breast cancer researchThe Breast Cancer Research and Development Department as you know it today was greatly influenced and formed around the courageous actions of Dr. Josetta E. Wilkins.

Born in North Little Rock and raised on a farm in Jefferson County, Dr. Josetta E. Wilkins earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Social Science from Arkansas AM&N, which is now known as the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). Knowing that education is the key to a bright future, Dr. Wilkins continued her education and earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Guidance from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. She also obtained a Doctorate Degree in Higher Educational Administration and Adult Education from Oklahoma State University.

Dr. Josetta E. Wilkins served four terms in the Arkansas House of Representatives, serving portions of Jefferson County. She has worked as a rehabilitation and education counselor at the secondary and collegiate levels. She has served in numerous positions, including: Deputy Director of an Arkansas Manpower Program, Director of Cooperative Education, Director of University Relations and Development at UAPB and the Cluster Chairperson. She also served as a consultant to the United States Department of Education, National Commission of Cooperative Education and several Universities and Colleges throughout the United States.

Dr. Wilkins is the author and lead sponsor of legislation that was signed into law, the Character Bill. This life-saving legislation became the Arkansas Breast Cancer Act of 1997, which has provided over $71 million dollars for education, mammography, diagnosis, treatment and research of breast cancer for Arkansas women. That research is conducted here in the department of Breast Cancer Research and Development at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) by a group of exceptionally focused and dedicated researchers and staff.