Minority Access' Role Models Project

Minority Access has publicized and honored students during their collegiate years who are now recipients of master's degrees and earned doctorate degrees, including Ph.D.'s and M.D.'s. We are convinced that their being publicized and honored as Minority Access Role Models has contributed to the expansion of the pool of student researchers from underrepresented groups. Many have shared with us stories of their elevated status on campus after being honored as a Minority Access Role Model. Just as persons strive to emulate the stars of Hollywood and professional sport leagues, students strive to emulate their peers who are stars on their campus.

In addition to students, faculty and alumni from underrepresented groups honored as Role Models by Minority Access are their supporters, recruiters and administrators as well as innovators who have gained national attention for their benefit to mankind. Each one of these individuals has an inspiring story, often including overcoming difficult obstacles to achieve. Minority Access has honored nearly 400 individuals over the past fourteen years.

Sampling of Minority Access National Role Models

YEARS 2000 - 2014 *Positions listed were those held at the time of award presentation*

Dr. Keith Black

Renowned Brain Surgeon and Director of Neurosurgery at Cedars Sinai Medical Center

Dr. Cristina Fernandez-Valle

Professor Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences - College of Medicine, University of Central Florida Orlando, FL

Dr. Benjamin Carson

Renowned Surgeon and Director of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery at John Hopkins Hospital

Dr. Clive Callender

Transplant Pioneer and Founder of the National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program (MOTTEP) and Chairman of the Department of Surgery, Howard University

Dr. Donna Christen Christensen

Virgin Island Delegate to the U.S. House of Representative and Physician

Dr. Louis Dale

First Vice President for Equity and Diversity at The University of Alabama at Birmingham

Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr.

82nd Attorney General of the United States, the first African American to hold the position of U.S. Attorney General

Dr. Verna Fowler

President of the College of Menominee Nation

Dr. A. James Hicks

Director of the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, National Science Foundation

Dr. Alma C. Hobbs

Assistant Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Dr. Marilyn French Hubbard

Corporate Vice President of Community Partnership and Diversity, Henry Ford Health Systems

Dr. William Kirwan

Chancellor of the University System of Maryland and Former President of The Ohio State University

Dr. Ted Love

Distinguished Surgeon and President and CEO of Nuvelo, Inc.

Dr. Charles Modlin, Jr.

Kidney Transplant Surgeon and Director of Minority Men's Health Center at the Cleveland Clinic

Dr. Antonio Novella

First Hispanic Surgeon General of the United States

Dr. Dixie Tooke-Rawlins

Provost, Dean and Executive Vice President, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine

Dr. Earl Richardson

President of Morgan State University

Vice Admiral Adam M. Robinson, Jr.

First African American Surgeon General of the United States Navy

Dr. John Ruffin

Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities

The Honorable Ermea J. Russell

First African-American woman appointed to the Mississippi Court of Appeals

Lt. General Ricardo S. Sanchez

Commanding Officer, V Corp, United States Army and Highly Decorated Soldier

Dr. David Satcher

Sixteenth Surgeon General of the United States

Dr. Blue Spruce

First Native American to Receive a D.D.S. and Founder of the Society of American Indian Dentists

The Honorable Louis Stokes

Retired Congressman

Dr. Elda Sanchez

"Snake Lady," Assistant Professor of Chemistry Texas A&M University - Kingsville, Executive Co-Director of the National Natural Toxins Research Center and inducted into the YWCA's Women in Careers Hall of Fame

Dr. Louis Sullivan

Former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Founding Dean and Former President of Morehouse School of Medicine

Dr. Herman Taylor

Professor of Medicine and Director of the Jackson Heart Study

Dr. Charles Douglass Whitlock

President of Eastern Kentucky University

Dr. Laura A. Williams

Global Project Head of the Renal Global Project, Abbott Laboratories

Sampling of 2017 Minority Access National Role Models

YEARS 2017 *Positions listed were those held at the time of award presentation*

Category - Administrator

Role Model Name Institution
Raymond B. Allen, M.A. Southeastern University
Kathleen Buckley, MDiv. St. Lawrence University
Katrina M. Caldwell, Ph.D. University of Mississippi
Tabitha A. Enoch, M.A. University of Virginia 
Keri Hesson, M.S. Auburn University
Jerri Marr, B.S.  University of Tennessee
Andrea Guzman Oliver, Ph.D. Florida Atlantic University
Benjamin Williams, Ph.D. Ron Brown College Preparatory High School
Johnny Young, Ed.D. Old Dominion University
Category - Alumni Award  
Role Model Name  
Rosianna R. Gray, Ph.D. University of Alabama
Candy Moore, B.A. Converse College
Lyna Nyamwaya, B.S. Metropolitan State University
Allen A. Robinson, DDS Morgan State University
Aaron D. Smith, M.A. Lynchbury College
Category - Faculty Award  
Role Model Name  
Derek D. Bardell, M.A. Delgado Community College
Charlene Crawley, Ph.D Virginia Commonwealth University
Dwayne L. Daniels, Ph.D. Fort Valley State University
Robin R. Means Coleman, Ph.D. University of Michigan
Michelle Robinson, DMD The University of Alabama Birmingham
Raj Sethuraju, Ph.D. Metropolitan State University
Category - Faculty Mentor Award  
Role Model Name  
Mijitaba Hamissou, Ph.D. Jacksonville State University
William E. Hart, Ph.D. University of Tennessee
Shayla Sawyer, Ph.D. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Michael Smith, Ph.D. University of Tennessee
Gabriela L. Stein, Ph.D. University of North Carolina Greensboro
Category - Faculty Researcher Award  
Role Model Name  
Neval Erturk, Ph.D. Converse College
Melanie Van Stry, Ph.D. Lane College
Lakiesha Williams, Ph.D. Mississippi State University
Category - Recruiter Award  
Role Model Name  
Justin J. Mathis, M.Ed. Kentucky State University
Category - Student Award  
Role Model Name  
Cassandra Germana, B.S. Seton Hall University
Cleveland Ivey Fort Valley State University
Raymond Richards, M.S. Seton Hall University
Xavia Taylor Fort Valley State University