Staff Advancing Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Welcome to the University of Minnesota, Medical School’s Staff Advancing Diversity & Inclusion (SADI) Committee website!  We are currently in the process of building out our content and resources.  We will be launching the full site in the coming months!

In the meantime, please read a little about SADI below and feel free to fill out this FORM if you wish to be added to the SADI email communication list. You will receive direct communication and information regarding upcoming Lunch & Learns, events, professional development opportunities, workshops and more!  You’ll also be the first to know about our official website launch! You may unsubscribe at any time by emailing


The mission of SADI is to identify, create, and support initiatives to advance the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion for University of Minnesota Medical School staff, both on the Twin Cities and Duluth campuses. SADI's focus is in supporting Medical School employees whose primary position is classified as an academic, professional and/or administrative role rather than faculty or learner. This includes full-time, part-time, temporary, and student-employee positions. The SADI Leadership Committee and Subcommittees are dedicated to providing valuable learning and engagement opportunities, resources, support options, and helping the Medical School move towards a more diverse workforce to better serve our school and community.

SADI was created in 2015 as a grassroots effort when a group of Medical School staff recognized a need for DEI opportunities focused on staff, a sometimes-forgotten group between faculty and students.  Since 2017, SADI has hosted various workshops and dialogue circles for staff on how to become a better ally, recognize implicit bias and microaggressions, understand privilege and advance racial equity, confront ableism and sexual harassment.

In 2020, SADI expanded the committee model to include five subcommittees, each dedicated to advancing specific initiatives. The goals of each subcommittee are provided below:

  • Communications Subcommittee - Design and maintain the SADI website, social media, and other avenues of communication. The goal is to increase resource visibility, promote community, and provide updates to Medical School staff regarding the committee’s activities, internal and external learning and engagement opportunities, OED certification, DEI resources, and available support. 

  • Lunch & Learn Discussions Subcommittee - Prepare and present bi-monthly book club style discussions to Medical School Staff.  The subcommittee identifies the discussion topics and materials including articles, books, documentaries, and TED Talks. The Subcommittee leads and facilitates the Lunch & Learn Discussions.  

  • Recruitment, Development, & Retention Subcommittee - Provide resources to Medical School departments, programs, units and offices to help them hire, develop and retain more staff of color. The subcommittee is also working to collect and share data on the number of staff of color employed in Medical School departments and on their job classifications.

  • Step Up Subcommittee - Increase Med School participation in Step Up, a program that connects Minneapolis youth with internships in organizations across the city. We partner with Step Up, OED, and University Health Sciences staff to improve the experiences of Med School Supervisors and Interns in the Step Up program.

  • Workshop Planning Subcommittee - Identify, plan, and implement learning opportunities for the Medical School staff regarding a variety of DEI topics. The subcommittee works with both internal UMN and external experts to develop workshops, dialogue circles, and other DEI events.



SADI Leadership Committee

  • Chair: Sara Roberts (UME Curriculum)

  • Co-Chair: Liz Sopdie (Rural & Metropolitan Physician Assoc. Programs)

  • Treasurer: Jamie Oberlander (MS Duluth Campus)

  • Nancy Brask (Clinical Neuroscience Center)

  • Kate Brekke (Medicine)

  • James Cooper (MS Minority Affairs & Diversity / ODEI)

  • Crystal Esparza (OME Admissions)

  • Le Que Heidkamp (GME)

  • Anna Hennessey (Cardiology Fellowship)

  • Shawn Jarvis (Medicine)

  • Zelealem Mekuria (MS Office of Faculty Affairs)

  • Michon Peterson (Medicine)

  • Maryanne Reilly-Spong (UME Learner Development)

  • Mary Tate (MS Minority Affairs & Diversity / ODEI)


SADI Communications Subcommittee

  • Lead: Sara Roberts (UME Curriculum)

  • Kate Brekke (Medicine)

  • Shawn Jarvis (Medicine)

  • Zelealem Mekuria (MS Office of Faculty Affairs)

  • Maryanne Reilly-Spong (UME Learner Development)


SADI Lunch & Learn Discussions Subcommittee 

  • Lead: Shawn Jarvis (Medicine)

  • Martha DeMeules (Pediatrics)

  • Olivia Niles (OBGYN & Women's Health)

  • Sarah Walstein (Medicine)


SADI Recruitment, Development, & Retention Subcommittee

  • Lead: Rob Super (Pediatrics [OPs] Admin Center)

  • Lead: Mary Tate (MS Minority Affairs & Diversity / ODEI)

  • Barbara Daiker (Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences)

  • Gavin Fredrickson (IBP)

  • Alejandra Melgarejo (Emergency Medicine)


SADI Step Up Subcommittee

  • Lead: Sharolyn Kawakami-Schulz (Prof. Development for Grad. Students & Postdocs)

  • Anna Hennessey (Cardiology Fellowship)


SADI Workshop Planning Subcommittee

  • Lead: Nancy Brask (Clinical Neuroscience Center)

  • Alanna Nascene(Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences)

  • Juae Son(ALRT Administrative Center)

  • Dia Yang (ODEI)