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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Welcome to the School of Medical Sciences, where All are Welcome!

Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) recognizes that dynamic growth and change are required to meet the needs of today’s students. One of LMU’s institutional goals is to provide a caring and nurturing environment where students, faculty, and staff with varied talents, experiences, and aspirations come together to form a diverse community that encourages students to grow intellectually and personally to meet their academic and career goals.​

The School of Medical Sciences (SMS) supports the LMU principles and practices on diversity and follows the University's discrimination policy. Visit LMU's Office of Institutional Compliance for more information about LMUs non-discrimination policy.

What are diversity, equity, and inclusion? Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are more than three little words. Here at the School of Medical Sciences, we believe diversity, equity, and inclusion are the foundation for a better tomorrow for all. SMS is committed to providing equal access to education and employment opportunities in an environment that is safe, civil, respectful, and free from all forms of harassment and discrimination for all. Our goal is to implement an overall strategic recruitment plan to increase the number of diverse applicants, admitted, enrolled, and waitlisted students. We aim to establish new memorandum of understanding (MOUs) and prioritize recruitment with academically rigorous undergraduate institutions with diverse populations.

As a school of professional health programs, we strive for a community comprised of individuals with and respect for varying ideas, strengths, abilities, opinions, experiences, and backgrounds for the goal of promoting innovation and vitality while being unwaveringly committed to professionalism and quality.​

We pledge to train highly educated, culturally sensitive professionals who mirror the diverse population they serve by using school resources to recruit talented, diverse staff and faculty and promoting an all-inclusive environment that embraces diversity and inclusion of all members.


Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI)

Paula Miksa

Paula Miksa, DMS, Eds, PA-C
Associate Dean, SMS & Program Director, DMS

Welcome to the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at the School of Medical Sciences (SMS) at Lincoln Memorial University (LMU). We strive to make our school a place where all members feel welcome. We encourage open collaboration. Each of our Physician Assistant programs has a Diversity and Belonging committee ready to serve. The PA program's Diversity and Belonging committee is comprised of faculty, staff, and students. Feel free to visit each of our PA program's websites to learn more about our programs, faculty, staff, and students. 

Physician Assistant Programs DEI Committee

The School of Medical Sciences is committed to addressing, strengthening, maintaining, and safeguarding the success of diversity, equity & inclusion within its programs. Each Physician Assistant program established a DEI committee to oversee and ensure the success of the SMS DEI mission. 

Tonya Skidmore

Tonya Skidmore, DMS, PA-C

Chair of Diversity & Belonging

Harrogate PA Program

Sonia Rupani

Sonia Rupani, DMS, PA-C

Chair of Diversity & Belonging

Knoxville PA Program