One of the several reasons why I chose to do my thesis work at the Mayo Clinic is due to the wide range of diversity of Mayo students and employees. I spent some time this past weekend pondering how Mayo is able to maintain such a diverse atmosphere, one in which everyone considers themselves members of the same family, the Mayo family. I came across countless reasons and people responsible for the unique diverse environment we all love about the Mayo Clinic; however, there is one person who continues to go above and beyond to ensure that people from all backgrounds are recognized, celebrated, and feel comfortable here at Mayo. This person is none other than the 2011 Champion of Diversity (awarded by the Rochester Diversity Council), Bethany Krom. Bethany, the Administrator for the College of Medicine Office for Diversity and Mayo School of Health Sciences here at Mayo, took an influential role in Mayo’s involvement in the RACE exhibit in Rochester, MN. During this time she not only encouraged her colleagues, students, and other employees to attend the RACE exhibit, but also began a research project to investigate the impact that the RACE exhibit had on the knowledge and attitudes towards race for those who attended. Below is an excerpt from a nomination for Bethany in accordance with her involvement in the RACE exhibition:
“Bethany’s efforts to bring the lessons from the exhibit into Mayo’s culture and create a lasting effect cannot be overstated. She engaged with Mayo leadership, supervisors, and staff at all levels to encourage participation in the exhibit and related activities. She was part of a core team that developed The Department of Education sponsored Talking Circles, which are facilitated discussions based on Native American traditions. She facilitated the development of the pool of facilitators, established a system for Mayo employees to register for the Talking Circles, and provided a forum for making talking sticks and for keeping the conversations about race alive.”
Bethany continues to be a cultural advocate not only within Mayo but also in the community. She plays a pivotal role in the largest non-profit source of paid internships for undergraduate, minority youths, INROADS, where she incessantly provides members of our future generation with opportunities that they may not otherwise have. It’s no wonder Mayo has such a vibrant cultural atmosphere when we have rockstars like Bethany Krom working with us. So if you happen to see Bethany in the College of Medicine, stop by to congratulate her on her award and to say thanks for all she does to help make Mayo feel like home.
Written by Amanda Butler, Mayo Clinic Florida blog manager.