About CDU

June 2013

Message from the President


Dear CDU Students, Alumni, Faculty, and Staff:
Our 29th commencement kicked off this month with CDU’s largest graduating class to date transitioning from students to alumni. It was a proud moment for me to witness the bright smiles of our newly minted CDU alumni and the cheers from their family and friends as they crossed the stage. We also celebrated receiving the largest individual gift in CDU history, of $1 million dollars, from Mr. Joe and Mrs. Emma Adams. This gift will provide scholarships for current and future CDU students. Mr. and Mrs. Adams are outstanding examples of giving back to your community.
We continue to reinforce and encourage the spirit of giving with the Operation: Giving campaign, presented by Laurell Black from the College of Science and Health, to assist those that were affected by the Oklahoma tornadoes in late May.
In July, CDU will enthusiastically welcome our new Interim Provost, Mary E. Boyce, PhD. Dr. Boyce brings significant experience in organizational development and in her own words, “comes to CDU with tremendous excitement and desire to be part of the CDU mission to educate healthcare providers for under-served communities.”
Welcome to CDU Dr. Boyce!
I look forward to an outstanding summer, and wish you all a wonderful summer!

Dr. David M. Carlisle 

In the wake of the tragedies in Oklahoma, (CDU) is galvanizing to assist in relief efforts for individuals and families that have lost their homes and are in immediate need of food, clothing, and most importantly, the human assurance that they are not alone. To address those needs, CDU is taking the lead in a newly created project inspired by Laurell L. Black (a member of the staff in the College of Science and Health) called, “Operation: Giving.” We would like to encourage you, between now and July 9th, to join our efforts by donating to this worthwhile cause. To date, we have raised over $800.00.

Click the link below for more information and to give today. #CDUGive


Upcoming Dates and CDU Events

Commencement Ceremony
Dr. Charles R. Drew's Birthday
Dr. Charles R. Drew Birthday Celebration
7th Annual Dr. Charles R. Drew Blood Drive & Free Health Fair
MIDARP's 8th Annual Drug Addiction Research Symposium
6/14/2013 :
HIV Continuing Education Series for Nurse
6/26/2013 :
University Open Forum
6/27/2013 :
National HIV Testing Day

8th Annual Drug Addiction Research Symposium

On Friday June 14th we hosted the 8th Annual Drug Addiction Research Symposium. Presentations were made that illustrated how drug addiction is a disease that can be triggered by exposure to illicit substances in adolescent years. Nicotine, alcohol, prescription drugs, and street drugs were all named as substances that people with the disease of addiction, tend to abuse. The studies that were presented also went in depth about how the brain's receptors react to the substance, and how both cognitive and medicinal treatments are necessary to treat addicts.  NIDA is making strides in having counselors present to educate patients that are seen in Emergency Rooms f or drug-related circumstances, to prevent reoccurrence. 

We hosted 171 attendees, including attendees from UCLA, El Paso, TX, and UC San Bernardino through WebEx and Teleconferencing.

For more information on the presenters and their studies

Click here to see the biography of Rasheed Ivey

Click here to see the biography of Dr. Amiya Sinha-Hikim

Click here to see the biography of Angelica Morales

Click here to see the biography of Dennis Corry

Click here to see the biography of Desean Lee

Click here to see the biography of Priscilla Hunt

Click here to read the biography of Laura Thomas

Click here to read the biography of Henry Lester

Click here to read the biography of Maria Sanchez

Click here to read the biography of Laura Odell

Click here to read the biography of Oralia Loza


Dr. David Shurtleff, PhD

College Bound Prep Alumni Day

On Tuesday, June 18, the College of Science and Health welcomed back students who had previously participated in the University’s College Bound Prep program.  College Bound Prep Alumni Day provided students with sessions on financial aid, choosing the right college, and a keynote address by Charles R. Drew faculty member, Dr. Christopher Reid.  

College Bound Prep alumni also attended a presentation by COPE Health Solutions, providing students with opportunities to gain valuable clinical experience while in college.  All participating students received a certificate of appreciation recognizing their efforts. 

Students were reminded by Dr. Reid that, “a plan is simply a dream with a schedule”, and that with adequate planning, those dreams will be achieved. 

Special thanks to all who participated. 

Commencement 2013

CDU conferred degrees and certificates upon its largest class ever, 303 graduates, at the University’s 29th Commencement ceremony.  Graduates from every CDU program were honored with pomp and circumstance in one University-wide ceremony, including 17 graduates from the College of Medicine, 221 from the School of Nursing and 65 from the College of Medicine and Science.

The commencement theme chosen by members of the graduating class was a reflection on Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “What lies behind us, and what lies before us, are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

 “Your lifelong commitment to the health care field is empowering individuals to make healthier decisions and live longer, happier lives,” said Dr. David M. Carlisle, President of CDU.  “Each one of your stories will forever be woven into the legacy of Charles R. Drew University’s living history as you venture into the community with compassion and excellence.

Keynote Speaker Diana Bontá, R.N., Dr. P.H., President and CEO, The California Wellness Foundation highlighted the important role CDU graduates will play in today’s healthcare workforce.  Dr. Bonta' encouraged graduates that they need to be healthy themselves in order to provide adequate healthcare. She also stated that happiness in the workplace greatly contributes to one's attitude towards their job, so during their interview processes, they should be screening their employers just as closely as they as candidates are being screened

Nola Carter, one of the founding members of CDU, received The President’s Medal for her extraordinary and unique service to CDU.  She was a leading community advocate for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital, and thusly the University, and avidly supported health care access for South Los Angeles. Ms. Carter is 94 years old, and still supports the University and is an active member of the community block organization. 

In addition, the Board of Trustees Medal of Honor was given to Mr. and Mrs. Joe and Emma Adams. Mr. Adams was the first African American DJ to host a prime-time show in Los Angeles. For more than 4 decades, he managed the career of Ray Charles.  Mr. Adams was at the helm of the Ray Charles Corporation until his retirement and now serves as Chairman of the Board of The Ray Charles Foundation.

Active philanthropists and great believers in the power of education to transform the lives of youth, the Adams’ wanted to give back to the community where they were raised. The Medal of Honor is the highest honor from the board of trustees bestowed to the recipient who best exemplifies the spirit of CDU’s mission, to serve the underserved with excellence and compassion.

Honorary degrees were bestowed upon both: Dr. David E. Hayes-Bautista, Professor of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA and Director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture; and Cynthia C. Davis, MPH, Director of the HIV Mobile Outreach Project and Assistant Professor of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. 

National HIV Testing Day

As part of National HIV Testing Day, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) will be hosting several events during the week of June 24-30, 2013. CDU, working in collaboration with Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, will offer free HIV rapid testing at several locations around the South Los Angeles area.  With an oral swab or finger stick, individuals can know their HIV status, and if HIV positive, they can be immediately referred to local HIV/AIDS treatment clinics.  Gift cards will be given to those who stop by to take an HIV rapid test.

According to the CDC, it is estimated that 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV infection and 1 of every 5 of these Americans do not know that they are HIV infected.  By race, African Americans are more severely affected by HIV.  In Los Angeles County, with 10 million residents, the local health department estimates that there are 62,800 people living with HIV/AIDS and of these, 13,500 are HIV positive and do not know their status.

The National Association of People Living with AIDS initiated the first National HIV Testing Day in 1995 in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local HIV/AIDS service providers across the country.  Now in its 18th year, CDU and other HIV/AIDS service providers throughout Los Angeles County will be honoring the day by offering free HIV rapid testing.

Remaining HIV Testing locations and times:

June 30, 2013
8 AM - 3 PM
Crenshaw Christian Center
7901 South Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90044

Schweitzer Fellowship Awardees

Three Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) students were selected for the prestigious Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASP).  They are among 20 graduate-level students chosen for the 2013-2014 class of Los Angeles Schweitzer Fellows who will spend a year learning to effectively address the social factors that impact health and developing lifelong leadership skills in the name of famed physician and humanitarian, Albert Schweitzer. The three are among nine students awarded the fellowship in the past.

Lyndsey Bradley and Hannah Kim are students of the College of Medicine, Class of 2016. Both Kim and Bradley are helping students understand the social determinants of health and connecting them to resources that will address these issues with HealthBegins.

Sonia Morales is a Class of 2014 student in the College of Medicine.

Sonia Morales is bringing a Photonovela and a one-on-one education intervention program to families of pediatric cancer survivors in the community setting with PADRES Contra El Cancer.

Morales said, “This is so exciting, and the timing of the Schweitzer fellowship for me is perfect. Having the opportunity to bring resources to communities that otherwise lack them, hits close to home for me personally.”

After completing their project, these students will become Schweitzer Fellows for Life, a network of 2,500 individuals dedicated to addressing health disparities.


Hannah Kim said, "I am so grateful to have this opportunity to work with HealthBegins."

Established in 1992, the mission of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship is to develop individuals who are dedicated and skilled in addressing the health needs of underserved communities, and whose example influences and inspires others. 

The Los Angeles Schweitzer Fellows program, founded in 2007, is a collaboration between Kaiser Permanente; Los Angeles Physicians for Social Responsibility; Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County; University of Southern California; and University of California, Los Angeles. Kaiser Permanente of Southern California provides funding.

Hannah KimLyndsey BradleySonia Morales

Schweitzer Fellows Hannah Kim, Lyndsey Bradley, and Sonia Morales

CDU makes history with $1m gift

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

Langston Hughes

With the history making gift from the Joe and Emma Adams foundation of $1 million dollars, we have increased the availability of scholarships so that students who wish to pursue a higher education at CDU have the opportunity to do so.

The donation comes from Joe Adams and his wife, Emma, and will establish the Adams Scholars, which will provide scholarships to cover tuition for undergraduates based on their financial need.

“These funds will reinforce CDU’s commitment to serve talented students who may not otherwise be able to afford tuition and many of whom are the first in their families to go to college,” Drew President David M. Carlisle said in a statement.

Joe Adams grew up in Watts, near the Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles where Drew University is located.

“I wanted to give back to the neighborhood where I grew up, gained experience and met the many challenges in my life,” said Adams, 89.

In the 1940s, Adams was the first African American to host a prime-time radio show in Los Angeles. He hosted television programs and also worked as a film actor. In the late 1950s, a friend from his radio days, Ray Charles, asked him to join a tour and Adams went on to serve as the singer’s business manager until Charles’ death in 2004.

He headed the Ray Charles Corp. until his 2008 retirement and is chairman of the board of the Ray Charles Foundation.

Joe and Emma Adams are philanthropists who have also made gifts to Morehouse College and Spelman College in Atlanta. The couple were given the Board of Trustees Medal of Honor during Drew University’s commencement ceremony on June 1st.

“Funding scholarships at [Drew] is funding the well-being of South Los Angeles and that is a worthy investment,”  Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said of the Adams’ gift.

 Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Dr. Carlisle, Board Chair Marvin O'Quinn, Emma Adams, Joe Adams

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