Dr. Julie Middleton

Julie Middleton

2017 Greater Missouri Leadership Inspirational Leader

Dr. Julie Nelson Middleton earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, an Educational Specialist degree in Educational Administration, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Administration from the University of Missouri.  She also holds a Master of Science degree in Administration and Supervision from Jackson State University.  She has worked in a variety of educational settings from elementary to higher education, serving in the public schools as a Teacher, an Administrator, and as a Coordinator of Multicultural Education.  At the University level, Julie has been a Project Consultant in the Office of the Vice Provost, and Assistant to the Dean in the College of Education and Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis where she taught “Education in its Social Contexts,” School Organization and Administration for Teachers, and Leadership Seminars.  She also led the Education Ambassadors.

Julie recently retired from the University of Missouri where she served as Director of Organizational Development and Extension Professional where she provided statewide leadership for special projects such as improving orientation, professional development, revenue generation, faculty promotion, and other systems designed for organizational growth and effectiveness.  She also focused workforce equity, civil rights and diversity.  Julie also served as Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis in the College of Education.  She has written numerous articles and has presented often at local, state, national and international conferences. She has secured numerous grants designed to create and implement community betterment programs.

Dr. Middleton is a member of a number of professional and community associations, and she has served as president of National Association of Extension Program and Staff Development Professionals, Epsilon Sigma Phi, Phi Delta Kappa Education Honor Society, Delta Sigma Theta and Fortnightly, among others.

Julie is the co-director and co-producer of the award winning, Emmy nominated film, “Battle:  Change from Within.”   She and her team were awarded the Heartland Award and the coveted Telly Award for that film.  She subsequently co-produced the film, “Only the Educated Are Free:  The Journey of Michael A. Middleton.”  The film was awarded best documentary at the Wake Forest Film Festival and the I-70 Kansas City Black Film Festival.  The Audience Choice Award was earned at the Hollywood Film Festival earlier this year.  The film is currently circulating at festivals around the country.

Julie recently had the honor of serving for sixteen months as First Lady of the University of Missouri System and then for a year as First Lady of Lincoln University. While working as a partner to her husband while he served as President, she provided a particular focus upon diversity and inclusion, leadership development in faculty and students, and University-Community Relations.

Julie has received numerous awards, including  the College of Education Alumni Organization Citation of Merit Award, the Chancellor’s Tribute to Women Award, The Epsilon Sigma Phi International Service Award, Multicultural Media Award from the National Association of Multicultural Education, the USDA Partnership Award, NAACP Outstanding Community Servant Award, the University of Missouri Inclusive Excellence Award, the Ronald Turner Global Education Award, the Columbia Values Diversity Award, and the Governor’s Martin Luther King, Jr Award.

As an active community servant, Julie is passionate about education, leadership development, youth empowerment, and community betterment. She is frequently sought after to speak about leadership development in women and youth, creating and maintain civility in organizations, creating inclusive, positive, workforce and learning environments.

Dr. Middleton has served on the board of the Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland, Central Missouri Food Bank, McCambrige Center for Women, Columbia Public School Foundation, and the Boys and Girls Club where she served for fifteen years. She also served on the Show Me State Games Audrey Walton Youth Leadership Steering Committee and the Columbia Values Diversity Planning Committee.

Julie has been president of the Fairview School PTA and she led the West Junior High School Parent Network.  She is a member of the Grace Bibb Society and the Jefferson Club. She has served as University advisor to the undergraduate chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and Dream Outside the Box.  She is a charter member of the University of Missouri Chapter of the American Association of University Women, the Children’s Grove, Mizzou Women Give, the Unbound Book Festival, and the Central Missouri Chapter of the Links, Inc.  Currently Julie serves on numerous boards including the Missouri Symphony Society Board, Delta Sigma Theta, Columbia Alumnae Chapter, Daniel Boone Library Foundation Board, Fortnightly Club for University Women and Spouses. She is proud to have spearheaded initiatives to send books to Haiti and  toiletries to the Bahamas and to local women’s shelters.

Dr. Middleton believes in the value of creating and maintaining global partnerships for community engagement, and she has traveled to Thailand, Costa Rica, South Africa, and China to foster and strengthen global networks and initiatives.

Julie has been married to her husband Michael for nearly 49 years. They have three children and eight grandchildren.  Julie loves to travel, read, play tennis, workout at the Columbia Activity and Recreation Center, and spend time with her family.