Josh Joiner ’20 awarded Joan Cralle Day Fellowship to study medicine at the University of Kentucky

Biochemistry and molecular biology major Josh Joiner ’20 (Danville, Kentucky) received the Cralle Foundation/Joan Cralle Day Fellowship from the University of Kentucky (UK) to study medicine in the fall.

Endowed by a gift from the Cralle Foundation, named to honor Joan Cralle Day, the fellowship is available for graduate or professional study at UK for an entering student who is a graduate of one of the 18 four-year independent colleges and universities in Kentucky affiliated with the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities.

Philip Lockett, professor of physics, who taught Joiner in two of his physics classes, said Centre can nominate only one student for the Cralle Fellowship. 

“I am Chair of the Honors and Prizes Committee, which must make the difficult decision which student to nominate,” he added. “We selected Josh from a number of very good applicants.”

Lockett immediately notified Joiner of the nomination and helped him with the application, which was due less than a week later. 

“It is a huge honor for me to be nominated from Centre College, and surprisingly, to be awarded this fellowship,” Joiner said. “It has been my goal to attend UK’s College of Medicine (UKCOM) since I was a child, and I am extremely grateful to the foundation for helping me pursue my dreams. It makes me feel as if UKCOM is where I am meant to be.”

Joiner said he’s always been interested in pediatric orthopedics because of a pediatric condition, called Legg-Calve Perthes, he had as a child. When he attends UKCOM, he said he’s going to keep an open mind to see what else interests him.

“Josh is very deserving of this fellowship, and I believe he will become an outstanding physician,” Lockett said.

Throughout his four years at Centre, Joiner has participated in a number of programs and activities that have taught him valuable skills and have helped prepare him for his future in medicine.

Joiner was one of six student interns selected from Centre, Sewanee: The University of the South and Rhodes College to work at Methodist Le Bonheur Hospital, as part of a $850,000 four-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, During the program, he participated in a medical humanities class focused on empathy in healthcare.

Joiner also worked with the Kentucky Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (KBRIN) under Dr. Chung Donghoon at the University of Louisville’s Clinical and Translational Research Building. There, he studied the Zika virus infection in human brain vascular pericytes and their potential role in facilitating viral entry into the central nervous system. He learned about the choroid plexus isolation, epithelial cell culture in the transwell system, “in vivo” experiments, virology techniques and cell biology techniques.

On campus, Joiner was a member of the tennis team. As a student-athlete, he learned discipline, diligence, leadership skills, effective time management and teamwork.

While at Centre, Joiner also took the opportunity to become a global citizen through Centre’s study abroad program. He studied in Greece and New Zealand during two different CentreTerms.

“Studying abroad, among many things, opened my eyes to many other cultures and taught me to be versatile—a skill I feel will be essential in practicing medicine,” he said.

During his time at Centre, Joiner said the number one thing that has prepared him the most for his future career has been the assistance from his professors.

“I am convinced there are no other professors and student-professor relationships like those at Centre,” he added. “They have guided me every step of the way, written amazing letters of evaluation, taught me the skills needed to be the best student I can be and provided me with learning experiences I never dreamed I could have obtained.”

by Kerry Steinhofer
April 6, 2020