Staff Advancing Diversity & Inclusion Committee (SADI)

SADI Come As You Are!

Welcome to the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Staff Advancing Diversity & Inclusion (SADI) Committee website!

SADI was created in 2015 by University of Minnesota Medical School (UMMS) Staff who recognized a need for DEI opportunities for staff, a sometimes forgotten group between faculty and students. The mission of SADI is to identify, create, and support initiatives that advance the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion for UMMS staff, on the Twin Cities, Duluth and (future) Saint Cloud campuses.

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 and inclusive workforce to better serve our school and community. 

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, in response to the murder of George Floyd, SADI recognized the greater need to provide a space for staff to engage in DEI work. We increased our presence at the UMMS. SADI volunteers represent 20 departments with 3 subcommittees that report to a leadership team.

SADI timeline 2023

Expand all


SADI Leadership Committee

  • Chair: Shawn Jarvis (Medicine)
  • Co-Chair: Maryanne Reilly-Spong (Student Affairs)
  • Joy Harken (Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion)
  • Sara Atkins Howard (Medicine)
  • Raji Geneti (MNPI Admin Unit)
  • Derek Hersch (Family Medicine & Community Health)
  • Le Que Heidkamp (GME)
  • Anna Hennessey (Medicine)
  • Jenna Jensen (Pediatrics - Clinical Research Services)
  • Kyrsten Olson (Center of American Indian & Minority Healthy Duluth)
  • Shivjot Singh (Pediatrics)
  • Liz Sopdie, 2022 Chair (Rural & Metropolitan Physician Assoc. Programs)


SADI Communications Subcommittee

  • Lead: Shawn Jarvis (Medicine)
  • Kate Brekke (Medicine)
  • Shelby Gill (Medicine)
  • Maryanne Reilly-Spong (Student Affairs)
  • Rebecca Shirley (Family Medicine & Community Health)

SADI Events & Education Subcommittee

  • Co-Lead: Gina Finical (Pediatric Hematology/Oncology & Neuro-Oncology)
  • Co-Lead: Sarah Walstein (Medicine)
  • Co-Lead: Joy Harken (Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion)
  • Brenna Doheny (Family Medicine & Behavioral Health Duluth)
  • Deanna Loggins (Pediatrics)
  • Mary Lonergan-Cullum (Family Medicine & Community Health)
  • Amber Prahl (Orthopedic Surgery)

SADI Recruitment, Development, & Retention Subcommittee

  • Lead: Barbara Daiker (Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences)
  • Mehnca Dahnkuan (Pediatrics)
  • Mary Jo Hadler (Urology)
  • Addy Irvine (UME Student Affairs)
  • Woojeong Ma (UME Curriculum)
  • Heather Nelson (Neurology)
  • Zhac Rahkonen (Pediatrics)
  • Rob Super 

Contact Us

If you're interested in getting involved with SADI, have questions, suggestions, or would like to collaborate, please reach out via email:

Complete the form below if you wish to be added to the SADI email communication list. You will receive direct communication and information regarding upcoming Connect & Learn Discussions, events, professional development opportunities, workshops and more! You may unsubscribe at any time by emailing

Sign up to receive SADI emails

SADI Dean's Special Lecture Series

Dean's Special Lecture Series- Staff Advancing Diversity & Inclusion: Learning, Growing, & Taking Action

Presenters: Sara Roberts, Program & Project Specialist for Undergraduate Medical Education Curriculum, and Liz Sopdie, PhD, Operations & Program Development Director for the Rural and Metropolitan Physician Associate Program

This presentation introduces the Staff Advancing Diversity and Inclusion (SADI) Committee and focuses on the unique role that staff can play in change efforts as well as highlight the growing demand for DEI efforts focused on staff within our medical school. The presentation includes several ways that staff can get involved with SADI and provide resources curated by SADI for DEI development.