Community Service Award Honoree: Dr. Glenda Price

As a youngster, Dr. Glenda Price says she loved math and science. “I found it so logical and so easy,” says Price. “I have always found the hard sciences to be intellectually comforting.”

Paradoxically, the woman who says she found sociology “difficult because it has to do with people, who are never predictable,” ended up with a PhD in educational psychology.

Currently President of the Detroit Public Schools Foundation, and formerly president of Marygrove College, Price started her career in a science lab, where she began to wonder what made some people better laboratory practitioners than others.

“I ended up in education out of my desire to learn why some students learn science and some don’t,” says Price. “I couldn’t figure out what it was about the work or the individuals that made it so hard for some and so easy for others.”

What she found is that it’s a combination of factors including things like having good depth perception, which increases what one can glean from looking into a microscope.

Most importantly though, she found that some people are constantly asking questions. “They are excellent practitioners,” says Price. “In so many ways, that’s how I live my life. I’m always asking.”

Price’s resume is remarkable and long. It looks like it might contain several lifetimes’ worth of professional and volunteer endeavors, as well as leadership in numerous professional associations. And the range is broad, from serving as President of the American Society for Medical Technology to President of the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.

“I’m just interested in a lot of stuff. I find life to be fascinating,” says Price.

Her volunteer work also represents her unlimited interests and a passion for positive engagement.

In the laboratory, she says, her intuition was one of her strengths. “I was able to just naturally know when something was wrong.”

In the community, she applies that intuitive understanding to everything from serving as secretary (soon to be President) of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, to her work on the Board of Directors of Focus: HOPE. Recently, she was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Financial Advisory Board for the City of Detroit. (Click to see Dr. Price’s complete bio)

Perhaps most remarkably, she makes time for two book clubs, recently reading “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, about a young Nigerian woman’s experiences in the United States.“It’s the kind of book I enjoy from the standpoint of knowing who we are as individuals, who we are as a nation, through the eyes of someone who didn’t grow up here,” says Price.

Her other book club book for September is “The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat,” by Edward Kelsey Moore, about three women who come together through the different events of their lives.

Her busy schedule also includes regular time for her sorority group.

“We have to make sure that younger people know how important personal connections are,” says Price. She makes a strong distinction between personal connections and the virtual word of social media. “I like to see and touch and talk to real live people.”

On October 29, the IFLC will recognize Dr. Glenda Price for her many, many contributions to the community with the Community Service Award at our annual dinner.