Education feature: ENMU grad recognized

By Mickey Winfield: PNT staff writer

As much as J.W. Carmichael hates traveling, he hates publicity even more.

But the Dora High School and Eastern New Mexico University graduate got a little of both, sprinkled with a pinch of recognition from Meharry’s Medical College in Nashville, Tenn.

Meharry’s presented an honorary degree to the Xavier University chemistry professor and pre-med program director late last month as part of the medical school’s 133rd convocation. Meharry’s credits Carmichael for sending many African-Americans into the medical field.

“I get credit for what other people do, to be honest,” Carmichael said. “I really don’t care about the award, but I do appreciate the recognition for the school.”

The 68-year-old Roosevelt County native has been the pre-med advisor at Xavier University since 1970.

According to the Xavier Web site, the predominately black college has sent more African Americans into medical school than any other college in the country over each of the past 15 years, including dental, doctoral and other health programs — and Xavier credits Carmichael for that success.

“Carmichael’s close contact with and guidance of his pre-med students have contributed much to Xavier’s success,” according to Xavier’s Web site.

As valedictorian of his 13-person class at Dora in 1967, Carmichael received a $50 scholarship from Eastern New Mexico University — good enough to pay much of his tuition. He graduated with a double-major in math and chemistry.

“I was so thankful to get to go to college,” Carmichael said.

Carmichael has also received National Professor of the Year by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the Charles A. Dana Foundation award for his innovations in teaching science, and the Harold W. McGraw Jr. prize in education.

“I guess I just really care for the students,” Carmichael said.