On April 28, 2010, CSON faculty and KILN members and project staff: John Sok, Stephanie Mui, Tiffany Otto, Holly Lopes, Debra Pino, Dr. Amar, Dr. Harris, Dr. Read, and myself had the opportunity to have what was nothing short of an entertaining lunch with Dr. Loretta Jemmott. Dr. Jemmott is a passionate nurse, professor, and renowned researcher in areas including HIV/AIDS prevention, women’s sexual behavior and psychiatry. She has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, which has enabled her to diligently study behavior and prevention in young women and HIV/AIDS populations. The social and economic challenges Dr. Jemmott experienced while growing up in Philadelphia never diminished her remarkable spirit and determination. In addition to conducting research and working with churches within the United States, Dr. Jemmott has also spent time in Africa, where HIV/AIDS is most prevalent. She has become an important figure in the world of nursing through her inspiring work and most vibrant personality.
One of the points Dr. Jemmott emphasized to the students was to find what it is that you are passionate about, pursue it, and most importantly, never give up. Her passion is health promotion and disease prevention and clearly her interest has fueled her unrelenting commitment over the years. She described how she dealt with rejection in her earlier years and how she never equated rejection to failure. Instead, she stressed that rejection is more of a learning experience, one that will push and drive you to achieve your true goals. Later, she was described by some faculty members at the lunch as being modest, to which she said sometimes it’s still hard for her to imagine that she is where she is today. Dr. Jemmott’s modesty is just another quality that adds to what makes her such an incredible and influential woman.