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Faculty, Alumni and Student Honored at 11th Annual "Celebrating Diversity" Dinner

February 27, 2018

Dean Emeritus Donald E. Wilson, MD, MACP, AGAF

UMSOM Award Recipients Committed to Promoting Health Equity and Career Advancement for Underrepresented Groups

The University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) held its 11th annual “Celebrating Diversity” reception and dinner on Feb. 25, 2018 at the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards. The event was attended by nearly 300 guests who gathered to honor diversity at UMSOM, recognize those who have helped increase diversity in the field of medicine, and to raise support for an endowed scholarship in the name of Dean Emeritus Donald E. Wilson, MD, MACP, AGAF.

“The school of medicine is strongly committed to the recruitment and the retention of talented and ethnically diverse, faculty, staff, trainees and students,” said E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean of the School of Medicine.

‌“The reason that diversity is so important is because it works,” said Dean Emeritus Wilson, noting that the field of medicine is still behind in promoting diversity.

Bret Hassel, PhD, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Director of the Graduate Program in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, was presented the Dean’s Faulty Award for Diversity and Inclusion. Much of Dr. Hassel’s work at UMSOM focuses on students from groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical sciences. He is the Principal Investigator on the Bridges to the Doctorate partnership with Towson University and Scholar Liaison for the Science Training for Advancing Biomedical Research Post-baccalaureate Research (STAR-PREP) program, two programs aimed at fostering and advancing the education of underrepresented groups. “The effort starts with each one of us,” Dr. Hassel said in receiving the award, urging faculty and UMSOM leaders to continue to promote diversity.

The Dean’s Alumni Award for Diversity and Inclusion went to two UMSOM graduates: Robert T. Maupin Jr., MD, Class of 1989, and Willarda V. Edwards, MD, MBA, Class of 1977 and UMSOM Clinical Instructor of Medicine.

‌Dr. Maupin is the Associate Dean of Diversity and Community Engagement at the Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Sciences Center School of Medicine. Dr. Maupin, who has served more than 20 years as full-time clinical faulty in LSU’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, has committed his career toward advancing the health equity of underrepresented patient communities and promoting workforce development for underrepresented physician communities. “On an annualized basis, marginalized communities are victimized by health disparities in a way that costs more lives throughout this country than gun violence,” Dr. Maupin said. “This recognition for me is not about my work. It’s an honor that I think is reflected in the students I have had the privilege to work with.”

Dr. Willarda Edwards is an internist in a private practice in Baltimore and has been a member of the American Medical Association House of Delegates for nearly two decades. In receiving the award, she highlighted that diversity is the natural fabric of the American landscape and history of our country “but unfortunately diversity is not woven into the social economic picture that we see on a daily basis.” She noted that only 9% of faculty and physicians classify themselves as African American, Latino or Native American, while 30% of the U.S. patient population falls into these groups.

Second Year Medical Student Jasmine Blake, MSPH, was honored as the recipient of the Dean Emeritus Donald E. Wilson Endowed Scholarship. Ms. Blake serves as a community advocate at UMSOM and consultant at the University’s Community Engagement Center. She is passionate about combining her undergraduate studies in Family and Human services with her studies in public health and medicine.

About the University of Maryland School of Medicine

Commemorating its 210th Anniversary, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, upper-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world -- with 43 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs; and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Medicine, and distinguished recipient of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research.  With an operating budget of more than $1 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic and clinically-based care for more than 1.2 million patients each year. The School has 1,307 students, 685 residents, 562 fellows, and nearly $450 million in extramural funding, with more than half of its academic departments ranked in the top 20 among all public medical schools in the nation in research funding. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has nearly 7,000 total employees. The combined School and Medical System (“University of Maryland Medicine”) has a total budget of $5 billion and an economic impact of nearly $15 billion on the state and local community. The School of Medicine faculty, which ranks as the 8th-highest public medical school in research productivity, has been an innovator in translational medicine with 600 active patents and 24 start-up companies. The School works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world.  Visit


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    The University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) held its tenth annual “Celebrating Diversity” reception and dinner on February 25, 2017 at the Baltimore Hilton Inner Harbor. The event was attended by nearly 300 guests, who gathered to honor diversity at UM SOM, recognize those who have helped increase its diversity, and to raise money for an endowed scholarship in the name of Dean Emeritus Donald E. Wilson, MD, MACP, AGAF.