The Widening Participation Committee


The Widening Participation Committee is mandated by the Faculty of Medicine’s Office of Social Accountability and Community Engagement to develop, implement, and monitor programs and initiatives aimed at increasing the participation of under-represented populations in the application processes of McGill’s health professional programs. The Committee shall make recommendations regarding best practices for promoting diversity, equity and inclusiveness in student recruitment, including the dismantling of unnecessary barriers to health professional education and training.

Committee Roles and Responsibilities

In addition to the overarching mandate set out above, the Committee has the following specific roles and responsibilities:

  • Identification and prioritization of target groups for recruitment into McGill’s health professional programs
  • Development and oversight of recruitment interventions within identified target communities
    • Development of programs (shadowing in clinical settings and classrooms, research opportunities)
    • Development and oversight of content for programs (presentations, resource materials)
    • Participating in training of health professional student volunteers
    • Participation in events (in-school, on-campus and virtual activities)
  • Monitoring of progress with respect to widening participation objectives
    • Assessment and evaluation of programs
    • Data analysis and publication (for various audiences: scholarly publication, recruitment materials, public consumption)
  • Community partnership cultivation and development, including within:
    • Community organizations
    • Schools (elementary, secondary, post-secondary)
    • Sister schools (faculties of medicine and other health professional training programs)
  • Selection of recipient for the Class of 1985 Entrance Scholarship (at June meeting).

Reporting Structure

  • The Widening Participation Committee shall submit a report with recommendations on an annual basis to Admissions Committees of the health professional programs.
  •  The Widening Participation Committee shall submit a report with recommendations to the Director of the Office of Social Accountability, who will transmit these to the relevant decision-making body (Admissions Committees within the health professions).


Members shall be appointed by the Dean (or delegate) for a term of 3 years (renewable); student members shall be appointed for a term of 1 year (renewable).

The Chair shall be appointed from the committee membership by the Dean (or delegate) for a term of 3 years (renewable).

Committee members are expected to actively participate in meetings and activities. A member may be released from their position on the committee, should they fail to comply with the duties and the spirit of this committee.

Committee Composition

Dr. Jae-Marie Ferdinand, Chair (Faculty of Medicine)
Executive President, Medical Students' Society, ex officio
Student representative - Community Outreach Projects (Rotating, ex officio)
Dr. Raphael Freitas de Souza (Faculty of Dentistry)
Professor Madeleine Buck (Ingram School of Nursing)
Dr. Carl Ernst (Faculty of Medicine)
Mr. Denburk Reid (Montreal Community Cares Foundation, Community Representative)
Ms. Caroline Storr (School of Physical and Occupational Therapy representative)
Ms. Nicole Yee-Key Li-Jessen (School of Communication Sciences and Disorders)
Ms. Jessica Barudin (Cedar and Gold, Community Representative)

Frequency of Meetings

The Committee shall meet 4 times/ academic year (committee of the whole); twice in the fall term and twice in the winter term.  Additional meetings can be convened as and when necessary.


50%+1 of voting members must be present in order to achieve quorum.

Voting procedure

A motion shall pass with the support of 50%+1 of voting members present.