LSU Health student chosen for 1st ARVO emerging advocate award


NEW ORLEANS – Jarrod C. Harman, a student at LSU Health New Orleans School of Graduate Studies, is the recipient of the inaugural Emerging Advocate Award presented by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). According to the international eye research society, the award recognizes ARVO members who have made efforts to integrate advocacy as part of their professional efforts early in their careers.

Harman, who is pursuing a doctor of philosophy degree in biochemistry and molecular biology, has been active in the Student Government Association at LSU Health New Orleans. He served as Vice President and Interim President.

ARVO also awarded Harman one of ten Science Communication Training Fellowships last year, which included participating in ARVO’s Advocacy Day in Washington, DC. He met with members of the Louisiana delegation, U.S. Representative Cedric L. Richmond and Senators John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy, to advocate for 2020 Fiscal Year funding for the National Eye Institute (NEI). He told them about his own research to show the return-on-investment of federal funding. His advocacy is also demonstrated by his partnership with the Louisiana Lion’s Eye Foundation to perform vision screenings at inner-city primary schools. 

“Being named the first recipient of this award is a tremendous honor,” says Harman. “I very much look forward to participating in future training opportunities, workshops and advocacy outreach events within the ARVO community. ARVO has elected to invest in advocacy and training opportunities for all interested members. I’ve learned firsthand that, collectively, we can make a difference.”

“We are so proud that Jarrod was the one chosen for this honor from applicants spanning the globe,” notes Jeff Gidday, PhD, FARVO, FAHA, FAPS, Professor of Ophthalmology, Physiology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, and Neuroscience at LSU Health New Orleans, in whose lab Harman works. “It is but the first of many honors in the future of this impressive and accomplished young scientist.”


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