RCMI External Advisory Committee (EAC) Members


The External Advisory Committee (EAC) comprises outstanding biomedical and behavioral scientists from industry, academia, and federal agencies recommended by past RCMI advisory members, core leaders, pilot project investigators, and research participants. The EAC will meet annually to provide continuous monitoring of the program to assure a high-quality, clearly focused effort to achieve institutional stated goals for expanding its biomedical research capacity. The EAC offers a prompt resolution of problems, periodic evaluation of all research-related activities, and recommends timely changes as needed for improved program performance. The EAC chairman sets the agenda for the annual meeting in conjunction with the PI. The EAC provides advice regarding program management, develops general policies, regularly monitors overall operations, prioritizes program needs, and identifies collaborations and resources. The EAC monitors progress toward program goals, addresses problem areas, refinements, and improvements. The Committee encourages faculty development, identifies alternative resources, recommends institutionalized enhanced research capabilities for FAMU to maintain a productive, competitive research environment. The Committee also oversees concept and application development, reviews grant applications before submission, and makes recommendations throughout the submission process.



  • William L. Dewey, Ph.D.
    Professor and Chair of Pharmacology and Toxicology
    Virginia Commonwealth University
    McGuire Hall, 1112 E Clay Street
    P.O. Box 980613
    Richmond, VA 23298-0613
    Phone: (804) 827-0375
  • Clement K. Gwede, Ph.D., MPH, RN, FAAN
    Senior Member, Population Sciences, Department of Health Outcomes & Behavior
    Professor, Oncologic Sciences, University of South Florida College of Medicine
    12902 Magnolia Drive
    Tampa, FL 33612
    Phone: (813) 745-3052  
  • Offiong Francis Ikpatt, MD
    Associate Professor
    Central Michigan University
    1000 Houghton Avenue
    Saginaw, MI 48602
    Phone: (773) 316-3613
  • Philip C. Andrews, Ph.D.
    Biochemistry, Chemistry, Bioinformatics
    University of Michigan
    Ann Arbor, MI 48109
    Phone: (734) 763-3130
  • John D. Carpten, Ph.D.
    Professor and Chair of Translational Genomics
    Director, Institute of Translational Genomics
    Keck School of Medicine
    University of Southern California
    1450 Biggy Street Health Sciences California
    Los Angeles, CA 90089
    Phone: (323) 865-1591
  • Shyam (Sam) S. Mohapatra, Ph.D., MBA, FNAI, FAIMBE, FAAAS
    Distinguished Health Professor
    Vice Chair of Research, Department of Internal Medicine
    Director, Center for Research & Education in Nanobioengineering
    Associate Dean, USF Health Taneja College of Pharmacy Graduate Programs
    12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., MDC 30
    Tampa, FL 33612
    Phone: (813) 974-8568
  • Penny Ralston, Ph.D.
    Professor, Dean Emeritus & Director
    Center on Better Health and Life for the Underserved
    Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL




John C. Higginbotham, Ph.D., MPH, University of Alabama

The External Program Evaluator (EPE) is John C. Higginbotham, Ph.D., MPH. He is Professor and Chair of the Department of Community Medicine and Population Health and Director of the Institute for Rural Health Research at the University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences. He has served as the EPE since 2013.

As the EPE, he is responsible for overseeing the evaluation component, conducting an initial thorough needs assessment, developing evaluation plans, assessing the appropriateness of specific aims, purpose, activity, procedures, defining concrete milestones, goals impact, feasibility, and outcomes of the program. The EPE management includes a steering component that consists of all RCMI participants, the internal and external advisory committees, researchers, collaborators, and administrative staff. These groups play an ongoing and active role in developing, engaging in, implementing, evaluating, and recommending processes subject to evaluation data collection and interpretation of results criteria.