Linda Powell Solomon ’77: Supporting Minority Students in Science
Jared Scott Tesler
The daughter of a prominent board-certified general surgeon and clinical professor of surgery at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Linda Powell Solomon ’77 was exposed to science at a very early age.
Teaching anatomy and physiology “seemed a natural fit” for Solomon, whose family’s living room coffee table was always adorned with the latest issue of Hospital Practice. She would eventually earn her medical degree from American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine and a Certificate of Teaching Excellence in Higher Education from Montgomery County Community College before assuming her current role as Professor and Chair of Biology at Community College of Philadelphia.
For the past 25 years, in addition to guiding instruction and biology course offerings, Solomon has supported the efforts of countless underrepresented minority students working toward a bachelor’s degree in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through the National Science Foundation’s Greater Philadelphia Region Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation program. In recognition of her distinguished achievements and outstanding contributions, she has received awards from the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation, the Community College of Philadelphia and Drexel University chapters of the National Society of Black Engineers, the Greater Philadelphia Region Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, and even Philadelphia City Council.
Solomon is also busy spreading her message of social equality in a voluntary capacity, as First Vice-Chair of Greater Philadelphia Health Action’s Board of Directors, a member of The Shipley School’s Alumni Council, and Co-Chair of its Diversity and Inclusion Committee alongside Pennsylvania Convention Center Diversity and Inclusion Manager Erika White ’98. She recently sat on Shipley’s Alumni Panel on diversity and inclusion. “I was happy that students, faculty, alumni, and parents engaged in the dialogue that ensued,” Solomon says, “so current students of color will know they have people to talk to and advocate for them.”
An influential African-American woman in a historically white male-dominated field, with many of her former students now enjoying successful careers as doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and professors, Solomon is quick to point out that “science is a multicultural endeavor, so things are changing.”
The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.