don’t need to be ordained. Also, while those in the African American Baptist and AME denominations should obtain at least a bachelor’s degree, it’s not always required. “In some churches,” says Walker-Smith, “all you need is the calling to preach.”
OPTIONS IN EDUCATION
You can say that Jacqueline McLeod essentially created her own job. She turned a health careers opportunities program she ran at Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York, into the Office of Minority Affairs for the Associated Medical Schools of New York, the only consortium of medical schools in the United States. As director, she hopes to help increase the number of minorities in the fields of medicine, health research, the life sciences and technology. Her office also provides a second chance for minority students who narrowly miss being accepted into medical school, explains McLeod, who also recently served as national president of the American Lung Association.
The energetic 54-year-old keeps a fat appointment book constantly at the ready to track nonstop travel between New York’s 14 medical campuses, to job fairs and to conferences and meetings with a diverse audience of deans, faculty members, legislators, foundation heads and, of course, students. Armed with an undergraduate degree in nursing education, an M.S. In education and another in public health, McLeod is now working on her doctorate in health education.
Her staff of 40 full-time and part-time employees includes teaching assistants, tutors, clerical workers and program coordinators spread over the 14 campuses. Typically, a program coordinator should have the interesting blend of “administrative, management and writing skills, experience in the field of education and counseling, and perhaps a degree in personnel management,” McLeod says. The average starting salary is $36,000 plus benefits.
Higher on McLeod’s pay scale would be an assistant dean position, which requires either a Ph.D. or a medical degree, with an advanced degree or experience in minority affairs, affirmative action, educational counseling or student affairs, depending on the area of responsibility. The salary range for this type of position in New York is $75,000 to over $ 100,000. In comparable programs elsewhere, the salary range may be lower.
MIXING HEALTH AND WEALTH
Those who prefer to work in the aura of wealth should consider the world of private, family and community foundations, which also boasts a wealth of opportunities. “Think of foundations as social venture capitalists,” says Mark Douglas Smith, who was recently tapped to head one. “We look for the greatest return in terms of social benefits, rather than financial profits.”
In 1996, Smith, 46, was named president and CEO of the $2.1 billion Oakland-based California HealthCare Foundation, the grant-making arm of Blue Cross of California. “Our mission is to find the people, programs and causes doing or representing interesting work in the field of health and give them the resources to do it,” says Smith.
Smith, who makes well into the six figures, earned a degree in African American studies from Harvard University and his medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Not content, he also obtained an