Sweet Briar College’s commencement speaker next month will be an associate director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who also was the college’s first African-American student.
The college announced Tuesday Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, who graduated from Sweet Briar in 1968, will speak to the class of 2019 at the May 18 ceremony.
Yeargin-Allsopp joined Sweet Briar when she was 17 years old in 1966 and graduated two years later. From there, she went on to be the first African-American woman admitted to Emory University’s School of Medicine, according to Sweet Briar’s announcement.
She started working for the CDC in 1981 and is the associate director for children with special health care needs within the Division of Congenital and Developmental Disorders.
Yeargin-Allsopp started work on the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network in 2003, which the CDC calls the “gold standard” for keeping up with the population of children diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities.
She is sitting for her second term on Sweet Briar’s Board of Directors and is part of the executive committee, according to the announcement.