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Rhonda Cornum, PhD., MD., Retired US Army Brigadier General Ruth Paulie Series

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Few women hold a position both as a doctor and as a brigadier general. Few women were shot down and captured while serving as a flight surgeon on a Blackhawk helicopter rescue mission during the Persian Gulf War. You will have the privilege of meeting one such extraordinary woman, as part of the Ruth Pauley Lecture Series on Wednesday, October 30th. Brigadier General Rhonda Cornum
will discuss the quickly changing role of the military in the post-Afghanistan era in her talk, “National Implications of Military Leadership”. This is the Carl Munro Memorial Lecture.
When the Blackhawk rescue helicopter was shot down, then-Major Cornum suffered two broken arms, a gunshot wound in the back, and other injuries She and two other survivors were captured and subjected to abuse by Iraqi forces. She was repatriated one week later, on March 6, 1991.
She later co-authored a book with Peter Copeland about her experiences, entitled, She Went to War: the Rhonda Cornum Story. Post traumatic “growth”, positive psychology, complete soldier physical and mental fitness, are all a part of her teachings. Today, they serve as a model for the universal implementation of physical and psychological health promotion within the Department of Defense.
Dr. Cornum received her Ph.D. in nutrition and biochemistry from Cornell and is a board-certified surgeon in Urology. She commanded Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, caring for over 26,000 Afghanistan and Iraq War heroes and later became the U.S. Army Forces Command Surgeon. Her most recent military position was as Director of Comprehensive Soldier Fitness in the Army.
Brigadier General Cornum retired from military service on January 31st, 2012, after 34 years and several awards: League of Merit (3), Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, etc.. She is currently the Director of Health Strategy for Tech Werks.
Rhonda Cornum, 59, is a wife and a mother. Her husband, Kory Kornum, followed a parallel military career, becoming a U.S. Air Force brigadier general.
The Ruth Pauley Lecture Series is sponsored by Sandhills Community College, the Moore County League of Women Voters, the Sandhills Branch of the American Association of University Women, and the Moore County Schools. Past speakers have included Sandra Day O’Connor, Newt Gingrich, George McGovern, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Jack Hanna, Ernest Green and Jack Nicklaus. Lectures are free and open to the public with no tickets required. For additional information, call 910-245-3132.

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