Anita D Russell, MEd, is an entrepreneur, traveler, educator, workshop facilitator, leader, mentor, and writer. Anita is a life-long learner who enjoys sharing her knowledge and experiences with others. Her life mission is to create MILEstones in the lives of others by investing in the growth and development of individuals, families, and communities through Ministry, Income, Leadership, and Education. Her career expands multiple industries and disciplines – academic research, pharmaceutical R&D, corporate learning and development, diversity and inclusion, community and social services, and network marketing. She travels the world for adventure, to learn and discover, and to make an impact.
Anita spent over 30 years in a career as a research scientist, first in academia at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center then in the pharmaceutical industry as a chemist and drug discovery scientist. In her life as a research scientist at Bristol-Myers Squibb, she volunteered for programs such as the Minority Medical Students Fellowship and the science education reform movement in conjunction with the National Sciences Resources Center and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. She attended the Tri-State LASER K-8 Science Education Planning Institute as the community scientist team member for Trenton Public Schools.
Anita left the lab, taking her career in the direction of corporate learning and development when she took on the role of managing the R&D Center for Science Education. One highlight of this role included partnering with external vendors to design a comprehensive English Language Development Program for nonnative English speaking employees. Another highlight was the development of a full-scale Annual R&D Scientific Symposium at an external venue with upwards of 2000 global employees attending over the course of two days.
During her tenure as an R&D learning manager, Anita also volunteered to lead the African American Affinity Group (AAAG). In this role she served as the Co-Chair then Chair supporting the company’s diversity and inclusion strategy. Highlights of this role included the Annual Dr Martin Luther King and Black History celebrations, the Connections Mentoring Program, and a diversity and inclusion workshop which she designed and developed in partnership with Plays for Living, an organization that uses theater arts as a catalyst for change.
By far her proudest accomplish as Chair of the AAAG was the “I Promise Campaign”, which raised funds to send a team of employees (including Anita) to implement a breast cancer awareness program in the rural areas of the KwaZulu Natal region of South Africa. The team took a unique train-the-trainer approach using beaded necklaces to demonstrate tumor size and a breast examination model for hands-on-practice of breast self examination. The team spent a week facilitating workshops for community volunteers, nurses, physicians, and traditional healers, with a total of nearly 400 people in attendance.
Anita’s international reach also includes Rwanda. She journeyed to Kigali with two colleagues to discuss how best to work with an existing NGO that supports survivors of the 1994 genocide. She is a co-founder of a nonprofit US-based organization created to further assist the NGO in its mission.
Anita has also worked in the areas of youth education including Children’s Church Leader at New Life Christian Center where she designed, developed, and facilitated a Teen Summit Workshop; a homeschool co-op which she co-founded with another family and served as the math and science instructor; Young Scholars Institute where she was a science instructor; and Granville Academy Trenton, a precollege business education program for 8th-12th grade students where she provided leadership and program management.
After 22 years at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Anita took early retirement to build a network marketing business in the travel industry. As an entrepreneur Anita is co-creating WorldVentures, an amazing travel club that creates fun, freedom, and fulfillment for its members. WorldVentures allows Anita to fully integrate her faith, her passion for travel, her passion for people, and her desire to make an impact. She is also committed to educating others on the benefit of travel in three key areas of life: family, career, and retirement.
Anita holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh, a Specialized Diploma in Interior Planning/Retailing from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and a Master of Science in Education from Capella University. Major jewels in her treasure-filled life include two daughters, Hillary and Olivia, one energetic grandson, Zane, and Ira Ricks, smooth jazz musician. She is originally from Pittsburgh PA and currently resides in New Jersey.