Phyllis Freeman earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry in 1986 from Fisk University and the Ph.D. in Molecular Parasitology from Meharry Medical College in 1993. Returning to her alma mater in 1993 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology, Dr. Freeman served Fisk University in several capacities over the past twenty years. She is currently the Academic Coordinator for the discipline of Biology, a position she has held since 2010. As an associate professor, she teaches, mentors, and advises students beginning at the freshmen level. She is actively involved in research, securing funding to study dopamine transporter function in C. elegans. In an unending effort to remain current in teaching pedagogy, her research interests also include the incorporation of quantitative biological methods and embedded research into lecture and laboratory courses in the life sciences and related cognates. She has several article publications and numerous abstracts with students and colleagues as co-authors. Dr. Freeman has mentored both graduate and undergraduate students in research, several of whom moved on to earn doctorate degrees. She is sought as a workshop presenter for undergraduates seeking advice on choosing and financing graduate school, preparing a personal statement and living healthy lifestyles.

Dr. Freeman’s service to the academy extends beyond that of Fisk. She is an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University and was a visiting associate professor at the same institution from 2013 – 2015. Dr. Freeman has served on review panels for the National Science Foundation, attended national scientific meetings, and served as a keynote speaker at North Carolina State University on the topic of “Cultivating Highly Motivated Professionals and Scholars”. Additionally, she served in the Provost Office of Sewanee: The University of the South as an American Council on Education Fellow during the 2005-2006 academic year. During that time, she gained expertise in assessment of academic programs.

Dr. Freeman is a member of many professional societies and serves on civic boards as a trustee. She is a servant to Fisk, her discipline, science and her community. She gives sacrificial time to students, colleagues, and people in general. Her efforts to be collegial have been rewarded, and in 2015, she and her research mentor Dr. Randy D. Blakely, Ph.D., Alan D. Bass Professor of Pharmacology and Professor of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and Director of the Vanderbilt/NIMH Silvio O. Conte Center for Neuroscience Research were presented with The Dolores Shockley Partnership Award from Meharry Medical College.