Spelman Professor Creates Scholarship In Honor of Dr. Levi Watkins Jr.

Spelman College alumna and professor, Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Ph.D., has established the Dr. Levi Watkins Jr. Scholars Program as well as a companion lecture series at Spelman that will explore contemporary issues of race, gender, and sexuality, beginning in 2018. The scholar’s program and lecture series were launched with a pledge of $100,000 in May 2017.

Two sophomore students, who are self-identified LGBTQ advocates, will be named Levi Watkins Jr. Scholars in 2017 and awarded renewable $25,000scholarships. The scholars will call attention to the importance of making visible the courageous and significant work of LGBTQ scholar activists within and beyond the academy, especially at HBCUs, said Dr. Guy-Sheftall.

Who was Dr. Levi Watkins Jr.

 Dr. Watkins, a Spelman honorary degree recipient, was the first surgeon to successfully implant an automatic heart defibrillator in a human. He was also an influential civil rights activist who helped open the door to hundreds of students of color at John Hopkins University School of Medicine. Following graduation from Vanderbilt University in 1970, where he was the first Black to graduate with a medical degree, Dr. Watkins went on to become the first Black chief resident of cardiac surgery at John Hopkins University Hospital. He later became a professor of cardiac surgery and associate dean at John Hopkins University School of Medicine. He died April 11, 2015 at the age of 70.


Read Full Article at lgbtweekly.com


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