Black History Month Profiles: 20 Inspiring USU Alumni

By Sharon Holland and Dominga Wilson-Moreno

Black History Month is celebrated in February to honor the contributions, achievements, challenges and struggles of African Americans throughout the history of our nation.  Here are 20 inspiring African American Uniformed Services University graduates who have made, or are making remarkable strides in medicine, nursing, dentistry, science, and leadership.

Maceo Braxton, Jr. , MD, School of Medicine Class of 1980

Photo courtesy of Uniformed Services
Maceo "Mace" Braxton, Jr., was a member of the first USU F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine class, graduating as one of only 29 students in 1980.  A West Point graduate, Braxton pursued a surgery residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, followed by thoracic surgery fellowship, also at Walter Reed. In 1998, then-Lt.Col. (Dr.) Braxton retired from active duty, and moved to Salina,
Kansas, where he started the cardiothoracic surgery program at the Salina Regional Health Center, which he ran for 20 years. Braxton was a member of the National Medical Association, the Kansas Medical Society and the American College of Surgeons. He was an active member of his community, and served on the Salina YMCA Board of Directors, the Board of Directors of Kansas Wesleyan University, Salina Chamber of Commerce and St. John's Military School. Following his untimely death in 2008 the Salina Regional Health Foundation established a named endowment in his honor to support their annual Cardiac Symposium.

Keith W. Crawford, PhD, RPh, Graduate Education Class of 1992

Dr. Keith W. Crawford serves as program officer for the Drug Development and Clinical Sciences Branch at the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, where he manages a portfolio of research studies, evaluates the quality of research laboratories performing virologic assays and advances initiatives related to novel assay development in HIV Cure research.

Photo courtesy of NIAID
He began his career as a Clinical Pharmacy resident at the National Institutes of Health, and  continued as a Pharmacology staff fellow at National Institute of Diabetes Digestive and Kidney Disease.  He was a health scientist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, assistant chief of Public Health Research for the U.S. Military HIV Research Program, and research
associate in the Clinical Pharmacology division at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Crawford holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from USU, and Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology and Pharmacy from Cornell University and Temple University School of Pharmacy, respectively. In addition, he completed coursework in the Graduate Training Program in Clinical Investigation at The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Crawford has received numerous honors including two patents for his work on innovative pharmacologic approaches to killing breast tumor cells, and suppressing HIV replication in lymphocytes. He also won two first place awards in microbiology and botany in a Washington DC city-wide science fair; he has published research in leading journals such as Cancer Research, Journal of The Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (JAIDS) and AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses.

Maj. Gen. Telita Crosland, School of Medicine Class of 1993

Maj. Gen. (Dr.) Telita Crosland is the deputy surgeon general of the United States Army,  deputy commanding general for Operations, and chief of the Army Medical Corps.  She holds the second highest position in the Army medical department and assists the Surgeon General on all health care matters pertaining to the U.S. Army and its military health care system.

U.S. Army photo

Crosland is a graduate of the United States Military Academy.  She earned her Doctor of Medicine degree from USU in 1993, and her Master of Public Health degree from the Dwight D. Eisenhower
School for National Security and Resource Strategy.  She is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.

Crosland is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and is a recipient of the Surgeon General's A proficiency designator in recognition of her outstanding contributions and professional achievements within the Army Medical Department. 

Crosland’s leadership roles have taken her around the world.  At Madigan Army Medical Center in Fort Lewis, Washington, she served as associate program director and later deputy chief of the Department of Family Medicine, and chief of Soldier Care.  She commanded the U.S. Army Health Clinic in Grafenwoehr, Germany, the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity in Heidelberg, Germany, and the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity, Fort Campbell, Kentucky.  She served as deputy commander of the U.S. Army Health Clinics in Landstuhl, Germany, senior medical officer in the Office of the Army Surgeon General, and Medical Corps branch chief at the Army’s Human Resources Command in Fort Knox, Kentucky.  Crosland served as the chief of operations for the U.S. Army Medical Command and Office of the Surgeon General, and prior to assuming her current position, she commanded the Regional Health Command-Atlantic, the largest of the U.S. Army’s four health care regions providing medical, dental, and public health support to approximately 600,000 soldiers, retirees, and their families at Army medical centers, hospitals, and clinics from Wisconsin to Puerto Rico.

John Farley, MD, School of Medicine Class of 1990 

Recently named one of Arizona’s “Top Docs” by Phoenix Magazine, retired Army Col. (Dr.) John Farley is a board certified gynecologic oncologist in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology, and the academic chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Center for Women’s Health at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona.  He holds dual appointments as professor at Creighton University School of Medicine Phoenix Regional Campus and the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

Photo courtesy of University of Arizona Health Sciences Center

A graduate of the United States Military Academy, Farley earned his medical degree from USU in 1990. He completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.  He served for more than 21
years on active duty, including deployments to Bagram, Afghanistan, and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal in 2005 and Meritorious Service Medal in 2006.  Fittingly, his last Army assignment before retirement was as a professor in USU’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Farley is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and his expertise includes clinical trial design, new drug development, and treatment of complex gynecologic malignancies.
He is a member of NRG Oncology, American Association of Cancer Research, Society of Gynecologic Oncologists (SGO), American Society of Clinical Oncology and is a Fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologist. He also sits on the SGO Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, and SGO Task Force on Racial Disparities.

Lt. Col. Stacey Freeman, Graduate School of Nursing Class of 2007

Lt. Col. Stacey Freeman is the commander of the Army clinic in Wiesbaden, Germany, where she oversees care for more than 10,000 military health system beneficiaries. 

Prior to her current assignment, Freeman served as the Health Readiness deputy commander at Kenner Army Health Clinic (KAHC) on Fort Lee, Va, and chief of nursing.  As such, she was responsible for leading more than 100 nurses within three clinics at Fort Lee, one at Fort A.P. Hill and
another at Fort Pickett that comprise the Army Wellness Center, and Education, Training and Operations Readiness at KAHC.
U.S. Army photo
Freeman immigrated to America from Colchester, England, with her struggling single mother.  She knew early on that she would make the military her career.  She earned an Army ROTC scholarship and majored in nursing at Tuskegee University in Alabama.  Once on active duty, Freeman became an operating room nurse, which led to the pursuit of her Master of Science in Nursing degree at USU’s Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing in the perioperative clinical nurse specialist program.  However, instead of continuing on the OR path, Freeman was sent to Fort Polk, La., to the Joint Readiness Training Center for troops preparing for deployment.  Later, at Fort Bliss, Texas, she expanded her talents, writing and reviewing articles for professional nursing journals.  In 2015, she completed her Master of Business Administration at Webster University while simultaneously serving as the troop commander of more than 1,200 soldiers at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas.  She followed that by completing a doctorate program for Business Administration in Healthcare Management at Walden University.

Joseph Gobern, MD, MBA, FACOG, School of Medicine Class of 1995 

Joseph Gobern, MD, MBA, FACOG, is the system chair in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Main Line Health in Philadelphia, Pa.  He has been an OB/GYN surgeon since 1999 and is an expert in the area of gynecologic laparoscopic surgery. 

Photo courtesy of Main Line Health
Gobern earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from USU’s F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine in 1995.  He completed an OB/GYN residency at the San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium, Wilford Hall Medical Center/Brooke Army Medical Center, in San Antonio, Texas.  He pursued fellowship training in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery at the Walter Reed
Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, and Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Md. 

Dr. Gobern spent 29 years on active duty in the military.  His last assignment was as chair of the OB/GYN department at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and clinical associate professor of OB/GYN at USU.  He continues to serve as a consultant to the Army medical community.  Gobern also received a master’s degree in business administration from the George Washington University School of Business. 

Following his Army career, Gobern moved to Winston-Salem, N.C., where he served on the staff at the Maya Angelou Women’s Health and Wellness Center, Forsyth Medical Center, and at Novant Health WomanCare, where he maintained a large clinical practice focusing on minimally invasive gynecologic surgery.  In his current position at Main Line Health, he is actively conducting research in the areas of postpartum hemorrhage, and racial and ethnic disparities in a community-based academic health system.

Earl Grant, Jr., PhD, Graduate Education Class of 1991

Earl Grant, Jr., displayed exceptional academic and leadership potential from an early age.  He graduated high school in Shreveport, La., as class valedictorian, and attended Southern Arkansas University on academic and Army ROTC scholarships. He graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry in 1979, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army.  While stationed in San Antonio, Texas, Grant was ordained in the Gospel Ministry by the Damascus Missionary Baptist Church of San Antonio.  His next military assignment took him to graduate school at USU where he received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 1991. 

Photo courtesy of Covenant Community Church

While simultaneously studying biochemistry, Grant was also pursuing the ministry.  He served as an associate minister at Round Oak Missionary Baptist Church in Silver Spring, Md., and completed the
follow-through evangelism process. Upon returning to Texas for his next Army posting, he served as the Minister of Evangelism and assistant pastor for Administration, responsible for curriculum development, implementation of the evangelism process and staff development at Resurrection Baptist Church in Schertz, Texas.  Throughout his career, he continued to balance his duties as an Army Medical Service Corps officer while also following the ministerial path.  In 2007, Grant graduated from Rockbridge Seminary with a Master of Ministry Leadership degree, and later that year, he became the church planter/founder and Senior Pastor-Teacher of Covenant Community Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he continues his work today. 

Grant retired from the Army and currently serves as the civilian director of the Quality Assurance and Education Branch, Clinical Research Division, at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, in San Antonio, Texas. 

Col. Wendy Gray, Graduate School of Nursing Class of 2007

Photo by Rachel Williams
Army Colonel Wendy Gray assumed command of the Raymond W. Bliss Army Health Center at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, in August 2019.  She has oversight of the center’s operations and care for more than 11,000 beneficiaries in the surrounding area.
Gray received a Master of Science in Nursing degree in 2007 from USU before beginning her career as a family nurse practitioner at Brooke Army Medical Center and the Taylor Burk Health Clinic. Following close to four years in that position, Gray moved to the Ireland Army Community Hospital as Chief Deputy of Warrior Care, where she was in charge of the Military Readiness Clinic.  She later
commanded the CB Warrior Transition Unit-Illinois at Rock Island Arsenal, and served as Deputy Commander for Nursing and as the Senior Clinical Nurse for the Andrew Rader Clinic at Fort Myer, Va., where she was responsible for Medical Readiness, Pharmacy, Lab, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Health/Public Health services. 

Throughout her career, Col. Gray has been responsible for countless soldiers in transition and wounded in need of care, and served as the Officer-in-Charge of the Warrior Transition clinic at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Virginia.  She briefly stepped out of that role to serve as an assignments officer at the U.S. Army Human Resources Command at Fort Knox, Ky., from 2015-2017. 

Capt. (Dr.) Robert Jackson, School of Medicine Class of 1998

Navy Captain (Dr.) Robert Jackson is the commander of the Naval Support Facility Beaufort and Naval Hospital Beaufort. 

Photo courtesy of US Navy
The Kalamazoo, Mich., native earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Human Physiology from Michigan State University, and was commissioned as an Ensign via the Aviation Officer Candidate School in 1985.  After basic flight training at VT-10 in Pensacola, Florida, he moved to Sacramento, Calif., to Mather Air Force Base for advanced navigation training, where he earned his Naval Flight Officer wings.  His next assignment took him just south to Silicon Valley to the Naval Air Station Moffett Field, where he pursued fleet replacement squadron training with VP-31, followed by an assignment to VP-9 also located onboard Moffett Field, achieving designation as Patrol Plane Navigator/Communicator, Tactical Coordinator, Mission Commander, Squadron Duty Officer and
Command Duty Officer.  In the mid-1990s, Jackson was assigned to the U.S. Naval Academy, where he served as an Admissions Officer, and later as the 17th Company Officer, responsible for the academic, physical, and moral development of more than 300 Midshipmen.

His path next led him to medical school at USU.  In 1998, Jackson graduated with his Doctor of Medicine degree, and went on to complete a residency in anesthesiology at the National Capital Consortium at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., eventually becoming a staff anesthesiologist, and later head of the department of Anesthesiology, at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Okinawa, Japan.

Jackson has served in a variety of executive positions, including Executive Officer of the U.S. Naval Hospital in Rota, Spain.  He is an expert in process improvement and transformation, and a champion for patient safety. 

Helena Mishoe, PhD, MPH, Graduate Education Class of 2002

Rear Adm. Helena Mishoe retired from the U.S. Public Health Service in 2018 as the associate director of Research Training and Diversity at the National Institutes of Health/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). 

Photo courtesy of NIH
Mishoe joined NHLBI in 1988 and led the strategy to improve gene therapy and stem cell treatment of sickle cell anemia, Cooley’s anemia and Fanconi anemia. She has led initiatives to increase public awareness of sickle cell anemia, promote health education in rural areas, improve HIV treatment in Angola, among many other achievements. Dr. Mishoe’s career in research and medicine has spanned decades and includes service as the Assistant Surgeon General in the PHS. She is an expert in health disparities and has been recognized for her work to increase research opportunities for underrepresented students, including ethnic minorities, economically advantaged students, and students with disabilities, in the biomedical sciences. 

Mishoe’s leadership in advancing diversity in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)
fields is centered on her personal interest in the students she mentors. She is dedicated to student success, personally critiquing students’ presentations and grant applications as well as helping them to define their career trajectories. She was responsible for the NHLBI Biomedical Research Training Program for Underrepresented Groups, and a remarkable 92 percent of the participants are expected to complete terminal degrees or residencies.  Mishoe is committed to mentoring the next generation of leaders in health care and research.  Following her retirement, NIH established the Rear Adm. Helena O. Mishoe Fellowship for Underrepresented Scientists at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, in her honor.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Delaware State University and a Master of Public Health in Health Services Administration from USU as well as a graduate Global Health certificate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She earned a PhD in Medical Microbiology from Georgetown University School of Medicine, and holds an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences .

Angelo Moore, PhD, MSN, RN, Graduate School of Nursing Class of 2002

Photo courtesy of Duke Cancer Institute
Dr. Angelo Moore serves as the program manager for the Office of Health Equity at the Duke Cancer Institute, where he provides overall direction, coordination, and implementation of all DCI’s community impact-designed projects to reduce cancer outcomes disparities in the DCI community and across its entire catchment area.  Moore also serves as chief executive officer and president of Moore & Moore Healthcare Consulting, LLC, where he focuses on improving patient healthcare experiences and outcomes and assisting healthcare organizations with operational efficiency and effectiveness.

Moore earned his undergraduate degree in nursing from Winston-Salem State University in 1995.  He joined the Army Nurse Corps, subsequently serving more than 25 years on active duty.  In 2002, Moore received a Master of Science in Nursing degree from the Uniformed Services University’s Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing, and later went on to earn his Doctor of Philosophy degree with a focus on Nursing Research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 
He was an active member of Sigma Theta Tau nursing honor society.  From 2016-2017, he served as the Chief Nurse for Education at the Fayetteville VA Medical Center in North Carolina where he was responsible for planning, organizing, directing, and controlling a comprehensive Nursing Education Program for the medical center and its outlying facilities. 

Moore is an adjunct assistant professor for his alma mater, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Journal Reviewer for both the Annals of the American Thoracic Society and Military Medicine.

Moore has been honored as President of the Honolulu Black Nurses Association, volunteering from May 2012 through May 2013, continuing on as Treasurer of the Sandhills, North Carolina Black Nurses Association from January 2014 through the present day.

Lt. Col. Teneshia Nelson-Hodges, Postgraduate Dental College Class of 2018

Air Force Lt. Col. Teneshia Nelson-Hodges serves as the Chief of Dental Services for the 7th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron, 7th Medical Group, at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas. As such, she provides oral health care for 4,700 beneficiaries and leads 28 active duty, civilian and contract professionals, supporting the squadron and group’s matters related to dental operations, personnel management, and wing readiness.

Photo courtesy of Air Force

Nelson-Hodges earned her undergraduate degree in Biology in 2002 from the Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University in Huntsville, and afterwards, entered dental school on an Air Force Health Professions scholarship at the Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry in Nashville, Tennessee. After earning her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 2006, she entered active duty at Scott Air Force Base, in Illinois, as a resident in the Advanced Education in General Dentistry program.  Following residency, Nelson-Hodges served as a general dentist with the 14th Medical Operations Squadron at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi.  While there, she participated in humanitarian deployments to Guyana in 2009, and Suriname in 2011.

Nelson-Hodges headed overseas to Yokota Air Base in Japan, where she was assigned from 2013 through May, 2018.  While there, she served in a variety of assignments, including advanced clinical dentist and dental support flight commander for the 374th Dental Squadron, and group executive officer for the 374th Medical Group.  She returned to the U.S. for a residency program in Comprehensive Dentistry at the 59th Dental Group, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, in Texas, where she was awarded a Master of Science in Oral Biology degree from USU’s Postgraduate Dental College. 

Colonel Nelson-Hodges is a member of the American Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry, and is a Diplomat with the American Board of General Dentistry. 

Ricky Norwood, DNP, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, Graduate School of Nursing Class of 2006

Dr. Ricky Norwood is an assistant clinical professor for the Master of Science-Nurse Practitioner and Master of Health Services-Physician Assistant degree programs at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at the University of California, Davis. 

Photo courtesy of UC Davis Health - Betty Irene Moore
School of Nursing
Norwood graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 1995. He received a direct commission in the United States Army Nurse Corps and worked as an operating room nurse at military installations in South Carolina, Texas and South Korea.  In 2003, he graduated from the University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Texas, with a Master of Science in Nursing, with a focus in perioperative trauma nursing.  His path next led to the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, where he earned a Master of Science in Nursing from the
Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing nurse practitioner program in 2006.  He retired from active duty in December 2010, after serving 21 distinguished years. 

Following retirement, Norwood moved to the San Francisco Bay area, where he served as a part-time associate professor at Samuel Merritt University in Sacramento, California, and pursued his Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from the University of San Francisco, graduating in 2013.
Norwood then joined the faculty of the UC Davis School of Nursing.  In a unique dual academic and clinical appointment, Norwood divides his time between the School of Nursing and the Sacramento County Health Department.  He provides clinical services, as a nurse practitioner, at the county clinic for 80 percent of his time and leads classroom instruction and clinical precepting for School of Nursing students the remaining 20 percent.  This partnership between UC Davis and the Sacramento County Health Department, led by Norwood, is designed to provide primary and preventive healthcare care in the community and further the school’s mission with underserved communities.

Major Donald C Ogbuehi, Postgraduate Dental College Class of 2018

Courtesy photo
Army Maj. Donald Ogbuehi earned his Master of Science in Oral Biology degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Postgraduate Dental College in 2018.  The Ohio native joined the Army Dental Corps in 2011 after completing his undergraduate degree in dental hygiene and Doctorate of Dental Surgery degree, both at The Ohio State University. 

Ogbuehi’s first assignment was at the U.S. Army Dental Activity at Fort Hood, Texas, followed by an
assignment as Brigade Dentist with the 115th Combat Support Battalion Company Medical Brigade, also at Fort Hood.  After a posting at Fort Knox, Ky., Ogbuehi moved to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, where he pursued his Advanced Education in General Dentistry-2 residency, which he completed in 2018.  He transferred to Fort Carson, Colo., where he is currently assigned as a comprehensive dentist.  Ogbuehi is an active member of the Academy of General Dentistry. 

Bertram Providence, MD, School of Medicine Class of 1991

Brig. Gen. Bertram Providence retired in late 2019 from his last assignment as Commanding General of the Army’s Regional Health Command-Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii.  As such, Providence commanded the Army’s largest geographically-dispersed regional health command in support of the U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Army in the Pacific (USARPAC), U.S. Forces Korea and U.S. Forces Japan. He simultaneously served as the Command Surgeon for USARPAC as well as the Market Manager, Hawaii enhanced Multi-Service Market.

Photo courtesy of
Providence completed his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from St. John’s University in Queens, New York, graduating Magna Cum Laude. As a distinguished military graduate, he was commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps. He earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from USU in 1991, and also holds a master’s degree in Business Administration with a focus on healthcare from the George Washington University School of Business, and a master’s degree of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

Following medical school, Providence completed an orthopaedic surgery residency at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu.  Among his numerous career assignments, he served as a flight surgeon in Sinai, Egypt, and as chief of Orthopedic Surgery Service at Womack Army Medical Center in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He later returned to Tripler as the chief of the Adult Reconstruction and Joint Replacement Service.  Prior to his final assignment at the Regional Health Command-Pacific, Providence served as the command surgeon for the U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg.

After 27 years of military service, Providence has continued his life’s work of service to others at the Spark M. Matsunaga VA Medical Center in Honolulu.

Cendrine Robinson, PhD, MPH, Graduate Education Class of 2015

Dr. Cendrine Robinson is a Scientific Program Manager in the Office of Research and Development at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  She is responsible for behavioral research and social reintegration.  Her studies are aimed at enabling veterans with physical or psychological disabling conditions to function more fully in society, embrace social situations, return to school, and find and maintain gainful employment. 

Photo courtesy of Veteran Affairs
Originally from Chicago, Robinson earned her undergraduate degree in 2007 from the University of Rochester in New York in Brain and Cognitive Science.  She went on to receive her PhD in 2015 from USU in Clinical Psychology, where she developed expertise in providing psychotherapy to veterans through her clinical rotations at the Washington, D.C., VA Medical Center and the Edward
Hines Jr. VA Hospital in Illinois.  Robinson’s training focused on delivering evidence-based treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse disorders.

After completing her PhD, Robinson was selected for a postdoctoral cancer prevention fellowship in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at the National Cancer Institute (NCI).  During the first year of her fellowship, she earned a Master of Public Health degree from the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where she focused on health disparities.  At NCI, Dr. Robinson led a program of research focused on using mobile technology to promote behavior change and smoking cessation among youth and ethnic minorities  through digital tools. Dr. Robinson has disseminated her research in peer-reviewed journals and presented at national conferences.

Rear Adm. Erica Schwartz, Graduate Education Class of 2000

In February 2019, Dr. Erica G. Schwartz was named Deputy Surgeon General of the United States.  Schwartz advises and supports the Surgeon General on operations of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps and in communicating the best available scientific information to advance the health of the nation.

Photo courtesy of HHS
Schwartz, a Rear Admiral in the USPHS Commissioned Corps, served as the Director of Health, Safety and Work-Life for the U.S. Coast Guard prior to her selection as Deputy Surgeon General. She was responsible for the Coast Guard's health care system of 41 clinics and 150 sick bays, as well as operational and off-duty mishap prevention, response and investigation. She oversaw the Coast Guard's child care programs and food services delivery programs, ashore and afloat, and the Coast Guard's Ombudsman, Substance Abuse, Health Promotion and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response programs.

Schwartz graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Brown University in 1994 and received her Doctor of Medicine degree from Brown University School of Medicine in 1998. In 2000, she completed her Master of Public Health (MPH) degree with a dual
concentration in Health Services Administration and Occupational and Environmental Medicine from USU. In 2001, she completed the USU Occupational and Environmental Medicine residency program, and is board certified in Preventive Medicine (Occupational Medicine).  Schwartz also has a Juris Doctorate from the University of Maryland and is admitted to the District of Columbia Bar.
Preceding her transfer to the Public Health Service and Coast Guard in 2005, she served as a Navy Occupational Medicine physician. Her assignments included serving as the Chief of the Occupational Medicine Clinic and the Immunization Clinic and serving as the Preventive Medicine Department Head at the Naval Medical Clinic in Annapolis, Md. She also served as an Occupational Medicine physician and clinical epidemiologist at the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center (formerly known as the Navy Environmental Health Center) in Portsmouth, Va.

Schwartz served as the Chief of Health Services and the Coast Guard’s Preventive Medicine Chief in the Operational Medicine and Medical Readiness Division at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC. She instituted critical interagency and intra-agency programs, including Navy Safe Harbor, Disease Surveillance, Deployment Health, Adenovirus Vaccination, Serology Screening, Febrile Respiratory Illness and the Chemical, Biological and Radiologic Medical Countermeasures programs. As an expert in health care policy, she wrote the first-ever force health protection policies to include: the Pandemic Influenza Force Health Protection policy, the Anthrax and Smallpox Vaccination policies, the Quarantinable Communicable Disease policy, the Periodic Health Assessment policy, and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus policy. Additionally, she developed force health protection guidance for numerous contingency operations, to include Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, Operation Unified Response (2010 Haiti earthquake), the Deepwater Horizon Operation, and the most recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Schwartz served as the Coast Guard’s principal expert on pandemic influenza – hand-picked as the medical consultant for the DHS Pandemic Influenza Principal Federal Official. Schwartz also served as one of the Ebola Crisis Action Team leaders, responsible for ensuring Coast Guard personnel had clear and actionable force health protection guidance for this emerging and fatal disease threat.

She was recognized by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs as one of the Military Health System Female Physicians of the Year.

CAPT Rodney V. Scott, Postgraduate Dental College Class of 2013

Captain Rodney Scott was commissioned as a Naval officer in 2000, following graduation from dental school at the Baylor College of Dentistry, where he earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree.  Scott’s first assignment was in San Diego, where he pursued a one-year residency in Advanced Education in General Dentistry at the Naval Dental Center Southwest.  His subsequent assignments have taken him around the world.  He served as a staff dentist at the Naval Dental Center Far East in Yokosuka, Japan; clinic director at the NATO Joint Command in Lisbon, Portugal; and staff dentist at the Naval Health Clinic in Great Lakes, Illinois.  Scott was deployed for a year to
Djibouti, Africa, where he served as clinic director for the Expeditionary Medical Forces. 

Courtesy photo

Scott’s career next took him to the Washington, DC, area, where he served as a healthcare analyst for the Naval Bureau of Medicine and Surgery for a year, prior to pursuing his endodontics residency at the Naval Postgraduate Dental School in Bethesda, Md., in 2011.  He was awarded a Master of Science in Oral Biology degree from USU’s Postgraduate Dental College in 2013. 

Following completion of his residency program, Scott went back to Japan to serve as an endodontist and clinic director for the 3rd Dental Battalion in Okinawa for three years.  His next assignment was with the Naval Medical Center San Diego as an endodontist and Advanced Education in General Dentistry mentor.  Two years later, in 2018, he packed his bags for Japan once again for his current assignment with the 11th Dental Company Detachment at the Marine Corps Air Station in Iwakuni, Japan.             
This summer, Scott will return to Bethesda to serve as faculty at the Naval Postgraduate Dental School. 

Larry J. Shelton, Jr., DVM, MPH, Graduate Education Class of 2003

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Dr. Larry Shelton, a retired Army colonel, is a board-certified diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine and the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at Louisiana State University of Veterinary Medicine, his Master of Public Health degree at USU, and completed his residency at USU and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR)/Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC).
Shelton's assignments included chief, Veterinary Services in Charleston, South Carolina; chief of Preventive Medicine and Veterinary Services in Saudi Arabia; and resident and clinical veterinarian at WRAIR and NMRC. He returned to USU as deputy director, Center for Laboratory Animal Medicine (LAM), then moved on to become head of the Veterinary Sciences department at USU’s
Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute: deputy director, Veterinary Medicine Division, U.S
.Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases; director, Veterinary Affairs, Department of the Navy; director of the Center for LAM at USU; and finally director, Animal Care and Use Review Office, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, where he also served as director of the U.S. Army Laboratory Animal Medicine Residency Program.  Shelton currently serves as the university attending veterinarian and director, Department of Laboratory Animal Resources at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Shelton is a member of various professional organizations, including the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS), Association of Primate Veterinarians, American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners, and the National Capital Area Branch, AALAS. He has held numerous Officer and Committee positions in these organizations.

Nathan Stinson, Jr., PhD, MD, MPH, Graduate Education Class of 1990

Retired U.S. Public Health Service Rear Adm. (Dr.) Nathan Stinson Jr. is the director of the Division of Scientific Programs at the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, where he oversees the extramural scientific programs on minority health and health disparities.

Photo courtesy of NIMHD
Stinson graduated from the University of Colorado with a Ph.D. in environmental biology, and earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.  Following completion of his family medicine residency, he began his federal career at the Chinle Comprehensive Health Care Facility on the Navajo reservation in Arizona as a medical officer with
the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps.  His career led him to Washington, D.C., where he later served as deputy director of the Division of Community and Migrant Health and as director of the Division of Programs for Special Populations in the Bureau of Primary Health Care, Health Resources, and Services Administration within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  In 1990, Stinson was awarded a Master of Public Health degree in Health Care Administration from USU.

Stinson was selected to serve as deputy assistant secretary for Minority Health and director of the Office of Minority Health at HHS in 1999, where he was senior advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Health and the HHS Secretary.  Following retirement, Stinson served as the director of the Center for Optimal Health and a professor of Family and Community Medicine at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn.  Afterwards, he became president of The Health Literacy Foundation based in Munster, Ind.  In 2007, Stinson returned to Washington, D.C., to head the Division of Scientific Programs at the NIMHD.

Dr. Stinson has received numerous honors including the Louis B. Stokes Leadership Award from the National Medical Association, the University of Colorado’s Silver and Gold Award for Excellence in Humanitarianism, Citizenship, and Professionalism.