Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Margaret Colden
Dr. Margaret Colden was born in Wiesbaden, Germany as her family was an Air Force family. Once retired, her parents settled in Virginia Beach, VA, where she completed her education through high school. She followed the footsteps of her parents and sister by pursuing her higher education at one of the Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs), Hampton University.
While caring for four children and working during the day, her mother, Naomi Parker Colden, earned her bachelor’s degree in English from St. Augustine’s University and became a beloved high school English teacher. After serving 20 years in the US Air Force as a Master Sergeant Senior Medic and Senior Air Crew Member, her father, Edward Alexander Colden, earned his bachelor’s degree in Biology from Norfolk State University while working full-time and enjoyed a second career as a sales representative. Her sister, Jacqueline Colden, earned an Engineering bachelor’s degree from Virginia State University the same year their father earned his bachelor’s degree and is a Contracting Officer for the US Air Force.
Dr. Colden graduated from Hampton University with a bachelor’s in Biology. Her family’s commitment to education and the significant exposure she had to Black educators with professional degrees gave her the confidence to pursue and earn a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Texas Medical Branch, becoming the first Black individual to earn a PhD from this institution in 1986.
Following additional post-doctoral training, Dr. Colden joined the Department of Physiology as an Assistant Professor at The Morehouse School of Medicine to conduct and publish federally funded research on the electrophysiology of endothelial cell-white blood cell interactions. She was also enthusiastically involved in team-teaching physiology courses at the medical and graduate school levels for 17 years. Her significant teaching experience led her to join the faculty at American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) in 2012 as Professor of Physiology and Course Director/Instructor for the current Physiology I course. She splits her leisure time between visiting her grown kids, Travis and Amanda Stanfield, in Georgia and enjoying the simple island life in Sint Maarten, where she scuba dives and hangs out at the beach.
This post originally appeared as part of AUC's THRIVE Week Black History Month exhibit, "Showcasing Black Excellence in the AUC Community," in partnership with the Black Medical Student Association (BMSA).