Meet Brenda L. Moore – Walt Whitman Class of 1968 and 2014 Hall of Fame Inductee


Dr. Moore is an Associate professor of Sociology at the University at Buffalo (SUNY).  She received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1987.  She is currently an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), where she has been a full-time faculty member since 1988. 

As a faculty member, Dr. Moore teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in sociology, and supervises graduate students’ MA and Ph.D. theses.  She is internationally known for her scholarship on patterns of mobility and organizational change as it pertains to women in the military. 

Dr. Moore has published several refereed journal articles analyzing effects of race and gender on occupational assignments and career trajectories of military personnel.  Her books (To Serve My Country, To Serve My Race: The Story of the Only African American WACs Stationed Overseas During World War II, New York University Press, 1996, and Serving Our Country: Japanese American Women in the Military during World War II, Rutgers University Press, 2003), have given voice to populations largely ignored by American scholars.  Her books are not only an outstanding contribution to the sociology of gender and race, but also a historical study of racial minorities in the United States.  Her current book project is an historical analysis of military sexual trauma.

A Brief reflection on her years at Walt Whitman:  I was quiet, reserved, and often unnoticed.  Like many young women my age, I was conscious about my appearance and decorum all of the time.  We, as young women, were taught to be ladies, and to respect ourselves, our families, and our community.  We wore skirts and dresses to school; never pants.  I would sometimes find excuses not to go to gym third period so as not to have to spend the remainder of the day walking around with unmanageable hair.  Still, I participated in intramural sports such as field hockey; and danced and sang as a chorus member in such plays as Annie Get Your Gun, and Oklahoma. 

I generally did well in all of my courses after spending many hours studying at home and in study hall.  I was a very good student; not outstanding.  My Dad used to say, “A good education is something that no one can take from you.”   Both my parents were very involved in my school affairs; from attending plays and concerts that I participated in, to meeting with my counselors for the purpose of planning my academic curriculum for the following year.  I was enrolled in a variety of regents courses that would help prepare me for college.  Most of my high school teachers were dedicated educators; they encouraged me to achieve academically as did my parents.  Still, my parents were the ones who initiated conversations with my teachers and school administrators, (and sometimes followed-up with letters to Albany) to ensure that I had the best possible learning experience.   

As high school students, my classmates and I had our social events.  We listened and danced to the music of Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Aretha Franklin and The Beetles.  We did the twist, the mashed potatoes, the monkey, and the locomotion.  We had fun!   

On a more serious note, we came of age during political turmoil in the United States.  I remember Walt Whitman High to be a very conservative school in an age of political unrest.  I and my classmates witnessed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in April 1968, five years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and only weeks before the killing of Senator Robert F. Kennedy.  We were also confronted with political events like the Civil Rights Movement and the movement against the war in Vietnam.  These incidents had a profound effect on many of us as we tried to understand what it all meant.  These events, along with many of my experiences at Walt Whitman, helped to shape my interest in national and international politics; more specifically, human rights issues.   What was going on in my world at that time provided a foundation for my academic studies on race and gender equality that would develop in subsequent years.

Personal Life:   Brenda spent several years running in 5, 10 and 20K races; particularly while she was in the military and later in graduate school.  In the early 1990s Brenda stopped running due to injuries in both knees.  She now enjoys traveling; both abroad and within the United States.  She finds pleasure in visiting friends and relatives; as well as entertaining them in her home.  Her hobbies include: reading, cycling, Bikram yoga, zumba, and salsa dance.  She loves all music, but especially gospel, classical and jazz.

Please join us:  Brenda, along with six other distinguished Walt Whitman alumni, will be our honored guest at this year’s Hall of Fame festivities, which will take place during Walt Whitman’s homecoming weekend on Saturday, October 18. We invite the community to stop by and say hello to Brenda and the other honorees.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

9AM- Hall of Fame Breakfast (WW South Cafeteria, RSVP/Tickets Required)*

11AM- Hall of Fame Ceremony (Turf Field)

11:30AM- Homecoming Parade (Whitman Campus and surrounding neighborhoods)

12Noon- Hall of Fame Tailgate Party (Whitman Campus)

2PM- Football Game (Turf Field) 


* To RSVP tickets for the Hall of Fame Breakfast contact us at