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Dr. Ingrid Phillips Whitaker


Dr. Ingrid Phillips Whitaker was born in Trinidad and Tobago West Indies to the late Margaret Estelle Phillips and Colin Brathwaite. At the age of 4, she immigrated to the United States with her family and was raised on the South Side of Chicago where she completed her elementary education at William H. Ray school and high school education at Kenwood Academy. She continued her education at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology (1988). Dr. Whitaker was then awarded a minority graduate fellowship at the University of Michigan where she earned a Master’s degree in Sociology (1990), a Master of Social Work (1992), and a Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Work (1997). Dr. Whitaker began her career as a college professor at Old Dominion University in 1997. She currently serves as a tenured Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Old Dominion University where she teaches a variety of courses including, Minority Families, Minority Groups, African American Studies, and Social Welfare.

Dr. Whitaker served on the Portsmouth Public Schools School Board from 2014-2018 and was re-elected to the School Board on November 3, 2020. In this capacity, Dr. Whitaker uses her voice to advocate for the full funding of our schools, additional career and technical educational opportunities, and increasing support services for our students.

At New Bethel, Dr. Whitaker is active in several ministries. She is the Co-Chair of the Christian Education Ministry, a Church School Teacher, and a member of the Stewards Ministry, and The Voices of Praise Music Ministry. Dr. Whitaker counts it a blessing to be able to serve New Bethel in these capacities.

The Drs. Whitaker were joined in marriage on July 30, 1994, at New Bethel Baptist Church.  Together, they have been blessed with four children: James, who is in his 3rd year of Law School at North Carolina Central University, Naomi, who is a Ph.D. student the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland, Nathaniel, who is a Senior at Morehouse College, and Rachel who is a Freshman at Howard University.