VIDEO: Increasing the Pipeline of Black and Latino Physicians—A Success Story With Rutgers University

October 28, 2014 3:39 pm

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Dr. Kamal Khan, Rutgers ODASISDr. Kamal Khan
Director, Office for Diversity & Academic Success in the Sciences (ODASIS)
Rutgers University

Dr. Kamal Khan is the Director of The Office for Diversity and Academic Success in the Sciences (ODASIS)—an academic support unit within the Division of Life Sciences at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey on the New Brunswick/Piscataway campus—as well as an Associate Professor for the Department of Africana Studies and the Division of Life Sciences at Rutgers University. For over 20 years, Dr. Khan has dedicated his professional career to undergraduate instruction and academic counseling in efforts to increase and retain the number of underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students at Rutgers who pursue majors and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Since Dr. Khan’s arrival at Rutgers, he has worked tirelessly to expand the university’s graduate pool of professionals and strengthen the country’s workforce by increasing the number of physicians, nurses, dentists, engineers, and mathematicians serving and diversifying the field.

Under the direction of Dr. Khan, the ODASIS program serves over 900 students per year, an increase of 85% since before he took leadership of the program. Dr. Khan’s mentorship guides students from underrepresented populations into the STEM professions by fostering opportunities for his students to excel academically and encouraging their undergraduate success. He has developed and implemented a special recitation course in Biology and Chemistry for academic credit, sponsored by the Division of Life Sciences, and coordinates academic support in the areas of pre-calculus, calculus, chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, systems physiology, statistics, and other upper-level science and mathematics courses. The objective of the program is to provide a strong academic foundation for students to not only finish their undergraduate degree, but to pursue either medical or graduate and professional schools. The efficacy of the program is furthered demonstrated by its receipt of a direct state grant from 1994 to present.

As Director of ODASIS, Dr. Khan coordinates a MCAT course for ACCESS-MED students supported by New Jersey Medical School, and has been integral in the development of new GRE courses. ACCESS-MED is a program offered by Rutgers University, Seton Hall University and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School for undergraduate students that provides academic enrichment and support for groups who are currently underrepresented in medicine. Dr. Khan has also implemented several enrichment programs for high school students and incoming first-year students in order to expand the breadth of ODASIS and the reach of Rutgers, such as the Saturday Scholars Tutorial Program, the College English Prep Program for college credit, and the Johnson and Johnson High School Program, which includes the High School Saturday Math and English Enrichment Program and a Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) course.

For his remarkable commitment to undergraduate education and, most importantly, his extraordinary impact on undergraduate students, Dr. Khan has received the President’s Award for Excellence in Administration, the Award for Excellence in Retention, the Rutgers Award for Programmatic Excellence in Undergraduate Education and the New Jersey Medical School Award of Recognition. Among his most recent awards are the Human Dignity Award, Award for Leadership in Diversity, and Award for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Education, all of which were presented to him for his tireless work in creating an entire wing of undergraduate and professional opportunities for his students.

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