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Diversity Inclusion and Intercultural Awareness, Knowledge, and Skills Development

Intercultural competence is defined by Mithchell Hammer, PhD, Intercultural Development Inventory, LLC as “the acceptability to shift cultural perspective and appropriate adapt behavior to cultural differences and commonalities”. The Department of Nutrition is committed to promoting its own organizational intercultural competence development and that of its students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

The department has been a leader on campus to help ensure welcoming environments for diverse students, faculty, and staff since the early 2000s. Its Public Health Nutrition program and the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Nutrition Leadership Education and Training Program are working to update the assessment model used previously, the Manual for Self Assessment of Cultural Competence of an Academic Department or Unit.

Cultural and Linguistic Competence (CLC) Online Modules

The CLC Online Modules are an online module series intended to enhance individual cultural competence of people who are health professionals or are preparing for careers in health professions. This online module series is designed to help increase individual’s cultural awareness, knowledge, and skills. At the conclusion of this training, participants will be able to describe the role of culture in healthcare delivery and the workplace; have an enhanced personal cultural awareness; explain strategies for increasing cultural knowledge; describe culturally and linguistically appropriate communication, assessment, and intervention skills; and describe ways to increase diversity in the workplace.

If you are a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RD/RDN), you can receive 4.0 CPEUs (activity type 740 web-based) for viewing the CLC Online Modules until October 14, 2023. To obtain continuing education hours, you must complete the evaluation in its entirety.  After completing the evaluation, your certificate will load automatically.  To complete the evaluation click HERE.

Interactions that Make a Difference: Cultural and Linguistic Competence Training for Title V Personnel (ITMD)

ITMD is a daylong cultural and linguistic competence development workshop for Title V Personnel. MCH Nutrition Leadership Program faculty and funded trainees facilitate workshops in the fall, spring, and summer semesters across the state. Participants are administrators and individuals who have direct interactions with clients, participants, and individuals who are receiving services at health departments. The workshop involves group discussions and skills training focused on cultural knowledge, awareness, and skills. See the agenda here.


Interactions that Make a Difference 2.0: Increasing Cultural Awareness, Knowledge, and Skills of Graduate Students (ITMD2.0)

ITMD2.0 is an on-campus full-day workshop for graduate students in nutrition and other health-related disciplines. It was implemented Fall 2006 in collaboration with departments and programs across campus. Every year, MCH Nutrition Leadership Program faculty and funded trainees facilitate this daylong workshop for all incoming graduate students in the Department on Nutrition.


MCH Nutrition Grantee’s Diversity Recruitment and Retention Learning Collaborative

The MCH Nutrition Grantee’s Diversity Recruitment and Retention Learning Collaborative, lead by the University of Tennessee’s MCH Nutrition Leadership Program faculty and funded trainees, brings together faculty and funded trainees from eight Nutrition Leadership Programs across the country. The learning collaborative provides a safe environment for highly motivated faculty and students to address barriers to racial and ethnic diversity recruitment and retention and make plans to improve health equity and increase intercultural and linguistic competence development in their respective training programs through quality improvement techniques, learning opportunities with expert, technical assistance, collaboration between grantees.


MCH Nutrition Peer Mentoring Network

The MCH Nutrition Peer Mentoring Network was created as a part of the MCH Nutrition Grantees’ Diversity Recruitment and Retention Learning Collaborative as a forum for trainees to share and learn about partnering programs and fellow trainee experiences, and to foster collaborative, peer and professional networks among funded trainees. Since inception, trainees have planned and facilitated quarterly conference calls to discuss collaborative projects, share leadership and training experiences, and promote trainee engagement across the various MCH Nutrition training programs. The trainees also collaboratively developed a MCH Nutrition Peer Mentoring Network mission statement. To supplement trainee conference calls, an online blog forum entitled A Day in the Life of a MCH Trainee was developed to enhance collaboration among trainees. To read trainee posts from A Day in the Life of a MCH Trainee online blog visit


This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number T79MC09805, Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Health Nutrition, $223,777, 50% funded by the University of Tennessee, Department of Nutrition. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.