A native of Baltimore, Dr. Banks was one of three African American students to integrate the Western High School of Girls. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in mathematics at what is now Morgan State University in Baltimore.
After graduating from college, Dr. Banks worked as a mathematics teacher in the Baltimore public schools for seven years while working on her master’s degree at Morgan State. She then joined the faculty at Rutgers University-Camden and later worked as a curriculum specialist for the New Jersey Department of Education.
After earning a doctorate at the main campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick in 1984, Dr. Banks joined the staff at Temple University in Philadelphia. There, during an 18-year career she held many posts including vice president for administration for health sciences and associate dean of the Graduate School.
After retiring from Temple University in 2003, she worked as an administrator at the Community College of Philadelphia, the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and Baltimore City Community College. She retired in 2010.