NEWS | September 30, 2011

Two UC Davis medical students receive "30 under 30" Awards


Two UC Davis medical students recently received The OBSERVER Media Group's 2011 "30 Under 30" Awards, intended to recognize individuals under the age of 30 who "exemplify accomplishment, leadership, dedication and commitment in academic, business, community and professional areas."

Heather Barnes © 2011 UC Regents
Heather Barnes

The students, Heather Barnes and Leon Cushenberry, were among the 35 honorees in the Sacramento region who received the awards at a breakfast in August at the Radisson Hotel. The award winners were selected by the editorial board of The Sacramento Observer.

Barnes is co-director of the Imani Clinic, one of the community clinics operated by UC Davis medical students. At the clinic, located in Sacramento's Oak Park neighborhood, Barnes supervises the provision of free medical services and organizes the clinic's annual health fair.

Barnes graduated cum laude from Xavier University in New Orleans in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in psychology. Also that year, Barnes received the Summer Travelers' Research Fellowship Award from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, where she conducted six weeks of research on the effects of the thymus gland on children with HIV. She is a member of the Student National Medical Association and a recipient of the William D. James Academic Scholarship, which is awarded to medical students in Sacramento.

Leon Cushenberry © 2011 UC Regents
Leon Cushenberry

Cushenberry also is co-director of the Imani Clinic, where he instructs undergraduate volunteers on health-care concerns and outreach to the community. He is a fellow in UC Davis Medical Center's Klingenstein Child Psychiatry Program, where he is receiving exposure to the day-to-day environment of a child psychiatrist. Cushenberry is the president of the UC Davis chapter of the Student National Medical Association.

Cushenberry earned a post-baccalaureate degree from UC San Diego and a bachelor's degree in neurobiology, physiology and behavior from UC Davis.

The UC Davis School of Medicine is among the nation's leading medical schools, recognized for its research and primary-care programs. The school offers fully accredited master's degree programs in public health and in informatics, and its combined M.D.-Ph.D. program is training the next generation of physician-scientists to conduct high-impact research and translate discoveries into better clinical care. Along with being a recognized leader in medical research, the school is committed to serving underserved communities and advancing rural health. For more information, visit UC Davis School of Medicine at