Meet Olga Bolden-Tiller
Currently, Dr. Olga U. Bolden-Tiller proudly serves the Society for the Study of Reproduction as a Board Member (Public Affairs Committee Liaison) and served previously as the Past Trainee Representative, Chair of the Minority (formerly Diversity) Affairs Committee and Trainee Faculty Advisor.
Dr. Olga U. Bolden-Tiller is the Head of the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (DAES) as well as the Assistant Dean of Development for the College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences (CAENS) at Tuskegee University (TU). She holds a BS degree in Agricultural Sciences (Animal Sciences) from Fort Valley State University and a PhD degree in Animal Sciences (Reproductive Biology) from the University of Missouri- Columbia where she matriculated as an USDA-National Needs Fellow. Dr. Bolden-Tiller continued her training at the University of Texas-MD Anderson Cancer Center as an NIH Fellow in Reproductive Biology. In 2005, she joined Tuskegee University as an Assistant Professor. Prior to obtaining her current position, Dr. Bolden-Tiller served as the Coordinator for the Animal, Poultry and Veterinary Sciences Program as well as the Assistant Chair for DAES.
Dr. Bolden-Tiller is passionate about the field of reproduction and providing opportunities for URM training in the field and other STEM areas. As such, she has served as the Director for several K-College training programs (REU, REEU, AgriTREK, SciTREK, DiscoveryTREK, FNR-TREK and AgDiscovery) funded by USDA-APHIS, USDA-NIFA, USDA-FS, NSF, HHMI, and the State of AL, which has resulted in the training of well over 500 underrepresented minorities in agriculture and related fields. In addition to her administrative duties described above and teaching duties, which include Reproductive Physiology and Advanced Reproductive Physiology, Dr. Bolden-Tiller maintains a small, but robust research program that entails elucidating the molecular mechanisms of testicular function in rodents and ruminants and other cool repro topics that pop up! Her research and training programs are funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, the National Science Foundation, and the state of Alabama (Alabama Agricultural Land Grant Alliance). Her commitment to training youth has also included serving as a research mentor to over 50 high school, graduate (MS and PhD) and undergraduate students, not including the over 100 K-12 who have been exposed to reproductive physiology as a part of the “Repro Rendezvous” outreach program hosted by Dr. Bolden-Tiller and her research team. She is the author/co-author of numerous of refereed journal articles and conference proceedings.
For her contributions, Dr. Bolden-Tiller has received several awards, including the TU College of Agriculture, Environmental and Natural Sciences’ Faculty Performance Award for Service (2008, 2017) and Teaching (2010) as well as the Russell Brown Distinguished Scientist Award (2013). In 2020, Dr. Bolden-Tiller was recognized by Tuskegee University as the recipient of the Faculty Achievement Award, the highest honor given to faculty at the institution. She is also recognized as an Opportunities for UnderRepresented Scholars (OURS) Fellow and is an alumnus of the Lead 21 Program, the Fielding/Conclave Leadership Academy and Food Systems Leadership Institute.
Her commitment to increasing diversity in Ag*STEM is sure. In addition to her work with SSR, she also is an active member of numerous professional societies, serving in leadership roles in many, including the Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS; current President-Elect and Past Historian); American Society of Animal Sciences (Southern Section Program Committee; Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Committee).
Over the years, many of Dr. Bolden-Tiller’s students have experienced SSR and thrived, including Dr. Kamilah E. Grant and Dr. Kadeem Richardson, both of whom continue to work in the area of reproduction. Dr. Grant completed her BS at Tuskegee University and went on to obtain her MS under Dr. Bolden-Tiller’s direction before obtaining her PhD at Mississippi State University. She is currently an Assistant Profess at Alcorn State University. Dr. Richardson worked with Dr. Bolden-Tiller as an undergraduate student at Tuskegee University as an undergraduate student and went on to complete his MS (Tuskegee University) followed by his PhD at University of IL-Urbana Champaign in 2019 (https://publish.illinois.edu/nowak-lab/people/kadeem-richardson/). Since that time Dr. Richardson has begun a post-doctoral positon at the Smithsonian Zoo. Dr. Bolden-Tiller has been quite impactful in supporting the training of URMs in reproduction. In addition to those indicated above, student has worked closely with numerous individuals from the society to secure the training of students with individuals throughout the SSR family, including George Perry (formerly of South Dakota State University, now of Texas AgriLife), Jodi Flaws (University of Illinois. Urbana-Champaign, Benson Akingbemi (Auburn University), Erdagon Memili (Mississippi State University) and Mary Zellinkski (Oregon Primate Center) to name a few.
Her impact on reproduction does not stop in her professional career, extending to family and friends, which has resulted in a one of her sisters and a close friend both becoming OB/GYNs over the years. This and a wife and mother to boot – Dr. Bolden-Tiller is the epitome of #BlackInRepro and it is our pleasure to solute her!