Ann Gakumo named UC College of Nursing's Associate Dean for Inclusion and Community Impact

Ann Gakumo, PhD, UC College of Nursing associate professor and Greer Glazer Endowed Chair in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), will extend her responsibilities as the UC College of Nursing's Associate Dean for Inclusion and Community Impact, effective July 1.

Since early 2022, Gakumo has led the creation and implementation of a DEI strategic plan for the college. The plan’s vision, “To inspire, influence, engage, and guide the College of Nursing, the University of Cincinnati and the larger community to build a sustainable model of inclusive excellence that embraces and reflects the diverse population we serve,” is guided by four strategic goals and corresponding measurements to ensure accountability.


Ann Gakumo, PhD

“My vision for this position is to increase the college’s focus and commitment for inclusive excellence. Dr. Gakumo has already made considerable progress to identify areas for improvement, collaborated with others to develop a strategic vision, and implemented work teams to deliver on these improvements,” Interim Dean Gordon Gillespie says. “In this position, she will become a driving force keeping the college accountable for inclusive excellence across all facets – from student and faculty recruitment, to marketing, to hiring practices – as well as ensuring continual improvements so that everyone can have a sense of belonging and be successful.”

Gakumo holds a program of research focused on developing and testing literacy-based approaches to improve health disparities and inequities in African Americans living with HIV. She has led multiple interdisciplinary research projects funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, among others. Gakumo brings nearly 15 years of experience in academia to the associate dean role, including serving administratively as a department chair prior to joining the UC College of Nursing.

"When I came to UC a year and a half ago, I had a general idea of the direction for our DEI efforts. Since then, I’ve been both supported and challenged in several ways. From talking with and working alongside many of our students, faculty and staff, I quickly learned that our college is in a unique position to enact positive and sustainable change,” Gakumo says. “We have change-agents in every corner of this college, whether as student-led groups who challenge the status quo; as faculty- and staff-led accountability groups who take incremental steps to diversify our curricula, identify resources, promote a culture and climate of belonging, and address health inequities; or as individuals who take a stand when it’s not comfortable or popular to do so. I embrace the transition into my new role with hope and humility and see it as a logical, natural extension of the collective work that has begun.”

Recently, Gakumo was a recipient of the competitive “Genentech Foundation’s 2022 Health Equity and Diversity in STEM Innovation Fund,” focused on funding organizations and initiatives led by people of color. Her “Systems in Holistic Innovation and Inclusion for Transformation (SHIIFT)” program aims at establishing a successful model for the recruitment, retention and academic success of racially and ethnically diverse undergraduate nursing students by examining current admissions processes in the undergraduate nursing program; creating collaborative academic-community partnerships to build capacity for community engagement; providing scholarships and other student support; and developing inclusive and equitable learning and testing environments. Since arriving at UC, Gakumo has brought in nearly $1 million in external funding for diversity efforts.

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