Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Institute

Lecture Series
Tennessee State University began the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Lecture Series during the Fall Semester of 2018. This event is sponsored by the TSU Office of Student Affairs. Leaders, administrators, and lecturers from around the world are invited to give lectures and/or seminars to TSU students, faculty, staff, administrators, and guests.

2019 Guest Speaker, Brig Gen (Dr.) Edith P. Mitchell

Guest Speaker Brig Gen (Dr.) Edith Mitchell,
Clinical Professor of Medicine and Medical Oncology,
Director, Center to Eliminate Cancer Disparities,
Associate Director, Diversity Affairs,
Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson,
116th President National Medical Association,
Former TSU Board of Trustees Member

Edith Peterson Mitchell, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology and is clinical professor, Department of Medicine and Medical Oncology; program leader, Gastrointestinal Oncology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and associate director for diversity programs and director of the Center to Eliminate Cancer Disparities for the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson.

Dr. Mitchell has spent her medical career helping individuals in medically underserved areas to realize that simple changes in lifestyle can have a dramatic impact on cancer care. Through her work, Dr. Mitchell has demonstrated the importance of community service and outreach, especially to those individuals who may not have the means to seek out more conventional medical advice.

Dr. Mitchell received a bachelor of science in biochemistry “with distinction” from Tennessee State University and her medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. In 1973, while attending medical school, Dr. Mitchell entered the Air Force and received a commission through the Health Professions Scholarship Program. She entered active duty after completing her internship and residency in internal medicine at Meharry Medical College and a fellowship in medical oncology at Georgetown University.

Dr. Mitchell’s research in breast, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers and other GI malignancies involves new drug evaluation and chemotherapy, development of new therapeutic regimens, chemoradiation strategies for combined modality therapy, patient selection criteria and supportive care for patients with gastrointestinal cancer. She travels nationally and internationally teaching and lecturing on the treatment of gastrointestinal malignancies.

Dr. Mitchell has authored and co-authored more than 100 articles, book chapters, and abstracts on cancer treatment, prevention, and cancer control. As a distinguished researcher, she has received many cancer research and principal investigator awards, including a Promise Grant from the Susan G. Komen Foundation. She has served on several National Cancer Institute Review Panels, including the Clinical Trials and Translational Research Advisory Committee.

Dr. Mitchell holds leadership positions in the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the National Medical Association, and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of the National Medical Association. Among her many honors, Dr. Mitchell has received The ‘Tree of Life’ Award, which recognizes health professionals who are committed to making a difference in community health. Recipients of this coveted award have made extraordinary contributions to health management in both the local and global communities. Dr. Mitchell was awarded the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Control Award for her significant commitment to research, education, and diversity. In 2010, she was selected for the National Cancer Care Physician of the Year Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution of time and talent. Other awards for Dr. Mitchell include the 2009 Looking Glass Award presented by the Living with Cancer Foundation and the Women in Medicine Research Award from the National Medical Association.

Dr. Mitchell was selected as the 2011 Practitioner of the Year Award by the Philadelphia Society of Medicine and as 2012 Humanitarian Practitioner of the Year by the American Society of Clinical Oncology. She received the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She was recognized among the “2015 Top Blacks in Healthcare.” Dr. Mitchell is the 116th president of the National Medical Association.

In addition to her medical achievements, Dr. Mitchell is a retired brigadier general, the first female physician to attain this rank in the history of the U.S. Air Force, having served as the Air National Guard assistant to the command surgeon for U.S. Transportation Command and Headquarters Air Mobility Command (AMC) based at the Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. General Mitchell has been awarded over 15 military service medals and ribbons including the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Achievement and Commendation Medals, National Defense Service Medal and Humanitarian Service Medal.

She and husband Delmar, have been married forty-five years and have two daughters, Dale and DeAnna, a granddaughter,Gabriella and grandson, Jude.