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PUBH Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Mission Statement

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core principles of Public Health and its practice, and so are central to the Department of Public Health at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The mission of the Department of Public Health’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee is to advance, promote, and support structural, intra- and inter- personal activities, and policies that enhance and strengthen diversity, equity, and inclusion for the department. The Committee strives to support the department in doing whatever work is necessary to ensure that all students, faculty, and staff feel included, welcomed, and have equitable/fair opportunities.

This committee engages in activities that:

  • cultivate and nurture a departmental environment that enables students, faculty, and staff to feel empowered, valued, respected, and safe.
  • promote ideas and events to further the spirit of inclusion, diversity, and equity.
  • advocate for policies and practices to recruit, support, and retain students, faculty, and staff with diverse experiences and attributes.


Current Committee Membership:

  • Laurie Meschke, Faculty Co-chair
  • Jordan Shipley, Student Co-chair
  • Shamatanni Chowdhury
  • Anna Marie Cooksey
  • Emily Crone
  • Shivani Dixit
  • Imelda Gutierrez
  • Jennifer Hinson
  • Ash Mills
  • Peyton Prothero
  • Su Chen Tan
  • Melissa Walker


Examples of sponsored activities:

  • Conduct regular meetings every other week
  • Provide educational workshops and seminars for departmental members about diversity, equity, and inclusion topics
  • Engage in shared learning and thinking about equity, diversity, and inclusion topics in our field and the department
  • Conduct climate survey
  • Develop and update diversity action plan and statement on racism


Interested in learning more about us or our events?

Please contact Laurie Meschke regarding any interest in joining the Equity and Diversity Committee or participating in future events and activities.

She can be reached at or 865-964-8368.