Dr. Shelby Wilkes elected president of the Georgia State Medical Association

One of Alcorn State University's most accomplished and faithful alumni has been elected to lead a medical organization in Georgia. 

Dr. Shelby Wilkes was recently elected president of the Georgia State Medical Association in Atlanta. Wilkes, who is one of the co-founders of the Atlanta Eye Consultants, serves as a vitreoretinal surgeon at the practice. Wilkes appreciates his peers for trusting him to lead the organization.

"I felt deeply humbled and honored for the opportunity to serve as president," said Wilkes. "It is a great sign of respect and recognition by one's peers that I have demonstrated the leadership qualities to be elected to lead this great medical organization."

The pathway to his new role was one that pushed Wilkes to work harder than he's ever had to. He attributes his election to his work ethic and commitment to excellence. 

"Working with purpose, coupled with persistence, enthusiasm, gratitude for the help from others, and a willingness to go the extra mile, have been some of the elements which have enabled me to get to this point in my career."

None of Wilkes' success would be possible had it not been for his stint as a student at Alcorn. Wilkes, who earned a bachelor's degree in biology in three years, praised everyone who provided him with the fundamental skills in medicine.

"My academic work at Alcorn laid the foundation for me to learn how to do research and how to maintain a sense of purpose to excel. Alcorn and its great biology faculty allowed me to take an extra course load so that I could achieve and prepare for the next level as much as possible in my three years. Also, there were teachers, students, and mentors who pushed me to do my best every step of the way."

Wilkes' love for his alma mater grew after his experience, which led to his continued support of the university after his departure. His service as an ASU Foundation, Inc. board member is his way of giving back to the university and its students in the pursuit of their educational dreams.

"I wanted to connect to Alcorn through giving back financially and through service with the ASU Foundation. I desired to stay involved with Alcorn because it created the nurturing environment for me to develop, continue to achieve, and to maintain the sense of gratitude for having received an outstanding education. It gives me great joy to help create the continuation of the bridge at Alcorn for the next generation of students and leaders."

Over the course of his years as a professional, Wilkes has acquired a wealth of knowledge, which includes the keys to educational and professional success. He willingly shares that knowledge with young and aspiring professionals.

"Keep reverence for the Almighty at the top of your goals, and always work with purpose. Remember that you have a great mind, so use it. Show humility and gratitude in all that you do and receive. Keep in mind that for every adversity there is a greater benefit, but one must look for it. Be persistent and maintain a strong willingness to learn, to innovate, and to let your reach exceed your grasp. Aim high."