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Meet the Advisors

Shawn O'LearyShawn O'Leary

Shawn has been working to create innovative programs in the social justice field for over twenty years since he first volunteered at the Spotted Eagle Elementary School in Duluth, Minnesota. He is a member of the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe in Northern Minnesota where his family has harvested wild rice for generations.

For over fifteen years Shawn has been the Director of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement (DICE) 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. Shawn was selected by medical students for induction into the Gold Humanism in Medicine Honor Society for Outstanding Mentorship. Most recently, he received the Dartmouth College Holly Fell Sateia MLK Social Justice Award.

Shawn comes to Geisel from the University of Maine where he served as Assistant Director of the Native American Center. Prior to coming to New England, Shawn worked in his home state of Minnesota developing minority recruitment and retention strategies, based on an individualized student service philosophy, at the Center of American Indian and Minority Health, University of Minnesota Duluth School of Medicine. He chaired the Indians into Medicine advisory board and was the liaison between the medical school and the thirty-four reservation communities in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. Shawn also worked for the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe's Educational Talent Search Program where he worked to promote the educational needs of first generation American Indian students.

Wherever Shawn lives and works, he is actively engaged in the community. He served as a youth hockey coach and has coached over forty hockey teams the past nineteen years in Minnesota, Maine, New Hampshire and Canada. While in Minnesota, he was appointed by Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson to the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee for his work with high school and college dropouts in the correctional system.

Shawn is married, has four sons and lives in Sharon, Vermont.

Joe O'DonnelJoe O'Donnell

Joe O'Donnell graduated from Harvard College in 1969 and came to Geisel School of Medicine for his first two years of medical school. He finished medical school in 1973, receiving his M.D. from Harvard. Joe returned to Hanover to do his residency in internal medicine from 1973-76. He decided to subspecialize in medical oncology and did a fellowship at the NCI from 1976-78. He then assumed the position of chief of medical oncology at the White River Junction VA Hospital, where he has practiced medicine since 1978.

Always interested in medical education and student life, Joe served as the Associate Dean for Student Services from 1987-95. A Professor of Medicine, Joe enjoys being a facilitator for small group learning. He changed roles in 1995 and assumed the titles of Senior Advising Dean and Director of Community Programs, reflecting his interests in human values aspects of medicine, prevention, ethical issues, and the medical humanities.

As a medical oncologist and community activist, Joe has a longstanding interest in strategies at the individual and community policy level to prevent illness, disability, and death. He has worked vigorously to address the issues of substance use and obesity and to promote healthy lifestyles. He chairs the advisory group for the Dartmouth Center on Addiction, Recovery and Education Program and is dedicated to helping that group produce evidence-based, replicable materials to lessen the impact of substance use/abuse. He directs the NH-VT Schweitzer Fellowships, and was the force behind the Urban Scholars Program, the Geisel Advocacy Network, and numerous community service efforts. He was recently named Senior Fellow of the C. Everett Koop Institute.