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High school students take part in a Simulation Center activity during Operation Orange on the OSU Center for Health Sciences campus.
High school students take part in a Simulation Center activity during Operation Orange on the OSU Center for Health Sciences campus.

OSU-CHS receives INSIGHT Into Diversity Inspiring Programs in STEM Awards

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Media Contact: Sara Plummer | Communications Coordinator | 918-561-1282 |

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences received the 2023 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education.

The Inspiring Programs in STEM Award honors colleges and universities that encourage and assist students from underrepresented groups to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. OSU-CHS will be featured, along with 79 other recipients, in the September 2023 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

Inspiring Programs in STEM Award winners were selected by INSIGHT Into Diversity based on efforts to inspire and encourage a new generation of young people to consider careers in STEM through mentoring, teaching, research, and successful programs and initiatives.

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected three OSU-CHS programs:

  • Operation Orange — a free, one day medical camp for students in grades 8-12 interested in medicine.
  • Native Pathways — a program to recruit, train and retain American Indian and Alaskan Natives in medicine and science
  • Native Explorers — a program for college students designed around the disciplines of anatomy and vertebrate paleontology to provide hands-on activities to introduce Native Americans to the scientific method and traditional ways.

“I am truly honored and thrilled that OSU Center for Health Sciences has been recognized for our STEM programs and the exceptional efforts in recruiting diverse students into the field of medicine,” Assistant Dean of Diversity Brenda Davidson said. “The excitement surrounding this recognition is matched by our belief that our Operation Orange, Native Pathways and Native Explorers programs will have a profound impact on the future of medicine.”

By increasing representation, addressing disparities and inspiring future medical professionals through these events and programs, OSU-CHS aims to have a positive impact on the health and well-being of communities throughout Oklahoma.

“We are honored to be recognized for our efforts in recruiting and training American Indian students in medicine and science,” said Kent Smith, Ph.D.

Smith is the associate dean in the Office of American Indians in Medicine and Science, and professor of anatomy at OSU Center for Health Sciences.

“We are proud to support the graduates of the College of Osteopathic Medicine in Tulsa and Tahlequah, which collectively graduates more American Indians than most medical schools in the nation,” Smith said.

Offering these opportunities for underrepresented populations is important in fostering diversity and inclusion on campuses and in the workforce.

“We know that many STEM programs are not always recognized for their success, dedication and mentorship for underrepresented students,” said Lenore Pearlstein, owner and publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We want to honor the schools and organizations that have created programs that inspire and encourage young people who may currently be in or are interested in a future career in STEM. We are proud to honor these programs as role models to other institutions of higher education and beyond.”

A call for nominations for this award was announced in April 2023.

For more information about the 2023 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award and INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, visit their website.

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