Joelle N. Robinson was born in Louisville, Kentucky and raised in Danville, Kentucky. She is a Woodford R. Porter Scholar and two-time graduate of the University of Louisville, who completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology with a minor in Justice Administration. Joelle went on to obtain a Master of Science degree in Physiology & Biophysics from the University of Louisville School of Medicine, Department of Physiology.
Her love for physiology was rooted in a cardiovascular research project that was supported by an NIH grant from the National Heart Blood and Lung institute. While working in the laboratory of Dr. Irving Joshua, she conducted in-vivo research to determine if salt sensitive hypertension-induced changes in vascular function are improved or weakened by antioxidant treatment Dahl-Salt-Sensitive rats. Inspired by her research, she continued studying the pathophysiology of the cardiovascular system in her graduate program by examining the effects of nitric oxide and exercise in normotensive and hypertension-induced animal models, as well as normotensive and hypertensive human subjects.
Joelle has over four years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and has performed data collection and analysis at the Human Locomotion Research Center at Frazier Rehab Institute to study activity-based retraining after spinal cord injury. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor in the division of Natural Science and Mathematics, General Education Department, at Sullivan University. Her subject matter expertise includes biology and anatomy & physiology.
Outside her full-time career she is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and volunteers as a physician scribe for the Family Community Clinic (FCC) in Louisville, KY, a non-profit organization that provides free healthcare services to uninsured and underinsured patients. She has previously also volunteered with Have A Heart Clinic in Louisville, KY which provides cardiovascular care, support, and education to adult patients across Kentuckiana irrespective of their insurance coverage or ability to pay.
Dr. Jaafar Al-Azzawi is an adjunct instructor who started teaching at Sullivan University since 2018. He also served as a faculty member at the University of Arkansas – Pulaski Technical College, American University of Healing Arts, and University of Diyalah – College of Medicine. Dr. Al-Azzawi spent 35 years as a physician and university faculty member. He obtained his board certification in fractures and orthopedic surgery from the Iraqi Board for Medical Specializations in 1994; and Doctor of Medicine from the University of Basrah - College of Medicine in 1986.