Alumni Profiles

Ruth Marguerite Easterling ’21

Dr. Easterling was born in Georgetown, South Carolina on February 17, 1898, but was raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She received her undergraduate degree at Jackson College, a women’s affiliate college of Tufts University in Medford, where she studied premedical sciences. Dr. Easterling went on to make history as the first black woman to be admitted to Tufts University School of Medicine in 1917. One of Dr. Easterling’s accomplishments as a pathologist was to work with an African American physician named William Augustus Hinton to develop the Hinton test for syphilis. In 1979, the Progressive Alliance of Minority Students organization at Tufts School of Medicine established the Dr. Ruth M. Easterling Scholarship which provides minority students with financial assistance.


Donald Ray Vereen, M’85

Dr. Donald Ray Vereen, Jr., M.D., M.P.H., is currently Special Assistant to the Director for the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services. In that capacity, he advises and represents the Director on drug abuse and addiction research issues, including clinical research, the translation of research to practice, communication of research efforts and findings to the public, practitioners, and professional groups. Previously, he served as the Deputy Director in the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Executive Office of the President, where he helped promote the goals and objectives of the President’s National Drug Control Strategy.


Donald E. Wilson ’62

Donald E. Wilson, MD, MACP, was the first African American dean at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dean Wilson has dedicated his life to the advancement of medical science, education, and the principals of diversity and equity in health care. Under his leadership the school has become one of the most diverse student bodies and faculty in the country. The school has also quadrupled its research funding and is now recognized as one of the research medical schools. As of 2006, he has retired from his position as dean, but had continued to be active in the academic setting directing a new program that will incorporate into the curriculum approaches on how to eliminate health disparities.


Gloria White-Hammond, ’76

Reverend Gloria White-Hammond has dedicated her life to healing through her position as minister, pediatrician, and human rights activist. In 1994 Hammond created “Do the Right Thing,” a program for adolescent girls that encourages the girls to express themselves creatively and to also expose them to different opportunities. As a human rights activist she helped to negotiate the release of 1,100 slaves in Darfur, Sudan. She is a part of the organization, “My Sister’s Keeper,” which was created to help improve the lives of women in Sudan. Along with her husband she is a minister at the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church in Jamaica Plain. Presently she continues her work in Sudan and working part time at her clinic and as a minister.


Issac A. Bartley, M’82

In his recent book Beyond Fear: A Doctor’s Journey with His Patient’s Illness, Dr. Bartley writes about his personal experience treating young patients who, unlike their geriatric counterparts, are usually healthy until the diagnosis is made. Immediately, they are hurled into the complex world of medical jargon, a variety of procedures, and invasive tests they know very little or nothing about. Regardless of how devastating the diagnosis, the battle to survive must be fought. Some individuals fare better than others; some quickly learn how to take matters in stride. This physician shows the importance of the patient’s perception of the illness and the support provided by family and friends.


Carl Reddix ’75 and Michael Reddix ’84

Carl Reddix ’75 and Michael Reddix ’84 both headed from Mississippi to Boston to study medicine at Tufts. After the brothers graduated from medical school, they were determined to practice medicine in the community in which they were raised. Carl, with his wife Natalie Brookins-Reddix ’85 and brother Michael Reddix went on to open a four-member internal medicine practice in Jackson, Mississippi. The Redix Medical Group partnered with Mississippi Department or Corrections to provide care to 15,000 of the state’s inmates.


Gena Carter ’76

Gena Carter is a dynamic woman who serves her community on many different levels. After graduating from Tufts School of Medicine, she entered a radiology resident program. As a radiologist whose specialty is in breast imaging and diagnosis, she councils women who are faced with a possible diagnosis of breast cancer. She was recently selected by the International Division of American Society to help implement a mammography screening program in China. Beyond her role of physician, Dr. Carter is a patient fighting her own battle against lupus on a personal and national level by being a part of a national scientific advisory panel for the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal, and Skin Disease at NIH.


Willie Lucus ’72

Dr. Lucus was one of the first students from Mississippi to matriculate at Tufts School of Medicine . He got his start when he visited Delta Health Center, the first community health center to open in a rural region of Mississippi servicing mostly black patients. He told the director of the clinic, Dr. H. Jack Geiger that he always had the desire to attend medical school, but did not have the means to do so. Dr. Geiger set up an interview at Tufts, and Dr.Lucas was quickly accepted. After completing medical school, he worked as director of the Delta Health Center for 10 years. Afterward, he opened a private Family Medicine practice in Greenville, Mississippi where he has worked for over 20 years.


Malcolm Taylor ’73

Dr. Taylor began to think about medicine long before his admittance to Tufts in 1969. When he was 12, he often visited a pediatrician who would answer his questions about medicine. After graduating from Tufts, he practiced cardiology in his home state of Mississippi. Dr. Taylor is an assistant clinical professor for University Medical Center and serves as director of the Congestive Heart Failure Clinic at St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital. He recently served as governor for the Mississippi chapter of the American College of Cardiology and is the immediate past president of the Association of Black Cardiologists.