Dr. Margot Gage Witvliet

Assistant Professor | Social Epidemiologist | Veteran Advocate

Meet Professor Gage Witvliet


My journey has been a thrill ride full of twists and turns and cliff drops of epic proportions. Along the way I have met many interesting people who have left a profound impact on my view of life and scholarship. I believe that governments should uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights agreements they signed in 1948. My research aim is to amplify the voice of vulnerable groups using epidemiological data.

I believe that society will work better if more women are in politics. I am a veteran advocate who supports increase in pay for members of the military. It is a shame that more than 20,000 active-duty military families struggle to feed their families and are on food stamps. I believe that veterans who have served their country should not be homeless and living on the streets they defended. I am for increased light being shed on veteran suicide and mental health awareness in the general population as a whole. I believe that if we had the political will, poverty could be eradicated and the environment saved.

I believe corruption in healthcare is crippling our nation. I am for term-limits, and a fiscally responsible government that delivers real transparency.

We are seeing a rise in populism around the world. I think it is imperative that the next generation of young people reject being divided by ethnicity and income.

Together we can change the world.


I'm the second African American woman to hold the position of assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Lamar University. The first was hired to the department over 50 years ago. In this position, I founded and organized the first Social Justice Symposium at Lamar University.

Congressman Joaquin Castro awarded me special recognition for my contribution to the advancement of social justice. I started GIRL, a lab that mentors first-generation and minority students in research. Five of my students have won scholarships and awards for their GIRL Lab research. I am the founding editor of The GIRL Report, a free online newsletter that promotes health and highlights members in politics who are working to improve the lives of urban and rural populations. I’ve been nominated twice for the Lamar Inspirational Women Award. I founded the BIPOC Women Long COVID-19 Support Group on Facebook. This group was featured in the Washington Post, and highlighted by the NY Times. I am recognized as one of the seven women who are unsung heros to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I am the director of Young Americans Overseas, a nonprofit working to build the first park in Texas that is 100% dedicated to women in uniform. I am also the first person in Beaumont, Texas to start a home for veterans that was endorsed by the Veterans Administration, Senator John Cornyn and Congressman Randy Weber. I made history in Southeast, Texas when founded, and organized the VeteranFest. The Department of Defense flew out a guest speaker from Washington D.C. to the VeteranFest and we pinned over 100 Vietnam veterans with medals from the President. It was the largest event for Vietnam veterans in the history of Southeast, Texas.

As a mother of two daughters with big curly hair, I am appalled by the lack of representation in children’s books. I decided to do my part by creating a children's book collection. Together with my daughters, we created a coloring book featuring characters that look like them, doing mighty girl activities.





I create content on social media. Keep up with me online to read my views on the latest headlines.



In 2014 I founded Young Americans Overseas, an outlet for my advocacy, research and consultancy work.