Campus News

Trojan trailblazer champions diversity at Keck School of Medicine of USC

TITLE IX: Vice Dean Donna Elliott recognizes Title IX’s impact on both the past and future of the medical field.

Hope Hamashige April 05, 2023
Donna Elliott talking to MD Students
Donna Elliott has always made admitting and nurturing a diverse student body a core part of her mission. (Photo/Chris Shinn)

Looking back on her junior high and high school years in Los Angeles in the 1960s and ’70s, Donna Elliott recalls the education being outdated, with boys and girls often taking different courses based on expectations about their gender.

“In junior high school, girls did home economics and boys did shop because people thought that girls needed to know how to cook and boys needed to fix things,” said Elliott, a native Angeleno. “And in high school, I did gymnastics and ballet because that’s what the girls did.”

That is not to say that Elliott thought she was destined to take on traditional female roles, such as being a housewife. Her parents, both civil rights activists who fought for more rights and opportunities for people of color in Los Angeles, let her know that she could shoot for the moon.

Her mother was a trailblazer herself, an African American woman who broke through many barriers in both business and health care. (…Read More)