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Diverse Graduate Student Group

The mission of the Diverse Graduate Student Group at Penn State College of Medicine is to provide cultural- and identity-based safe spaces to current graduate students. The organization creates programming for each affinity group, designs signature engagement events and collaborates with allies throughout the university and community. The Diverse Graduate Student Group is excited to be an active, present force for new students each coming year and is driven to continue the path to inclusivity and belonging for all.

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More About the Diverse Graduate Student Group

History Expand answer

The Diverse Graduate Student Group was founded in 2019 by Jaclyn Welles, a Biomedical Sciences PhD student who graduated in 2021, but efforts were hindered by the ensuing COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2022, Zari McCullers, then a second-year Biomedical Sciences PhD student, decided to relaunch the organization. With hard work, patience and student support, DGSG was reborn with a new executive board. In its initial year back, the group wasted no time and organized a series of engaging events. These events ranged from student-faculty panels discussing diverse identities to dialogues addressing mental health within marginalized communities.

A significant milestone was the Inaugural DGSG Awards Banquet, where outstanding individuals in the graduate and medical community were recognized for their contributions to fostering diversity, equity and inclusion.

Later, McCullers worked with peers to found and establish Cultivating Underrepresented Students in Science and Public Health (CUSP), a DGSG-led summer pre-orientation program for incoming graduate students from underrepresented and/or marginalized backgrounds. As the DSGS ventures into the current school year, it continues to forge partnerships to create uplifting events for diverse students, ensuring a community of vibrancy, inclusion and belonging for all.

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2023-2024 Leadership


If you are interested in joining the Diverse Graduate Student Group and want to learn more about what the organization does, please contact the director, Zari McCullers, at