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DEI Overview

  The DHSS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force is a committee composed of faculty, clinicians, staff, and students serving to address our mission and as departmental leaders in the promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion within our academic and clinical communities.

Interested in the Department October Diversity Lecture Series? See more information here for our upcoming lectures.

Vision Statement

A world where support for effective and efficient communication is equally accessible to all.

Mission Statement

To increase diversity, creating equity in opportunities for employment, education, research, and clinical services, as well as eliminating all forms of bias and discrimination first within our department, discipline, and ultimately worldwide.

DEI Task Force Members and Alumni

  • Robin Jones, Ph.D.
  • René Gifford, Ph.D.
  • Ram Ramachandran, Ph.D.
  • Lauren Szalay, MDE Student
  • Keerthana Velappan, AUD Student
  • Jade Mitchell, Ph.D. Student
  • Ryan Millager, Ph.D. Student
  • Derrick Sowder, SLP
  • Toi Gorham, DHSS Admin. Manager
  • Candace Thompson, MA
  • Rachell Hartgens, M.S.-SLP Student
  • Eriel Confer, AUD Student
  • Kiyamma ‘Kiy’ Jones

The Vanderbilt Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences is committed to recruiting, admitting, and training a diverse student body of future audiologists, speech-language pathologists, educators of the deaf, and researchers. Accordingly, we are continually working to establish and maintain equity and inclusivity in all areas of our educational mission.  Our commitment to embrace and promote diversity, equity, and inclusivity is broad with respect to race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, nationality, disability, and differences, among others.  This commitment is founded in our core belief in equality for all humans. Our goal is that our culture and the diversity of our department will reflect the diversity of the nation and the populations that we serve.  Furthermore, we strongly believe that our focus to embrace diversity is a critical element in education that will prepare our future audiologists, speech-language pathologists, educators, and researchers to serve the populations with whom we work in all settings.