Cynthia Warrick chose a career in academia after simultaneously serving as a community college trustee and running her own pharmacy. “I learned firsthand that there were higher education issues that needed solutions. After three years on the board, I sold my pharmacy and entered graduate school to start a career in higher education,” the biomedical scientist and pharmacist explains.
The mother of two small children at the time, she earned a master’s degree in public policy at Georgia Institute of Technology, a Ph.D. in environmental science and policy at George Mason University, and a graduate certificate in hazardous materials management at t he University of California, Los Angeles. She began her academic career on the faculty of her alma mater, Howard University’s College of Pharmacy, and as co-founder of the university’s Urban Environment Institute. She continued to advance in faculty and administrative positions at universities in Texas, Florida, and North Carolina, before becoming interim president of HBCUs Grambling State University and South
Carolina State University.
In 2017 the Alpha Kappa Alpha soror became the seventh president and first woman to lead Stillman College. She develops biomedical research partnerships to maintain diversity pipelines between HBCUs and government agencies and major research institutions. “If we are to address health disparities, we must increase racial and ethnic
diversity in health professions and research,” she states, citing “the challenges African Americans have in STEM and the difficulties they have being admitted into biomedical science careers in medicine , research, and other health sciences.”
Warrick serves on the boards of the United Way of West Alabama, the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, the Tuscaloosa County Economic Development Authority, and the Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama, and on federal advisory committees. With several pharmaceutical and other “firsts” to her name, she is recognized as a trailblazer
and a “dominant HBCU leader.”