences,” exploring the dynamics of family communications. Register online. Presented by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at WVU.
  • OLLI Open House; 2 p.m.; Mountaineer Mall; Following the Irving Goodman Aging Lecture, learn about the OLLI program and register for fall classes designed for adults 50 and over. RSVP online. Presented by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at WVU.

Thursday, Sept. 21

  • CAARES House; 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Pharmacy Skills Lab, HSC-North 3000; Explore the impact of social determinants of health and unique experiences to become a healthcare professional who CAARES (Curiosity, Accountability, Appreciation, Respect, Empathy and Service). Attend throughout the day at your own convenience. Presented by the Office of Interprofessional Education.
  • Cupcakes and Music; 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.; Pylons Commons; Presented by the School of Medicine.
  • Ethnic Hair Presentation; 4-5 p.m.; Zoom; Discuss the importance of not discriminating against patients and healthcare workers with natural hair and hair products provided in healthcare facilities. Presented by Kali Fischer and Ateria Walker, School of Nursing.

Saturday, Sept. 23

  • OLLI Open House; 10 a.m.; Schoenbaum Center, Charleston; Learn about the OLLI program and register for fall classes designed for adults 50 and over. RSVP online. Presented by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at WVU.

For a full schedule of Diversity Week events, visit the WVU Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion website.

/ Upcoming Events

Rosh Hashanah Services
The Rohr Chabad Jewish Center Rosh Hashanah services and meals will take place Friday, Sept. 15, through Sunday, Sept. 17, at Chabad House on Willey Street. Open to WVU students. Learn more.

Global Health Week
Sponsored by the WVU School of Medicine Global Health Program and Health Sciences Global Engagement Office, Global Health Week will be held Monday, Sept. 18, through Friday, Sept. 22, and includes daily lectures and lunch. Learn more.

Yom Kippur Services
The Rohr Chabad Jewish Center Yom Kippur services and meal will take place Sunday, Sept. 24, and Monday, Sept. 25, at Chabad House on Willey Street. Open to WVU students. Learn more.

New Women Meet-Up
Join the gathering Tuesday, Sept. 26, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Eureka Café to welcome new faculty and staff women to the WVU family. Hosted by the WVU Women's Resource Center in collaboration with the Center for Women and Gender Studies and the Women's Leadership Initiative. Learn more.

Education Abroad Fair
Learn more about education abroad on Wednesday, Sept. 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Mountainlair Ballrooms.

Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Katherine Johnson
Join WVU Libraries on Sept. 29 at 3:30 p.m. in the Milano Room of the Downtown Library to celebrate the life and legacy of NASA mathematician and space pioneer, Katherine Johnson. Learn more.

Aerial Adventures
Students who are registered with the Office of Accessibility Services or MindFit are invited to enjoy ropes courses, a bonfire and smores on Sept. 30 at the WVU Outdoor Education Center. Learn more and register.

Peace Tree Ceremony
WVU’s Native American Studies Program is marking Indigenous Peoples Day, Monday, Oct. 9, with the annual Peace Tree Ceremony at 11:30 a.m. outside Martin Hall. Guest of honor Tadodaho Sidney Hill, Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy, will preside. Learn more.

“Truth to Power: History from Indigenous Perspectives” Presentation
The Indigenous Peoples Day keynote presentation by Faithkeeper Oren Lyons, Turtle Clan, Onondaga Nation, Haudenosaunee Confederacy, will take place Monday, Oct. 9, at 6 p.m. in Mountainlair Gluck Theater. Learn more.

“This Land Was Already Loved” Public Forum
Leaders of several Native Nations will convene throughout the day Tuesday, Oct. 10, in the Mountainlair Blue Ballroom to share their Nations’ connection to the region and this beautiful place known today as West Virginia. Register online.

Jesus Christ Superstar
With lyrics and music by Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winners Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, “Jesus Christ Superstar” is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas. Part of the University Arts Series, this event will take place Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 7:30 p.m. in the WVU Canady Creative Arts Center. Learn more.

Free Audiology Screenings
The West Virginia University School of Medicine Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders will offer free audiology screenings to the public on the first or second Friday of each month through the remainder of 2023. Learn more.

LGBTQ+ Book Club
This book club focuses on one piece of LBGTQIA2+ literature each semester to allow you to read for pleasure at a reasonable pace. Engage in conversations surrounding mental health as it relates to the literature and building connection with one another. The group meets once a month at 4 p.m. in the Student Health Building Room 101. Learn more and register online.

For more events, visit

/ News & Announcements

Study abroad trip provides WVU student with beneficial experiences in pharmacy and beyond
For third-year student pharmacist Leah Dykstra, studying abroad has expanded her insights while enhancing skills necessary for her career. Learn more.

WVU Nursing’s Faith Community Nurse Training expands beyond state borders
Tina LeFaive is leading efforts to improve community health in Springfield, Ohio, by developing Faith Community Nursing programs in churches across the area. After starting with just five churches, the program has grown to include 15 churches with plans to develop five more. Lean more.

New dedicated lactation room opens to the public at Milan Puskar Stadium
As Mountaineer Field gates opened for the first home football game of the season, so did the first dedicated lactation room for nursing and pumping parents. Learn more.