Rush University Receives HEED Award for Excellence in Diversity

Thursday, October 17, 2019

For the second consecutive year, Rush University has received the 2019 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. INSIGHT Into Diversity is the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

As a recipient of the annual Health Professions HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — Rush University will be featured, along with 42 other recipients, in the December 2019 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“Rush is truly committed to diversity and inclusion efforts across the board, from recruitment and retention to fostering a forward-thinking campus climate,” said Kate Webster, PhD, director, Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at Rush University. “If there is an inclusive environment on campus, then people from diverse backgrounds will want to come and be a part of that. And if there are diverse people around the table, an inclusive environment is being built.”

‘People who feel welcome at the table’

Webster and her office not only develop campus programming but also guide students as they create student-run events. Their work focuses on “moving from having diverse people at the table to having people who feel welcome at the table,” she said.

Last fiscal year, Rush University’s Office of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs held 88 diversity and inclusion events with more than 5,200 total participants.

For example, the Rush University Diversity and Inclusion, or RUDI, student group holds monthly events to discuss topical issues, giving students a safe space to talk about subjects such as the #MeToo movement or politics. And the Office of Student Diversity and Multicultural has developed a co-curricular certification program that allows students to take a deep dive into unpacking issues associated with bias.

“The HEED award is a wonderful recognition of the work of many, many members of the University community over the past several years. I couldn’t be prouder,” said Sherine Gabriel, MD, MSc, president, Rush University. “We strive to create a campus atmosphere that is welcoming to all. This award is a testament to our unwavering commitment to nourishing an inclusive learning community.”

“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees, continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus,” she said.

About Rush University

Rush University is a health science university that is integral to the Rush University System for Health, an academic health system that includes Rush University Medical Center, Rush University, Rush Copley Medical Center (Aurora, IL) and Rush Oak Park Hospital (Oak Park, IL), as well as numerous outpatient care facilities. The system integrates outstanding patient care, education, and research and community partnerships. 

Rush University was founded in 1972 and has expanded from one college and fewer than 100 students to four colleges and an all-time high of more than 2,600 students in the 2018-19 academic year. It includes Rush Medical College, the College of Nursing, the College of Health Sciences and the Graduate College. Rush University is known for its high-quality health care education, supportive learning environment, engagement with the urban community and forward-looking education approach.

About INSIGHT Into Diversity

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the oldest and largest diversity publication in higher education today and is known for its annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, the only award recognizing colleges and universities for outstanding diversity and inclusion efforts across their campuses.

In addition to its online job board, INSIGHT Into Diversity presents timely, thought-provoking news and feature stories on matters of diversity and inclusion across higher education and beyond. Articles include interviews with innovators and experts, as well as profiles of best practices and exemplary programs. Readers will also discover career opportunities that connect job seekers with institutions and businesses that embrace a diverse and inclusive workforce.