Black History: Myrtle Craig Mowbray & Talesha Dokes

The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources celebrates leaders in our college and Michigan State University who built a legacy now and in the past.

Myrtle Craig Mowbray

Then: Myrtle Craig Mowbray

Myrtle Craig Mowbray was the first African American woman to graduate from Michigan Agricultural College (MAC). She earned her bachelor degree in home economics in 1907 and went on to a career in education and public service career. Her degree was presented to her by MAC guest speaker President Theodore Roosevelt.

Michigan State University established the Mowbray Scholars Program in her honor to support students of color in the Honors College who have demonstrated leadership potential in promoting cross-cultural understanding and who will contribute to the enrichment of the Honors College through their life experiences.

Talesha Dokes

Now: Talesha Dokes, Ph.D.

Talesha Dokes, was the first African American woman to earn a doctorate degree in fisheries and wildlife from Michigan State University in 2020. Dokes conducted postdoc work on the American Marten in the Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Currently, Dokes is working at Tuskegee University in Alabama as a research, extension and teaching instructor. She also serves as an advisor for the GWC Tuskegee Chapter of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS).

"Hopefully I can leave a legacy and set an example like the people who’ve come before me to allow me the opportunity to be welcome and succeed here." - Talesha Dokes