Joan M. Prince Ph.D.
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Three African American women profoundly influenced Joan M. Prince professional journey: A “staunch advocate” shared her contacts and experiences; an “ultimate volunteer” taught her to always link a professional opportunity to volunteerism; and a “political pioneer and warrior” taught her how to “navigate in environments where I was the only woman and person of color; never let others give voice for me; and work through barriers and the ‘isms’ that come with climbing a professional ladder.”
Prince is vice chancellor for The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. “Seeing the eyes of a student, staff member or mentee light up when they realize that they have found their path is one of the most rewarding parts of what I do,” she says. She laments the lack of significant diversity for African Americans in many disciplines. “When executing searches for open positions, the results of pools that are not diverse lead to hires that are not diverse. This has been my largest professional challenge, and one that I keep chipping away at daily,” she states.
She is committed to volunteerism and includes mandatory volunteer opportunities for her staff as part of their professional development. Prince has a Ph.D. in medical science education and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in clinical laboratory sciences, all from The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 2012, President Barack Obama appointed her an ambassador to the UN General Assembly (67th session) and senior advisor to the State Department.
When she retires, she plans to work with her university and corporate mentees, expand her global consulting practice, and travel the world. And she would work to make the illiterate literate. “Being literate allows a person to understand the choices they make, and to help them to think about and look for choices that can empower their personal decisions,” she affirms. “Learning and doing don’t end until the day that we leave this earth.”