Juliette B. Bell
Dr. Juliette B. Bell became the 15th leader of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore on July 1, 2012. Her selection culminated a two-decade journey through the ranks of higher education for the biochemist who grew up in rural Alabama.
As president, Bell immediately assumed a very public role in the life of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, immersing herself in all things UMES, familiarizing herself with the university’s many constituencies, the lower Eastern Shore and “The Old Line State.”
From serving as grand marshal of the 2012 Princess Anne Christmas Parade to keynote speaker of the 2013 Tri-County Martin Luther King Jr. Day program, she has demonstrated a commitment to being a civic as well as academic leader. In recognition of her leadership, she was recently named one of the Top 20 Delmarva Black Women of 2013 by Delmarva African American Pride Magazine.
A hands-on administrator who stresses accountability as well as shared governance and responsibility, Bell guides the University's five schools, economic development and research initiatives, and numerous partnerships with government, military and business organizations and agencies. She oversees a $130-million public enterprise that serves some 4,500 students and employs more than 1,000 faculty and staff.
Her focus during her first year has been on aligning her senior leadership team for maximum effectiveness. Her major goals include enhancing student success and ensuring the university’s continued engagement as a research and economic development leader. To that end, she has created and filled two new senior leadership positions - provost and vice president for academic affairs and vice president for research and economic development.
Bell is a nationally recognized biochemist and scholar whose study of the enzyme responsible for linking the billions of building blocks that make DNA, the genetic code, has been critical in understanding genetic disorders and diseases that afflict humans. She has numerous presentations and published articles in scholarly journals. A prolific grant writer, she has successfully garnered over $13 million in grant funds to support her research, institutional enhancement, and student development programs such as the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement at Fayetteville (N.C.) State University, a program that prepares students for biomedical careers. Bell has a wealth of experience as a hands-on teacher and researcher. During her career spanning more than 20 years, she has trained and mentored hundreds of students who have gone on to obtain advanced degrees and to pursue careers in the biomedical sciences.
Throughout her career as an educator, Bell has been active in numerous community and professional organizations. She is Chair of the Livinig Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center's Board of Visitors,a member of American Association of State Colleges and Universities Committee on Undergraduate Education and the Millennium Leadership Institute Executive Committee. She also serves as a consultant to the American Association of Colleges and Universities and the National Science Foundation.
Prior to coming to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Bell was a professor of chemistry, Director of Biomedical Research, Dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences at Fayetteville State University and was its Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. She also served as interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Winston-Salem State University before being appointed Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and professor of biochemistry at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. In those roles, Bell is credited with leading significant initiatives including the development of new academic programs, international partnerships, online degrees, endowed professorships, academic restructuring, and improvements in student success outcomes.
Bell earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Talladega College, graduating as Valedictorian of her class. She went on to pursue graduate studies at Atlanta University and became one of only two African American women in the country to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1987. She did post-doctoral work in biochemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and worked as a senior staff fellow at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, N.C. prior to joining Fayetteville State University.
Her many national honors include the “Giant in Science” award from Quality Education for Minorities/Math Science Education (QEM/MSE) Network, The Outstanding Research Award from the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), the National Role Model Citation from Minority Access, Inc., and the 2000 Millennium Award for Excellence in Teaching in Mathematics, Science, Engineering and Technology at Historically Black Colleges from the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. "Defying Tradition-African American Women in Science and Technology," a 2000 exhibit at the Chicago Museum of Science and Technology, featured Bell along with nine other prominent women, including astronaut Mae Jameson and former U.S. Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders.
Bell is a graduate of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Millennium Leadership Institute and the Harvard Institute for Education Management.
Her husband, Willie, is a retired police chief and consultant who specializes in advising college administrators on campus security. She has two adult children, Michael and Stephanie, and five grandchildren – whom she affectionately calls her “M&Ms” – Michael, Maysa, Madison, Morgan, and Mali.