May 19-25, 2000
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Sullivan Award winners show deep commitment to caring
Here's the youngest 'Hoo
Wagner exemplifies value of mentoring

Rector unearths love for human evolution

Dyslexia forced graduate to create own path for success
Boiler passes a special test
Already a pioneering online journalist, graduate plans to take on TV reporting
Student's mentoring program takes root
Medical student with passion for public health earns second master's degree
Groundskeeper has watched U.Va. and its landscape grow
Help wanted: not just for high-tech fields, but for teaching jobs, too
BUCKS' vision to give back to community will continue
Watson discovers teaching and takes history to the Web
Seeing double
Heard's degree painted with broad strokes
May graduate's dream shows how education transforms lives
Renata Gayle Arrington
Tom Cogill
Renata Gayle Arrington

Medical student with passion for public health earns second master's degree

By Katherine Jackson

Unsure 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.

One 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.

"My 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.

After 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.

That 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.

Arrington's 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.

"She 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."

Following 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."

See press release on Local Woman With Passion for Improving Community Health Will Graduate From U.Va. School of Medicine


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