The celebration included native foods, traditional dress, flags, music and dancing.

“I don’t think there is anything more important than coming together and sharing your culture with other people,” said M-1 student Casey Dedeugd, one of the event organizers. “Every day I’m surprised at how diverse our class is. Every day I learn something new about other people.”

College of Medicine faculty and staff members and students enjoyed an international feast, including beef samosa from India, Philippine noodles, smoked salmon, grilled eggplant salad, kraut and mushroom spinach, che dau – a sweet rice and bean desert from Vietnam – and a perennial favorite, M-2 student Romeo Joseph’s awesome baked chicken.

Dr. Juan Cendan, assistant dean and medical director, Clinical Skills and Simulation Center, played classical Spanish guitar and several students performed dances from their heritage in the medical education building’s atrium.

Dr. Mohammed Khalil, assistant professor of Anatomy, wore a Jalabin, a traditional wardrobe from his native Sudan. He said celebrating the College of Medicine’s diversity not only builds fellowship at the medical school, it helps students become better doctors. “Learning about different cultures is so important for how doctors communicate with their patients,” he said.