About the Office

Launched in 2008, the Carver College of Medicine Office of Cultural Affairs and Diversity Initiatives works closely with other administrative offices and community partners to foster an environment where all members of the UI Health Care community feel welcome. The Office supports the UI Health Care community of students, faculty, postdoctoral scholars, staff, residents and fellows in conjunction with the tripartite mission of the academic medical center.

Examples of Office-sponsored programs and events include:

  • Diversity trainings and professional development programs
  • Networking events for medical students and residents/fellows
  • Welcome programs for new students
  • Human Rights Week Events
  • Culturally Responsive Health Care in Iowa conference

Members of the UI Health Care community are encouraged to contact our office if you have questions regarding programs sponsored by the Office of Cultural Affairs and Diversity Initiatives or if you would like assistance planning a diversity-related event for your department or unit.


Denise Martinez, MD

Denise Martinez, MD is the Associate Dean for Cultural Affairs and Diversity Initiatives in the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.  She has served as Assistant Dean of Cultural Affairs and Diversity initiatives since 2012.

Dr. Martinez is a faculty member and clinician in the Department of Family Medicine. She brings a substantive skill set to this position. She is currently the faculty advisor for the Student National Medical Association. She also led the charge to create the Latino Medical Student Association, and the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students, of which both groups are thriving today. Through her work with students, she earned the prestigious Hawkeye Award for Faculty Adviser of the Year for the entire University of Iowa in 2014.

Last year, Dr. Martinez was also selected to lead University of Iowa Health Care with the implementation and incorporation of CultureVision, a cultural competency software to help create a more inclusive healthcare network for patients. Dr. Martinez has been a champion for cultural competence within University of Iowa Health Care. 

Since her arrival to Iowa in 2008, Dr. Martinez has been an active participant in many diversity and inclusion activities across campus. Her professional interests include cultural competence education, chronic disease management, and women’s health/obstetrics. She earned her B.A. degree in Biology from Seattle Pacific University and her M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine.

Janet Niebuhr 

Janet Niebuhr is the Program and Operations Coordinator for the Office of Cultural Affairs and Diversity Initiatives. She has been with the office since 2008. Janet received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography from the University of Iowa.    

Janet’s primary responsibilities are managing office-sponsored conferences, events and programs, pipeline and recruitment programs, coordination of professional development programs, program manager of the CultureVision project team, and monitoring the office budget. 





Monique Galpin


Monique Galpin is the Administrative Services Coordinator for the Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) and Community Outreach. She joined the Office of Cultural Affairs and Diversity Initiatives in October 2018 after eight years of working for the Office of the Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Carver College of Medicine. Monique earned her Bachelor of Liberal Studies in Global Studies from the University of Iowa. She is also a member of the UI African American Council, the Emma Goldman Clinic Board of Directors, and other Iowa City community organizations.

Monique is responsible for promoting, recruiting, and programming for the SHPEP program. SHPEP is free six-week summer enrichment program focused on improving access to information and resources for college freshmen and sophomores interested in the health professions. This includes the Carver College of Medicine, College of Dentistry, College of Pharmacy, and College of Public Health. SHPEP’s goal is to strengthen the academic proficiency and career development of students underrepresented in the health professions and prepare them for a successful application and matriculation to health professions schools. These students include, but are not limited to, individuals who identify as African American/Black, Native American and/or Alaska Native and Hispanic/Latino. It also includes those who are from communities of socioeconomic and educational disadvantage. SHPEP is a national program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with direction and technical assistance provided by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Dental Education Association (ADEA).