OU Alum speaks at Chapel for Black History Month
Born in Linden, Guyana, Dr. Stephen Carryl, graduated in 1984 from Oakwood College with a baccalaureate degree in Biology. After obtaining his Doctorate in Medicine from Loma Linda University’s School of Medicine, Dr. Carryl became a board certified surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive, laparoscopic, bariatric and robotic surgeries.
Dr. Carryl was chosen as one of the featured Black History Month Speakers this year and spoke to the student body about the “Potential to Power”. Referencing Luke 6:38, Dr. Carryl’s presentation reminded the students that they each have God-given potential that directly relates to their innate talents, gifts and purpose. He outlined circumstances that student’s can utilize to identify opportunities for growth and character development. Additionally, he reminded them that stepping into one’s destiny may feel uncertain, but is worth the walk of faith. Chapel was immediately followed by an intimate luncheon where students were able to speak with Dr. Carryl and ask questions about his career and what it means to take up space as a person of color in the medical field.
Dr. Carryl then gave a live interview mediated by Audree Johnson, general manager of WJOU 90.1 FM, Oakwood University’s listener supported radio station.
Dr. Carryl and his wife, Jo-Anne Williams-Carryl—also a part of the graduating class of 1984, are co-founders of the Overseas Medical Assistance Team, a non-profit, volunteer-run humanitarian organization. The organization facilitates integration of medical teams in developing communities that are in need of greater access to adequate healthcare. In addition to their humanitarian work, the Carryl’s are also benefactors of Oakwood University: providing major financial contributions towards the completion of Carter Hall’s Fitness Center.
Bessie Carter Hall was first built in 1966 before undergoing major renovations in 2015. However, in keeping with their dedication to heath, wellness and a campus that reflects these principles, the Carryl’s knew their work wasn’t quite finished yet.
Therefore, during this visit, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was also held to officially open the new fitness center.
Stephen and Jo-Anne are parents to two daughters who both currently attend Oakwood University. Leigha, a senior biology major, will follow in her father’s footsteps by attending medical school in the fall. Samela, a freshman political science major, is exploring her creative talents as a playwright and vocalist, and hopes to attend law school after graduation.