Linda Gibson, PhD

Tell us about yourself 

I have the privilege to be the mother and friend to three grown boys who are faithful, goal driven, and yet community centered; Renny, Jr., Corey and Alan Tyson, as well as a daughter-in-law, Javonne and one granddaughter, Sydney.  I'm also fortunate to mentor and love James and Ugochi Akoi and their 4 boys Ethan, Aiden, Ian and Micah who I have adopted and they have also adopted me to be in their lives! I have absolutely loved every moment. I have three fish that are always being replaced. I love to line dance, paint, cook and hula hoop, and get lost in watching the moon and the stars. I like to golf, even though I don't practice enough. I also love to watch sports and work in my garden.

What is your educational background?

B.S. in Elementary Education and B.A. in Psychology from Cleveland State University. M.Ed. in Educational Administration from Ashland University. Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Dayton.  

Tell us about your career path

I chose the education field because I have a deep rooted passion for education and a commitment to optimizing student and school success.  My career in education has been as a change agent.  I have worked as a classroom teacher in Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio, in both the Catholic Diocese and urban public schools.  I have served as a teacher, principal, and superintendent in schools where 90% of the students were in poverty. The highlight of my early career was taking the big risk of implementing non-popular Direct Instruction (DI) programs at Arlington Park Elementary School in Columbus (1993-1996).  This is a school where students had achieved at the 50th percentile level or lower. Using the DI model, we changed the face of education for students, teachers, parents and observers from around the country.  In just one year, students improved at such an accelerated rate, it caught the attention of the district and moved them to change their implementation process to include researched-based practices in their elementary schools.  Currently, I am an educational consultant and diagnose the strength and weakness of schools and districts. I also provide recommendations on effective and research-based practices that, when implemented with fidelity, will lead to school turnaround.  After 35 years of education, I still believe that all students can learn and we are the difference.

How did you come to be at the clinic?

I was at a meeting at the Columbus Medical Association Foundation and Ms. Isi Ikharebha spoke passionately about the commitment of the health care providers at the Physicians Free Clinic and the benefit that it was to the community. She provided statistics on the number of individuals in the community that were left without healthcare even after the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. She continued by stating the number of adults without insurance nor the means to have affordable health care. I was moved to meet Ms. Isi and learn how I could participate in this unbelievable venture to create a healthy Columbus by providing not only general health care but making sure that if specialized health care were needed, patients could have access to it.  Following that presentation, my support and volunteer work with the Physicians Free Clinic soon began. Shortly after I started on the medical side, Ms. Paula Dunn moved me over to the dental side and it became my home! I have loved every single moment of service to adults with unbearable tooth pain, who are in search of relief, provided by a great team of dentist, dental students and the staff from Physician Care Connection.

A story that you want to share that had an impact on you education/career/clinic path. 

As an educator, I had an opportunity to work with a mentor, Dr. Thaddeus Lott, who showed me that all kids could be successful and my life has never been the same since that interaction. I am very fortunate to have worked in the field of education for 35 years and have been able to successfully empower children to be more than they ever dreamed of as well as adults.