Brenda Roman has been a role model for women pursuing professional education, and it started with her own commitment to learning. After graduating summa cum laude in 1984 from Wartburg College with a degree in biology, Roman earned her medical degree from the University of Nebraska in 1988, then completed her residency in psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati in 1992. Ever since, she’s made her home in southwest Ohio, which has benefitted from her professional and volunteer work.

Roman began her career in academic medicine in 1992 as the first director of community psychiatry at the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Since then, she has risen through the academic ranks and in 2014 was appointed assistant dean for curriculum in the medical school’s Office of Academic Affairs. In her years at Wright State University, her work as a professor of psychiatry has garnered numerous honors, including both the Faculty Mentor Award from the Boonshoft School of Medicine and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the university’s Department of Psychiatry in 2012. Roman also was presented the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award in 2014 by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, given to faculty members who show clinical excellence and outstanding compassion in the delivery of care and who show respect for patients, their families, and health care colleagues.

Harnessing her expertise in curriculum development, Wright State chose her to chair the steering committee for a transformation of the medical school curriculum, which is built upon the science of learning, therefore eliminating lectures and utilizing engaged teaching methods, such as team-based learning and peer instruction. Roman recently chaired a multiyear task force for the Association of Directors of Medical School Education in Psychiatry (ADMSEP) to develop a national set of learning goals and milestones in psychiatry for medical students. 

“Brenda’s career has been devoted to education,” said fellow Wartburg alumnus Dr. Katherine Janssen Klaassen ’85. “Not only has she done medical education/teaching, but she is published in the medical field, has presented nationally and internationally at medical education meetings, and recently has connected with a sister university in Saudi Arabia, serving as a consultant in curriculum, a role model for Saudi women seeking higher education, and bridging cultures.” The work brings together Roman’s passion for medical student education and women’s issues.

Roman is committed to education not only professionally but also personally by having devoted time over the years as a board member of a local Catholic school and teaching Sunday school. In her community, she’s been a board member for several nonprofits dedicated to mental health, including Five Rivers Health Board, the Montgomery County Drug Poisoning Coalition, and the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board for Montgomery County, among others.

In presenting this Alumni Citation to Brenda Roman, the Wartburg College Alumni Board recognizes her leadership and dedication to education and mental health, both locally and nationally.