UM Eastern Shore appoints new president

A career biochemist will take the reins of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore on July 1, the university announced Wednesday.

Juliette B. Bell, the current provost and vice president for academic affairs at Central State University in Ohio, was appointed president of the college, according to a press release from the university system. She will replace Thelma B. Thompson, who stepped down in August 2011.

Bell has two decades of experience in higher education, including research, teaching and administration

The first of her family to attend college — she holds bachelor's and doctorate degrees in chemistry biochemistry — Bell has advocated throughout her career for increasing the number of minority scientists and the opportunities for students to participate in scientific research.

The UMES release said Bell was responsible for establishing the first College of Science and Engineering at Central State University, where she also developed programs to support retention of freshmen and transfer students, the university's first online courses, and the international education programming.

Considered a trailblazing female biochemist, Bell was featured with astronaut Mae Jameson and U.S. Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders in a Chicago Museum of Science and Industry exhibit titled "Defying Tradition — African American Women in Science and Technology."

"As an accomplished scholar and scientist, she has the experience needed to further align UMES' academic, research, and outreach activities with the workforce and economic development needs of the Eastern Shore and the state, especially in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics fields," William E. Kirwan, chancellor of the University System of Maryland, said in the release from the university.

Kirwan also said that Bell's record as a successful grants writer and fundraiser will help "in attracting outside resources and developing partnerships that are so critical, especially during these difficult economic times."

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