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DEI Committee

Erick Lansigan, MD

Erick Lansigan, MD, is the Interim Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Geisel School of Medicine and leads the Geisel DEI Committee. He is also the Principal for DEI for the Department of Medicine where he holds the appointments of Associate Professor of Medicine and Dermatology at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. Dr. Lansigan studies health care inequities in the workforce and patient outcomes, focuses on improving access to clinical trials for underserved communities at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, and is a member of the Alliance Cancer Health Disparities Committee. He is an authority on quality improvement and applies this methodology to promoting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in education, admissions, recruiting, student experience, workforce development, advocacy, and community engagement.

Shawn O'Leary

Shawn has been working to create innovative programs in the social justice field over twenty-five years. He is a member of the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe in Northern Minnesota where his family has harvested wild rice for generations.
For the past twenty years, Shawn has been the Director of the Office for Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. Shawn is responsible for developing, implementing and overseeing the Geisel School of Medicine's diversity programs and executing its mission of promoting a climate of unity and respect. He is the academic advisor to the Urban and Rural Health Scholars Programs. He also serves as an advisor to minority students and student groups, and works to ensure the success and retention of all minority students, faculty, and staff.

Seelai Karzai, MFA

Seelai is the Program Coordinator at the Geisel Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement (DICE). She organizes programs that promote a diverse and inclusive environment at the undergraduate and graduate levels in medical education, including as well oversees the day-to-day operations and communications strategy of the DICE office. Prior to Dartmouth, Seelai earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon, where she also taught poetry workshops and first-year writing with a focus on anti-racist pedagogy. Outside of academia, Seelai is involved with an Afghan American interdisciplinary artist collective, where she organizes events and public exhibitions dedicated to exploring questions of refugee resettlement, citizenship, and social justice.

Amanda Bassett

Amanda Bassett serves as the Director of Alumni Engagement for the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. In this role she is responsible for shaping and executing the overarching strategy for alumni engagement for both organizations.
Amanda thrives off building relationships and collaborations with others and has a passion for brining students, residents, faculty, staff, and alumni together. She is actively involved in the Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Institutional Advancement and has built a nationwide network of colleagues in alumni engagement.

Mia Bertalan

Mia Bertalan is a fourth-year medical student at the Geisel School of Medicine, serving as a student representative on this Committee as well as the Medical Education Committee. Mia also serves as the 2021-2022 Chair of the Geisel Student Government Professional Development Committee. Applying into general surgery, Mia is interested in a career at the intersection of surgical oncology, global health and health equity, and health care quality improvement. She is honored and excited to have been a member of the DEI committee since its founding in August of 2020, seeing it come into its own as an integral part of our community.

Jesse Boggis, MPH

Jesse Boggis, MPH, is a PhD student at The Dartmouth Institute and NIH T-32 predoctoral trainee at the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health (CTBH). At CTBH, she is mentored by Dr. Lisa Marsch and contribute towards The Northeast Node of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network. Her career objective is to work towards reducing the health disparities gap and improve access to treatment resources for people who use drugs, especially for Black and Brown people. Her research will be framed towards policy makers to inform local and state decision making that promotes equitable and dignified care.

Frederick Burton

Frederick graduated from the University of Rochester with a dual degree in Neuroscience and Psychology. He is currently a fourth-year medical student applying into psychiatry for residency with the plan of becoming a child and adolescent psychiatrist. Frederick has been passionate about creating mentorship opportunities/pipelines for black students and other individuals underrepresented in medicine. He has been involved with SNMA and other organizations with the hope of decreasing the disparities that occur in the field of medicine today.

Eva Childers

Eva Childers is a PhD candidate in the Integrative Neuroscience Program at Dartmouth College. Her research has focused on exploring the genetic differences between individuals with schizophrenia. Specifically, she investigates how different biological processes are differentially regulated in various groups of patients. Eva has been heavily involved in the Dartmouth College community, and she was most recently President of the Graduate Student Council from 2020-2021. She spearheaded the advocacy that led to the reinstatement of the Ombuds Office and partnered with the Guarini School to implement a faculty mentorship training.

Alka Dev, DrPH, MHS

Following her passion for health equity, Dr. Dev worked for more than 20 years as a global health professional, serving the healthcare needs of some of the poorest people in the world. Between 2016-2019, she led the establishment of a neonatal ward at a large public hospital in southern Haiti, focusing on improving survival for sick newborns. This work included developing models for integrating maternal and newborn health services, as well as creating a neonatal nursing training module in English and French.
Currently, Dr. Dev is turning her research focus to maternal health equity in the United States and abroad, especially the harmful effects of resource uncertainty or scarcity during pregnancy and its impact on health outcomes for both mothers and newborns.

Katherine Heflin, MS

Katherine "Rin" Heflin (she/her) is a standing member of the DEI committee. She studied health disparities as part of her BA with honors in American Studies at Stanford University. She has a Master of Science from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where she studied policies to ameliorate health inequities. Afterward she worked in health policy with both state and federal agencies. Rin also has extensive experience in mental, psycho-social, and sexual health access efforts with a wide array of communities, including with LGBTQ youth, survivors of domestic violence, and those struggling with homelessness. On the DEI committee, Rin works with the Rapid Communications Team and more broadly, she brings her experiences with and perspectives on advocacy, systems-level change, deep listening, and empowerment as part of community engagement.

Kerrilynn Hennessey, MD

Kerrilynn Hennessey, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Geisel Medical School at Dartmouth, an attending cardiologist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock in Lebanon New Hampshire, Co-director of the Cardio-obstetric Consultation Service, and Director of the Heart and Vascular Center’s Quality Improvement program.
As a female academic cardiologist, Dr. Hennessey's research examines the facilitators and barriers to recruiting, retaining, and supporting women in their cardiovascular medicine careers. As the faculty advisor for the Cardiology Interest Group at the medical school, and course instructor in the Cardiovascular Medicine Module, Dr. Hennessey is proud to be a visible role model for women considering cardiology as a career. Through her work with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, Dr. Hennessey believes we can re-imagine and re-design processes to discourage implicit discriminatory practices and create a transparent and equitable path for educational and career advancement for all people.

Emily Hichborn

Emily Hichborn, BS, is a Research Coordinator at the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health and the Northeast Node of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network at the Geisel School of Medicine. Additionally, she is a Research Coordinator in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. She is involved in several research studies developing, evaluating, and sustainably implementing digital therapeutics (which leverage web, mobile, sensing, and social media approaches) in the treatment of persons with substance use disorders and other behavioral health challenges in both clinical and real-world settings. Ms. Hichborn is a standing committee member of the Geisel DEI Committee and is active in increasing diversity and equity within scientific research.

Ifeoma Kamalu

Ifeoma Kamalu is a third-year medical student at Geisel School of Medicine and is approaching her second year on Geisel’s DEI Committee. She also currently serves as a student representative on Geisel’s Restorative Justice Committee. Ifeoma attended Brown University where she concentrated in Health and Human Biology with a focus in international health, disease, and culture. One of Ifeoma’s passions is community development. For several years she has worked with a non-profit organization, Umu Igbo Unite Cares, to provide food, healthcare, and education for underprivileged communities in Nigeria. She formerly served as an Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Advocate on the board of a mentorship organization in Boston, a mentor to underrepresented minority students at Lebanon High School, and Vice President of Geisel’s Student National Medical Association. Prior to graduating from Geisel, she will obtain her MBA with the hopes of learning about healthcare infrastructure and administration.

Alison P.R. Kapadia, MD, FACEP

Alison P.R. Kapadia, MD, FACEP, is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine. She does her clinical work at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Cheshire Medical Center, and Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (BMH). Dr. Kapadia is a member of the Geisel DEI Committee, the Cheshire DEI Committee, and the BMH Council on Racial Equity. She works to improve diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging as a clinical leader in emergency medicine, as a teacher at Geisel, and as a community member in the Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont.

Despina "Depy" Karalis, MS

Despina "Depy" Karalis, MS, is a research assistant and data manager in the Karagas Lab in the Department of Epidemiology at the Geisel School of Medicine. Her research in the lab focuses on prenatal exposures and food allergies. Depy is passionate about reproductive health and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is a new member of the Geisel DEI Committee and has co-facilitated book discussions that were part of the Epidemiology Department’s diversity book club. Depy assisted in the development of an STI screening outreach program (“Happy Hour”) and worked as a sexual health and healthy relationships peer educator at Dartmouth College, helping foster a more accepting and inclusive environment. She plans to one day serve as a primary care physician with a focus on women’s health in underserved and immigrant communities.

Katie Lenhoff, MPH

Katie Lenhoff, MPH, is the JED Campus Assessment Project Manager at the Student Wellness Center. As the JED Project Manager, she supports student wellness across Dartmouth with a focus on suicide prevention. Katie is also a Dartmouth College Campus Climate & Culture Initiative (C3i) Ambassador, trained to help prevent and address gender bias and harassment. Prior to joining the Student Wellness Center in February 2022, Katie worked for Geisel at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center (NCCC). There she developed tobacco treatment services as a member of the Community Outreach & Engagement team and co-coordinated the NCCC Roundtable for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Before joining Dartmouth, Katie’s career included evaluating mobile medical van services for people living without housing in Washington State, mental health program coordination in California, dropout prevention case management in Minnesota, and international education work. Katie also likes hiking, running, kayaking, cooking, baking, and sharing meals with friends.

Bethany Malskis

Bethany Malskis is the manager for the Zebrafish Facility at Geisel School of Medicine and serves on the Geisel DEI Committee. She works with the Halpern and Kasper Labs in assisting their neurology and cardiovascular research, respectively. Bethany works with graduate and undergraduate students as well as many faculty and staff to train and oversee work conducted in the fish facility. Stemming from her experience living in Lilongwe, Malawi, Bethany strives to foster a safe space that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion in day to day activities.

Lamar Moss

Lamar Moss is an operations administrator in the Department of Biomedical Data Science at Geisel School of Medicine. He joined the Geisel DEI Committee in July 2020, and the Roundtable for DEI at Norris Cotton Cancer Center in November 2020. Lamar is committed to supporting DEI initiatives and best practices at the department level, and more broadly at Geisel and across Dartmouth as a whole. Through active engagement with members of the Geisel DEI Committee, Lamar aims to support meaningful initiatives designed to transform the higher education landscape in the areas of equity, inclusiveness, and community. Lamar is a graduate of Dartmouth College.

Benjamin Ross, PhD

Benjamin Ross, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Microbiology & Immunology and Orthopaedics at the Geisel School of Medicine and is a member of the Personalized Treatments for Cystic Fibrosis Cluster. Dr. Ross's lab performs basic and translational research focused on understanding mechanisms of microbiome assembly and stability in both health and disease. He is passionate about promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the academic biomedical sciences, with an emphasis on improving mentorship and retention at all career stages.

Nick Ryan, MPA, MA

Nick Ryan is the Chief of Staff at the Geisel School of Medicine and has been a member of the DEI Committee since 2021. In his participation on the Committee, he is particularly interested in the implementation and evaluation of DEI initiatives and their meaningful impact on the Geisel community.
Prior to joining Geisel in 2018, Nick served as an active-duty Army Officer for 11 years and continues to serve in the U.S. Army Reserve. He has master’s degrees in public administration and international relations and lives in Quechee, VT with his wife, Jami, and two sons, Grayson and Callum.

Maggie Sherin

Maggie Sherin is a second-year Geisel student who is passionate about women's health and reproductive justice. At Geisel, she helps co-lead Medical Students for Choice, the OB/GYN Interest Group, and Community Health Scholars. Maggie's most recent research has looked at the effects of COVID-19-related work-plan changes on prenatal depression and ways to improve the birthing experience for people with Substance Use Disorder. Prior to coming to medical school, Maggie worked as a community birth doula and witnessed the inequities in health care provided to pregnant people living in Manhattan and the Bronx. She hopes to enter the field of OB/GYN to amplify patients' voices and help eradicate disparities in maternal outcomes.

Christian Spalding, MPH

Christian Spalding, MPH, is a Research Director at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. He is interested in low-cost, high-impact solutions to public health problems, and believes in focusing on studies that blend quantitative and qualitative data and investigate patient and provider experiences. Mr. Spalding is an active member in the Dartmouth community and has recently led a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Bias training series for TDI staff and faculty.

Elisabeth Wilson, MD, MPH, MS-HPEd

Elisabeth (Beth) Wilson, MD, MPH, MS-HPEd, is Professor and Chair of Community and Family Medicine, recently joining the Dartmouth community from Maine Medical Center where she served as Chair of Family Medicine for the past 5 years. While in Maine, Beth also served as the Executive Director of the Preble Street Learning Collaborative, a partnership to improve care for people experiencing homelessness. Earlier in her career, Beth was based at the University of California San Francisco, serving as the Vice Chair of Education in Family and Community Medicine, Director of the Program in Medical Education for the Urban Underserved, Co-Director of the Northern California Faculty Development Fellowship, and Dean’s Diversity Leader. Beth received her medical and master’s in public health degrees from Tufts University, completed her residency and fellowship in health services research at UCSF, and earned a master’s in education at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute for the Health Professions. She is passionate about advancing primary care and health equity through clinical care, education, research, advocacy and community engagement.

Andrea Wolffing, MD, FACS

Andrea Wolffing, MD, FACS, is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Geisel School of Medicine and a Trauma/Acute Care Surgeon at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. She is a member of the Geisel DEI Committee and the Surgery DEI Committee at Dartmouth. Dr. Wolffing serves along with Dr. Rian Hasson as a faculty advisor for students applying in the field of General Surgery and is an active promoter of diversity, equity, and inclusion in General Surgery at the medical student, resident physician, and attending physician levels. She is an active member of the Association of Women Surgeons, nationally, as well as the Women in Surgery group locally.