What we do

We aim to promote a climate of respect and equity that cultivates and sustains transformative practices by forging spaces of possibility where people feel safe, valued, welcomed, and respected. These ideals are intrinsic to collaborative partnerships and our commitment to diversify the health professions workforce.

The College of Health strives to foster a community reflective of the diverse experiences and backgrounds of its students, faculty, and staff across:

  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender identity and expression
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion
  • Cultural and spiritual beliefs
  • Age
  • Abilities and special needs
  • Education
  • Military experience
  • National origin
  • Immigration status
  • Language differences
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Or any other real or perceived differences based on an individual’s identity



Our commitment to diversity in admissions

The University of Utah College of Health strives to promote diversity and inclusion among its students, faculty, and staff with the realization that diverse perspectives and life experiences strengthen our academic community in multiple ways.

By creating a welcoming and supportive environment that encourages academic excellence and diverse perspectives, we work toward the creation of opportunities for all to learn from one another by sharing our wealth of talents and histories.

Each of our departments offer degrees in professions focused on health, wellness, and research. With the increasingly rich complexity of our population, we recognize the need for our graduates to reflect the diversity of our community. Furthermore, we also recognize the strong and positive impact a diverse collective of faculty, staff, students, and alumni can have on issues of health equity and the valuable role our College can play in reducing health disparities for all populations.


From the Dean, David H. Perrin

The College of Health is fully committed to diversity and inclusive excellence, and aims to provide a warm and welcoming environment for all students, faculty, and staff regardless of race, national origin, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, status as a person with a disability, genetic information, or protected veteran status. Our vision is a college where the values of equity and inclusion guide the personal and professional interactions of all members of the faculty, staff, and student body. The College of Health is also committed to diversifying the health professions workforce, which is inextricably linked to reducing health disparities in our  country. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies reports several benefits to racial and ethnic diversity among health care providers, including:

  • racial and ethnic health care providers are more likely to serve minority and medically underserved communities, thereby increasing access to care;
  • racial and ethnic minority patients report greater levels of satisfaction with care provided by minority health care professionals; and
  • racial and ethnic health care providers can help health systems in efforts to reduce cultural and linguistic barriers and improve cultural competence.

The College of Health’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, comprised of faculty, staff, and students, is exploring and implementing new approaches to promoting diversity and inclusive excellence within the College. It also seeks to develop a more culturally competent health professions workforce, which profoundly influences how health professionals deliver health care. I invite you to join the College of Health’s dialogue on diversity and inclusion by engaging with the efforts of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Commitee members

Dee-Dee Darby-Duffin

Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training
520 Wakara Way
Salt Lake City, Utah 84108

Email: D.Darby-Duffin@hsc.utah.edu

Phone: 801-585-9510

Sarah Elizabeth Levitt, AS, E-RYT, C-IAYT, CQI

University of Utah Center for Community Nutrition
Department of Nutrition and Integrative Physiology

Email: sarahelizabeth.levitt@hsc.utah.edu

Phone: 801-585-9706

Hester L. Henderson, PhD

Hester Henderson is a full professor in the Department of HKR and is the Director of the Special/Adapted Physical Education teacher training program and the U-FIT Program.  She is from Arlington, Virginia.  She has a B.A. from Roanoke College and an M.S. in elementary education from George Mason University.  ... Read More

Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation
1850 East 250 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0920

Email: hester.henderson@health.utah.edu

Phone: 801-581-7964

Steven A. Bell, Ph.D., TRS, CTRS

Being an educator holds the highest responsibility of all professions in making a difference in this world. Education is important because of the intrinsic and extrinsic qualities that it holds. In the most basic sense it is through education that we gain knowledge. ... Read More

Department of Occupational and Recreational Therapies
520 Wakara Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84108

Email: steven.bell@health.utah.edu

Phone: 801-581-6062


 From University of Utah leadership

As leaders of the University of Utah, we work daily to facilitate the intellectual development of all campus members and help our students, staff, and faculty reach for their professional goals. 

Over the past months, our campus has experienced several threats to our learning environment that challenge individuals’ ability to thrive. These incidents are not isolated and we understand that they are signs of deep racial and gender biases (among other bigotries) that have been perpetuated in our country for now hundreds of years. As leaders within the university community, we acknowledge with humility and with empathy the hurt, pain, and damaging effects on mental and physical well-being that these bigotries and threats have produced. Any such threats are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. 

Understanding that we have much to learn, we are committed to gaining a more complex understanding of issues that challenge the respectful climate an academic setting demands. These include racial microaggressions, biases against women and LGBTQ+ individuals, and intolerance towards people’s citizenship status, disabilities, politics, and religion. We commit to providing training to individuals within our units so that faculty, advisors, staff, and other students will better understand the problems and challenges that are daily faced by these groups so that we can act with greater understanding at all levels of campus life. Our aim is to create and sustain a university climate where all individuals treat each other with respect and dignity.

We as leaders at the University of Utah promise to develop strategies that work proactively to reduce the potential for such threats. We feel passionately that the University of Utah must become an environment where all individuals on campus are physically safe, so that we all can stretch our minds to places that may feel intellectually unfamiliar, but that excite the mind and lead to new discoveries that benefit societies here and around the globe. We ask for your patience as we strive for a university environment where this is possible for all.

Robert Adler
Dean, College of Law

David Kieda
Dean, Graduate School

Cynthia Berg
Dean, College of Social and Behavioral Science

Patricia Morton
Dean, College of Nursing

Lorris Betz
Interim Senior Vice President of Health Sciences

Keith Diaz-Moore
Dean, College of Architecture and Planning

Martha Bradley
Senior Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs

David Perrin
Dean, College of Health

Richard Brown
Dean, College of Engineering

David Pershing

Darryl Butt
Dean, College of Mines and Earth Sciences

Randall Peterson
Dean, College of Pharmacy



Recognizing Inclusive Excellence

Each year we recognize a faculty or staff member and a student who has shown exemplary efforts in supporting our mission to embrace and increase diversity and inclusion in the College of Health.

Past Award Recipients:


Hester L. Henderson, PhD
Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation

Reghan Boelter
Kinesiology Student
Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation



Yda J. Smith, PhD, OTR/L
Associate Professor – Lecturer
Department of Occupational and Recreational Therapies

Whitney Smith-Hutchins
Masters of Occupational Therapy Student
Department of Occupational and Recreational Therapies

You can also apply for next year’s award.



Student Life Resources

We at the College of Health (COH) have complied a list of resources at the University of Utah (U of U). for the community. We have included the organization, services they provide, and contact information. 

This list is not exhaustive. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, please contact us or one of the resources we've listed to get you the assistance you need.

If there are additional resources you would like to add to the list please contact us yda.smith@hsc.utah.edu.

Name Services Contact

University Counseling Center

Provides developmental, preventive and therapeutic services and programs that promote the intellectual, emotional, cultural, and social development of University of Utah students.


Hours: Monday-Friday 8am - 5pm


Feed U Pantry

Provides non-perishable, nourishing food for our students, their families, faculty and staff.

Located in the basement of the University of Utah Student Union.


University CrisisLine

Designed to provide community members with a full range of options to help solve the crisis in the best setting possible.



University WarmLine

This line is for Salt Lake County residents who are not in crisis, but seeking support, engagement, or encouragement.


Student Health Center

Providing quality healthcare to students, spouses, and their dependents.



Student Housing & Residential

Creating an inclusive and safe living environment.



Student Jobs & Career Services

Charged with educating students and alumni in the discovery and realization of meaningful careers.




Administrative Services

Name Services Contact

Admissions Office

Questions in regards to application or admittance into the University of Utah, transfer credit, etc.

Domestic: 801-581-7283


International: 801-581-8761

Office of the Registrar

Grading, enrolling, Change of Graduate Classification, Leave of Absence, etc.



International Student & Scholar Services Office

Last semester, Leave of Absence, vita status, etc.



Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid

Find resources to help with paying for college.



Income Accounting

Tuition bill information.



Graduation Division

Applying for graduation, statement of degree completions, etc.



Transcript & Verification Division Office

Transcripts, degree letters after the degrees have been posted, etc.



The Graduate School

Dr. Araceli Frias, Assistant Dean for Diversity, afrias@gradschool.utah.edu, 801-581-6233

Diane Cotsonas, International Teaching Assistant Program, diane.cotsonas@utah.edu, 801-585-6659



Thesis Office

Kelly Harward, Thesis Editor, kelly.harward@gradschool.utah.edu, 801-581-7643

Trista Emmer, Assistant Thesis Editor, trista.emmer@utah.edu, 801-581-8893

Michelle Turner, Assistant Thesis Editor, michelle.turner@gradschool.utah.edu, 801-581-5076


Diversity & Inclusion Programs & Centers at the University of Utah


Contact Us

Committee Chair
Yda J. Smith, PhD, OTR/L
Phone: 801-585-9589
Email: yda.smith@hsc.utah.edu

Diversity & Inclusion at the College of Health
520 Wakara Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84108