Pioneers In Diversity Awards

The Pioneer in Diversity Awards were established in 2017 to honor faculty, staff, students and trainees including residents and post-docs. Each recipient receives a monetary award and commenorative plaque. Below is a listing of all who have been recognized with a Pioneer award for their outstanding contributions to our community.

The Ida Sophia Scudder, M.D. Award will be presented to an MD, PhD, MD\PhD, MS, PA medical or graduate student who has made significant contributions in the field of community service and provided care and/or opportunities to the underserved.

Dr. Ida Scudder was a graduate of the first medical class that accepted women at Weill Cornell Medical College. After witnessing Indian women die needlessly in childbirth, Dr. Scudder was motivated to pursue a career in medicine to help them. Upon graduating from Cornell Medical College, she returned to India and founded a small clinic for women that gradually grew and became the Mary Taber Schell Hospital. Recognizing the dire need for more providers, she began training women, initially as nurses. In 1918, she started a medical school for girls which eventually became coeducational and is now one of India’s premier hospitals, the Christian Medical College & Hospital in Vellore. Dr. Scudder dedicated her life to the plight of Indian women and the fight against bubonic plague, cholera and leprosy, by providing services for patients as well as educating thousands of nurses and doctors in underserved areas to carry on her work. Dr. Scudder exemplified compassion, courage and extraordinary service to patients in need.

The Louis Wade Sullivan, M.D. Award will be presented to a resident or a postdoctoral fellow who has been an outspoken champion for health promotion and a public health advocate, especially for medically underserved populations.

Dr. Louis Wade Sullivan is a former house officer in the Department of Medicine at the New York Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Sullivan was appointed Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services by President George H.W. Bush. He was also the founding dean, director, and president emeritus of the Morehouse School of Medicine. His current positions include serving as the chairman of the board of the National Health Museum in Atlanta, Georgia and as a member of the Board of Overseers of Weill Cornell Medical College. As a policymaker, Dr. Sullivan advocated for a tobacco free society, improving food labels, expanding the Head Start Program, advocating for funds for HIV/AIDS, and increasing the NIH research budget. As an educator, Dr. Sullivan has worked tireless to improve medical education and increase diversity in medicine. In addition to founding the Medical Education Program which later became a full-fledged medical school at the historically African- American Morehouse College, Dr. Sullivan also founded the Boston University Hematology Service and the Association of Minority Health Professions Schools. Dr. Sullivan exemplifies a commitment to promoting medical education, research, and public health.

The Bruce Laine Ballard, M.D. Award will be presented to a faculty member who demonstrates commitment to improving student life and to fostering a nurturing and supportive environment where students are able to thrive and succeed.

Dr. Bruce Ballard is the former Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Equal Opportunity Programs at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Ballard directed students training in psychiatry first at Harlem Hospital Center, and later at New York Hospital-Westchester. He also directed the Travelers Summer Research Fellowship Program, which aims to increase the number of underrepresented minorities enrolled in medical schools. Dr. Ballard has chaired the Committee of Black Psychiatrists of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the Selection and Advisory Committee for the National Institute of Mental Health Minority Fellowship Program of the APA, published numerous scholarly articles, served on the editorial boards of several textbooks, and given presentations to various groups on ethnicity and psychiatry. As the Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Ballard mentored, provided career guidance and often, emotional support to all students. Dr. Ballard is known for having an open-door policy and for giving his home telephone number to students in the event they needed to contact him. Dr. Ballard exemplifies the nurturing and supportive qualities of a mentor.

The Marie Metoyer, M.D. Award will be presented to a current faculty member or alumnus of the Medical College who exemplifies Dr. Metoyer’s highest values of healing and community engagement, and has gone above and beyond to serve underprivileged communities in an unorthodox manner.

Dr. Marie Metoyer was the first known Black woman to graduate from Weill Cornell Medicine. Upon graduating in 1951, Dr. Metoyer took over her mother’s Obstetrics/Gynecology practice. In the 1960s, she heeded the call from President Kennedy emphasizing community mental health, so she moved from New Jersey to Vermont to pursue a residency in psychiatry at the University of Vermont from 1968-1972 and received a Fellowship in

Community and Child Psychiatry. A resident of Manchester, N.H. for nearly four decades, Dr. Metoyer was the first African American female psychiatrist in the state, and she spent decades serving those less fortunate in community mental health, and the health and welfare of women and minorities. She retired in 1996 at the age of 70 and dedicated her retirement to women, minorities and medicine, seeking to promote African American heritage, racial equality, cultural diversity, and the fine arts. She passed away in the Spring of 2020.

The Administrative Staff award will be presented to a staff member who embodies the spirit of cultural diversity and service.

The staff award is a new award which will go to an administrator or a staff person whose work has helped build a culture of service and diversity at Weill Cornell. This award honors staff members who have gone beyond the call of duty to make sure the environment is inclusive, engaging and welcoming, and whose efforts may often go unnoticed. Working with patients, students, residents, and/or faculty, the recipient of this award provides the glue that binds the institution together, and helps create the supportive and nurturing environment that is needed to pursue Weill Cornell's tripartite mission of education, research and high-quality patient care.

2022 Pioneers In Diversity Awards

Ida Sophia Scudder MD Award – Chimsom Orakwue MD Candidate Class of 2023 and Josue Barnes PhD Candidate, Physiology, Biophysics, and Systems Biology and President of the Tri-Institutional Minority Society

The Ida Sophia Scudder, M.D. Award for Excellence in Public Service recognizes an MD, PhD, MD-PhD, or PA student who has made significant contributions in the field of community service and providing care to the underserved.

Bruce Laine Ballard MD Award –  Maria Lame, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine

The Bruce Laine Ballard, M.D. Award for Excellence in Mentorship is presented to a faculty member who demonstrates a commitment to improving student life and to fostering a nurturing and supportive environment where students are able to thrive and succeed.

Administrative Staff Award –  Daisy Torres-Baez, Diversity Programs Coordinator, Diversity Center of Excellence

The Administrative Staff Award recognizes staff members who embody the spirit of cultural diversity and service. This award honors staff members who have gone beyond the call of duty to make sure the environment is inclusive, engaging and welcoming, and whose efforts may often go unnoticed.

Louis Wade Sullivan MD Award –  Michelle Lee, MD, PGY3

The Louis Wade Sullivan, M.D. Award for Excellence in Public Health Advocacy honors a resident or postdoctoral fellow who has been an outspoken champion for health promotion and a public health advocate, especially for medically underserved populations.

Marie Metoyer, MD Award - Dakotah Lane, MD ‘13 Medical Director Lummi Tribal Health Clinic and Cristina Toledo-Cornell, MD, MPH ‘13 Instructor of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Marie Metoyer, MD Award recognizes faculty or alumnus of the medical college who has gone above and beyond to serve communities despite difficult conditions.

2021 Pioneers In Diversity Awards

Ida Sophia Scudder MD Award – Hector Mora,  MD Student Class of 2021 

The Ida Sophia Scudder, M.D. Award for Excellence in Public Service recognizes an MD, PhD, MD-PhD, or PA student who has made significant contributions in the field of community service and providing care to the underserved.

Bruce Laine Ballard MD Award –  Ben Huang, PhD Instructor of Neuroscience in Psychiatry

The Bruce Laine Ballard, M.D. Award for Excellence in Mentorship is presented to a faculty member who demonstrates a commitment to improving student life and to fostering a nurturing and supportive environment where students are able to thrive and succeed.

Administrative Staff Award –  Jane Torres-Lavoro, MPH Education Programs Supervisor-Emergency Medicine

The Administrative Staff Award recognizes staff members who embody the spirit of cultural diversity and service. This award honors staff members who have gone beyond the call of duty to make sure the environment is inclusive, engaging and welcoming, and whose efforts may often go unnoticed.

Louis Wade Sullivan MD Award –  Tatiana Ndjatou, MD Pediatrics Resident 

The Louis Wade Sullivan, M.D. Award for Excellence in Public Health Advocacy honors a resident or postdoctoral fellow who has been an outspoken champion for health promotion and a public health advocate, especially for medically underserved populations.

Marie Metoyer, MD Award - Erica Phillips, MD Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine

Marie Metoyer, MD Award recognizes faculty or alumnus of the medical college who has gone above and beyond to serve communities despite difficult conditions.

    

2020 Pioneers In Diversity Awards

Ida Sophia Scudder MD Award – Karina Ruiz-Esteves,  MD Student Class of 2020 and Nneoma Adaku, Tri-I MD-PhD student

The Ida Sophia Scudder, M.D. Award for Excellence in Public Service recognizes an MD, PhD, MD-PhD, or PA student who has made significant contributions in the field of community service and providing care to the underserved.

Bruce Laine Ballard MD Award –  Jessica Zonana, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry

The Bruce Laine Ballard, M.D. Award for Excellence in Mentorship is presented to a faculty member who demonstrates a commitment to improving student life and to fostering a nurturing and supportive environment where students are able to thrive and succeed.

Administrative Staff Award –  Aubrey Leukart, PhD, Manager of Career and Professional Development Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences

The Administrative Staff Award recognizes staff members who embody the spirit of cultural diversity and service. This award honors staff members who have gone beyond the call of duty to make sure the environment is inclusive, engaging and welcoming, and whose efforts may often go unnoticed.

Louis Wade Sullivan MD Award –  Benjamin Hartley, MD, Resident -Neurological Surgery  

The Louis Wade Sullivan, M.D. Award for Excellence in Public Health Advocacy honors a resident or postdoctoral fellow who has been an outspoken champion for health promotion and a public health advocate, especially for medically underserved populations.

  

2019 Pioneers In Diversity Awards

Ida Sophia Scudder MD Award – Joshua Adjei, 4th Year Medical Student 

The Ida Sophia Scudder, M.D. Award for Excellence in Public Service recognizes an MD, PhD, MD-PhD, or PA student who has made significant contributions in the field of community service and providing care to the underserved.

Bruce Laine Ballard MD Award – Dr. Nelson Sanchez, MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine and Dr. Kevin Holcomb, MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology

The Bruce Laine Ballard, M.D. Award for Excellence in Mentorship is presented to a faculty member who demonstrates a commitment to improving student life and to fostering a nurturing and supportive environment where students are able to thrive and succeed.

Administrative Staff Award –  Dr. Greta Strong, Ed.D, Special Assistant, Neurology 

The Administrative Staff Award recognizes staff members who embody the spirit of cultural diversity and service. This award honors staff members who have gone beyond the call of duty to make sure the environment is inclusive, engaging and welcoming, and whose efforts may often go unnoticed.

Louis Wade Sullivan MD Award – Dr. Victor Wong, PhD, Postdoctoral Scientist, Burke Neurological Institute

The Louis Wade Sullivan, M.D. Award for Excellence in Public Health Advocacy honors a resident or postdoctoral fellow who has been an outspoken champion for health promotion and a public health advocate, especially for medically underserved populations.

  

2018 “Pioneers in Diversity” Award Winners

Ida Sophia Scudder MD Award – Rolake Alabi and Eric Kutscher

The Ida Sophia Scudder, M.D. Award for Excellence in Public Service recognizes an MD, PhD, MD-PhD, or PA student who has made significant contributions in the field of community service and providing care to the underserved.

Bruce Laine Ballard MD Award – Dr. Anthony Ogedegbe

The Bruce Laine Ballard, M.D. Award for Excellence in Mentorship is presented to a faculty member who demonstrates a commitment to improving student life and to fostering a nurturing and supportive environment where students are able to thrive and succeed.

Administrative Staff Award – Sharon Brooks

The Administrative Staff Award recognizes staff members who embody the spirit of cultural diversity and service. This award honors staff members who have gone beyond the call of duty to make sure the environment is inclusive, engaging and welcoming, and whose efforts may often go unnoticed.

Louis Wade Sullivan MD Award – Dr. Maurice Hinson

The Louis Wade Sullivan, M.D. Award for Excellence in Public Health Advocacy honors a resident or postdoctoral fellow who has been an outspoken champion for health promotion and a public health advocate, especially for medically underserved populations.

2017 “Pioneers in Diversity” Award Winners

2017 Pioneers in Diversity Award Winners (left to right):

Dr. Carol Storey-Johnson, Sahira Torres MS, Omarr Savage BS, RN (accepted the award on behalf of his wife, Dr. Shani Scott), Dario Villamar, and Dr. Olaf Andersen (accepted the award on behalf of Dr. Ruth Gotian)

On May 17th, 2017, Dean Augustine M.K. Choi joined our celebration for diversity and commended the immense efforts of those who foster and aid in cultivating our diverse community. In addition, Dr. Linnie Golightly, Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion announced and honored this year’s Pioneers in Diversity Award and the Laurie Gilmcher Award recipients:

  • Dario Villamar, a fourth-year medical student received the Ida Sophia Scudder, M.D. Award for Excellence in Public Service. The award recognizes an MD, PhD, MD-PhD, or PA student who has made significant contributions in the field of community service and providing care to the underserved.
  • Dr. Shani Scott, a resident physician in the Department of Medicine received the Louis Wade Sullivan, M.D. Award for Excellence in Public Health Advocacy. The award honors a resident or postdoctoral fellow who has been an outspoken champion for health promotion and a publichealth advocate, especially for medically underserved populations.
  • Dr. Carol Storey-Johnson, Senior Advisor for Medical Education, received the Bruce Laine Ballard, M.D. Award for Excellence in Mentorship. The award is presented to a faculty member who demonstrates a commitment to improving student life and to fostering a nurturing and supportive environment where students are able to thrive and succeed.

  • Dr. Ruth Gotian, Administrative Director of the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program and Sahira Torres, Community Service Coordinator and Assistant to the Assistant Dean of Student Diversity and Student Life, were each recipients of the Administrative Staff Award. The award recognizes staff members who embody the spirit of cultural diversity and service. This award honors staff members who have gone beyond the call of duty to make sure the environment is inclusive, engaging and welcoming, and whose efforts may often go unnoticed.

Office of Diversity and Inclusion 1300 York Avenue New York, NY 10065