Chandra Minor becomes Mississippi’s first African-American female orthodontist

Alcorn State University does more than prepare students for a career; it prepares them for greatness.

Dr. Chandra Minor, a Hazlehurst, Mississippi native with a love for enhancing the smiles of others through dental reconstruction, became a staple in Alcorn’s history after being named Mississippi’s first African-American female orthodontist.

Minor opened her own practice, Smile Design Orthodontics, in Pearl, Mississippi Nov. 2014. Her practice provides orthodontic services such as traditional metal braces, clear (ceramic) braces, invisalign and self-ligating braces. Minor practices at Smile Design Orthodontics on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m and some Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. She also practices in Vicksburg, Miss. on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and McComb, Miss. on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.

“Throughout high school and college, I always desired to pursue a career within the healthcare industry,” said Minor. “Through observation of various healthcare professionals and my desire to help improve the self-esteem of others by enhancing their smiles, I decided to pursue a career in orthodontics.”

Minor’s road to making history was one that was filled with hard work. She earned a bachelors degree in biology from Alcorn in 2008. She continued her education at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where she earned a doctorate of dental medicine in 2012. She later enrolled in Howard University and earned a certificate in orthodontics.

“It took a lot of hard work and dedication to become an orthodontist. Dental school requires such a huge commitment. I had several sleepless nights and missed family gatherings in order to prepare myself to succeed in dental school and to be accepted into an orthodontic residency program.”

With this monumental feat, Minor joins a list of legendary Alcornites who, after graduation, made enormous strides in their careers and society.

“I am so blessed to have this opportunity. It is both an honor and privilege to be able to serve the great state of Mississippi. I love orthodontics and am happy to be able to provide these services for my patients.”

Minor credits her time at Alcorn for her rise to fame in her field. Her alma mater not only prepared her to be successful, but it also shaped her into the woman she is today.

“I am so grateful for the experiences and opportunities afforded to me at Alcorn State University. I took courses through the pre-professional program there. Not only did I receive an impeccable education at Alcorn, I also developed valuable social skills and formed lifelong friendships.”

Minor’s success is an example to all youth with a dream of making an impact in the world. Her advice to the youth is to stay dedicated to perfecting their craft, all while displaying unwavering faith.

“I want all young black people to know that they can accomplish whatever goal they set out to achieve as long as they try their very best and remain persistent. Pray and give it all you’ve got. Hard work and God’s grace will take you wherever you want to go in life.”

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