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First woman surgeon general to discuss Hispanic heritage

  • A photo of Antonia Novello

Posted on September 21, 2017

The first woman and first Hispanic to hold the title of Surgeon General of the United States will give a presentation September 27 as part of Grand Valley State University's Professionals of Color Lecture Series

Antonia Novello's presentation, "Hispanics: More Than Statistics," will take place from 1-2:30 p.m. in the Kirkhof Center, room 2250, on the Allendale Campus. 

Novello became the 14th surgeon general in 1990 when she was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Novello has also served as the New York State health commissioner and executive director of public health policy for Florida Hospital. She currently serves as a liaison between the Dominican Republic government and its attorney general to raise awareness of domestic violence. 

Novello, from Puerto Rico, received a doctorate in medicine from the University of Puerto Rico. She completed training at the University of Michigan and Georgetown University, and received a master's degree in public health in 2000. 

The annual Professionals of Color Lecture Series is organized by the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Grand Valley. The next lecture will take place February 8 with a lecture by Samuel Museus, associate professor of higher education and student affairs at Indiana University Bloomington. Museus is the founding director of the Culturally Engaging Campus Environments Project. 

Novello's visit is planned in conjunction with Grand Valley's Hispanic Heritage Celebration. See more events at