DDS 1958, Howard University
MS 1962, and PhD Physiology 1964, Northwestern University
Sinkford overcame race and gender barriers to rise to the top of her profession. She enrolled in Howard University at the age of 16. She married Stanley Sinkford, a medical student, and went on to study dentistry because she "did not want to have a conflicting profession" with her husband. After graduation, Sinkford taught prosthodontics (the artificial replacement of missing teeth) and had a part-time practice before eventually moving to Chicago and earning an MS and PhD from Northwestern.
She eventually returned to Howard University and became chair of the Department of Prosthodontics and was later promoted to professor and assistant dean. In 1975, Sinkford became not only the first female dean of Howard's College of dentistry, but the first female dean of any dental school. She set high standards and helped her students and faculty achieve them, and promoted mentoring as a way to develop the profession.
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