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Sondra Akins

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Information about Sondra Akins

Profile image of Sondra Akins

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Education Professor
Chemist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Cake (Strawberry Shortcake)
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Favorite Quote:
Keep an open mind.

Birthplace

Born:
3/16/1944
Birth Location:
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Education Professor
Chemist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Cake (Strawberry Shortcake)
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Favorite Quote:
Keep an open mind.

Birthplace

Born:
3/16/1944
Birth Location:
Winston-Salem
See how Sondra Akins is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Education professor and chemist Sondra Akins was born on March 16, 1944 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She became interested in chemistry by the time she graduated from Atkins High School in 1962. Akins earned her B.S. degree in chemistry in 1967 from the University of California, Berkeley where she also worked as a laboratory technician. She received her M.S. degree in chemistry with a minor in higher education from Florida State University in 1970.

After earning her master's degree, Akins taught physical science at Greco Junior High School in Tampa, Florida. Between 1971 and 1974, she served as instructor of chemistry at St. Petersburg Junior College which is currently known as St. Petersburg College. She left St. Petersburg in 1974 to teach at Hillsborough Community College where she rose to the rank of associate professor. In 1978, she taught at Northern Virginia Community College, and in 1980, Akins worked as an honors physics teacher in Lexington Massachusetts Public Schools. She also spent two years as an industrial hygienist at Hewlett Packard, Co. from 1981 to 1983. Akins began her long career with the Englewood Public School District in Englewood, New Jersey in 1983 where she started as a science and mathematics teacher. In 1988, she became the director of mathematics, science, and technology. In 1993, she received her Ed.D. degree in science education from Columbia University. She returned to teaching at Englewood Public Schools between 1995 and 1997 and served as a high school principal for one year in 1997. From 1998 to 2001, Akins was a staff developer for Englewood Public Schools where she served as a mentor, giving advice to teachers. Since 2001, Akins has worked as a professor in the Department of Secondary and Middle School Education at William Paterson University. She has written numerous essays on science education including a chapter in the National Science Teachers Association book, Exemplary Science: Best Practices in Professional Development.

Over her long career in science education, Akins has been recognized many times by her community including the Award for Dedication to Science Teaching from Sigma Xi of Ramapo College. She has been a member of the American Chemical Society, the National Science Teachers Association and the Association of Science Teacher Educators. Sondra Akins lives with her husband Daniel Akins, a chemist, in Teaneck, New Jersey.

Sondra Akins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 15, 2012.

See how Sondra Akins is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sondra Akins' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sondra Akins lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sondra Akins describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sondra Akins describes her mother's growing up in Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sondra Akins talks about the Mary Potter School in Oxford, North Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sondra Akins talks about her mother's desire to have a long-lasting marriage and family-life
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sondra Akins describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sondra Akins talks about how her parents met, and describes their long marriage and employment at Winston-Salem Teachers College
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sondra Akins lists her siblings, and talks about her name
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Sondra Akins describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after, and talks about them being her role models
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Sondra Akins describes her childhood home and her close-knit family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Sondra Akins talks about her childhood neighborhood in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Sondra Akins describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina - part one
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sondra Akins describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina - part two
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sondra Akins describes her childhood experience on the Winston-Salem Teachers College campus
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sondra Akins talks about the towns of Winston and Salem, North Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sondra Akins talks about segregation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in the mid-1900s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sondra Akins talks about segregation in the public school system in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and describes her experience in elementary school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sondra Akins talks about the influence of Zion Memorial Church on her awareness of the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sondra Akins talks about her introduction to television in the 1950s, and her interest in science programs and talent shows
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sondra Akins describes her experience with science experiments in the eighth grade
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sondra Akins talks about her family's travels when she was growing up
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sondra Akins talks about the demographics of Winston-Salem Teachers College, and the schools for African American students in Winston-Salem
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sondra Akins describes her academic excellence, her extracurricular involvement, and her interest in science at Atkins High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sondra Akins talks about her role model, Togo West, Jr. and her scientific mentor, Togo West, Sr., at Atkins High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sondra Akins describes her experience with the integration of her high school advanced placement chemistry class in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sondra Akins talks about her decision to pursue chemistry as her major in college
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sondra Akins describes her decision to attend Howard University for her undergraduate studies
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Sondra Akins recalls the Civil Rights sit-ins at the Woolworth's store in Greensboro, North Carolina, which led to its desegregation in 1960
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sondra Akins describes her early experience studying chemistry at Howard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sondra Akins describes her experience studying science at Howard University, and her love for science
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sondra Akins describes the 'black is beautiful' cultural movement in the United States in the early 1960s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sondra Akins talks about the advent of the space age in the 1950s and 1960s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sondra Akins talks about her exposure to black history and culture at Howard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sondra Akins talks about her decision to pursue research, and not go to medical school
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sondra Akins talks about getting married to HistoryMaker Daniel Akins, withdrawing from Howard University, and moving to Berkeley, California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Sondra Akins describes her experience at the University of California, Berkeley in the 1960s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Sondra Akins talks about becoming a parent while pursuing her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sondra Akins describes her and her husband's relationship with their advisor, C. Bradley Moore, at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sondra Akins talks about her employment as a lab technician at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sondra Akins talks about the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Black Panther Party's presence in the San Francisco Bay area in the late 1960s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sondra Akins talks about her family's move to Florida State University in 1968 and their experience there
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sondra Akins talks about her interest in physical chemistry, and the growing interdisciplinary nature of science
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sondra Akins describes her different experiences as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley and as a graduate student at Florida State University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Sondra Akins talks about her role model, Lidia Vallerino, and other women who are scientists
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Sondra Akins talks about her decision to become a physical science teacher at Greco Junior High School in Tampa, Florida
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Sondra Akins describes her experience as a physical science teacher at Greco Junior High School in Tampa, Florida
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sondra Akins reflects upon the diverse styles of learning and teaching in the classroom
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sondra Akins talks about her decision to move from St. Petersburg Junior College to Hillsborough Community College
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Sondra Akins talks about balancing her family life and her career
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Sondra Akins talks about her experience as a science teacher at Northern Virginia Community College and at Lexington High School
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Sondra Akins talks about her decision to discontinue her graduate studies and become an industrial hygienist at Hewlett-Packard Corporation
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Sondra Akins describes her experience as an industrial hygienist at Hewlett-Packard Corporation in Waltham, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Sondra Akins describes her experience as a teacher at Dwight Morrow High School and her decision to pursue a degree in science education
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Sondra Akins describes her doctoral dissertation on restructuring the math and science curriculum, with a focus on elementary school - part one
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Sondra Akins describes the importance of teaching students to think scientifically in their early childhood education
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Sondra Akins describes her doctoral dissertation on restructuring the math and science curriculum, with a focus on elementary school - part two
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Sondra Akins describes the findings of her doctoral dissertation on restructuring the math and science curriculum in elementary school education
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Sondra Akins talks about her involvement in professional development programs for the teachers in the Englewood School District
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Sondra Akins talks about the African American Educational Center of Northern New Jersey
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Sondra Akins describes her professional activities in the Englewood School District
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Sondra Akins reflects upon the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Sondra Akins describes her experience as a professor of science education at The William Patterson University of New Jersey
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Sondra Akins talks about her article entitled 'Exemplary Science: Best Practices in Professional Development'
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Sondra Akins discusses the balance between inquiry and discipline as part of the process of learning
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Sondra Akins describes her involvement with the New York African Burial Ground Project General Audience Report at Howard University
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Sondra Akins describes the history of the New York African Burial Ground Project and her involvement with the General Audience Report
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Sondra Akins describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community today - part one
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Sondra Akins describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community today - part two
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Sondra Akins talks about her plans to write a book about her experience with learning and teaching science
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Sondra Akins reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Sondra Akins reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Sondra Akins talks about her family
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Sondra Akins reflects upon the significance of teaching and science
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Sondra Akins talks about how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Sondra Akins describes her photographs