About CDU

February 2014

Message from the President

Dr. CarlisleDear CDU Family,

This month, the University celebrated Black History Month with a number of hosted events. I want to thank all CDU students, faculty and staff for attending and volunteering at those events. I want to especially thank the University’s Black History Month Planning Committee for their time and hard work. Your efforts paid off. You did a great job!

Also, this month, we heard our students’ voice their concerns about the University at a student forum. I want to again thank our students for bringing the issues forward. As I stated in my previous weekly President's Message, it is my intent, and that of my administration, to address each of these concerns expeditiously, collaboratively, and constructively. Towards that end, a Task Force, under the direction of Dr. Mary Boyce, Interim Provost, has been formed to address the issues raised. The Taskforce is committed to a forthright and vigorous examination of concerns and has made progress in several areas. You can expect to read about their progress in Dr. Boyce’s update to the campus community within the next few days.

As you know, this university was formed to provide educational and employment opportunities to the underserved community of South Central Los Angeles, and to train health care providers to a standard of excellence in order to serve it. For nearly 50 years we have excelled in accomplishing these goals. We have trained literally thousands of talented health care professionals, who continue to provide compassionate care to those who need it most. I'm so very proud of this ongoing legacy of service, and I hope you are, too..


President David M. Carlisle

Get Your Spring Gala 2014 Tickets!

Purchase tickets for the Spring Gala now.

The Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science Legacy Leaders Spring Gala raises awareness of individuals – “legends” – whose life and work embody CDU’s legacy of service through education, patient care, and research.

The event also raises awareness of the University’s phenomenal academic and pipeline programs, which educate students and train future health providers that are as diverse as California’s population. This year, the CDU Legacy Leaders Spring Gala will honor Dr. Gus Gill, a Board Certified Otolaryngologist and Surgeon who served as the Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology at CDU from 1978 until 2006.

We anticipate more than 300 CDU friends and alumni will join us at the event to recognize a legend and raise funds to support CDU students, academic programs, and pipeline programs. RSVP to advancement@cdrewu.edu by April 20.

The Farmer's Market Celebrates 1st Anniversary

One year ago, the Vermont Village/CDU Farmers’ Market was established to provide fresh fruits and vegetables targeting community residents and members of Crenshaw Christian Center’s congregations who reside in “Food Desert” areas in South Los Angeles.

Professor Cynthia Davis, Market Director, was heartened to see the Market's growth. "The anniversary celebration was a phenomenal success, drawing more than 200 people who had a chance to win bicycles, a flat screen TV, and other prizes." 

"We are looking forward to our 2nd year anniversary and ask that the University continue to support the Farmer’s Market and come out and shop every Friday and 2nd Sunday!"

The Farmer’s Market is held every Friday and second Sunday from 10 am until 2 pm at Crenshaw Christian Center, 7900 S. Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles. View more photos from the event.

Upcoming events

March 5: Hom(e)ophobia: Love, the home and HIV/AIDS prevention with Claudia Spears and Lenworth Poyser
March 12: The Red Cross: CDU’s namesake and history and the organization today. Darrin Greenlee, CEO Red Cross, and Daughter of Charles R. Drew--Sylvia Drew Ivie
March 24 through March 28: Student Spring Break (CDU open)
March 31: Cesar Chavez Day (CDU closed)
April 5: KJLH Women's Health Forum at the L.A. Convention Center

Dr. Gus Gill to Speak about the History of Man for Black History Month

As part of the Senior Speaker Series, Dr. Gus Gill delivered a Black History Month presentation on "The History of Man" February 26 at noon in Keck Lecture Hall. A four-person panel peppered him with questions to which he responded—often in humorous fashion. Panelists were:  Edna Yohannes, Nate Clark, Clemente Aroh and V.P. Angela Minniefield.  
A board certified otolaryngologist, Dr. Gill graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School, and completed his postgraduate training at the UM Medical Center. Dr. Gill moved to Los Angeles in 1976. 
Dr. Gill is currently an Associate Professor, Department of Otolaryngology at Charles R. Drew University. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology. Dr. Gill is past President of the Academic Senate and an officer of Drew CARES International. Dr. Gus Gill currently serves as Special Advisor to CDU President David Carlisle. Read more about Black notables in medical history here

Learning from the Past to Understand the Future

Black History Month was kicked off with a dynamic lecture delivered by Tim Watkins, President and CEO of the Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC), and son of the legendary Ted Watkins, former CDU board member and WLCAC founder. Mr. Watkins is pictured above with Dr. Carlisle, his daughter Tina Watkins, and Clement Aroh, CDU student leader.Moncler Outlet

Mr. Watkins remembered the early struggles to get CDU established from his father's integral involvement. His daughter Tina accompanied him and sang a soul-stirring version of Strange Fruit, which was very well received. His daughter Treschelle Watkins also attended the event. They are all very much involved with maintaining the legacy of WLCAC which has now evolved into a large multi-acre site that is the center of the Watts community. View more photos of Tim Watkins' lecture.

The next BHM event was paired with Crossing the Cultural Divide, which the University uses to educate the CDU family on the wide variety of cultures shared on this campus. The Black History Month feature was Mr. Clement Aroh, CDSG Student President, Health & Life Sciences Program Class of 2014. He educated participants on Nigerian culture and brought energetic African dancers.  Many on campus heeded the call to come dressed in a wide variety of African attire and an authentic West African meal was enjoyed by many.

Radiologic Posters Presentations

On January 27, the College of Science and Health Radiologic Technology Program held its Student Clinical Posters Presentations in the Cobb Library. Program Director Eugene Hasson and Assistant Professor Carmen Saunders oversaw the presentations. View more photos of student posters and presentations in the CDU Newsletter Photo Gallery.

Bust Unveiling Ceremony Honors Dr. Mervyn Dymally

On February 27, the bust unveiling ceremony honoring the late Dr. Mervyn M. Dymally was held in the Life Science, Research and Nursing Education Building Atrium where it will reside, because that is where the  Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing is housed. The event was attended by Alice Dymally, his widow, L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Dr. Kenneth Orduna, who served at Dr. Dymally’s Chief-of-Staff. There were many other dignitaries on hand.  These photos tell the story!

Remembering Dr. Mitchell Spellman, CDU Founding Dean

On Feb 12 family, friends, and the CDU family came together to commemorate the life of Dr. Mitchell Spellman. Dr. Spellman served as the founding dean of CDU and passed away on November 11, 2013 at the age of 93.

Dr. Spellman was a pioneer among African-Americans in academic medicine. He graduated Magna Cum Laude and valedictorian from Dillard University in New Orleans in 1940 before graduating from Howard University College of Medicine ranked 2nd in his class.

Influenced by his mentor, Dr. Charles R. Drew, he began 11 years of post-medical surgical training at the University of Minnesota. He received his Ph.D in Surgery from the University of Minnesota in 1955. 

For many years Dr. Spellman was a cornerstone of the CDU community: he was Founding Dean, Executive Dean and Professor of Surgery at CDU Postgraduate Medical School from 1969 to 1978. He was Assistant Dean and Professor of Surgery at UCLA School of Medicine, and Clinical Professor of Surgery at USC School of Medicine.

From 1978-2004, he served as Dean for Medical Services, Professor of Surgery, Director of International Medical Programs and Executive Vice President of the Harvard Medical Center. He was also Director of Academic Alliances and International Exchange Programs for Harvard Medical International.

His impact on the medical and local communities cannot be fully measured, and our hearts go out to Dr. Spellman's wife and family.

Are You My Type? Blood Drive a Success!

Thanks to people like Dr. Thomas Magee, (COSH) the MPHSA Blood Drive was a success!  Congrats to Ashanti Fisher and all the students who worked hard to get blood that will save lives. Click here for photos.

CDU Alum, Dr. George Marks: Tips to Keep Your Heart TIcking

In honor of February’s American Heart Month, Dr. George L. Marks, Jr., lead Physician in the Division of Cardiology at the Martin Luther King Multi-service Ambulatory Care Center, shares the following tips on how to prevent heart disease at any age:

Control your weight with healthy eating and regular exercise.

A healthy lifestyle can significantly decrease your risk of heart disease. Replace bad habits such as smoking and sedentary behavior for more active behavior, including exercise and conscious eating practices.

Lower your LDL cholesterol (the "bad" type) and control your blood pressure.

Maintaining healthy levels of good cholesterol and bad cholesterol can not only prevent heart disease but can also eliminate risk of high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, and obesity -- which can all lead to heart failure. Check your blood pressure and cholesterol regularly.

Get regular check-ups and see your doctor immediately at the first sign of heart problems.

Establishing a relationship with a physician can ease the lifestyle change to gaining a healthy heart.

CDU-trained cardiologist Dr. George Marks shared an expanded version of this article in the LA Sentinel; read the full article here.  

Apply for Mission Maker Mini-Grant

The Office of Strategic Advancement is now accepting applications for the CDU Annual Mission Maker Mini-Grant Program. Supported by the Annual Mission Maker Campaign, the Mini-Grant Program will support projects not traditionally funded through the normal budget cycle.

Priority will be given to proposals that demonstrate direct support for students; the ability to support and enhance student success; and/or engage the community.  To request or submit the Mini-Grant Application Form, email Jasmine Hill in the Office of Strategic Advancement at jasminehill@cdrewu.eduAll applications are due Tuesday, March 25, 2014 by 5 pm. 

Please keep those donations coming!  And thanks to all who donated already!

Welcome Baby Ryan to the CDU family!

CDU welcomes webmaster Ali Roshan's and his wife Jacinda's new baby boy Ryan! He was born Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 1:45 a.m. He was 7 lbs, 8 oz. and 20 inches tall. Says new Dad Ali, "It was touch and go whether he would have been a Valentine's Baby, but he held on long enough to have his own day to himself."

Congratulations, Ali and Jacinda!

Dr. Keith L. Black, Chairman of the Neurosurgery Department at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

On February 16, world-renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Keith L. Black, Chairman of the Neurosurgery Department at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, presented a stimulating lecture on the devastating impact of Alzheimer’s disease on the African American community at Crenshaw Christian Center.

The presentation focused on tips for management and signs for detecting the disease early, which can allow for earlier use of available Alzheimer’s disease treatments. African Americans are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s or another dementia, but less likely to have a diagnosis. Health conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes are more prevalent in African Americans and are also risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. Read Dr. Black's Brain Health Blog here and view more photos of the event here.

Alumni Corner

Purchase your tickets now for the Spring GalaThe Gala will be a great opportunity to catch up with classmates and reconnect with the CDU community while raising money for current students who need it. 

All alumni of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, including our Post Graduate Medical School alums, can view community updates in our most recent quarterly newsletter.

Get more alumni updates and information at http://www.cdu-alumni.net/ and learn about the benefits of joining the alumni association.


A High Honor for Dr. Vadgama

 Dr. Jay Vadgama, Interim Executive Vice President for Research and Health Affairs, has been selected to serve on the prestigous Wellcome Trust in London as a peer reviewer.

The letter from the Trust read in part: "These are prestigious awards and as such the Trust seeks to obtain the very best peer reviewers to aid the Interview Panel in its final choice of applicant for award. You have been identified as an expert in the field and we invite you to provide your views on this application." Congratulations, Dr. Vadgama!


About the CDU Newsletter

The CDU Monthly Newsletter is published during the last week of every month. Please send articles, photos, events, and any other submissions to isidrapersonlynn@cdrewu.edu. Thanks to William Paz-Leiva for his photographic contributions.

Stay connected to CDU through email broadcasts, online at www.cdrewu.edu, on our Facebook page, and through our Twitter feed @cdrewu.

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science is located at 1731 120th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90059. Call (323) 563-5833 for newsletter information.


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