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Joseph Monroe

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Information about Joseph Monroe

Profile image of Joseph Monroe

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Computer Scientist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Brown
Favorite Food:
Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring, Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Colorado
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
5/18/1936
Birth Location:
Rowland, North Carolina

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Computer Scientist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Brown
Favorite Food:
Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring, Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Colorado
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
5/18/1936
Birth Location:
Rowland
See how Joseph Monroe is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Computer scientist Joseph Monroe was born in North Carolina. Monroe received his B.S. degrees in mathematics, English, and French from North Carolina A & T State University in 1962. He then enrolled at Texas A & M University and graduated from there with his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science in 1967 and 1972, respectively. Monroe was the first African American to earn a doctoral degree in computer science in the United States.

Upon graduation, Monroe was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and appointed as an associate professor of computer science at the U.S. Air Force Academy. From 1978 to 1987, he held various positions at the U.S. Air Force Academy, including as the Dean of the Faculty, chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering, chair of the Computer Science Department. Monroe went on to become the first African American appointed as a full professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy. While there, he was responsible for developing computer software systems such as the U.S. Air Force Manpower System, the U.S. Army Personnel System, U.S. Air Force Logistics systems, and the Armed Forces Intelligence Data Handling System. In addition, Monroe designed accredited computer science programs for the Egyptian Air Force Academy, and the Royal Thai Air Force Academy.

In 1987, Monroe joined the faculty at Fayetteville State University and served in various academic and administrative positions. He returned to North Carolina A & T State University in 1991 and was named Ronald E. McNair Endowed Professor and Chair of Computer Science. In 2000, Monroe assumed the additional role of Dean of the College of Engineering. Under his leadership, the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Engineering grew in size, increased funding, and hired the most tenured African American engineering professors in the United States. Monroe was a founding member of the first computer science honor society, Upsilon Pi Epsilon, which is now an international society. He served on the board of directors for the Industries of the Blind, the board of directors for Computing at NASA, and the board that governs the practice of Engineering and Surveying in North Carolina.

Monroe was awarded the U.S. Department of Defense Superior Service Medal for Superior Service and Teaching in 1987, and the U.S. Air Force Legion of Merit Service Medal for Outstanding Teaching and Research in 1974, 1978, and 1982. In 1992, he was named National Technical Achiever of the Year by the National Technical Achievers Association.

Monroe is married to the former Sally McNair Monroe. They have two sons: Joseph Monroe, Jr. and Col. Robert Bruce Monroe.

Joseph Monroe was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 7, 2013.

See how Joseph Monroe is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Joseph Monroe's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Joseph Monroe lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Joseph Monroe describes his mother's family background and her poor educational opportunities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Joseph Monroe describes the history, demographics and racial climate of Rowland, North Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Joseph Monroe talks about his mother's talent for singing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Joseph Monroe describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Joseph Monroe talks about the South of the Border resort located at the border of the Carolinas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Joseph Monroe describes his father's talents, his interest in baseball, and the baseball games in Rowland, North Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Joseph Monroe talks about his family's life as sharecroppers in Rowland, North Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Joseph Monroe describes how his parents met in Rowland, North Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Joseph Monroe describes his likeness to his parents and lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Joseph Monroe describes his family's home where he grew up in Rowland, North Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Joseph Monroe describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Joseph Monroe describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Rowland, North Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Joseph Monroe talks about the landscape of Rowland, North Carolina, the farming activities, and the industries that were established there
  • Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Joseph Monroe talks about his childhood interest in taking gadgets apart and putting them back together
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Joseph Monroe talks about his experience in elementary school, and juggling his education with his responsibilities on the family farm
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Joseph Monroe talks about his family gatherings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Joseph Monroe discusses segregation and the racial dynamics in Rowland, North Carolina in the 1940s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Joseph Monroe describes watching the second boxing match between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling with his grandfather
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Joseph Monroe recalls the excitement when Jackie Robinson became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Joseph Monroe talks about excelling in mathematics in high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Joseph Monroe talks about his determination to not become a farmer and his experience in his high school typing class
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Joseph Monroe talks about his decision to join the United States Air Force in 1954
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Joseph Monroe describes his early experience in the United States Air Force, and learning Russian at Syracuse University in the 1950s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Joseph Monroe describes his experience in Turkey while stationed there with the United States Air Force in the 1950s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Joseph Monroe talks about his efforts to continue his education while stationed in Turkey
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Joseph Monroe talks about the U.S. Air Force's educational and financial benefits - part one
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Joseph Monroe talks about the U.S. Air Force's educational and financial benefits - part two
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Joseph Monroe talks about how he met his wife, Sallie Monroe
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Joseph Monroe describes his experience at the University of Colorado, and the master's degree program in computer science
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Joseph Monroe describes his experience at North Carolina A & T State University in the 1960s - part one
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Joseph Monroe describes his experience at North Carolina A&T University in the 1960s - part two
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Joseph Monroe describes his experience as a graduate student at Texas A & M University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Joseph Monroe talks about the early days of computers and computer programming systems
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Joseph Monroe talks about his mentors at Texas A&M University and about founding the computer science honor society, Epsilon Pi Epsilon
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Joseph Monroe describes his experience on the faculty of the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he taught computer science
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Joseph Monroe describes his decision to pursue his Ph.D. degree in computer science
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Joseph Monroe describes taking the GRE and his experience with finding housing at Texas A&M University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Joseph Monroe describes his trip from Colorado to Texas in 1965, and race relations in College Station, Texas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Joseph Monroe talks about his Ph.D. dissertation on complexity theory and about winning the U.S. Air Force Academy golf championship
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Joseph Monroe discusses his Ph.D. dissertation on complexity theory and earning his Ph.D. degree in computer science
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Joseph Monroe talks about the growth of degree programs in computer science in the 1970s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Joseph Monroe talks about being the first African American to be appointed as a tenured permanent professor at any U.S. service academy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Joseph Monroe talks about accrediting computer science programs, teaching at the U.S. Air Force Academy and Patricia Schroeder
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Joseph Monroe talks about the evolution of computers since the 1980s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Joseph Monroe describes his decision to accept a position as the vice president of academic affairs at the University of North Carolina
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Joseph Monroe talks about serving at Fayetteville State University and at North Carolina A&T State University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Joseph Monroe discusses his endowed professorship of computer science at North Carolina A&T University, and the field of geomatics
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Joseph Monroe describes the uses of geomatics and explains how a GPS device works
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Joseph Monroe talks about his research on transportation security for the Department of Homeland Security, and on facial and voice recognition
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Joseph Monroe talks about his research on reusing the ATA language in the navigation systems for ships
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Joseph Monroe talks about his research on adaptation and scalability in computers
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Joseph Monroe describes his contributions as the dean of the College of Engineering at North Carolina A & T University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Joseph Monroe talks about the Engineering Research Center at North Carolina A & T State University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Joseph Monroe talks about his mentoring initiatives at North Carolina A & T State University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Joseph Monroe talks about serving on the Board of Directors for Computing at NASA
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Joseph Monroe talks about his most significant contributions as the dean of the College of Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Joseph Monroe describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Joseph Monroe talks about his family, and his decision to not enroll in the NASA astronaut program
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Joseph Monroe talks about his sons, Joseph Monroe, Jr. and Robert Bruce Monroe
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Joseph Monroe reflects upon his legacy and talks about his involvement in the Bible training center
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Joseph Monroe talks about how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Joseph Monroe describes his photographs