School of Nursing
Hometown: Madison, WI
Dr. Mel Freitag (she/her) is the Diversity Officer in the School of Nursing at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Freitag serves as a leader and consultant in curriculum development, programming, strategic planning and engaging in recruitment, retention and advising initiatives to create equitable and inclusive organizational practices and policies. She advocates for bold and creative diversity, equity and inclusion models to improve faculty/staff/student recruitment, hiring, orientation, communications/ and professional development. She strives to provide evidence-based tools and strategies for organizations, groups and individuals that are grounded in social justice, health equity, intersectionality, and antiracism. Because of her networks that are both within local, state and national communities of practice, she continues to develop successful and impactful programs, events, and curricula that are aligned with her commitment to create a dynamic, inclusive and diverse environment where all can thrive. In her spare time (what is that?), she enjoys hanging out with her inquisitive 7-year-old daughter Bennett (Benny), her geriatric but adventurous dog Fred, and surfing the internet through productive procrastination.
Creating an Inclusive Community: How Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strengthen Organizations
• Understand different ways diversity/inclusion can show up – in nursing research
• Share the need for diversity/equity in demographics (mirror the populations in which they research) AND creating a research program with an equity lens
• Call to action for everyone – understanding their own unique sphere of influence across settings (student, faculty, nurse researcher, nurse educator, heath care professional) and how their location will inform their own commitment to equity in their organizations