After traveling to California to attain higher education, Rosalind L. Walton-Russell completed coursework at San Francisco City College. Learning that her brother was experiencing medical issues, she sought to discover the root cause of her problem’s medical maladies, thus leading her into the realm of psychology. Obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in psychology at San Francisco State University in 1975 and a Master of Social Work from the University of California Berkeley in 1977, she became a licensed clinical social worker.
At the inception of her career in 1972, Ms. Walton-Russell served as the co-founder of Unbiased, Nonsexist, Interethnic, Training and Education (UNITE), holding her role until 2019. Between 1982 and 1989, she was a hospital medical social worker III and acting director at the University of Texas Health Center, and from 1990 to 1998, she was a director, consultant and medical social worker at East Texas Nursing Homes. Concurrent to these roles, she excelled as a social worker for Hillview Nursing Home from 1993 to 1996 and a consultant social worker to several home health agencies between 1996 and 2017.
Likewise, Ms. Walton-Russell flourished as an associate professor and area coordinator within the Department of Social Work at Texas College from 1993 until her retirement from academia in 2020. Currently, she has been a director and contract medical social worker for the East Texas Home Health Care Services since 1996. Alongside this work, she was a co-founder, board member and secretary of the Wood County African American Historical Society in 2011 and has lent her expertise to such organizations as the Texas College of Social Workers, East Texas Association of Black Social Workers, the Grace Community Health Care Ministry and the L. C. Gregory Community Recreation Center, among others.
While pursuing her academic studies early on in her career, Ms. Walton-Russell served from first lieutenant to commander with the United States Air Force between 1978 and 1981 before being honorably discharged. She attributes her immense success to her parents’ guidance, her ability to be upright, having dignity and respect for others, and her innate independence.
In light of her exceptional contributions to health care and social welfare, Ms. Walton-Russell has received several grants for UNITE, as well as recognitions for her community service. Due to her military experiences, she received Recognition Awards from the U.S. Navy, the President of the United States and the secretary of the Air Force. Looking toward the future, she intends to obtain a doctorate degree and pass down her knowledge onto others.