Alberta Banner Turner

Alberta Banner Turner
Born March 17, 1909
Died January 31, 2008
Alma mater Ohio State University

Alberta Banner Turner (March 17, 1909 January 31, 2008[1]) is an African American woman who received her doctorate in Psychology from the Ohio State University, and a noted civil rights and women's rights activist in the field of Psychology.

Professional life


Dr. Turner received her Ph.D. in 1935 for her dissertation entitled: "The Effect of Practice on the Perception and Memorization of Digits Presented in Single Exposures." [2] Dr. Turner, was a dedicated OSU student and Alpha Kappa Alpha alumni, earned her bachelor's degree in 1929 and a master's degree in psychology in 1932 from the university [3]


Dr. Turner became the Department Head of the Home Economics department at what was then known as Winston-Salem College in North Carolina from 1935 through 1936 before moving on to become the Chair of the Home Economics Division at Lincoln University in Missouri from 1936 through 1937; from 1938-1939 Head of the Department of Home Economics at Southern University in Louisiana; 1939 Head of the home economics department at Bennett College for Women in North Carolina. During this period she lectured on consumer issues at the college and in the summer of 1941 was awarded a fellowship to Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri for study at the school's Institute of Consumer Education. She was the first black woman to do so.[4] In 1944 Dr. Turner returned to Ohio as a Clinician at the Ohio Bureau of Juvenile Research (what is now known as the Ohio Department of Youth Services.[5]

Upon her return to Ohio, Dr. Turner grew very active in her research and during the 1950s she lectured at the Ohio State University in the areas of psychopathology and juvenile delinquency while continuing as a psychologist at what is now known as Ohio Department of Youth Services. She earned the position of Supervising Psychologist at the Juvenile Diagnostic Center in 1953 and was promoted to Chief Psychologist in 1959. This period of her life is also marked her diligent work as a clinical psychologist working with juveniles at Marysville Reformatory for Women (now known as Ohio Reformatory for Women). In 1963 Dr. Turner was promoted to the Central Administrative Office of the Ohio Youth Commission and became the Director of Research for the Ohio Youth Commission, while continuing her work at the Ohio State University and the Ohio Reformatory for Women. Dr. Turner’s rigorous activities included her role with the Criminal Justice Supervisory Commission from 1972 to 1976. During this time, she also served as a consultant to the National Advisory Council on Vocational Rehabilitation.[3]

Community involvement

Dr. Turner was also active in African American social organizations. She served as the fourth president of the National Jack and Jill of America Foundation in 1953. Dr. Turner then became the founding president of the Columbus chapter and the first National Program Director of The Links Inc., which has 10,000 members nationwide. She has been instrumental in establishing the Prelude Scholarship and Recognition Program, a partnership of Links, Ohio State, and the Columbus Public Schools to honor minority students. Links also has funded an endowed scholarship at Ohio State to support minority students.[4]

Recognition and awards

In 1966, she was named one of the "Ten Women of the Year" by the Columbus Citizen-Journal. Upon her retirement in 1971 she was awarded a citation from the State of Ohio for a lifetime of work in the field of Juvenile Rehabilitation and Treatment.[6] In 1999 The Ohio State University recognized Dr. Turner with Distinguished Service Award duly noting: "Through her professional and academic activities, Turner has served as a role model and counselor for young people, especially troubled teenagers, and she has been a pioneer for African Americans in the diagnosis and treatment of delinquent behavior. She has been a strong advocate for racial, civil and religious rights and has worked tirelessly to ensure them for others". Her tireless efforts were not overlooked by the Ohio Psychological Association who in 2003 awarded Dr. Turner the “Achievement Award for a Psychologist in the Public Interest.” [7] The motivating stories of Dr. Turner’s lifelong accomplishments are well written about in articles ranging from Jet magazine to Psychology of Women Quarterly and in each and every instance Dr. Turner is righteously held out as role model and inspiration for today’s youth.[8]


  1. Young, J. "Profile of Alberta Banner Turner". Psychology's Feminist Voices Multimedia Internet Archive. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
  2. Ohio State University Library Archives
  3. 1 2 Ohio State News (1999). Five receive special commencement honors at Ohio State, Columbus. The Ohio State University: Media relations. Retrieved; 15 February 2011 from:
  4. 1 2 Feminist Voices.
  5. African American Pioneers in Psychology: Brief Biographies. Oklahoma State University, Psychology Department.
  6. Society of Ohio Archivists.
  7. OPA. (2011). Past OPA award winners. Retrieved February 16, 2011, from Ohio Psychological Association:
  8. Buskist, William & Davis, Stephen (2008). 21st Century psychology: A reference handbook. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA>/<Russo, Nancy Felipe & O'Connell, Agnes N. (1980). Models from our past: Psychology's foremothers. Psychology of women quarterly , 5 (1), 11-54.

External links

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