Dr. Cherisse Jones-Branch
James and Wanda Lee Vaughn Endowed Professor of History
Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, AR
Dr. Jones-Branch is a Charleston, SC native. She graduated with her BA-MA from College of Charleston and later received her PHD from Ohio State University. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, Dr. Jones-Branch served in the U.S. Army and is a veteran of the Persian Gulf War.
Dr. Branch currently teaches African American History, U. S. History, Civil Rights, Women’s History, and Rural History at Arkansas State University. She is very grateful for the blessings that God has allowed and loves exposing her students to opportunities that they would under normal circumstances not be able to experience.
She is married to Ezell Branch III and has a cat named Kit. She enjoys traveling and has visited Africa, England, Scotland, Spain and Portugal, among other places.
She attributes most of her success from her upbringing. Her mother is her guiding force. Her quote for life comes from her mother: “Once you have done a thing, you can do that thing again even better.”
Accomplishments: 2017 Recipient of James and Wanda Vaughn Endowment. She is the first recipient of Liberal Arts and Communication College; Awarded 2017-2018 University Educator of the Year from Arkansas Council of Social Studies; Director of Arkansas State University Digital Press.
Student Doctor at NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine, Jonesboro, AR
Derika was born and raised in Osceola, AR. She graduated from Osceola High School. Afterwards, she would attend Arkansas State University and graduate May of 2013, with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, with Honors.
She would go on to work as a registered nurse for 4 1/2 years, until being accepted into the D. O. Program this year. In the future she plans to become a primary care physician and serve in rural/under-served areas.
Accomplishments include: Served as an executive board member for the Black Student
Association, Women in Science Club, Medical Arts Club, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
“My lifelong dream has always been to become a physician. My goals has always been to blaze
a trail and not simply earn a degree. I think it is important for little girls to have role models that they can relate to.”