Dr. Betty Stewart, Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs of the University of North Texas at Dallas was one of 15 honorees named to this year’s Dallas Hidden Figures list by the Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers.

Inspired by the film and book Hidden Figures, each honoree was recognized as one of the top Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) influencers who have made advancements in their workplaces and/or the community.

“I was so excited when I got the call,” said Dr. Stewart, who has been at UNT Dallas since February 2017. “I have done a lot with STEM throughout my career, but this was the first time that I had been recognized outside of my job in regards to my work with STEM. It is an honor for me to achieve something like this.”

Dr. Stewart’s journey to this point began way back at Simmons Elementary School in Hollandale, Miss., where she always had a thirst for science and education. From then on, Dr. Stewart rose to the ranks as one of the country’s top educators by earning her Ph.D. in protein biochemistry and biological sciences from Carnegie-Mellon University.

She was then named vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Eckerd College in 2010 after serving as dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at Midwestern State University for four years beginning in 2010. Dr. Stewart was recruited back to Midwestern State as provost in 2012. 

Dr. Stewart was the first female promoted to the rank of professor of chemistry at Austin College, and served as chair of the chemistry department there from 2000-2006. She left the Sherman, Texas liberal arts college to join Midwestern State, as well as carrying the rank of professor of chemistry at the Wichita Falls, Texas institution. Dr. Stewart received her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Mississippi State University.

“One of my goals in life was to succeed in my career and progress through academia,” said Dr. Stewart. “I’ve worked to achieve that and l’m proud to be an example for others of what’s possible in their own lives. It does not come easy and you do have to work at it, but if you put in the effort, you have an opportunity to be successful as well.”