2015 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

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Role models who give us Reasons to Believe in the power of education

Dr. Oneita F. Taylor

Dr. Oneita F. TaylorSumner High School, 1964

Other Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools Attended: Douglass Elementary, Northeast Junior High.

Dr. Oneita Taylor has pioneered innovative therapies for breast cancer patients, and helped develop a premiere treatment strategy for gynecological cancers. Her teaching and expert opinion have helped to ensure a high standard of care for patients all over the country.

Taylor has had a 30-year career as a radiation oncologist. She owned and managed her own practice in the Tulsa area for nearly 20 years. She has spent the latter part of her career with the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Her colleagues consider her a “trailblazer and outstanding leader” in the medical profession. She loves interacting with her patients. She especially enjoys it when they return to visit her after their treatment is over.

Science and math were Taylor’s favorite subjects when she was growing up. She was inspired by her math teacher, Mr. Turpin, and physics club sponsor, Mr. Smith, at Sumner. She remembers participating in the science fair, creating a project about lasers, not realizing it was a precursor for her future work. She graduated valedictorian of her class.

A neighbor, Dr. Thompson, sparked Taylor’s interest in becoming a doctor. She was a patient of his and she was always impressed by his professional demeanor. He was a role model for her. Her parents also gave her reasons to believe in herself.

“My parents always encouraged me to believe in myself and to pursue my passions and dreams,” she recalled.

Taylor set her sights on attending one of the Seven Sisters Colleges after high school so she enrolled at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Smith in 1968 and went on to earn her M.D. from the University of Kansas. She completed a residency and fellowship in radiation oncology at the University of Kansas Medical Center, and she is board certified in radiation oncology.

She has authored several articles in medical journals and participated in a number of medical conferences. In 1994, she received the Outstanding Achievement in Medicine Award from the Consortium of Female Doctors.

Taylor has also extended her outreach to the community through her involvement in the Smith College Alumnae Fund Committee.

Her advice for today’s students is “study hard and apply yourself.”