Five Black Scholars Who Have Been Appointed to New Positions

Brandon A. Owens, Sr. was appointed vice president of academic affairs at Wilberforce University in Ohio. In his most recent position, Dr. Owens served as associate professor and director of the J. F. Drake Memorial Learning Resources Center and State Black Archives, Research Center, and Museum at Alabama A&M University.

Dr. Owens earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Fisk University in Nashville. He holds a master’s degree in history from Alabama State University, and a master of library science degree and a Ph.D. in public history from Middle Tennessee State University.

LaDaryl Watkins is a new clinical assistant professor in the nursing program at Mississippi State University-Meridian. She was a family nurse practitioner for the school-based clinics of the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

Watkins is a graduate of Tougaloo College in Mississippi. She holds a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a master’s degree in health promotion and education from Jackson State University in Mississippi. She is currently studying for a Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Lynda Gardner was named chair of the department of pediatrics at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Georgia. Dr. Gardner also serves as director of the Pediatric Residency Training Program and is credited with significantly increasing the board pass rate for the program, as well as expanding subspecialty opportunities for pediatric residents. Dr. Gardner continues to direct the Community Pediatrics Rotation, which focuses on the social determinants of health and health disparities.

Dr. Gardner earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and a medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She completed her residency in pediatrics at Emory University in Atlanta.

Patrick Otim was promoted to associate professor of history at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. His research is focused on African intellectual history, health and healing, crime and punishment, and transitional justice.

Dr. Otim is a graduate of Makerere University in Uganda. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in African history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Gentry Patrick, a professor of neurobiology and director of the Center for Empathy and Social Justice in Human Health at the University of California San Diego, has been named as the inaugural holder of the Kavli and Dr. William and Marisa Rastetter Chancellor’s Endowed Chair in Neurobiology. Dr. Patrick’s research focuses on how the molecular makeup of synapses is modified in health and disease, which may lead to breakthroughs in understanding and treating disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and others. He joined the faculty at the university in 2004.

Dr. Patrick is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. He earned a master’s degree at the University of California, San Francisco and a Ph.D in neurobiology from Harvard University.

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