Published July 24, 2012
Margarita L. Dubocovich, PhD, has been named the inaugural senior associate dean for inclusion and cultural enhancement.
“In addition to being an outstanding scientist, Dr. Dubocovich has the expertise, administrative leadership and visionary skills needed to lead the Office of Inclusion and Cultural Enhancement,” said Michael E. Cain, MD, dean of the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Dubocovich will continue in her role as chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology.
The new post was established to align with the school’s diversity policy, Cain said. “Diversity within medical school classes enhances the educational environment by helping students break down stereotypes and racial biases, and challenge assumptions.”
This is accomplished by broadening students’ understanding of how language and culture affect medical care, and by teaching how students can enhance interactions with their patients and patients’ families by embracing differences in race, ethnicity and culture, Cain said.
The diversity policy also aims to raise students’ awareness of health and health care disparities in nearby populations and to increase their interest in caring for patients in underserved communities, as well as their overall civic commitment.
In 2008, UB recruited Dubocovich from Northwestern University, where she had founded and directed a highly successful professional development program for a diverse group of doctoral students in the biosciences.
In her first year at UB, she established a similar series of programs, named CLIMB (Collaborative Learning and Integrated Mentoring in the Biosciences).
CLIMB provides mentoring experiences for biosciences students at the undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral levels. It gives students from diverse and underrepresented populations the support they need to adapt and thrive in their field during college, graduate school and beyond.
The CLIMB programs complement other innovative medical school initiatives, Cain said, including the Post-Baccalaureate Program and the Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP).