Black History Spotligjts
By Don Valentine
This is a new segment the Westside Gazette will feature thru the end of February. That is the conclusion of Black History Month. Hopefully it will educate or jog your memory on the legacy of our Black pioneers!
Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd
This acclaimed Delta Sigma Theta Sorority academician set footsteps for sisters to follow! Dr. Boyd’s professional career of more than three decades at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics laboratory was highlighted by exemplary leadership and dedicated services as part of the engineering teams. Dr. Boyd returned to her alma mater, Alabama State University, in 2014 to serve for three years as the 14th and first female president of ASU. Highlights of her presidency included establishing the university’s first engineering degree program with approval for a B.S. in biomedical engineering. She and her team had the university removed from SACSCOC warning status from previous financial instability. The largest freshman class was documented during her tenure.
Dr. Boyd is a nationally recognized champion of education, especially in the STEM disciplines. She was nominated by President Barack Obama and was confirmed by the Senate to serve as a trustee to the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation in 2009. She later served on the President’s Advisory Commission on Education Excellence for African Americans in 2014.
Rev. Dr. Boyd is an ordained itinerant elder in the African American Methodist Episcopal Church. She serves on the ministerial staff of Ebenezer AME Church in Fort Washington, MD.
Dr. Boyd was elected to serve from 2000-2004 as the 22nd National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Known as the “Technology President”, Boyd helped to establish technology in all facets of the sorority’s activities and administration. Her four-year tenure included transformative accomplishments, such as the launching of Project SEE (Science in Every Experience), an initiative funded by a $1.6 million National Science Foundation grant with a goal of promoting math and science for middle school African American girls. She led the sorority’s humanitarian and education advocacy efforts in various African nations. In 2013, Dr. Boyd served as chair of the Sorority’s Centennial Celebration, culminating in its Washington, DC-based convention that drew more than 40,000 participants from around the world.
Dr. Boyd has been awarded two honorary doctorates; Congressional recognitions; 28 “Keys to the City”; a Key to the “State of Florida”; declaration of Gwendolyn E. Boyd Day in eight cities; leadership awards, and professional awards, and professional awards for her achievements in the fields of engineering and higher education. She is a member of the Capital City Chapter of the Links, Inc., the Washington, DC Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and Leadership Greater Washington.
Dr. Boyd earned her B.S. from Alabama State University with a major in mathematics and a double minor in physics and music. She received a fellowship and was the first African American female to earn a M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Yale University.