student with passion for public health earns second master's degree
By Katherine Jackson
whether it was by divine proclamation, her mother's gentle nudging
or a desire for the "magical" powers exhibited by her
pediatrician, Renata Gayle Arrington instinctively knew as a child
she would practice medicine someday.
of the few African Americans from Albemarle County to graduate
from U.Va.'s School
of Medicine, Arrington, 26, will receive a medical degree
on May 21. But that's not all. While in medical school, she took
time out to earn a master's degree in public health.
mother, who is an educator, tutored me over summers and provided
me with work books, counseling and academic planning to ensure
my academic success," Arrington said.
graduating from Albemarle High School in 1991, Arrington went
to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She was emotionally
unprepared for the move from small-town Charlottesville to urban
Baltimore, she recalls. But because of her passion for helping
people, she plunged into volunteer work: Big Sisters programs,
Habitat for Humanity and other groups. In the spring of 1994,
Arrington also worked at the Abafemi Awolowo University Teaching
Hospital in Nigeria. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University
with a B.S. degree in natural science and public health in 1995.
same year she entered U.Va.'s School of Medicine, continuing her
volunteer work. She participated in a program for children with
cancer and in the HIV/AIDS awareness program for local high schools
students. She also volunteered at the Shelter for Help in Emergency
and the Charlottesville Free Clinic.
strong interest in public health research led her to return to
Johns Hopkins to complete an 11-month program in public health
between her third and fourth years at U.Va. In May 1999, she returned
to Virginia armed with a master's in public health.
has made major contributions to the School of Medicine and the
community through her outstanding leadership in extracurricular
activities," said Dr. Richard D. Pearson, associate dean
of student affairs. "She has the potential to make major
contributions during her career, given her excellent clinical
skills, enthusiasm for medicine and devotion to the health of
patients and their communities."
graduation from medical school this weekend, Arrington will begin
a four-year residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at the
University of Cincinnati. She says that while she would like to
return to Charlottesville to practice medicine, she will "leave
that up to my Creator."
press release on Local
Woman With Passion for Improving Community Health Will Graduate
From U.Va. School of Medicine