Retina Burton receives Louise McBee Scholarship

ATLANTA – Mercer University College of Education doctoral student Retina Burton received the Louise McBee Scholarship from the Georgia Association for Women in Higher Education.

The $1,000 scholarship, named for a former vice president for academic affairs at the University of Georgia who was influential in education and politics throughout the state, supports educational enrichment for women exhibiting leadership potential in a higher education field.

Burton, a student in the Ph.D. in Educational Leadership program, was one of four recipients of this year’s scholarships recognized at the GAWHE spring meeting in February.

“It is a privilege to be a recipient of the Louise McBee Scholarship. The award will greatly assist me as I continue my doctoral studies here at Mercer University,” said Burton.

Burton’s mentor, Dr. Carol Isaac, associate professor of educational leadership, was awarded $500 for professional development as part of the scholarship program. Additionally, both Burton and Dr. Isaac received complimentary registration to the GAWHE’s annual meeting.

“Retina is an exemplary scholar and is so deserving of this award. I am so proud of her efforts and her impact on women in higher education leadership,” said Dr. Isaac.

Burton currently serves as director of the Dual Degree Engineering Program and Office of Science, Engineering and Technical Careers Office (DDEP/OSETC) at Spelman College in Atlanta. She has worked at Spelman for more than 16 years following almost seven years as a systems engineer with Lockheed Martin Corporation.

Her areas of expertise include fundraising, project management, teaching and instruction, strategy development and implementation, partnership development and collaboration, and intercultural competence and communication.

She has served as a faculty member in Spelman’s Physics Department, faculty adviser for the Society of Women Engineers (SWE)/National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), mentor for the Career Pathway Initiative (CPI) Grant, facilitator for the Summer Science Engineering Program and co-principal investigator for the Women in Engineering STEM Summer Bridge Program.

She is a recipient of the Bold and Fearless Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Inc. and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and Top Ladies of Distinction Inc.

Burton earned her B.S. in electrical engineering from Morgan State University and M.S. in technical management from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

About the College of Education

Mercer University’s Tift College of Education – with campuses in Macon, Atlanta and the University’s two regional academic centers – prepares more professional educators than any other private institution in Georgia. Named for the former women’s college that merged with Mercer in 1986, the College of Education offers baccalaureate and graduate degrees, and is guided by the conceptual framework of the “Transforming Educator,” which supports those who aspire to grow professionally throughout their careers, while also seeking to transform the lives of students. For more information, visit