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Two WSSU students conduct research as American Heart Association HBCU Scholars

Program intends to train next generation of Black medical professionals

Winston-Salem State University students Chloe Bryant and Ashley Mack have completed the first part of their academic year research experience in the American Heart Association’s (AHA) HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Scholars Program.

The program’s mission is to increase the number of Black students who apply and are accepted into graduate science, research and public health programs in order to grow the next generation of African American doctors, nurses and researchers. The AHA is partnering with HBCUs to help students earn professional degrees in the biomedical and health sciences. HBCU Scholars learn about the health of their communities, participate in research projects and explore varied career paths.

Chloe Bryant

Bryant and Mack participated in virtual leadership workshops and traveled to Philadelphia in November for the American Heart Association’s International Scientific Sessions, the largest cardiovascular disease conference in the world. This semester, the two will continue their research and prepare for the American Heart Association’s Annual Scholars Research Symposium in April. 

Bryant, a native of Greensboro, is an exercise science major. She is a Dean’s List scholar and winner of the Scholarship Day Research Award and Say Yes Guilford Scholarship. She is a member of the Epsilon Tau Sigma Honor Society and Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society. She is also president of Chi Alpha WSSU, head student director of the WSSU Inspirational Voices Gospel Choir and a student researcher for the WSSU Department of Health, Physical Education and Sport Studies.

Bryant said she is looking forward to learning leadership skills and giving back to the community that strengthened her.

Mack is a sophomore pre-nursing major and a native of West Palm Beach, Fla. She is a Dean’s List scholar and member of the National Technical Honor Society. She is excited to investigate and gain knowledge of diverse perspectives and values the impact of cultural sensitivity during her research. She is looking forward to meeting her mentor.

“We are honored and excited to play a role in their development as future biomedical, health science and public health leaders,” said Charlene Walton, M.D., national program lead for the American Heart Association, in thanking WSSU for partnering with the Scholars Program.

Ashley Mack

Professional volunteer mentors give the scholars invaluable professional guidance. Mack’s mentor is Joseph A. Skelton, MD, of Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He is a professor and vice chair of research in the Department of Pediatrics, director of program at the Community Engaged Research Clinical and Translational Science Institute and director of Brenner FIT® (Families In Training).

Bryant’s mentor Tina Brinkley of Wake Forest University School of Medicine. She is an associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Section on Internal Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine.


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