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3DF664C0-CD65-48F5-8CB7-02E3C76E4173 - Joseph Strawn.jpeg


Mr. Strawn studies Chemistry and Mathematics and hails from Los Angeles, CA, where he attended Loyola High School.

Why did you initially choose to attend Morehouse?

I initially chose to attend Morehouse as I believed I would thrive in an all-male HBCU environment. Being one of the many young black men aspiring to find his purpose and how to reach it, motivated me to always put my best foot forward in all aspects of life, and it gave me no excuse to fall short of my goals.

What has kept you at Morehouse?

The close relationships I have formed with my peers, as well as my mentors, have kept me at Morehouse. While attending this college, I have learned more about myself and the people around me over these past two to three years than I had learned during the eighteen years previous to becoming a Man of Morehouse.

Why did you choose to study Chemistry?

For many years, I have dreamed of becoming an orthopedic surgeon. I am fascinated by how bones, muscles, and tendons work together to make the human body move, and my personal history is full of building contraptions and solving puzzles. I saw Chemistry as the major which could provide me with the ideal foundation for a future in medicine. By pursuing a major in Chemistry, I was excited to be able to apply and expand my knowledge of my two favorite subjects: science and mathematics. The Morehouse Chemistry Department’s focus on marrying problem-based learning with application to foster self-directed learning is ideal for the development of lifelong learning skills, which are critical to success in the field of medical innovation.

Outside of Chemistry, what have you spent time learning about?

Outside of my field of study, I have spent time learning about different world religions. Knowing about someone else’s belief system leads to an understanding of their politics, literature, ethics, and goals as these are often influenced by religion.

Describe your experience with the campus organization you are most active with.

The campus organization that I am most active in has to be the chemistry department’s Peer Lead Team Learning (PLTL) program. My role in the organization is to conduct review sessions with students during chemistry recitation periods and work to help students understand difficult concepts by encouraging interactions with their colleagues.

More about Joseph’s conditional acceptance in to Vanderbilt:

The achievement I am most proud of is my early acceptance into the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine through the Morehouse-Vanderbilt Pipeline Program. I was nominated for this program during the latter half of freshman year (spring 2017) and had to submit an application as well as be interviewed for a spot. At the time, the program was just forming, so I was the first Morehouse student to receive this opportunity. Once accepted, I was given conditional acceptance to the school of medicine as well as the opportunity to research at Vanderbilt Medical Center each summer until I enroll in medical school. I am forever grateful to be gifted with this opportunity and will use this to further my medical career.


  • Influenza Research at Vanderbilt Medical Center, Summer 2017

  • Influenza Research at Vanderbilt Medical Center, Summer 2018

  • Influenza Research at Vanderbilt Medical Center, Summer 2019

Graduate School Acceptances


  • HEAS Foundation Scholarship Recipient

  • Angel City Links Achiever Program Scholar

  • Bridge Builders Foundation Perseverance Scholarship Recipient

Academic Greek Organizations

  • Alpha Lambda Delta