Opening Convocation Livestream

Watch the 139th Opening of the College ceremony live. Saturday, August 20 at 7 p.m.


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Meet Our Professors


  • Ph.D. Yale University, 1990. Emphasis: Physical Organic Chemistry
  • B.S. University of Nebraska – Lincoln, 1984. Major: Chemistry, Minors: Biology, English

Additional Information

Current Interests

Dr. Ross’ current interest is in the broad area of social justice with a particular interest in incorporating issues of heath justice into Cottey’s Health and Biomedical Sciences program. Below is a list of conferences that Dr. Ross attends to help maintain currency in this area.

  • National Summit on the Social Determinants of Health, The Root Cause Coalition
  • Society for the Study of Social Problems, Annual Conference
  • Creating Change Conference, National LGBTQ Task Force
  • Global Health Conference Midwest, Creighton University Health Sciences Continuing Education (HSCE) and Center for Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research (CIPER)

“Our mission is an interprofessional effort to address health disparities among marginalized populations nationally and internationally. Through education, advocacy, and service, we aim to raise awareness of global issues by engaging individuals and communities to partner with those who are made vulnerable.”


Continuing Education

2014, Topics in Rebuilding Communities, CRSCAD 503
Global Post-Disaster Studies, Graduate Certificate, University of Massachusetts Boston
Research Paper: Post-Disaster Transgender Healthcare

2017, Health Disparities, PUBHLTH 690DS
School of Public Health & Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Research Paper: Rural Health Disparities and the Utilization of Mobile Health Clinics

2018, Power and Privilege, SOC 5640-780
Graduate Certificate Program in Diversity, Social Justice and Inclusion; University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Research Paper: The Underrepresentation of Women of Color in the Medical Profession

2020, In progress, Gender and Sexuality, SOC 5040-780
Graduate Certificate Program in Diversity, Social Justice and Inclusion; University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Research Paper: Meeting the Healthcare Needs of LGBTQ Students on College Campuses

Personal and Professional History

Dr. Brenda Ross grew up in a set of Midwestern states on Air Forces bases with her family through completion of her freshman year of high school. After her father’s retirement from the Air Force, the family moved to small town in rural Nebraska where she completed high school and subsequently moved to Lincoln, NE to earn her bachelor’s degree in chemistry. In 1984 she moved to New Haven, CT to complete a Ph.D. in chemistry under the direction of Dr. Kenneth Wiberg investigating the synthesis and properties of a substituted bicyclo[1.1.1] pentane. She returned to the Midwest in 1990 to conduct postdoctoral research on the interaction of organic molecules with phyllosilicate clays in the laboratory of Dr. Stephen Boyd at Michigan State University, and in 1991 moved to Missouri to undertake her first teaching position as Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Southwest Missouri State University. In 1996, she took a position at Cottey College, a liberal arts college for women in rural Missouri, where she currently teaches organic chemistry, introduction to chemistry, social justice & civic engagement and seminar courses within the health and biomedical sciences program.