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Barnett honored by AHA for minority student advocacy

Jun. 29, 2017, 10:23 AM

Joey Barnett, Ph.D., professor of Pharmacology at Vanderbilt and director of the Office of Medical Student Research, has received the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Louis B. Russell Jr. Memorial Award for his efforts as an advocate for the career advancement of minority students and trainees in cardiovascular science, and for increased representation of underserved communities among the AHA volunteer base.

Pharmacology graduate student Mark Crowder, left, presented the American Heart Association’s Louis B. Russell Jr. Memorial Award to Joey Barnett, Ph.D., vice chair of the Department of Pharmacology. (American Heart Association/Tim Sharp)

“Our volunteers play a critical role in the success of our organization,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer of the AHA. “We are proud to honor these individuals who have made outstanding contributions toward building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. As a volunteer-driven organization, we are indebted to these selfless leaders.”

The award recognizes an individual who has rendered outstanding service to minority and underserved populations.

“I am very pleased to accept this award on behalf of the efforts of the staff and volunteers who have worked to develop partnerships that both provide opportunities for underrepresented students and engage them in our mission,” said Barnett, assistant dean of Physician-Researcher Training and vice chair of the Department of Pharmacology.

“We worked together to identify and develop previously unrecognized alignments that we tapped to advance our mission. No organization does this better than the AHA.”

Aligning to the Medical Center’s Strategic Compass, the award that Joey Barnett, Ph.D., received from the American Heart Association represents ‘Make Diversity and Inclusion Intentional.’

The AHA, the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease and stroke, honored Barnett and others at its annual “best of the best” from the ranks of its 30 million volunteer supporters during ceremonies in Dallas on June 21.

Department of Pharmacology graduate student Mark Crowder presented the award to Barnett. Crowder worked in Barnett’s lab on weekends and during the summer as an undergraduate researcher before beginning graduate school in August 2015.

“Dr. Barnett is an awesome mentor. He’s really concerned about understanding your interests and creating opportunities for you to pursue them. He has this keen ability to see things in you that you can’t see in yourself. I’m here at Vanderbilt as a direct result of his mentorship,” Crowder said.

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