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We are proud to spotlight a very distinguished alumnus, Jarrett Barnhill, who grew up in rural, eastern North Carolina amidst tobacco fields. Dr. Barnhill received an undergraduate degree in Anthropology in 1971. He attended medical school at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine (Wake Forest University) from which he graduated in 1975. He then completed multiple residencies in General Psychiatry, Child Psychiatry, and Neuropsychiatry. Dr. Barnhill is now semi-retired from the Department of Psychiatry at the UNC School of Medicine retains a deep interest in evolutionary biology and paleoanthropology.

When asked about his most compelling memory from undergraduate days, Jarrett recounted the following story:

“My biggest challenge was explaining Anthropology to family. Only my uncle knew what it was. He graduated from Cornell during the Great Depression with a degree in Ornithology. I remember him leaning back in his desk chair with his hands behind his head. ‘Well Jarrett, quit trying to explain it. Just tell everyone that you’re studying them. That’ll shut them up.’”


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