About CDU

June 2015

CDU News June 2015

 Click here to view the 8 page newsletter! Don’t forget there is a special Commencement Section starting on Page 3!

President David M. Carlisle's Commencement Remarks

Remarks delivered by CDU President and CEO David M. Carlisle at the 31st Commencement at The Stub Hub Center in Carson, CA, June 2, 2015.

"You Will Remember the Journey that Brought You Here"

President’s Commencement Address:

Good Morning, I am David M. Carlisle, President of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. 

Today, we celebrate the achievements of 215 students who have  contributed to the University’s Mission through inspiration, perseverance, and a commitment to serving the healthcare needs of others.  I am speaking of the members of the great Class of 2015.

Congratulations graduates! Today, you have reached a milestone in your lives.  But before you bask in the glow of your achievements, I remind you to thank your families and friends for their support and to thank others who have helped you to reach this milestone and accomplish more than you thought you could.  Yes, talented though you are, each of you has someone who has helped you reach this point. 

We have watched with pride as you worked to earn your caps and gowns through a combination of focus, resolve and determination. You may not remember the details of today’s ceremony but I am certain you will remember the journey that brought you here. 

Sir Winston Churchill once said, "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."  As a graduate of CDU you have accepted the responsibility to fulfill the University’s mission – to give of yourself in order to transform the lives of underserved and under-resourced communities by providing healthcare with compassion and excellence.   When you leave here, continue to apply the training you received at CDU.  Chart new paths and create opportunities to make a difference in your life and in the life of others. Work to make the highest quality healthcare services accessible to everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity or cultural background.  You are ambassadors of CDU and, again, while you may not remember everything that will happen during this ceremony the work you do will be remembered for a long time. 

I congratulate you all and wish you the very best as you start a new chapter in your life. Thank you again for representing CDU with pride and distinction.




CDU Health Professions Career Day a Rousing Success

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) hosted the CDU Health Professions Career
Day,  from 10 a.m. -  3 p.m. on  Friday, June 19, 2015 on campus.  The event was organized by The Student Alumni Network (SAN) in conjunction with iSTEM Scholars Program & Infrastructure Pipeline Clerkship Core and the Office of Admissions.

The CDU Health Professions Career Day helped attendees learn the direct path to a  variety of health professions, many of  which are offered by CDU’s College of Science and Health (COSH), the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing (MMDSON) and the College of Medicine (COM).
We offer degrees and certificates in the following: Urban Public Health, Medicine, Advanced Practice Nursing (Family Nurse Practitioner and Entry Level Master’s in Nursing), Radiologic Technology, Pre-Medicine, Health and Life Sciences.

Students heard from professionals in the fieldrepresenting companies including Kaiser Permanente, UCLA School of Dentistry, L.A. County, Los Angeles Urban League,  Western University and Charles R. Drew University of
Medicine and Science. For a complete scroll below.

The program included  a welcome and Introduction of the panel featuring the Deans of CDU's three schools,
by James Reed, Alumni Associate.  The Opening Session Guest Speaker was Barbara D. Trotter, EdD, Retired Director of Development, Inglewood Unified School District, IUSD

Breakout Sessions included: Overview of Academic Programs, Applying to
Health Professional Schools, where the session offered a review of the application process and discussed
how to be a competitive applicant to health professional schools
Panelists: Kelley Williford, Western University, Joe Corrao, Drew/UCLA Medical Education Program Edmond Hewlett, DDS, UCLA School of Dentistry, Keosha Partlow, PhD, MPH, CDU, Carol De Lilly. PhD, MSN, RN CDU, MMDSON
Preparing for Employment

Students heard from human resource departments in the healthcare industry about what they look for in an applicant
Panelists: Dante Sinclair, Kaiser Permanente, Elizabeth Maranon, CDU

A Day in the Life of a Healthcare Professional
Understand the educational background, career path, and current  role of these health professionals within their organizations, as well as tips and advice for pursuing that career.


Katayoun Moini, PA, CDU Physician Assistant Program
Eleby Washington, MD, Orthopedic, Surgeon, Edmond R. Hewlett, DDS, Patricia Etem, MPH, Health Career Connection, Tracy Charles, MD, Anesthesiologist

Erika Siever, MPH, Health Education Administrator, Dr. Juanita Ferrerosa, LA Chapter National Association of Hispanic Nurses, Carole Jordan-Harris, MD,OB/GYN, Association of Black Women Physicians, Eugene Hasson,
Director, CDU Radiologic Technology Program, Mohamamd Naghibi, PA-C

After a Networking Lunch in the Life Science Research Nursing Education (LSRNE)
Bldg. Foyer Atrium & Courtyard Students networked with presenters, organizations and CDU researchers offering volunteer, research and internship opportunities at a mini expo, attended by:

Patricia Etem, MPH Health Career Connection, Karla Cativo, Susan G. Komen, Los Angeles County
Courtney Porter, Los Angeles Urban League , Anabel Alcaraz Vargas, UCLA MEDPEP
Edmond Hewlett, DDS, UCLA School of Dentistry, Kierra Washington, COPE Health Solutions
Patricia Etem, MPH Health Career Connection, Kelley Williford, Western University, Victor Chaban, PhD, MSCR, CDU Faculty, Magda Shaheen, PhD, CDU Faculty, Yong Wu, MD, PhD, CDU Facult, y Suzanne Porszasz Reisz, PhD, CDU Faculty, Piwen Wang, PhD, CDU Faculty Monica Ferrini, PhD, CDU Faculty, Seyung Chung, PhD, CDU Faculty, Eva McGhee, PhD, CDU Faculty, May Ong, PhD, CDU Faculty

This event is partially sponsored by California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD).

For additional information, contact Alumni Associate, James Reed at 323-563-4983 or email: jamesreed@cdrewu.edu.





Oath and Honors Awards for College of Science and Health

1.    Here is a summary of awards and honors presented to the COSH Class of 2015:

For Event Photos, visit:

COSH:  Oath and Honors Cosh


The Geraldine Burton Branch Scholarship, granted to the student applicant who exemplifies the potential as a committed medical professional to build, shape and improve the overall health of underserved communities, and a commitment to their program and COSH:

·         Dorshey Jackson – Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Pre-Medicine

·         Kevin Kemp – Bachelor of Life Science Program

·         Donald Welker – Radiologic Technology Program

·         Angelina Flores – MPH Program in Urban Health Disparities


The Dr. Charles W. Buggs Award, presented to the graduate who has maintained the highest grade point average throughout training and exemplified personal characteristics of competence and compassion.  Each of the Dr. Charles W. Buggs Awardees, all graduates of the Post-Baccalaureate Program, maintained a perfect GPA of 4.0:

·         Hasson Ali                  

·         Kersti Bellardi             

·         Alexander Chan         

·         Shaveonte Graham   

·         Kevin Kemp               

·         Maryam Khalil            

·         Jillian Nanadiego        

·         Laura Ogunnya          

·         Daniel Oh                   

·         Paloma Reyes                       

·         Shelly-Anne Stewart             

·         Stephanie Wong


The Dr. Jack Mitchell Award, presented to the graduating senior who has demonstrated leadership among his or her peers in college-university activities and in the provision of health care to community residents.

·         Gerald Asare Bempong – MPH Program in Urban Health Disparities


The Dr. Raymond Kivel Award, presented to the graduating senior whose voluntary community service has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the delivery of health care in medically underserved communities.

·         Amirah Kouassi – MPH Program in Urban Health Disparities


The Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Award, presented to the graduating senior who has demonstrated the ability to persist in the face of adversity.

·         Bernardo Ochoa – MPH Program in Urban Health Disparities


2.    Congratulations also to all our Summa Cum Laude (at least 3.75 GPA), Magna Cum Laude (at least 3.50 GPA), Cum Laude (at least 3.25 GPA), Dean’s List (3.50 GPA or higher), and Honor Roll (3.00-3.49 GPA) graduates!


3.    We are very proud that three COSH faculty members received University honors at the May 28, 2015 Faculty Awards Recognition Event.  The following awards were presented to CDU faculty:


This year the Outstanding Professor Award was given to two CDU professors:


Dr. Shirley Evers-Manly, PhD, MSN, RN, Associate Dean & Assistant Professor, MMDSON;


Dr. Monica Ferrini, PhD, Acting Chair & Associate Professor, Department of Health and Life Sciences, COSH.


The 2015 Outstanding Service Award was presented to Dr. Gail Orum, PharmD, former Dean of the College of Science and Health.


The CDU Education Legacy Award was presented to Mr. Eugene Hasson, MS, RT (R), CRT, Director & Assistant Professor, Radiologic Technology Program.


Oath and Honors Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing (MMDSON)

Event Photos:

Moncler Outlethttp://cdrewu.smugmug.com/Oath-and-Honors-2015-Mervyn-M 

The following are awards and accolades received at the Oath and Honors Ceremony celebrating the academic and leadership achievements of student of the MMDSON.

Honor Society:  Christopher Roberson, Jessica Helman-Cubilla, Kristoffer Alberto, Nicole Daniels, Elizabeth Wells, Steve Yang, Jamie Macachor, Amarachi Nwachukwu, Carine Tende, Rachelle Coleman, and Daphne Opoku.

Dean's Leadership Award

The award is given annually to a student whom the Dean of Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing has selected and demonstrates evidence of leadership, student governance, advocacy and community outreach. The student demonstrates dedication to the nursing education and commitment to supporting nursing advancement.

Shylo Shaner

Amanda White


Namahyoke Sockum Curtis Excellence in Academic Achievement

The faculty of the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing established the Namahyoke Sockum Curtis excellence in Academic Achievement Award. The award is given annually to a student graduating with an outstanding grade point average and the strongest Faculty recommendations attesting to overall academic and clinical achievement. The student demonstrates dedication to the nursing profession and commitment to supporting nursing excellence.

Crisjun Abrea

Haydee Divino

Harjeet Randhawa

Christopher Roberson

Irma Galang


The Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing

Clinical Excellence Award

The award is given annually to a student whom the Faculty of Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing has selected and demonstrates evidence of providing high quality patient-centered care, clinical excellence, compassion and commitment to clinical practice. The student demonstrates dedication to the nursing profession and advancing Nursing practice forward.

Steve Yang

Danilo Mercado


Bridges to the Doctorate Program

The purpose of the Bridges to the Doctorate Program is to enhance the pool of master's degree students from underrepresented backgrounds who are trained and available to participate in NIH-funded research. The Bridge to the Doctorate fellowship supports MMDSON students who plan to matriculate to the PhD program Nursing Scholars program at the UCLA School of Nursing. The Nursing Scholars program provides a one-year mentored research experience to prepare students to apply to the PhD program at the UCLA School of Nursing. This innovative program, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health (5R25GM102777) through the CDU -UCLA Partnership for Enhancing Diversity of Nurses with Research Careers, is administered jointly by the Center for Advancement of Gerontological Nursing Science (AGNS), Charles Drew University Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing and the UCLA School of Nursing. The program targets masters-level nursing students who aspire to teach nursing and conduct nursing research focused on aging. Students selected for this program have a GPA of 3.5 or higher each quarter and are selected by faculty and mentors at MMSON and UCLA Schools of Nursing as well as the Bridges Program Advisory Board.


Ariz Guzman

Brendan Oluoha

Selamawit Balcha

Tiffany Dzou



Oath and Honors: College of Medicine Class of 2015

Click for more of Kim Kumpart's photos

The following students received awards for outstanding academic and leadership achievement:

Dr. Charles R. Drew Award, The College of Medicine’s highest award; this honor is presented to the graduating senior who has most exemplified the combination of compassion and academic excellence over all years of training. Winners of this award perform in a manner exemplary of the institution’s mission, with great compassion in clinical service and outstanding participation in community service.  – Winner: Alicia Morehead-Gee

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Award, Named for the noted civil rights leader, awarded to the graduating student who has most exemplified peer support and advocacy.  – Winner: Tanesha Moss

Dr. Rebecca Lee AwardThis award is named for the first African American woman to receive the M.D. degree in the United States, and is presented to the graduating student who has best exemplified excellent performance despite adverse circumstances.  – Winner: B. Michelle Strong

Dr. Carlos Conseco Gonzalez AwardThis award is named for the physician who was honored as of the “Public Health Heroes of the Americas” by the Pan American Health Organization. This award is presented to the student who has most exemplified excellence in community service or public health.  WinnerGuillermo Padilla

Dr. Geraldine Burton-Branch AwardNamed for the outstanding physician who resides in the community served by the former King-Drew Medical Center and is presented to the graduating student who has demonstrated outstanding performance in the Primary Care Course during the clinical years. Winner – Christine Russell

Dr. Mitchell Spellman AwardNamed for the first dean of the College of Medicine and is presented to the graduating senior who has demonstrated unique and noteworthy achievements outside the areas of academic medicine and community service. Winner – Cynthia Mendez-Kohlieber


Cesar Chavez AwardNamed for the noted Mexican-American labor leader and civil rights activist, and is presented to the student who exemplifies his commitment to education and service. Winner – Erik Gonzalez

Peer Advocacy Award, presented to the graduating student who has advocated for and represented their classmates throughout their medical school career.  Winner – Lujia Zhang

Dean’s Award of Excellence, presented to the student who has excelled academically throughout their medical school career.  Winner – Alicia Morehead-Gee


Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award, sponsored by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, this award is presented to the student and faculty member who best demonstrate the Foundation’s ideals of outstanding compassion in the delivery of care, respect for patients, their families, and healthcare colleagues, as well as demonstrated clinical excellence. Winner (student) – Ruth Getachew; Winner (faculty) – Dr. Jimmy Hara

 Medical Student Research Thesis Program Award for Excellence in Research:


1st Place: Alicia Morehead-Gee


2nd Place: Lujia Zhang


3rd Place: Cynthia Mendez-Kohlieber





Dr. Carlisle Appeals to the CA State Senate on Education Bill AB 25, Authored Assemblymember Mike Gipson Assembly member Mike Gipson presented the bill for unanimous passage

To watch the video of the hearing, visit this link:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFA5AX1-S2E&feature=youtu.be

On June 24, CDU President and CEO Dr. David M. Moncler OutletCarlisle testified before the California State Senate Education  Committee in support of AB 25, a motion brought by CA Assemblymember Mike Gipson that would require the Student Aid Commission to establish an appeal process for an otherwise qualifying institution that fails to satisfy the 3-year cohort default rate and graduation rate requirements, and would make no substantive and conforming changes. This Cal Grant Appeal Process bill contains other existing laws.

It is designed for institutions that fail to meet the eligibility requirements if they have a first-time full-time cohort of less than 20 students and would be otherwise qualified.

Assemblymember Mike Gipson, who authored the bill for schools that are unable to meet the current Cal Grant eligibility criteria. He said “Current law provides Cal Grant eligibility post secondary, trade schools, colleges and University for students in the basis of financial need . Recently the budget act of 2011 and 2012 created an additional requirement for colleges participating in the Cal Grant Program focusing  on whether or not first time full time students meet certain graduation, loan default, rate requirements.  While these requirements are well intended, they have exposed the vulnerability of small, specialized non-profit universities that typically have a lower number of first time, full-time students. AB 25 seeks to resolve this problem by creating an appeal process to reconsider colleges that have small cohorts of first-time full-time students  where it is found that the students cohorts is not a reflection of the overall campus performance.

The Assemblymember introduced  President and CEO Dr. David M. Carlisle who leads the Southern California-based  Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, located in the Watts/Willowbrook area, to start off the speakers in support of the bill.

Said Dr. Carlisle:

“I am here on behalf of the University to ask your support and aye vote on Assembly Bill 25 as authored by Assemblymember Mike Gipson. Due to recent changes within the California Education code,  the University is currently ineligible to participate in the Cal Grant program.  Ironically, this comes at the very time the University is seeking to expand it’s undergraduate enrollment to provide increased access to higher education, especially for students that are interested in the pathway to careers in the health profession.

These changes, among other things, require the CA Student Aid Commission to certify an institution’s graduation rate for full-time, first-time in college matriculants  or FTFT students to determine eligibility for the Cal Grant Program.  The law declares, among other things, that an institution is ineligible for participation when the institution has a six year graduation rate of 30% or less for these FTFP students. While the University fully supports the use of a graduation rate metric, we believe  that the methodology used to determine Cal Grant Eligibility has had an unintentional and adverse impact on our university and perhaps other schools with small cohorts of FTFT. In our case, the number of FTFT students was 9 in 2005 and only 4 in 2006, the years of matriculation that the current standard applies to.  Most of these 13 students enrolled in one poorly performing program that the University has subsequently discontinued. All but one left the university within one or two years of their original matriculation.

CDU’s over all undergraduate graduation outcomes are much better than the FTFT outcomes referenced with 65% or more student graduating in every year. “

Dr. Carlisle referenced other efforts to rectify the situation which resulted in this legislative remedy.

Representatives from the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, the California Student Aid Commission, and the Council of Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities gave support. No opposition was expressed.  The bill was moved and passed with a unanimous vote, waiting for absent members to register their votes.

To view the proceeding, including the full remarks of Assemblymember Gipson and Dr. Carlisle’s watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFA5AX1-S2E&feature=youtu.be

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