Desiree Williams is an assistant professor of physical therapy and director of the William R. Harvey Leadership Institute at Hampton University in Virginia. Dr. Williams holds a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education and a doctor of physical therapy degree from Hampton University.
Dr. Williams is also the reigning Miss Virginia and recently competed in the Miss USA competition, where she finished in the top 10. Dr. Williams is the fourth African American to hold the Miss Virginia title.
The winner of the Miss USA crown also has ties to a historically Black university in Virginia. Deshauna Barber, a native of North Carolina competed and won the Miss USA pageant as the contestant from the District of Columbia. She is a graduate of Virginia State University.
Barber is an information technology business analyst for the U.S. Commerce Department. She is also a company commander in the U.S. Army Reserve. She is the first woman to serve in the military while holding the title of Miss USA.
As Miss USA, Barber will compete in the Miss Universe Pageant later this year.