The University of Maryland’s Eastern Shore (UMES) campus has ended its national search for a president, officially naming Dr. Juliette Bell to the position this week.

Bell joins UMES from Wilberforce, Ohio, where she is currently serving as provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at Central State University.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity and one that I am very excited about,” Bell said. “I’ll be spending my initial time learning the new environment, meeting and talking with people and getting to know the community and the institution.”

Bell takes over the position from Dr. Mortimer Neufville, who began serving the university as interim president in May 2011 following the retirement of President Thelma B. Thompson.

Bell hails from Talladega, Ala., and has long had a passion for pushing students to reach their full potential by way of the classroom. Bell is a biochemist by trade, and a staunch believer in increasing the number of African Americans graduating with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematic (STEM) degrees.

She was the first of her family to attend college, earning a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. Bell went on to earn a Ph.D in chemistry from Atlanta University, now Atlanta Clark University, and a post-doctorate degree in biochemistry from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“Dr. Bell is the right person to lead UMES at this time. I am thrilled that she has accepted the position,” said Dr. William E. Kirwan, Chancellor of the University of Maryland System UMS. “I think she’s going to be an outstanding president for us at UMES.”

Bell has worn several hats within the education system, serving as Winston-Salem State University’s interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs and Fayetteville State University’s director of biomedical research.

In 2001, Bell received the Minority Access, Inc. National Role Model Citation. She is also a recipient of the 2000 Millennium Award for Excellence in Teaching in Mathematics, Science, Engineering and Technology at Historically Black Colleges, an honor bestowed by the White House Initiative on HBCUs.

Dr. Bell’s appointment will become final on July 1. For more information on Dr. Juliette Bell’s appointment as President of University of Maryland Eastern Shore, visit http://www.usmd.edu/newsroom/news/1072.

Alexis Taylor

AFRO Staff Writer