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Black Women on the Board of Trustees

February 17, 2011

Gloria Twine Chisum, Ph.D. the first African-American woman to join the Board of Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma in 1930.  Dr. Chisum earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree at Howard University in 1951 and 1953, respectively.  She continued on to the University of Pennsylvania where she received a graduate fellowship in 1958, and earned a Ph.D. in experimental psychology in 1960 upon completion of her dissertation, “Transposition as a Function of the Number of Test Trials.”  After earning her doctorate, Dr. Chsium began to conduct research at the Naval Air Warfare Development Center, while continuing to teach psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.  In 1965, Dr. Chisum was made director of the Vision Research Laboratory at the Naval Warfare Development Center, where she researched methods for protecting jet pilots against vision loss during sharp turns and developed protective goggles to shield pilots’ eyes from bright flashes.  Dr. Chisum was awarded for these achievements in 1979, when she earned the Raymond F. Longacre Award of the Aerospace Medical Association. Dr. Chisum was the first African American woman to join the University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees and was elected to become one of only five female Emeritus Trustees after 26 years of serving on the Board.


Susan Taylor, MD became the second African American woman to join the University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees.  She is a leading dermatologist with extensive experience as a clinician, clinical researcher, pharmaceutical consultant and CEO of a small cosmetic company.   Dr. Taylor graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1979, magna cum laude, with a major in biology.  She then studied medicine at Harvard Medical School, graduating in 1983, and completed residencies at Pennsylvania Hospital and Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center.  Dr. Taylor has gained over 20 years of valuable dermatology experience at Society Hill Dermatology in Philadelphia.  Additionally, Dr. Taylor established the Skin of Color Center at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York.  The center is the first of its kind in the country and strives to diagnose, treat, and investigate diseases in people of color, including individuals of African, Hispanic, and Asian descent.  Dr. Taylor regularly presents lectures to medical students and other dermatologists and has co-authored two major dermatology textbooks as well as two books for the general public.  At Penn, Dr. Taylor serves on the Board of Overseers of the Graduate School of Education, the WXPN Policy Board and is co-Chair of the James Brister Society. She is a member of the Trustees’ Council of Penn Women and served on the organizing committee for the 125 Years of Women at Penn Celebration in 2001.


M. Claire Lomax, Esq. is the third African American woman to join the University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees.  Ms. Lomax graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984 and continued on to complete law school at Georgetown University Law Center.  She is admitted to practice law in both Pennsylvania and Maryland.  Ms. Lomax currently serves as the General Counsel of The Lomax Companies, a group of family owned companies in the Philadelphia area.  In her over 17 years of experience serving as General Counsel Ms. Lomax has worked in the a number of areas, including child welfare, health care management, labor & employment law, and corporate law.  She is the former president and CEO of Say Yes to Health, a non-profit organization that provided healthcare education to marginalized children in the Philadelphia.  At Penn, Ms. Lomax currently serves as a member of the Board of Overseers for the Penn’s School of Social Policy and Practice. She is Co-Chair of the James Brister Society and a member of the Trustees Council of Penn Women.



Black Women Scientists in the United States by Wini Warren. Indiana University Press. 1999.


Lauren McGlockton, C’11

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