Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine's Dr. Vicki Sapp to offer keynote address at Wilkes University's second Diversity and Inclusion Student Conference

GCSOM faculty, staff will also present workshops at Oct. 20 event for students

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SCRANTON, PA (10/01/2018) Vicki T. Sapp, Ph.D., director for student engagement, diversity and inclusion and an assistant professor at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) will serve as keynote speaker at Wilkes University's second Diversity and Inclusion Student Conference. The conference is presented annually by Wilkes University's Center for Global Education. This year the conference, entitled, "Challenging Our Unconscious Biases," will take place on Saturday, Oct. 20. Two members of GCSOM's staff, Amy Kline, M.A. and Tanya Morgan, M.S., will also participate by presenting workshops.

Dr. Sapp's talk will focus on her experiences growing up and being educated in the Mott Haven Public Housing section of the South Bronx, where she successfully progressed through elementary and secondary school at the top of her class without ever being informed about college by teachers or guidance counselors. Dr. Sapp said her temptation to work instead of attending college was overwhelming given her family's impoverished situation. Fortunately, the director of a local Education Opportunity Program (EOP) continually called her mother and visited her home to encourage the Sapp family to allow her to attend college. As Dr. Sapp will note, participation in EOP changed her life's trajectory and provided her with opportunities for social, educational and economic upward mobility. Although Dr. Sapp said she struggled through her undergraduate experience and found it difficult to navigate and negotiate invisible boundaries and barriers on campus, returning to the South Bronx was not an option. She worked three part-time jobs and later a full-time job and became the first person in her family to obtain all three of her degrees: bachelor, master's and doctoral.

In addition to providing the keynote speech, Dr. Sapp will join Amy Kline, associate director for GGCSOM's Center for Learning Excellence to present a workshop entitled, Understanding and Addressing Microaggressions. The session is intended to provide insight into how people from various marginalized groups experience microaggressions and their impact, learn strategies to address microaggressions and how to use them in a variety of contexts.

Ms. Kline and Tanya Morgan, assistant director of GCSOM's Center for Learning Excellence will also present Safe Zone Awareness 101, a workshop in which participants will gain a better understanding of LGBTQ identities and experiences by working together through several activities.

"Challenging Our Unconscious Biases" is an annual conference for undergraduate students held at Wilkes University's Henry Student Center. It will take place on Saturday, Oct. 20.

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (Geisinger Commonwealth) is a member of the Geisinger family. Geisinger Commonwealth offers a community-based model of medical education with campuses in Danville, Doylestown, Scranton, Sayre and Wilkes-Barre. Geisinger Commonwealth offers Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Master of Biomedical Sciences (MBS) degrees. The college's innovative curriculum, focused on caring for people in the context of their lives and their community, attracts the next generation of physicians and scientists from within its 17-county region in northeastern and north central Pennsylvania, as well as from across the state and the nation. Geisinger Commonwealth is committed to non-discrimination in all employment and educational opportunities. Visit