Our History of Diversity


Minnie Hogan-Clemens from Dorchester becomes first African-American to graduate from the HUP School of Nursing.


Dean Dorothy Mereness appoints Clifford Jordan as the School’s first tenured male faculty member.


Three African-American women begin teaching at the School: Thelma Williams in community health, Delores S. Patrinos in psychiatric mental health, and Rosalyn J. Watts, EdD, FAAN, in adult health.


The School begins offering an elective course on human sexuality and health, taught by Rosalyn J. Watts.


Keiko Kishi becomes the first Japanese American to graduate from Penn with a Doctor of Nursing Science.


Implementation of the Biennial Black Health Conference to address the state of research on the health of African Americans, led by conference chair Rosalyn J. Watts.


Minnie Campbell becomes the first African American awarded a Doctor of Nursing Science (DNS) from Penn, and Cynthia Flynn Capers the first African American to graduate with a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD).


Deliberations and reports from subcommittees on Minority Permanence emphasize recruitment and retention.


R25 funding for Graduate Education in Oncology for Minorities is initiated and would be run through 2002 by Ruth McCorkle, PhD, FAAN.


First year of the Summer Nursing Research Institute, which provides a two year fellowship for doctorally prepared nurses who focus on research related to vulnerable populations and populations with diverse disparities in health.


Vernice Ferguson, MA, FAAN, FRCN, is appointed Senior Fellow on Cultural Diversity.


The beginning of the Faculty Seminar Series on Culture, which would run through 1999.


Antonia M. Villarruel, PhD, RN, FAAN becomes the first Hispanic standing faculty at the School.


The Center for Urban Health Research is established and is run through 2004 by Loretta Sweet Jemmott, PhD, FAAN.


Rosalyn J. Watts implements a workshop called Cultural Competency Development for Faculty and Clinical Teachers, using funding from the Office of the Provost.


The Committee on Diversity became a Standing Committee of the Senate on May 7th, 2000; it changed to a Taskforce on April 7, 2003.


Afaf I. Meleis, PhD, DrPS(hon), FAAN, becomes the Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing.


Faculty approves a graduate course called Culture and the Isms in Health Care.


Master Teachers Taskforce is formed to see that Cultural Competence Education is integrated throughout all programs at the School of Nursing.


Rosalyn J. Watts, ED, FAAN, is appointed Director of Diversity Affairs.


The comprehensive brief on Cultural Competence and Diversity for faculty retreat is completed by Rosalyn J. Watts, EdD, FAAN, and Terri Lipman PhD, FAAN. Development begins on the Diversity Modules for Curriculum integration. The Minorities in Nursing Student Organization is established with Natalie Bent as President.

A collaborative research initiative with historically black Hampton University begins. And a Penn Nursing P20 grant is used to build the Center for Health Disparities. We also receive a P60 grant to do work with Penn Medical School and Cheyney University, a historically black school.


Loretta Sweet-Jemmott, PhD, RN, RAAN, becomes first African American to be promoted to full professor at the School of Nursing.


Loretta Sweet Jemmott, PhD, RN, FAAN, van Ameringen Professor in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, becomes the Assistant Provost for Gender & Minority Equity Issues.


We continue the work of the Director of Diversity Affairs, the Task Force on Diversity and Culture Competence, and the Minorities in Nursing student organization, and complete ten sessions in our Seminar Series on Diversity and Culture Competence. We also complete the Continuing Education Program on Culture Competence for Clinicians and continue our efforts of integration of Diversity and Culture Competence across the curriculum. We implement a grant entitled Strategic Recruitment for Underrepresented Minorities in the Profession, which is funded by the Office of the Provost.


Conference on “Decreasing Health Disparities: Strategies to Conduct Culturally Competent Research” co-sponsored by Penn Nursing and Hampton University School of Nursing, is led by Chair Dr. Terri Lipman.


The Summit on American Indian Health Care is held with natives and non-natives from 18 states and Canada attending–including students. The metaphor “bridging the cultural canyon” is best exemplified in the eloquent voices of American Indians who extended greetings (prior to presentations) in the native languages - Lenape (Chief DeMund) Cherokee (Chief Zunigha), Mandan (B. Gwin ESQ.) and Lakota (D. Warne MD,MPH). 


Mary Lou de Leon Siantz, PhD, Assistant Dean of Diversity and Cultural Affairs becomes the 1st Hispanic member of the Dean’s management team.


Two Asian faculty members are appointed, Dr. Jianghong Liu and Dr. Salimah Meghani.


Robert Lucero, PhD, MPH, RN becomes the first Hispanic male to graduate with a PhD from Penn Nursing.


For general questions: