Richard Middleton IV, associate professor of political science at UMSL, and three alumni were honored last week by The St. Louis American Foundation's "Salute to Young Leaders."

Richard Middleton IV was a natural fit for The St. Louis American Foundation’s list of young leaders. The foundation defined its ideal young leader candidates as “committed, accomplished and generous individuals who are making a positive impact in our community.”

Committed? Middleton sought his law degree while a tenure-track faculty member in the Department of Political Science at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. He earned the degree and tenure.

Accomplished? Middleton is an expert on race and ethnic politics and a licensed attorney whose practice emphasizes immigration law. He teaches pre-law and political science courses as an associate professor of political science and pre-law adviser at UMSL while also teaching courses on immigration law and civil rights of immigrants at this alma mater Saint Louis University.

A desire to make a positive impact in the community? Here’s Middleton’s response to The St. Louis American’s inquiry as to why he chose a career in education:

“I enjoy teaching because I feel that it provides an individual with a resource that empowers them and enhances their ability to lead a productive life,” Middleton told the newspaper.

The St. Louis American Foundation held its second annual “Salute to Young Leaders” awards reception last week. It saluted excellence in performance and service by 20 outstanding African American professionals age 40 and younger. And Middleton was not the lone honoree with a UMSL connection. Three alumni were also recognized, including:

· Tasha Pettis Bonds, vice president and retail network senior analyst at PNC Bank, BA political science 1995
· Harlan B. Hodge, chief executive officer and president of Imagine Services, BSW 1997
· Serena Muhammad, founding executive director of America SCORES St. Louis, MFA 2008

Ryan Heinz

Ryan Heinz