2020 YWCA Women of Distinction: Richardean Benjamin
Education, Training & Development
Associate Dean, College of Health Sciences, Old Dominion University
“Education is synonymous with knowledge, and knowledge and information are the gateway to the world.”
With five degrees and over a dozen prestigious accolades, Dr. Richardean Benjamin is the epitome of educational achievement. She imparts wisdom from all of her past and current roles as a nurse, research committee member, administrative associate and assistant professor at Old Dominion University. Benjamin’s medical journey led her to many hospitals and surgery centers in rural Georgia, Manhattan, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C. and ultimately to Norfolk. Despite many transitions, her lifelong focus has remained the same: the advancement of nurses, specifically minorities. In 2015, Benjamin chose to advance herself, receiving a Post Masters Certificate in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner from the University of Virginia.
What is one thing working with children taught you about diversity and eliminating racial barriers?
Children are extremely resilient and when they have positive influences, most often they grow up to be well-adjusted happy people. Teaching children that diversity is valued rather than tolerated is the most important message to convey which will eliminate racial barriers.
“To me, education means...”
To advance professionally while at the same time enrich the lives of others.
How do you feel about being recognized as one of the YWCA’s Women of Distinction?
I am humbled by this recognition. I am aware of the significance because of past award recipients and to know that my work rose the attention of colleagues is most appreciated.