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Gwendolyn E. Boyd

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Information about Gwendolyn E. Boyd

Profile image of Gwendolyn E. Boyd

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Civic Leader
Mechanical Engineer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken, Collard Greens
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
South Africa
Favorite Quote:
The Lord Is My Light And My Aalvation. Whom Shall I Fear?

Birthplace

Born:
12/27/1955
Birth Location:
Montgomery, Alabama

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Civic Leader
Mechanical Engineer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken, Collard Greens
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
South Africa
Favorite Quote:
The Lord Is My Light And My Aalvation. Whom Shall I Fear?

Birthplace

Born:
12/27/1955
Birth Location:
Montgomery
See how Gwendolyn E. Boyd is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Mechanical engineer and civic leader Gwendolyn Elizabeth Boyd was born on December 27, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama to Dora McClain. Boyd’s mother passed away when Boyd was thirteen years old, and her godmother, Emzella Mapson, raised her. Boyd's teachers, at the all-black McDavid Elementary School, nurtured her love of math from a young age. Boyd was one of five black students to integrate Jefferson Davis High School in Montgomery, Alabama. In high school. she helped establish a student interracial council, was a member of the math honor society, and performed choir before graduating as valedictorian in 1973. Boyd attended the historically black Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama on a scholarship, graduating summa cum laude with her B.S. degree in mathematics and minors in music and physics in 1977. She received a fellowship to attend Yale University's School of Engineering in New Haven, Connecticut, becoming the school's first African American woman to receive an M.S. degree in mechanical engineering in 1979.

Following her graduation, Boyd worked briefly as an engineer at IBM in Kingston, New York. In 1980, she was offered a position as a submarine navigation systems analyst at the Applied Physics Laboratory at John Hopkins University. Boyd was later appointed to high-level administrative positions, first as the assistant for development programs in 1998 and then the as executive assistant to the chief of staff in 2004.

Boyd has been an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., rising through the ranks of the sorority's leadership since joining as a student at Alabama State. In 2000, Boyd was elected for a four-year term as the national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Boyd also serves on the board of directors of Leadership Greater Washington, the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Bennett College and the National Partnership for Community Leadership. She is a member of The Links, Inc., the National Council of Negro Women and Ebenezer A.M.E Church in Fort Washington, Maryland where she serves on the ministerial staff. In 2007, Boyd received her M.Div. degree at Howard University and is an ordained itinerant elder in the A.M.E. Church. She has also received honorary doctorates from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and Bennett College in North Carolina. In 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Boyd to the board of trustees of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

Gwendolyn E. Boyd was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 25, 2007.

See how Gwendolyn E. Boyd is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gwendolyn Boyd's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Boyd lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about her mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about her upbringing and the role of God in her life
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Boyd remembers her mother's death and her last words to her
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about not knowing her father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about her elementary school experience
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about growing up in the Tulane Courts projects of Montgomery, Alabama
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about her childhood friends and her interest in math
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gwendolyn Boyd describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about overcoming her hardships and being independent from an early age
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about her experience in junior high school during integration
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about her role on an integrated council with black and white students at Jefferson Davis High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about protesting the song "Dixie"
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about the social and political activities during the 1950s and 1960s and their influence
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about her decision to attend Alabama State University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about her transition to Alabama State University and her community activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about her interest in math, and about being recruited to pursue her graduate studies in engineering at Yale University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about being accepted into Yale University's School of Engineering
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about transitioning from Alabama to Connecticut, finding Varick AME Church, and funding her education
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about her experience at Yale University's School of Engineering
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about her experience working at IBM, and her decision to leave IBM and join Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about her experience at Johns Hopkins University and her experience in submarine school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about becoming the president of the Washington, D.C. chapter and the millennial president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about her leadership initiatives in South Africa as the president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about her leadership initiatives as the president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about the Project SEE initiative
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about the mission of the Delta Homeownership Initiative for Financial Fortitude program
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about the Leadership Delta program
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about her faith and her admiration of HistoryMaker Bishop Vashti McKenzie, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about her faith and her admiration of HistoryMaker Bishop Vashti McKenzie, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about her board appointments with Leadership Washington, the Children's National Medical Center, and United Way
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about the National Partnership for Community Leadership, The Links, Inc., and her other professional affiliations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gwendolyn Boyd talks about her faith in God
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Gwendolyn Boyd shares her message to future generations
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gwendolyn Boyd describes her photographs