Senator Joyce Waddell received a Bachelor of Science Degree from South Carolina State University. She obtained a Master of Science Degree from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. She earned a Master of Education Degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She received a Master of Arts Degree from Appalachian State University. She obtained a Doctor of Philosophy Degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

 Senator Waddell worked in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System for over 21 years. Her service in the school system included media specialist, classroom teacher, counselor, staff development coordinator, principal and curriculum supervisor. 

A stalwart in the Charlotte community and beyond, Senator Waddell gives of her time and resources to worthy causes and organizations. She is a volunteer in several areas, including: the Women's Commission; Chairperson of the Housing Appeals Board, City of Charlotte; Life Member, South Carolina State University Alumni Association; Member, Democratic Women, Mecklenburg County; Ten Year Volunteer for Hospice Care; the Florence Crittenton Home Board; Solid Waste Board; Spirit Square Community Advisory Board; Nursing Home Advisory Board; and organization Chair of the NAACP, Charlotte Branch.  

In 2009, Senator Waddell was elected to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education,
District 3, in a highly competitive race with seven candidates seeking the position.
She was elected again in 2013 with no opposition. Seeking to expand her political
experiences, Senator Waddell ran for North Carolina State Senator of District 40 in 2014.The winning of elections is a testament to Dr. Waddell's commitment and vision to make a difference.

Senator Waddell currently serves her second term at the General Assembly and looks forward to advocating for the citizens of District 40 and North Carolina.
“Our greatest investment is in the community. The citizens of North Carolina deserve to live in a state that is inclusive, values our hard-working educators, promotes middle-class families and businesses, and provides health care access to all.”
"I am very passionate about public service. Throughout my life, I have always advocated for state citizens to experience a brighter future at every capacity."