Desai to lead pharmacy school diversity initiatives

Published June 24, 2020

Kalpesh Desai has been named director of diversity initiatives in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Desai will lead the school’s efforts to establish a learning environment that embraces diversity, and fosters inclusiveness and equity among faculty, staff and students.

In the role, Desai will develop mentoring and cultural sensitivity programs and enhance opportunities for diversity scholarships. He will also serve as a liaison between the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Office for Inclusive Excellence and Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

“When I was growing up, I was one of very few minorities in school and, early on, I didn’t feel included. I felt I was an outsider because of my skin color and having been born in a different country,” says Desai, noting the special meaning that the position holds for him.

“I would like to foster an environment at the school where everyone feels that they are welcome to share their ideas and feelings,” he says. “All of us can learn from each other’s varied experiences and become more equitable and inclusive. When we all act better, humanity benefits.”

Desai is also a senior research scientist in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, where he works to improve health outcomes through education, counseling and intervention, and a pharmacist consultant in the School of Dental Medicine, where he educates dental students on medications.

He earned a PharmD from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Manitoba.