Levi Watkins to speak Oct. 11; nominations still being accepted for student award

Levi Watkins Jr. (Vanderbilt)

Levi Watkins Jr., professor of cardiac surgery and dean of postdoctoral programs at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, will speak on “Human Defibrillation: History and Evolution” at noon Tuesday, Oct. 11, in 208 Light Hall. The talk marks the 10th annual Levi Watkins Jr. Lecture.

Watkins has made significant contributions toward increasing opportunities for underrepresented minorities in the sciences. A distinguished physician and researcher, in 1966 Watkins became the first African American student to be admitted to Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He was selected as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society and graduated in 1970. He continued his training at Johns Hopkins and Harvard.

Watkins is a member of the Vanderbilt Board of Trust. He embodies the attributes important for those serving as a role model for those pursuing careers in medicine and the biomedical sciences.

Nominations for the Levi Watkins Jr. Student Award are being accepted through Monday, Sept. 26. The award is presented annually to at least one graduate student and one medical student associated with Vanderbilt University School of Medicine who has made outstanding contributions to fostering a more diverse environment that enriches, encourages and embraces all School of Medicine students, faculty and administrators.

Send letters of nomination to George C. Hill, associate dean for diversity in medical education, to arrive no later than Sept. 26. Nominations may be sent to

Contact: Ella Butler, (615) 322-7498