Keshia Elder Will Be the First Black Woman to Lead a School of Optometry in the United States

Keshia Elder has been named dean of the College of Optometry at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. When she takes office on September 1, she will be the first Black woman to lead a school of optometry in the United States.

Dr. Elder has been serving as director of diversity, equity, and inclusion and director of externships at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry. She was an associate clinical professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis from 2011 to 2016.

“The optometrists that are trained at UMSL are some of the best that exist in the country, but it’s important that we not only just educate students,” Dr. Elder said. “Because we are in academia, we also have a responsibility to contribute to the body of knowledge that exists in our profession.”

Dr. Elder added that “it is important that faculty, staff, and students represent the people that we serve. The only way that we can really change the face of the profession is by making sure that we have a diverse representation of the profession within our schools and colleges of optometry.”

Dr. Elder is a graduate of Clemson University in South Carolina, where she majored in mathematics. She holds two master’s degrees – one in vision science and a second in instructional design – and a doctor of optometry degree, all from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Related Articles

1 COMMENT

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Alcorn State University Recruited for Federal Student Pathway Program for Careers in Public Service

The Pathway Public Service Program was established in 2019 to develop the next generation of diverse, qualified, and motivated public health servants. Over the past five years, the program has hired over 100 student interns.

Five Black Scholars Selected for New Faculty Positions

The five Black scholars who aer taking on new roles are Khadene Harris at Rice University in Houston, Nakia Melecio at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Bettina Drake at Washington University in St. Louis, Arlette Ngoubene Atioky at Goucher College in Maryland, and Kandi Hill-Clarke at the University of Memphis.

Getty Images to Preserve Digital Photo Archives at Delaware State University

Currently, Delaware State University's photo archives contain thousands of photographs taken over the course of the university's 133 year history. Thanks to a new partnership with Getty Images, those images will be digitized and made available on gettyimages.com.

Porché Spence Recognized for Outstanding Commitment to Advancing Diversity in Ecology

Dr. Spence currently serves as an assistant professor of environmental studies at North Carolina A&T State University. Throughout her career, she has developed several educational programs geared towards introducing students of color to environmental science fields.

Featured Jobs