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Columbia Celebrates 20 th Anniversary of First Malcolm X Scholar

Carol Brown with Dr. Shabazz in 1995. Shabazz died June 23, 1997.

Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) will host a luncheon on May 20 to celebrate the 20 th anniversary of the first graduating class of Malcolm X Scholars. The luncheon also will honor the 2004-2005 Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons (P&S) Malcolm X Scholar, Adler Perotte, P&S'08.

Established 21 years ago by the late Betty Shabazz, wife of Malcolm X, and CUMC, the scholarship is awarded to African American students at P&S who demonstrate academic merit and show financial need. The awards help further the education of future physicians interested in medical and public health problems prevalent in African American and underserved communities.

The first recipient of the Malcolm X Scholarship, Carol Brown, graduated from P&S in 1986 and today specializes in gynecologic oncology and surgery at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. The event's keynote speaker, she received the American Cancer Society Clinical Oncology Career Development Award for her research in cervical cancer and was named one of "American's Leading Physicians" by Black Enterprise magazine. In addition to surgery for gynecologic cancers, Brown focuses on fertility-sparing treatments for ovarian and cervical cancer, and screening and prevention of cervical and ovarian cancer.

Brown's work to improve the quality and delivery of cancer care to women extends beyond the walls of Memorial Sloan-Kettering. She chairs the New York State Department of Health Ovarian Cancer Information Program Advisory Council, is an advisor for special populations for the Gynecologic Oncology Group, serves as a co-chair of the Government Relations Committee of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists and is chair of the Cancer Caucus at the American Medical Association.

 Supported through Columbia's endowed funds, the Malcolm X scholarships have provided assistance with tuition and living expenses for 35 medical students who now practice in fields as diverse as anesthesiology and pediatrics in hospitals and clinics across the country. In the past, four awards have been made each year to students in their third or fourth year of medical school. But for the 2005-2006 academic year, a single award of $25,000 for four years will be made to a first-year P&S medical student.

Hilda Hutcherson, assistant professor and associate dean for the Office of Diversity and Minority Affairs at P&S , is particularly proud of the accomplishments of Malcolm X Scholars: "Our past scholars have made important and long-lasting contributions to the healthcare of African Americans at all stages of life -- from birth to the senior years. This year's recipient, Adler Perotte, is likewise destined to make a significant difference in the amelioration of healthcare disparities."

Perotte is a graduate of Princeton University, and in addition to his medical studies at Columbia, he serves as vice president of the Black and Latino Student Organization. He also has been a research fellow at the National Institutes of Health and is a J.F. Bohmfalk Scholar.

Published: May 20, 2005
Last modified: May 20, 2005

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