Dr. Carol Swain
April 22, 2022

Dr. Carol Swain believes that where you start in life is not where you need to end up. This remarkable woman was born poor in Virginia in 1954. She was an eighth-grade dropout, married at sixteen, and a mother of three when she was twenty.

How does a teenage wife and mother turn her life around to become a political science and law professor at Vanderbilt? First, you develop a game plan for success that begins with getting your GED. Dr. Swain made good decisions, worked hard, learned from her mistakes, took responsibility for those mistakes, and met people along the way that helped her.

When Carol was in graduate school, her professor told her that she could not achieve what she already had accomplished. She refused to be a victim.

Dr. Swain is also an author, television analyst, and political activist.

B.A., Roanoke College, 1983; M.A., Virginia Polytechnic & State Univ., 1984; Ph.D., the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1989; M.S.L, Yale, 2000; member of Phi Beta Kappa. She is also a former Vanderbilt and Princeton professor.