Staff Advancing Diversity & Inclusion Committee (SADI)

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

SADI’s goal is for this website to become Medical School staff’s one-stop resource for DEI events, development opportunities, content, and more. We will continue to update this website with the most current collection of Medical School, University, and community content and resources for staff. 

Our hope is to help normalize and support an atmosphere where continuous growth and development is encouraged for staff. The opportunities, tools, and resources we provide are to inform, aid and guide your efforts in advancing these complex and ongoing conversations, progress your own personal DEI journey, as well as develop skills and find guidance in elevating DEI initiatives within your team and department to help us all work towards better serving our campus community and beyond. 

About SADI & History

The Staff Advancing Diversity and Inclusion (SADI) Committee 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-overlooked 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 recent years, we have gained substantial momentum both in the growth of our committee as well as the initiatives we are undertaking. To find out more about our current initiatives, navigate to the “Mission & Initiatives” tab!


SADI Timeline

To find out more about SADI and the work we do, watch the December 2021 Dean’s Special Lecture Series - Staff Advancing Diversity & Inclusion: Learning, Growing, & Taking Action.

SADI Dean's Special Lecture Series

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.

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SADI Leadership Committee

  • Chair: Liz Sopdie (Rural & Metropolitan Physician Assoc. Programs)
  • Co-Chair: Shawn Jarvis (Medicine)
  • James Cooper (MS Minority Affairs & Diversity / ODEI)
  • Joy Harken (Orthopedic Surgery)
  • Le Que Heidkamp (GME)
  • Anna Hennessey (Cardiology Fellowship)
  • Kyrsten Olson (Center of American Indian & Minority Healthy Duluth)
  • Michon Peterson 2020 Chair (Medicine)
  • Maryanne Reilly-Spong (UME Learner Development)
  • Sara Roberts 2021 Chair (UME Curriculum)
  • Shivjot Singh (Pediatrics)
  • Mary Tate (MS Minority Affairs & Diversity / ODEI)
  • Beth Williamson (Pediatrics)

Subcommittee Members

SADI Communications Subcommittee

  • Lead: Sara Roberts (UME Curriculum)
  • Kate Brekke (Medicine)
  • Shawn Jarvis (Medicine)
  • Maryanne Reilly-Spong (UME Learner Development)

SADI Events & Education Subcommittee

  • Lead: Shawn Jarvis (Medicine)
  • Co-Lead: Joy Harken (Orthopedic Surgery)
  • Brenna Doheny (Family Medicine & Behavioral Health Duluth)
  • Gina Finical (Pediatric Hematology/Oncology & Neuro-Oncology)
  • Shameka Gherau (Surgery)
  • Mary Lonergan-Cullum (Family Medicine & Community Health)
  • Juae Son (ALRT Administrative Center)
  • Sarah Walstein (Medicine)
  • Dia Yang (ODEI)

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)
  • Alejandra Melgarejo (Emergency Medicine)
  • Heather Nelson (Neurology)
  • Mary Tate (MS Minority Affairs & Diversity / ODEI)

SADI Step Up Subcommittee

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

Contact Us

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

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