A Diversity and Inclusivity Q&A

Dayle Hodge
Dayle Hodge

A wealth of diversity creates the excellent training environment that is Einstein.

Diversity is essential to optimizing the potential of any organization. Albert Einstein gave his name to our institution on the principle that it would “welcome students of all races and creeds.” The student body is composed of individuals with a broad spectrum of life experiences. The faculty and staff originate from many states across the country and from countries spanning the globe. And it is this wealth of diversity that creates the excellent training environment that is Einstein.

I matriculated in July 2010 and have seen the institution make significant changes to make our environment even more diverse. The Einstein administration recruits students who are ambitious and champion diversity. These students have helped shape the institution in profound ways, such as creating the Community Based Service Learning (CBSL) Program. This student-led initiative helps create an experiential education that emphasizes local community engagement. Additionally, I have seen the administration make a concerted effort to create a modern curriculum that reflects the dynamic nature of our society and its impact on healthcare and basic science research.

I have promoted diversity at Einstein by seeking out leadership positions to help shape our institution. I served as vice president of the Einstein chapter of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) and made diversity outreach a cornerstone of the chapter’s mission. In that time period, the Einstein SNMA chapter was chosen as “Chapter of the Year” for the NY/NJ region. This was the first time in over a decade that an Einstein SNMA chapter received this award. I served as the Einstein M.D./Ph.D. Student Council president and during our interview season helped to recruit underrepresented minority (URM) students. I also served as an Executive Board Member for the Einstein Minority Scientists Association (EMSA), helping organize visits to local middle and high schools to inspire students to pursue careers in science. Additionally, EMSA helped assist in the administration of the Einstein Ph.D. Post Baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP). This is an NIH-funded program to help prepare students from URM groups to matriculate into Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. programs.

I also was a research mentor for the Summer Undergraduate Mentorship Program (SUMP)—an Einstein pipeline program designed to recruit URM students into medicine, public health and basic science research careers. Additionally, I was a mentor for the Mentoring In Medicine pipeline program and science director for its Health and Science Exposition in Harlem. This annual event attracts over 1,000 students and their families to help them gain exposure to STEM fields.

Recently, I served as a subcommittee chair for the Einstein Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee. I also give a talk on social determinants of health entitled “Health Problems In Urban Communities.” Using New York City (and specifically the Bronx) as a case study, I present a data-driven, historical examination of environmental, legislative and social policies, and their impact on the quality of life and life expectancy of communities of color. This presentation has helped many students at Einstein (and many other medical schools) receive an in-depth understanding of the patient population that Einstein serves.

The Bronx is one of the most demographically diverse parts of the country, and I hope Einstein continues to expand its reach into surrounding areas, helping to emphasize the importance of medicine and basic science research in the local community.

Dayle Hodge

M.D./Ph.D. Candidate, Class of 2019
Albert Einstein College of Medicine