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Dr. Juliette Bell: My Remarkable Leadership Journey

Juliette B. Bell, Ph.D.: Wife, Mother, Grandma, Mentor, Coach, Biochemist, Professor (retired), University President (retired)

"I never was one to shrink from a challenge. As a youngster, in the cotton fields of segregated Alabama, the challenge was picking a hundred pounds of cotton in a day. In high school, it was taking chemistry and trigonometry, subjects that girls 'were not good at'. In college, it was majoring in chemistry and graduating as valedictorian. In grad school, it was finishing a doctorate in chemistry as a sole parent to a young son. As a postdoc at a major research university, it was proving to my peers that I was not there as a token and to others that, yes, I was a researcher, and not part of the housekeeping staff. At the national laboratory, where I was as senior staff fellow, it was showing that I commanded the same level of respect that the other fellows did and it was there that I also found myself justifying why I felt compelled to work at an HBCU rather than 'doing better' by going to a PWI...And that’s before my academic career even began, nearly 30 years ago!

"From the cotton fields of Alabama to leading one of the top HBCUs in the country, my journey has been nothing short of remarkable. It is a journey filled with ups and downs, joys and sorrows, and challenges and opportunities. My journey is one of a Black girl, growing up in the Jim Crow South, who had the audacity to go against the grain and become a Ph.D. biochemist in a white, male-dominated field. Not being satisfied being the only Black face and voice at the table, my goal was to get more minorities, especially Black females, into science at the doctoral level. That goal lead me from the research lab bench to the classroom lectern, to the administrator’s desk, and ultimately to the President’s seat at the head of the table. In my presentation, I will take you on my leadership journey, with all of its twists and turns. I will discuss the highs and lows, and the lessons learned in navigating a successful path as an impactful leader. I hope you will join me!"

  • Led by: Dr. Juliette Bell (President Emeritus, U of Maryland Eastern Shore)
  • Date: Monday, April 12, 2021
  • Time: Noon - 12:50 PM
  • Location: Virtual
  • Sponsor: ADVANCE

Tags: leadership, mentoring
Format: discussion
Event ID: 02081

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