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Janet Jordan Fischer, MD, was the first female professor in the Department of Medicine.

Trailblazing Women of the Department

More than 17,000 women are enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill today, making up more than half of the student body. But that wasn’t always the case. It wasn’t until 1877 that women began first enrolling at Carolina for summer sessions. It was another two decades later before Sallie Walker Stockard became the first woman to receive a degree from Carolina. In 1953, Dr. Janet Fischer became an instructor with the Department of Medicine. Later, she became the first female professor of medicine. Many knew her for her dedication to teaching and medical education. In honor of Dr. Fischer, the Fischer Award is presented annually to residents who are recognized by their peers for being outstanding medical teachers.In 2003, Dr. Ada Adimora became the first female African American professor of medicine. She has dedicated her career to investigating the epidemiology of HIV and STIs. Her work has helped characterize the epidemiology of heterosexual HIV transmission among African Americans,

Adaora A. Adimora, M.D., M.P.H
Adaora A. Adimora, was the first African American women professor in the Department of Medicine.

highlighted the role of sexual network patterns in the spread of HIV, and underscored the importance of macroeconomic and social forces in racial disparities in the US HIV epidemic. Take a closer look at how women’s history progressed at Carolina.

March Holidays and Observances

March 8: Holi is one of the most celebrated Hindu festivals. Also known as the festival of colors, people of all ages participate in sining, dancing and sharing of food and drinks.

March 8: International Women’s Day recognizes the cultural, political, and scientific achievements of women. It also brings attention to current issues such as gender equality, equal pay and equal participation in STEM occupations.

March 10: Harriet Tubman’s birthday is widely celebrated across the country. A former slave herself, she played a key role in freeing others and was an operator of the Underground Railroad.

March 17: St. Patrick’s Day honors the patron saint of Ireland who speared Christianity through the land. Today, many use this day to celebrate the Irish heritage and culture in general.

March 22-April 21: Ramadan is a holy month, observed by Muslims worldwide, for fasting, spending time with loved ones and prayer. It takes place during the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar.