By: Rufus D. Neufville Chief of Protocol Republic of Liberia
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced the name of the National Orator for this year’s National Independence Day celebration. A Foreign Ministry release said the President of the Tubman University in Maryland County, Dr. Elizabeth Davis-Russell has been selected to perform the national task.
Dr. Davis-Russell was born in Harper, Maryland County Liberia, to Former Supreme Court Associate Justice O. Natty B. Davis and Diana Dueh. Imbued with the ambition to prepare herself in order to render better service to her country, she began her education at AME Day School in Harper and then transferred to Cape Palmas High School where she completed the eighth grade. She attended Suehn Academy from where she graduated from high school.
She continued her studies at London Tutorial College, London, England, where she completed her O Levels. She then went to the United States and attended Oakland University in Michigan where she completed a B.A. in Psychology in 1965. The following year, she earned a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from New York University, New York as well as an Ed. D in counselor Education from Yeskiva University in 1975.
Desirous of fulfilling her childhood dream to become a psychologist, Dr. Davis-Russell matriculated to New York University and completed the required studies for a Ph. D in clinical Psychology in 1987.
Upon graduation she pursued Post Graduate Training and received Certification in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy at the Institute for the Study of Psychotherapy in New York, NY. Dr. Davis-Russell is a licensed psychologist in the State of California, where she had a private practice in addition to teaching.
Upon her return to Liberia, Dr. Davis-Russell was in October 2007 appointed President for W.V.S. Tubman College of Technology in Harper by Her Excellency, President of the Republic of Liberia, Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. She assumed leadership of that institution in July 2008. Prior to this position, she served most of her professional career, over 35 years, in the field of higher education, notably as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the State University of New York College at Cortland, Dean for Academic and Professional Affairs at the California School of Professional Psychology, Associate Professor, Founder and Director of the Center for Intercultural Clinical Psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, respectively.
She is a trained and certified Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist and a licensed psychologist US state of California where she had a private practice in addition to teaching. She served on several national and international boards and associations, including as member of the Executive Committee on Disarmament Education, Conflict Resolution and Peace. Significantly, she received awards and honors designating her as fellow from the American Psychological Association Society for the Study of Ethnic Minority Issue and American Council on Education (ACE).
In recognition of her outstanding pursuit in higher education, Dr. Davis-Russell was particularly cited and awarded two Doctors of Humane Letters by the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and Forest Institute of Professional Psychology as well as a recipient of the Outstanding Psychologist Award from both the New York and the Chicago Branches of the Association of Blacks Psychologist.
As a result of her enormous contributions to the cause of humanity, especially the people of Liberia, President Johnson Sirleaf is expected to admit this year’s Orator into the Grand Master of the Orders of Distinction of the Republic of Liberia into the Order of the Star of Africa by conferring upon her the Grade of Grand Band.