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Robert Bragg

Physicist and engineer Robert Henry “Pete” Bragg, Jr. was born on August 11, 1919 in Jacksonville, Florida to Robert Henry Bragg and Lily Camille MacFarland. He had one older sister, Alberta, a younger sister, Nadine, and a younger brother, Johnny. After his parents separated, Bragg lived with his mother and grandmother in Memphis, Tennessee, but he was encouraged by his family to move to Chicago, Illinois, to live with his Aunt Edna and Uncle Teddy where he attended Tilden Technical High School. Bragg pursued higher education at Woodrow Wilson Junior College, a community college in Chicago, Illinois, for a couple of years before enlisting in the military during World War II. Using the money allotted to him from the G.I. Bill to attend Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Bragg pursued a career in physics following the war. He received his B.S. degree in physics in 1949 and continued his graduate studies under the tutelage of Frances L. Yost, graduating from IIT in 1951 with his M.S. degree and his thesis on quantum mechanical scattering theories.

Following his graduation, Bragg was hired at the Dover Electroplating Company on the North Side of Chicago, and then the Portland Cement Association Research Laboratory. While working with the latter of these companies, Bragg became an expert in x-ray crystallography and xray diffraction. He was then hired by the Armour Research Foundation at IIT, where he worked for another five years while continuing his graduate studies working under his mentor, Dr. Leonid V. Azaroff. Bragg completed his studies at IIT in 1960 and earned his Ph.D. degree in physics.

Bragg was then hired by Lockheed Martin Missile and Space, where he worked for nine years before joining the faculty of the materials science and engineering department at the University of California, Berkeley in June of 1969. Bragg served as chair of the materials science and engineering department from 1978 to 1981, the only African American to do so at that time. Bragg’s research interests included x-ray diffraction and its application to such topics as the structure and electronic properties of carbon materials. There materials were used in aircraft and aerospace vehicles as well as in everyday items such as golf clubs and tennis rackets. He taught at the university and conducted research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) until 1986. After his retirement, Bragg was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 1992 to conduct research for one year at the University of Ife in Nigeria. He also performed research at the Advanced Photon Source at the Argonne National Laboratory in 1999.

Bragg’s investigations in chemistry and physics earned him numerous honors and awards throughout his career. He was named a fellow of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) in 1995 and a professor emeritus of the University of California, Berkeley upon his retirement in 1987.

Bragg passed away on October 3, 2017 at age 98.

Accession Number

A2011.003

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

3/11/2011

Last Name

Bragg

Middle Name

Henry

Organizations
Schools

Carnes Elementary School

St. Anthony School

Woodstock Middle School

Edward Tilden Career Community Academy High School

Illinois Institute of Technology

Search Occupation Category
Archival Photo 2
First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Jacksonville

HM ID

BRA12

Favorite Season

Spring, Early Fall

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

N/A

Favorite Quote

Be Cool.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

8/11/1919

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/Oakland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Greens

Death Date

10/3/2017

Short Description

Physics professor and physicist Robert Bragg (1919 - 2017 ) was a leader in the techniques of x-ray diffraction and the study of carbon-based materials, and served as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley from 1969 to 1987.

Employment

Cadney's Tea Room

Beat Plumming and Heating

Palmer House

D.S. Signet Elementary Training

Research Lab Portland Cement Association

ITT Research Institute

Lockheed Martin

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Black, Dark Blue, Beige, Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert Bragg's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg shares his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg talks about his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg talks about his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg talks about his father

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg explains how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg talks about his mother's half-sister who was in show business

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg discusses his parents' marriage and their separation

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg talks about his mother's second marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg talks about his resemblance to certain family members

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg shares his early childhood memories, part 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg shares his early childhood memories, part 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert Bragg describes his upbringing in Memphis, Tennessee, part 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg recalls growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, part 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg talks about his elementary school experience, part 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg talks about his elementary experience, part 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg discusses his awareness of African American organizations

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg recalls his family's move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg describes himself as a teenager

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg talks about living in Chicago, Illinois with his uncle

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg describes his uncle's work for Oscar DePriest as a plumber

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg describes his experience at Tilden Technical High School in Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg talks about is experience at Wilson Junior College

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg talks about his service in the Army Air Corps, part 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg talks about his service in the Army Air Corps, part 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg recalls taking aptitude tests and joining the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg recounts his experience in his U.S. Army laundry unit

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg describes his direct commission to officer in the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg describes his army experience in the Philippines

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg describes his army experience in Japan

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg talks about a murder that occurred while he served in the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg talks about going to college after his return from the U.S. Army

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg talks about earning his master's degree at the Illinois Institute of Technology

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg tells how he met his wife

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg remembers looking for a job after earning his master's degree

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg recalls his experience of integrating the cafeteria at Portland Cement Association

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg describes his work at the Portland Cement Association

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg remembers looking for a new job after the Portland Cement Association

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg remembers doing well on a test at North Carolina A&T College

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg talks about his work at the Armour Research Foundation

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg describes his PhD dissertation, part 1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg describes his PhD dissertation, part 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg talks about his job at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg describes his involvement in the Palo Alto community

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg details his laboratory work on the properties of carbon

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Robert Bragg talks about his travels while working at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg recalls discussions of race relations in Argentina and the U.S.

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg talks about his position at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg discusses the role of African Americans in science

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg continues discussing the role of African Americans in science

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg talks about his accomplishments at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg discusses his research at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg talks about his most significant scientific achievements, part 1

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg talks about his most significant scientific achievements, part 2

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg talks about his work as a detailee with the U.S. Department of Energy, part 1

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg talks about his work as a detailee with the U.S. Department of Energy, part 2

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg talks about his other professional positions

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg responds to a question about black student preparedness

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg discusses African American organizations

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg talks about his family and reflects on his decisions

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg recalls being a busboy at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg discusses his involvement in University of California, Berkeley committees

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg talks about his appointment as faculty assistant to the chancellor

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg talks about his best students at University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg reflects on his life's accomplishments

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg talks about his scientific legacy

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg talks about his immediate family

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg explains the origins of his nickname "Pete" and reflects on his life's accomplishments

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg describes his photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$7

DAStory

6$7

DATitle
Robert Bragg shares his early childhood memories, part 1
Robert Bragg details his laboratory work on the properties of carbon
Transcript
You have good stories. Do you have an earliest childhood memory?$$Yes and no. I don't, I can't really put my finger on it, but I almost think I can remember when my sister [Nadine Maryann] was born. Now, that's not really possible because I was only two years old. But I have this dim recollection of some people coming and going in the house and I'm associating that with the birth of my younger sister, two years later. The next recollection I have is when we were on this homestead where--now, how we got there, I don't know. But sugarcane was grown there. And what they would do would be to harvest this sugarcane and make a preliminary extraction of the sweet juice from the sugarcane. And the way it was done was, they had a mill which was a couple of stones, large stones that are juxtaposed. So, and they're rolled, and the power for rolling these mills--these stones was a mule who went around in a circle. And he just sort of kept plodding around and rolling these stones and they would feed the stalks of cane into the stone and the drippings would collect in a barrel. And that was eventually fermented or distilled and made into sugar. And I can remember that you could chew this cane. It was rather sweet, and to this day, I'm sure people do that, but not the way the sugarcane was extracted. But apparently, they would boil this material, and there was a scum that collected off of it. And they would put that scum in a barrel, and it would ferment and would change into alcohol and rather potent. So the term sugar barrel high came from people who would, n'er-do-wells, would sit next to this barrel and dip this cane (laughter), this fermenting liquor to get high (laughter). So I don't know whether that comes later or not, but I do have this image of this mule going around, powering the stones. And the next one is when we moved to, from the lumber camp to Chicago [Illinois]--to Memphis [Tennessee] because then, just before that we're in this lumber camp, I had a pet alligator. Apparently, out in the woods, they had killed this alligator and brought home this, his little, you know, babies. So I had this pet alligator, have nothing, no further, nothing beyond that, but I do remember I had a pet alligator.$$He was a little one.$$Yeah, about so long, hang onto your finger you know.$$(Laughter).$$And I remember there was a guitar player who hung out at this juke who would come by the house. And sometimes he would play. And then one time, he showed up, there had been a big fight, and they'd broken his (laughter) guitar. So, beyond that, these are my earliest childhood recollections.$Okay, so now meanwhile, in the laboratory, you're studying the properties of carbon?$$Yeah, that was very interesting. And it came about in this way. When we, when I got there, the big program--and that was what I liked about it. I didn't like the military aspects of the missiles, but Lockheed Missiles and Space Company [California]. So it was involved in both, you see. I could always absolve myself of some blame by just thinking of, about space (laughter). To tell you the truth, I never really sweated it that much. But when I arrived there, the big program was the ballistic missile program. And one of the big programs with that is reentry. When you fire missiles into space and when it comes, when it reenters, ordinarily it would burn up because the aerodynamic heating would be such that it's going so fast, you know, faster than the speed of sound. And once it enters the earth's atmosphere, it just catches--you know, ordinary materials would burn up. And to this day, perhaps you read about the shuttle and the tiles coming off and burning through and burning up and all that. Well, a lot of work went into finding materials, hopefully, passive, which meant it would just do--they would not burn up so badly. And the material that does that better than any other is carbon. So that led to a lot of research on carbon. Union Carbide [Corporation], carbon producing companies which produce electrodes for manufacturing steel and all that, they also had projects to manufacture carbon for the space program, you know, the program. But the government was paying for all of that. They didn't do any of that on their own money because it wasn't that big a market. Once you built something, it wasn't--you didn't do hundreds of tons. You'd just do a few, you know. But a whole lot of manpower went into research on these materials. And so we had people around there who were studying the thermo-physical properties and the reentry properties and the tinsel properties and all that. And I loved that because I could do all kinds of physics, you know, in addition to what I was doing in characterizing the material. All that relates back to structure. So not long after I got there, I got involved in the reentry materials program. And there was a conference in Japan that occurred in '62 [1962], I guess it was, that they sent me to because some of it had to do with carbon materials. And also there was a chemical company in--I forget which town it was, but off of the beaten path of the conference, that (unclear) that made a material called glassy carbon which seemed to have very novel properties that might be useful in our reentry vehicles. So I made a side trip to this town in Japan where they, you know, put on the big dog and gave me this sales pitch (laughter), brought some of it back, little pieces, you know. And it turned out that it really was no good for that purpose at all, thermo shock, you know. If you heat something very quickly, and it expands very quickly, it'll fly apart unless it's strong enough. So it didn't have that thermo-shock resistance.$$So it wouldn't burn, but it would fly apart?$$Yeah, just fly apart. But in the meantime, because it was secret, we couldn't tell the Japanese, couldn't tell them what we wanted to do, and so it meant we had to reinvent the wheel. So we had a big program reinventing how to make glassy carbon. And I have a lamp back there in my room that's, the bowl of it is glassy carbon. But we never did get a patent on it because--well, I don't know what the reason was except that somehow we had licenses, let people have licenses to produce it, but we never patented it. But anyway, that's how I got into carbon.

Anthony Johnson

Physicist Anthony M. Johnson was born on May 23, 1954 in Brooklyn, New York to James W. Johnson and Helen Y. Johnson. He initially wanted to study math or chemistry in college until a teacher at Samuel J. Tilden High School in Brooklyn, New York introduced him to physics. Johnson attended the Polytechnic Institute of New York where he graduated magna cum laude with his B.S. degree in physics in 1975. He went on to earn his Ph.D. degree in physics from the City College of New York in 1981. Johnson conducted his thesis research at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey with support from the Bell Labs Cooperative Research Fellowship Program.

Upon graduation, Johnson was hired at Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey as a member of the technical staff in the Quantum Physics and Electronics Research Department. In 1988, Johnson was promoted as a distinguished member of Bell Labs technical staff; and, in 1990, he became part of the Photonic Circuits Research Department. Johnson joined the faculty of the New Jersey Institute of Technology in 1995 where he served as chairperson, distinguished professor of applied physics, and professor of electrical and computer engineering. In 2003, Johnson was named as Director of the Center for Advanced Studies in Photonics Research (CASPR). He was then appointed as professor of physics, computer science, and electrical engineering at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC) where his research focused on ultrafast optics and optoelectronics.

Johnson has authored two book chapters, over seventy scholarly articles, and he has been credited with four U.S. Patents. In addition, he served as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Optics Letters from 1995 to 2001. Between 1991 and 2000, Johnson was elected as a Fellow into several academic and professional organizations, including the Optical Society of America (OSA), the American Physical Society (APS), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He was a 1992 Charter Fellow of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP). In 1993, Johnson received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Polytechnic University; and, in 1994, he was honored with the Black Engineer of the Year Special Recognition Award. The American Physical Society presented Johnson with the Edward A. Bouchet Award in 1996. In 2002, Johnson became the first African American to serve as president of the Optical Society of America.

Johnson is married to Dr. Adrienne S. Johnson. They have three adult children, Kimberly, Justin, and Brandon.

Anthony M. Johnson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 24, 201

Accession Number

A2013.167

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/25/2013

Last Name

Johnson

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

City College of New York

Polytechnic Institute of New York University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Anthony

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

JOH44

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Brisbane, Australia

Favorite Quote

Work hard, play hard.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Birth Date

5/23/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Country

United States

Favorite Food

seafood, Chitterlings

Short Description

Physicist Anthony Johnson (1954 - ) , a 1992 Charter Fellow of the National Society of Black Physicists, became the first African American elected as president of the Optical Society of American in 2002.

Employment

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)

Bell Laboratories

Favorite Color

Electric Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Anthony Johnson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Anthony Johnson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Anthony Johnson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Anthony Johnson describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Anthony Johnson talks about his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Anthony Johnson describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Anthony Johnson talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Anthony Johnson describes his childhood household

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Anthony Johnson describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Anthony Johnson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Anthony Johnson talks about his interests as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Anthony Johnson describes becoming interested in physics

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Anthony Johnson talks about his elementary and junior high schools

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Anthony Johnson talks about his junior high and high schools

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Anthony Johnson remembers when the first astronaut was put on the moon

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Anthony Johnson describes his high school interest in science and science fiction

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Anthony Johnson talks about his high school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Anthony Johnson describes his decision to pursue his doctoral degree in physics

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Anthony Johnson describes being encouraged go to college

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Anthony Johnson describes his time at the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Anthony Johnson talks about his summer at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Anthony Johnson talks about his undergraduate research at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Anthony Johnson describes his undergraduate research at Bell Laboratories and bachelor's thesis pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Anthony Johnson describes his undergraduate research at Bell Laboratories and bachelor's thesis pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Anthony Johnson describes how he met his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Anthony Johnson describes his graduate education at Bell Laboratories and the City University of New York

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Anthony Johnson describes his doctoral dissertation

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Anthony Johnson describes being hired by Bell Laboratories

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Anthony Johnson talks about his first experience with the Optical Society of America

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Anthony Johnson describes his research at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Anthony Johnson talks about the affirmative action program at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Anthony Johnson reflects on his career at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Anthony Johnson describes his involvement in his professional organizations

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Anthony Johnson talks about his patents at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Anthony Johnson talks about the low numbers of African American physics doctorates

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Anthony Johnson describes his transition from Bell Laboratories to the New Jersey Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Anthony Johnson talks about African American graduate students in physics

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Anthony Johnson describes his transition from the New Jersey Institute of Technology to the University of Maryland Baltimore County pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Anthony Johnson describes his transition from the New Jersey Institute of Technology to the University of Maryland Baltimore County pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Anthony Johnson talks about the Mid-InfraRed Technologies for Health and the Environment Center

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Anthony Johnson talks about measuring light and the non-linearity of fibers

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Anthony Johnson describes the quantum cascade laser

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Anthony Johnson talks about the future of laser technology

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Anthony Johnson talks about the limitations of short pulses

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Anthony Johnson talks about the minority programs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Anthony Johnson talks about the physics department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Anthony Johnson talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Anthony Johnson describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Anthony Johnson reflects on his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Anthony Johnson talks about the encouragement of his parents

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Anthony Johnson talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

9$6

DATitle
Anthony Johnson talks about his summer at Bell Laboratories
Anthony Johnson talks about his patents at Bell Laboratories
Transcript
So, tell us about the Bell Labs [Bell Laboratories] experience in detail, since this is a big deal.$$This was a big deal. So, and it was, you know, it was different, because I had never really left Brooklyn [New York]. So, so I got, I applied to the program. The professor got me the application and I applied, and I got in. And so we had two locations in New Jersey--Murray Hill, New Jersey and Holmdel, New Jersey. Those were the two big research labs. And so, this was called the Bell Labs Summer Research Program for minorities and women. We call it SRP, Summer Research Program. It started in 1974. And so, I was given a choice of working with two physicists who went on to become, you know, very world famous. One was David Austin. And he was doing lasers and opto-electronics. He, after he left Bell Labs he went, he became dean of engineering at Columbia [University, New York, New York]. Then he went on to become provost at Rice University [Houston, Texas], and president of Case Western Reserve [University, Cleveland, Ohio]. And then he finally ended up at--well, he was president of the Covey Institute in Santa Barbara [California]. And they are a philanthropic organization, and does a lot of work in physics. And now he's at UC Santa Barbara [University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California]. And I still keep close ties with him, because he became one of my Ph.D. thesis advisors, eventually. So, my connection with him was very, very strong. And then the other person I had the opportunity to--because I had a choice that first year. His name was Robert Dynes, D-Y-N-E-S. And he was a big name in superconductivity, low temperature physics. But I picked, I think I was more interested in lasers. And I picked Dave Austin, and that was my choice. And how I got into the field altogether was working with him.$Before we leave Bell [Laboratories], I want to ask you about your patents. You've been a part of a number of patents.$$Right. So, I have patents. I have four patents, and they all have to do with high speed optoelectronic devices. And that was, again, quite interesting. And working the patent attorneys and working with my colleagues. I mean they were all, they were not solo, they were collaborations with other researchers at Bell Labs. And I think I have four of those patents. And again, all high speed opto-electronics nature--high speed laser, a device--and we wrote a patent on that. And one of them, I remember has to do with trying to come up with a measurement capability to look at high speed integrated circuits. So you have these, this metallization on the optoelectronic device. And I came up with, with my colleague, we came up with a measurement that where we could actually image the electrical pulse traveling down the transmission line. And we did it by a process called photoemission. We would shine light on the electrode, and the electrons would come off, alright, by the process of photoemission. So, we would, we would do that and then by looking at the timing of when the electrical pulse went in--and when we would use a focus, an optical beam--we could actually get an image of this pulse traveling down the transmission line. And we could measure its speed, whether there were dispersion issues on it, what was slowing it down. And if we could improve that, we might be able to improve the performance of the device. So this was an imaging, a very high speed imaging process, to look at integrated circuits.

Donnell Walton

Physicist Donnell Thaddeus Walton was born on November 8, 1966 in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. He was one of three children born to Antoinette Williams. Walton attended North Carolina State University and graduated with his B.S. degree in physics and electrical engineering in 1989. Donnell went on to enroll in the University of Michigan where he studied under Dr. Walter Lowe and graduated with his Ph.D. degree in applied physics in 1996. He was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship with AT & T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey under its Creative Research Fellowship Program (CRFP).

In 1996, Walton was hired as an assistant professor at Howard University where he taught in the physics department until 1999. Walton was then recruited by Corning, Inc. and assigned to the research and development department where he performed and led research in fiber amplifiers and lasers. After serving as project manager of science and technology from 2004 to 2008, he joined Corning, Inc.’s Gorilla Glass team where he was named senior applications engineer. While there, Walton developed products for the burgeoning information and technology sector and worked to extend the applicability of Gorilla Glass. In 2010, Walton was named manager of the Worldwide Applications Program at Corning, Inc. In addition, he has authored fifteen patents and over sixty technical papers in scholarly, peer review journals including Optics Express and Optics Letters.

Walton’s professional affiliations include memberships in the Society of Information Display, the Optical Society of America, and the American Physical Society. In 2013, Walton received the “Outstanding Technical Contribution to Industry Award” from U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology.

Walton lives in Painted Post, New York with his wife, Robin Walton. They have two children: Nina Walton and Donnell Walton, Jr.

Donnell Thaddeus Walton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 10, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.174

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/11/2013

Last Name

Walton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Thaddeus

Occupation
Schools

University of Michigan

North Carolina State University

Frank Lemon Elementary School

South Mecklenburg High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Donnell

Birth City, State, Country

Mt. Clemens

HM ID

WAL19

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Sedona, Arizona

Favorite Quote

if I can't change the people I'm around, then I'll change the people I'm around.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/8/1966

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Painted Post

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Physicist Donnell Walton (1966 - ) serves as manager of Worldwide Applications Program at Corning, Inc. where he authored fifteen patents and over sixty technical papers.

Employment

Corning Incorporated

Howard University

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:7412,101:17112,192:34701,606:37850,689:41736,762:42004,767:47766,985:48168,992:48570,999:48838,1004:55516,1044:68864,1244:69788,1257:70327,1267:72637,1314:74639,1349:75486,1361:76410,1383:76795,1389:77411,1398:81428,1433:84316,1508:84772,1526:85304,1535:85760,1542:86140,1548:87052,1568:93446,1638:98713,1674:99849,1704:111054,1835:111670,1865:124634,2015:125132,2022:125464,2027:126460,2038:131568,2104:132006,2111:132736,2122:133101,2128:133758,2138:134269,2146:142808,2237:145624,2289:146592,2310:150464,2385:151344,2401:151872,2408:174059,2589:183500,2703:205987,2981:207625,3018:215032,3112:215304,3117:216460,3141:217140,3154:221240,3218:222140,3246:231422,3379:231835,3387:243618,3468:257382,3693:261760,3722$0,0:3200,51:3812,61:4288,69:5512,136:8164,201:10612,253:16436,279:16994,284:17490,293:18792,333:19040,338:19474,352:19908,360:20342,369:21272,447:21520,452:22016,462:22388,470:24310,514:24868,525:25550,535:27658,580:28154,589:32720,606:34514,633:35618,650:37343,692:39668,715:40604,733:41124,739:49362,862:49732,868:50398,878:54323,911:54628,917:54933,927:56031,950:56336,957:56702,964:57373,979:57922,994:67650,1079:74160,1227:74594,1238:76020,1275:79740,1355:86059,1416:86852,1435:87340,1446:87645,1452:87889,1457:88133,1462:88499,1469:88865,1477:89719,1496:90451,1509:90817,1517:91061,1522:91671,1539:92830,1566:94599,1608:95636,1623:96429,1646:97283,1670:98076,1686:98320,1691:98625,1697:103458,1715:105130,1737:106650,1761:116325,1915:116650,1921:121599,1997:125574,2011:129290,2104:130010,2116:131522,2162:134042,2176:134525,2184:136802,2232:137423,2243:137699,2248:143909,2400:144185,2405:150355,2449:151517,2467:163330,2649
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Donnell Walton's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Donnell Walton lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Donnell Walton describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Donnell Walton talks about his grandparents' long marriage and his grandmother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Donnell Walton talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Donnell Walton describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Donnell Walton talks about his relationship with his biological father

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Donnell Walton talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Donnell Walton talks about the strong influence of his grandparents, and the impact of his first conversation with his biological father

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Donnell Walton talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Donnell Walton describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Donnell Walton talks about his childhood neighborhood in New Haven, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Donnell Walton describes the sights and sounds and smells of growing up in New Haven, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Donnell Walton talks about his memories of Detroit, Michigan in the 1960s and 1970s

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Donnell Walton describes his experience in elementary school

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Donnell Walton talks about attending Greater New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in New Haven, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Donnell Walton talks about his childhood interest in sports and reading

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Donnell Walton talks about his interest in books

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Donnell Walton talks about the schools he attended, and his interest in sports

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Donnell Walton talks about his interest in boxing and reading, and his boxing heroes

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Donnell Walton describes his experience in school in New Haven, Michigan and Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Donnell Walton talks about his motivation to study hard in school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Donnell Walton talks about his grandparents' deaths

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Donnell Walton talks about his grandmother's buying him his first computer in 1981

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Donnell Walton talks about spending a lot of time alone as a child, and his early interest in science

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Donnell Walton talks about his family's pets in New Haven, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Donnell Walton talks about his grandmother's death, and moving to Charlotte, North Carolina to live with his great-aunt

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Donnell Walton describes his experience in high school in Charlotte, North Carolina and the influence of his guidance counselor, Ms. Dorothy Floyd

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Donnell Walton talks about playing football in high school, and receiving an academic and track scholarship to attend North Carolina State University

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Donnell Walton talks about how he was influenced by the Minority Introduction to Engineering (MITE) summer program at MIT

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Donnell Walton describes his experience at North Carolina State University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Donnell Walton talks about majoring in electrical engineering and physics at North Carolina State University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Donnell Walton talks about receiving an AT&T Cooperative Research Fellowship Program and his experience at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Donnell Walton talks about his experience at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Donnell Walton describes his decision to attend the University of Michigan to pursue his Ph.D. degree in physics, with support from Bell Laboratories

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Donnell Walton describes his Ph.D. dissertation research on optical fiber lasers and the applications of these lasers

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Donnell Walton talks about his mentors at Bell Laboratories and at the University of Michigan, and his research at Argonne National Laboratory

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Donnell Walton describes his experience at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Donnell Walton talks about research infrastructure at Howard University, and the important place of scientists in African American history

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Donnell Walton talks about his contributions at Howard University and reflects upon the research programs and funding at HBCUs

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Donnell Walton describes how he was recruited to Corning, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Donnell Walton talks about the diversity in the workforce at Corning, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Donnell Walton describes his work on high-powered fiber lasers at Corning, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Donnell Walton talks about the development and applications of Gorilla glass

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Donnell Walton talks about his involvement with the marketing of Gorilla Glass at Corning, Incorporated, and the importance of communicating science

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Donnell Walton talks about his involvement with the marketing of Gorilla Glass, and about the different types of glass used in different products

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Donnell Walton describes how glass breaks

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Donnell Walton talks about his team of engineers and about how patents work

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Donnell Walton talks about the various markets for Gorilla glass and his re-deployment at Corning, Incorporated

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Donnell Walton describes native damage resistance in Gorilla glass

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Donnell Walton talks about Corning's competitors and its market base

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Donnell Walton talks about returning to research and development at Corning, Incorporated, and the company's investment in R&D

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Donnell Walton shares his advice for scientists and engineers contemplating careers in industry

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Donnell Walton reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Donnell Walton describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Donnell Walton talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Donnell Walton talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Donnell Walton talks about Corning's involvement in educational and mentoring programs for minorities

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

1$3

DATitle
Donnell Walton describes his experience at North Carolina State University
Donnell Walton talks about the diversity in the workforce at Corning, Incorporated
Transcript
Okay, North Carolina State University [Raleigh, North Carolina]. This is 1984?$$Yeah.$$Okay, 1984. This is a big--the year of "Run Jesse Run." And you know, so what was North Carolina--was that the year North Carolina State [University] won the basketball--$$No, it was one or two years before, I think. It was '82 [1982], maybe?$$Yeah, '82 [1982], or '83 [1983]. Yeah, I think you're right. With Dereck Whittenburg [college basketball player] and all those guys, yeah.$$Yeah.$$Alright.$$I don't know if you've seen it, but that--what was it--"30 for 30"--the thing they--the sports thing. They did this special on that. That was amazingly well done, very well done. Yeah, yeah. That was--so, I came there--similar to when I came to North Carolina--my high school [South Mecklenburg High School, Charlotte, North Carolina] was right off this huge championship. So, people were very full of NC [North Carolina] State when I got there.$$Okay.$$I wasn't a basketball fan, so I didn't really know that, until I got there.$$Alright. So, what was North Carolina State like? Was it a welcoming environment? What was it like for African American students?$$Yeah, so there was a lot of--like you mentioned--we had several African American coordinators there, to make sure--So, I was an electrical engineering major at that time. And we had an orientation only for, you know, a black freshman orientation, where you get to meet other, you know, people that would be your peers. So, it was--they worked hard. There were some key people there that worked hard to make it as welcoming as it could be. So, you end up making some very lifelong friends. [North Carolina] State [University] was a good place. It was different. It was big, but I felt prepared. Again, you know, I didn't want to lose again like I had done a couple summers before--or the summer before. So it turns out I was pretty well prepared, it turned out. My high school in Charlotte was--you know, prepared me pretty well. I made some really good friends in classes and on campus.$$Okay. I mean--were you involved in other campus activities other than your science courses?$$As a freshman? I was just running track, which was almost year round then. And just doing, yeah, just doing courses, not much as a freshman then. As a sophomore I ended up, you know, getting more involved in the Black Student Union, the Peer Mentor Program, becoming a mentor, pledging a fraternity, and stuff like that. So--$$Okay. What fraternity did you pledge?$$Omega.$$Okay, Omega Psi Phi, alright. So, were there any key teachers or counselors at--$$Yeah, so we had a guy in engineering. His name was Bobby Pettis. He was a minority coordinator, and he was instrumental--I still talk with friends about him.$$Is that P-E-T-T-U-S, or--$$I-S.$$Okay, I-S. Alright.$$Yeah. He was, he had intimate relationships with the students. He knew us well. He kept them honest. He, you know, made sure things--He did as much as he could to be almost like a family there, you know, in this huge environment. So, yeah. And then there was a woman--and then later I ended up adding physics as a major. And then that's another college. That's the College of Physical [and] Mathematical Sciences. So, his counterpart there is Wandra Hill, same thing. She's very--did as much as they could to make things welcoming and connect people.$$Wandra. W-A-N-D-R-A?$$Uh huh.$$Okay. So, are either one of them still there?$$Wandra Hill may have retired. And Mr. Pettis passed, I would say maybe in the--he must have passed in the eighties. I think she retired since I've been here [Corning, Inc., New York State]. So the last five or ten years, she must have retired.$Now, are you aware of something called, was it the Awareness Quality Improvement Team [at Corning, Incorporated, Elmira, New York]?$$At that time, the AQIT. Yes, absolutely.$$Okay. Now, tell us what that is, and what--$$Yeah. So like it's, it was an African American, what we call affinity groups. You know, it was, like what we were talking about earlier with the people at NC [North Carolina] State [University, Raleigh, North Carolina] who were trying to work to make it an inclusive environment. AQIT was started to make it a more inclusive--or the awareness--was to, to increase awareness of the presence of non--you know, underrepresented groups, particularly African Americans at that time. So, it was started, I guess, right around 198--, in the eighties. I think I want to say it was like '84 [1984], '85 [1985].$$Okay.$$And now, it's called the Black Technical Network. It got re-branded, but still doing the same things--trying to make a better environment, a more inclusive environment for everyone, starting with African Americans.$$Okay, okay. Now, so, so there was a community of African Americans here at--$$Small, it's grown. But it was--so it was, yeah, but absolutely, yeah. And it's a very--both inside the company and in the outside, external community. Most of us, since we all work for the same company, we all know each other. Our kids are the same age. So, actually, one of the ironies is that my wife and I moved here from Silver Spring, Maryland. And our neighborhood here is more diverse than our neighborhood was in Silver Spring, you know. I mean, not black. We have about six black families--it's a small neighborhood, six black families; many Asian families; Indian, Chinese, Korean. But whites may be, maybe 50 percent white. So, it's pretty interesting. But almost everyone in the neighborhood works for Corning.$$Okay. So, what would you say the percentage of black employees are?$$In the company, in the corporation?$$Uh huh.$$I'd put it at about maybe 7 percent.$$Okay, alright. That would be--that makes sense on some level, because it wouldn't reflect the blacks at 11 percent of the population of the country. But college graduates aside, those are, you know--technical people are much smaller.$$Right.$$So, Corning may be doing better than--$$Yeah, it's one of those best kept secrets. I think also--and of those 7 [percent]--most, the vast majority of us, I'd say somewhere around 80 percent of us are technical. I mean science and engineering, you know. And the other 20 [percent] is HR [human resources] and finance, but most of us are engineers.$$Okay, okay. That's interesting.

Omowunmi Sadik

Professor, chemist, and inventor Omowunmi “Wunmi” A. Sadik was born in 1964 in Lagos, Nigeria. Growing up in Nigeria, Sadik was introduced to science by her father, who was a pharmaceutical technician. There were three physicians, one civil engineer, and two nurse practitioners in her family as well. In high school, Sadik was interested in physics, chemistry, and biology. She graduated from the University of Lagos in Nigeria with her B.S. degree in chemistry in 1985 and her M.S. degree in chemistry in 1987. Sadik received her Ph.D. degree in chemistry in 1994 at Wollongong University in Australia. She was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Research Council (NRC) from 1994 to 1996 to conduct research at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In 1996, Sadik was appointed as an assistant professor of chemistry at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton. From 2000 to 2003, Sadik held visiting appointments at the Naval Research Laboratories, Cornell University, and Harvard University. In 2002, she was promoted to associate professor of chemistry at SUNY-Binghamton; and, in 2005, Sadik became a full professor and was appointed director of SUNY-Binghamton’s Center for Advanced Sensors & Environmental Systems (CASE). Sadik’s research interests are in surface chemistry with a focus on sensors, environmental chemistry and conducting polymers. She has co-authored over 135 peer-reviewed research papers and patent applications, has given 121 keynote and invited lectures, as well as contributed 178 conference lectures, posters, symposia and workshops. Sadik was awarded four U.S. patents for her work on biosensors.

In 2011, Sadik chaired the inaugural “Gordon Conference on Environmental Nanotechnology.” She was appointed to the National Institutes of Health Study Panel on Instrumentation and Systems Development, and has made contributions to scientific and government organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency, American Chemical Society and National Science Foundation. Sadik has received over $5 million in funding and contracts both from the private sector and government agencies. In 2012, Sadik co-founded the Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization (SNO), a non-profit, international professional society dedicated to advancing sustainable nanotechnology around the world through education, research, and promotion of responsible growth of nanotechnology.

Sadik has been awarded Harvard University’s Distinguished Radcliffe Fellowship, the NSF Discovery Corps Senior Fellowship, the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Research, the Australian Merit Award, the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Inventor, and National Research Council (NRC) COBASE fellowship. Sadik was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2010 and of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) in 2012.

Professor, chemist and an inventor Omowunmi “Wunmi” A. Sadik was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 10, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.175

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/10/2013

Last Name

Sadik

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

University of Wollonong

University of Lagos

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Omowunmi

Birth City, State, Country

Lagos

HM ID

SAD01

Favorite Season

Fall

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

6/19/1964

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Binghamton

Country

Nigeria

Favorite Food

Rice (Jollof)

Short Description

Chemistry professor Omowunmi Sadik (1964 - ) was director of the Center for Advanced Sensors & Environmental Systems (CASE) at the State University of New York at Binghamton. She was also elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).

Employment

State University of New York at Binghamton

Harvard University Radcliffe Institute

Cornell University

Favorite Color

Mint

Timing Pairs
0,0:395,3:1343,23:3634,98:4108,112:5135,133:5767,143:6636,159:7347,168:9480,228:10823,282:15642,368:17380,396:17854,403:29080,489:42080,572:46532,621:47066,627:47956,636:54162,710:54624,717:54932,722:56395,756:59422,788:63455,828:75030,1019:76578,1044:76922,1049:77524,1057:83700,1089:83940,1094:87180,1156:87540,1163:91464,1180:98410,1225:99110,1241:102120,1310:102400,1315:102960,1325:108070,1440:116258,1490:121688,1637:135285,1709:135649,1714:136286,1723:136650,1728:138288,1751:138743,1757:139653,1768:150196,1858:150903,1866:171248,2011:171563,2017:172508,2038:179320,2129:186040,2321:186320,2326:188980,2400:196541,2482:196955,2490:198404,2524:200129,2568:203254,2599:205516,2653:208324,2733:212926,2832:213394,2839:214018,2851:216358,2892:221678,2924:221894,2929:222326,2944:222650,2956:223082,2965:228115,3025:229050,3038:233980,3149:256592,3395:257472,3409:259672,3439:260024,3444:261432,3462:262312,3473:269980,3556:276185,3657:287438,3812:287762,3817:291285,3842:291867,3850:294680,3899:295456,3908:296135,3919:297881,3945:301585,3959:302047,3967:304819,4011:311952,4099:312470,4108:312840,4114:313358,4122:314468,4144:314912,4152:315208,4157:316170,4176:321075,4251:325815,4320:334530,4577:337767,4688:361811,4921:365027,4996:369516,5103:375801,5128:377223,5174:379420,5228$0,0:10,5:12092,119:14045,145:14975,162:17393,207:20183,244:20927,253:24089,328:27809,357:37388,477:39248,505:49978,573:58928,681:59272,686:67278,774:68198,785:79238,952:82734,999:83102,1004:119174,1442:143436,1715:144983,1740:146621,1769:147258,1777:147622,1782:148077,1788:154160,1862:158408,1935:168680,2065:169130,2071:171020,2094:171650,2102:183015,2239:202582,2456:218614,2647:237548,2863:238527,2881:266432,3251:271890,3279
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Omowunmi Sadik's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Omowunmi Sadik lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Omowunmi Sadik describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Omowunmi Sadik discusses the oral history traditions of the Yoruba people of Nigeria

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about the preservation of the traditions of the Yoruba people of Nigeria

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about her father's training as a pharmaceutical technologist

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Omowunmi Sadik describes her father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about the Yoruba Civil War, the Egba people, and the history of the establishment of the city of Abeokuta

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about her father's career as a pharmacist and a businessman

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about her grandmother's store in Lagos

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Omowunmi Sadik speculates upon how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Omowunmi Sadik describes her likeness to her parents

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about her siblings and their occupations

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Omowunmi Sadik describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Omowunmi Sadik describes her early interest in African history

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Omowunmi Sadik describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Lagos, Nigeria

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about her father's practice of Islam, and her experience in elementary school in Lagos, Nigeria

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about Nigeria's independence in 1960, the Biafran War, and the city of Lagos

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about her father reaching her science and math in grade school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about the value of education in the Nigerian community, and her family's education in Europe in the 1970s and 1980s

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about attending high school at a boarding school in Abeokuta, Nigeria

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Omowunmi Sadik reflects about religious harmony in Nigeria and the spread of Christianity and Islam

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Omowunmi Sadik describes her experience in high school in Abeokuta, Nigeria

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Omowunmi Sadik describes her decision to attend the University of Lagos for her undergraduate studies

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Omowunmi Sadik describes her decision to major in chemistry at the University of Lagos

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Omowunmi Sadik describes how she convinced her mother that she could find a job as a chemist

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about her interest in organic chemistry

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Omowunmi Sadik describes her experience at the University of Lagos

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Omowunmi Sadik reflects upon her experience as a woman in science in Nigeria

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Omowunmi Sadik describes her interest in analytical chemistry at the University of Lagos

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Omowunmi Sadik describes her social life at the University of Lagos

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about the Nigerian environmentalist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, and the environmental and the political scene in Nigeria in the 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Omowunmi Sadik describes her master's degree research on determining the level of heavy metals in Nigerian fruits and vegetables

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Omowunmi Sadik describes her decision to pursue a Ph.D. degree at the University of Wollongong in Australia - part one

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Omowunmi Sadik describes her decision to pursue a Ph.D. degree at the University of Wollongong in Australia - part two

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about her interest in conducting polymers, their applications, and going to the University of Wollongong

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Omowunmi Sadik describes her Ph.D. dissertation research on conducting polymers

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about her family, her decision to pursue her Ph.D. degree in Australia, and the international community there

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about receiving a postdoctoral fellowship at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about her initial impression of Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about her work with environmental sensors at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Omowunmi Sadik describes environmental sensor systems, and their applications as bio-sensors for pain

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Omowunmi Sadik describes her decision to join the faculty at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about her research with sensors at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about her research with sensors for nanoparticles

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about the applications of conducting polymers in chromium detoxification and water purification

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about funding for her research, and training of undergraduate and graduate students

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about the demographics of her research group, and her involvement in service at SUNY Binghamton

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about her patents

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about serving as a visiting research scientist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about becoming tenured at the State University of New York (SUNY) Binghamton

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about the electronic nose technology

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about her work with HIV sensors

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about being elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2010

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about her interest in academic research

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about her research on pain biosensors and sensors for nanoparticles

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about the students whom she has mentored, and the impact of the African professional community

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Omowunmi Sadik describes an example of her role as a mentor

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about her collaborators and the funding strategy for the Center for Advanced Sensor Research and Environmental Systems (CASE)

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Omowunmi Sadik reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Omowunmi Sadik describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about her family

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Omowunmi Sadik talks about how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Omowunmi Sadik describes her photographs

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Omowunmi Sadik describes her experience in high school in Abeokuta, Nigeria
Omowunmi Sadik talks about her research with sensors for nanoparticles
Transcript
So you're in a Baptist school in Abeokuta [Ogun State, Nigeria]. And--$$Abeokuta.$$--so, now, is this, now, in high school, is this where you have to kind of choose a path--$$Yes.$$--you're gonna take, whether it's gonna be in literary arts or--$$That's right.$$--in science, hard science, right?$$Yes, that's what you do. So the first three years, you take all the subjects, you know, civics, social studies, geography, history, English, math. You take Yoruba, the English literature, economics. But when you get to, towards the end of your third year, you now start taking the, you know, the solid science. You're doing physics, chemistry. You're taking calculus, ad [advanced] maths [mathematics] and things like that. When you get to the fourth year, you're separated. So you separate into A, B and C. A, being the sciences, B, being the arts, and C being the commerce, the commercial. So we do A, B and C. So if you get to be in form 4-A, so you're getting towards the scientific part of it. So you're getting prepared for the West African School Certificate. And so you take that in the fifth year, but they start preparing you from the fourth year. You start going to the labs. You're taking biological sciences, earth sciences. So you do labs. So you're now separating. You can still take some arts subject if you like. Like I took history even though I was in the science, I still like the--I did History 12, or geography, the English literature. We learned so many of Wole Soyinka's [Nigerian playwright and poet] and Chenua Achebe's [Nigerian novelist, poet, professor and critic], many of the literature, many of their (unclear), the plays that they have written.$$Okay, so at this level in high school, were there any major mentors or teachers that you remember that really helped?$$Yes, in high school, yes. I remember one history teacher who also taught us literature, Mr. Sanya Olu. That was his name.$$How do you--Mr.--$$Sanya, S-A-N-Y-A, Olu, O-L-U.$$Okay.$$And he was a great teacher. We just, I just liked the way he taught and I remember one day, once they gave us the textbook at the beginning of the semester, I just read it. I really, I read it. I just finish it before we even get to it in the class because that was the only thing I could, you know, I didn't--I like to read everything. And I didn't have a lot of books, so other than going to the library, any book that's given to me, I just keep reading. So I read it. And he came to class and was gonna introduce his subject. I can't remember exactly what the subject was, and I--he asked a question, and I gave the answer. It must have been a very, I don't know how profound the answer I gave. (laughter) But he gave me a copy of the book, and he signed it. And he said, you are university material. I remember he, him saying that to me, that you are a college material. You're gonna go to university. And at that time, I had, I wasn't even thinking about that.$$Okay, all right. Even though there were older brothers and sisters going into--$$They were doing it, yeah, to go to nursing school, you do it, you probably go to nursing school (unclear). My brother went to university, we were still both young--.$$So that's not as high--it's not, that's not like going to university?$$No, no.$$Okay, all right, I hear you. Okay, so Mr. Olu, you know, inspired you. Now, did you, when you were studying the history, did you talk about some of the scientific discoveries in West Africa back in the day?$$Not at all. My science background, I just liked the--I remember my first time in the chemistry lab was, I can't remember the instructor's name. But he was teaching us, he was showing all the different glass wares, like the condensers, the Libby condensers, and we were drawing--I was just so very interested in it. And I went to physics class, and we did the light travels in a straight line. And because I was in boarding school, I got back to school to the hostel, we call it, and I was trying to actually set up this experiment on my own. In boarding school, we start prep class at eight o'clock after dinner. And we have to keep studying until ten o'clock. And so I stood there, I sat there--most of the kids were already sleeping, they're tired. But I had a candle, we write with (unclear) candles and lanterns. So I had the candle lit on one end, and I had two cardboards with holes made in it. And I was trying to see the light traveling through that cardboard. And I was so busy doing it, and I had my head on the other side. I didn't know that the school principal was behind me and watching me. (laughter) And as soon as I saw him, I tried to, you know, turn everything off. And he said, no, no, keep, keep, you know, keep doing it. You're fine. (Laughter) You know, because you're not allowed to, you know, do anything other than the ordinary. But I just wanted to see how it happens. So--$$So were you able to see it?$$Yes, oh, yes, I did. I would always study things on myself. I would look for things to make it out of my own, you know, anything I can find.$$Okay, so you were confirming what you were learning in school?$$What I was learning in school, yeah.$$Okay, all right.$Now, what is a nano particle for the uninitiated (laughter)? A small--$$Yeah, you know, one-billionth of a meter. So it's really tiny.$$It can only be detected through instrumentation, right?$$Yes, so you have to use highly, high resolution, scanning electron micrographs or transmission electron micrograph to be able to see that.$$Okay, and what is the danger of nano particles in your clothing (laughter)?$$Now, we can actually buy nano particles, nano silver-impregnated socks and consumer products because some of these particles are believed to have anti-microbial properties. And so the issue then would be they kill the bacteria, and you take many of the socks, and you wash them off or you, you know, dispose of the consumer products anyhow, there might be some unintended consequences of exposure to the nano particles. And so now, we're trying to understand the possible transformation of the particles, starting from the time they were made to the time they--the lifetime, the whole life cycle of the particles in the environment and back to the grave, what we call the "cradle to grave," you know, starting from the product to the time it's disposed of by the user.$$Okay, all right, so that--and the socks models are a good example of nano particles in your--$$That's right.$$--in clothing.$$Yep, they're used now in many ways. The nano particles are gonna be part of the future. They, you have nano particles in consumer products, in food packaging because they preserve the food. They kill the bacteria. They're, you know, they have nano particles in toothpaste, many of the cosmetics, and personal products that we use at home. So they're gonna be ubiquitous in a few years. And so we're trying to understand the chemistry, the transfor--the changes that would happen. And if they dissolve, what do they form, and whatever is formed, what is the relationship, the reaction of the product resulting from the dissolution with the human body and the environment? We need to understand that. Typically, we wait and play catch up. We wait until things are produced in massive quantities, and they're now being sold, but we want to be able to preempt that by understanding upfront, you know, what the fate and the transportation and the transport and the mechanism of transformation of the particles in the environment and the human body.$$Okay, what else are you doing?$$The nano particles?$$What's the most exciting--is the nano particle sensing the most exciting thing you're doing now?$$Right now, we're doing, we're developing sensors for nano particles, we're making--again, conducting polymers in form of membranes that can used to trap or filter them. So membranes--we just finished some research with Harvard School of Medicine [Cambridge, Massachusetts], where our membranes were being linked, combined with their (unclear) so that you know, we have aerosols of (unclear) or aerosols of ion particles trapped on our membranes. And then the membrane because they're conducting and also electro-active, they can serve as sensors. And so we're using the sensors to serve as filters as well as--the membrane to filter the particles as well as to sense them. So we're linking our work with Harvard. Our work is just coming out, our publication.

Rodney Adkins

Corporate executive and computer engineer Rodney Adkins was born on August 23, 1958, in Miami, Florida, to Archie and Wauneta Adkins. He attended Miami Jackson High School where he graduated in 1976 as valedictorian. In 1981, Adkins graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with his B.S. degree in electrical engineering. He then received his B.A. degree in physics from Rollins College in 1982, and an M.S. degree in electrical engineering in 1983 from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Adkins began working at International Business Machines (IBM) in 1981 as a test engineer. In 1986, he was promoted to manager of special component engineering. In the early 1990s, Adkins helped to develop the IBM ThinkPad, one of the first laptop computers, and a frequent winner of design awards following its launch in 1992. In 1993, he attended Harvard Business School’s Program for Management Development. A promotion to vice president of commercial desktop systems followed in 1995. Within three years, Adkins became the general manager of the UNIX server division, which he revitalized. In 1998, IBM named him to its Worldwide Management Council which consisted of forty-five of IBM’s top executives. In 2002, Adkins was promoted to vice president of development for IBM’s systems and technology group, and he remained in that position until 2007 when he was named an IBM corporate officer and senior vice president of development and manufacturing for the systems and technology group. Adkins became the first African American to attain that position in the history of IBM. In 2009, he was named the senior vice president and group executive of IBM’s systems and technology group. Adkins was named senior vice president of IBM’s corporate strategy in 2013.

Adkins has received numerous awards including the 1996 award for Black Engineer of the Year, the 2007 Black Engineer of the Year, and Black Enterprise magazine’s Corporate Executive of the Year in 2011. Fortune magazine has also named Adkins one of the 50 Most Powerful Black Executives in America in 2002, and, in 2001, the National Society of Black Engineers awarded him the Golden Torch Award for Lifetime Achievement in Industry. In 2011, Adkins was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Adkins is married to Michelle Collier, and they have two sons, Rodney and Ryan.

Rodney Adkins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 9, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.173

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/9/2013

Last Name

Adkins

Maker Category
Middle Name

C.

Occupation
Schools

Rollins College

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Jones-Ayers Middle School

Miami Jackson Senior High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Rodney

Birth City, State, Country

Louisville

HM ID

ADK01

Favorite Season

Christmas, New Years

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Miami Beach, Florida

Favorite Quote

We're Moving Forward And We're Moving Fast.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

8/23/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood, Clams

Short Description

Corporate executive and computer engineer Rodney Adkins (1958- ) has worked for IBM for over thirty years. He was the company’s first African American corporate officer and senior vice president of development and manufacturing for the systems and technology group.

Employment

International Business Machines (IBM)

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Rodney Adkins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Rodney Adkins lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Rodney Adkins describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Rodney Adkins describes his mother's education and occupation as a nurse

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Rodney Adkins describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Rodney Adkins talks about his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Rodney Adkins describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Rodney Adkins talks about his father's job as a custodian

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Rodney Adkins talks about your siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Rodney Adkins describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Rodney Adkins talks about growing up in Miami, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Rodney Adkins talks about the Allapattah neighborhood in Miami, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Rodney Adkins describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Rodney Adkins talks about reading comic books as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Rodney Adkins talks about taking things apart as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Rodney Adkins talks about his childhood experiments with radios and becoming interested in systems

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Rodney Adkins talks about the influence of the Space Program when he was a child

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Rodney Adkins talks about his schools

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Rodney Adkins talks about his mentor Mrs. Johnson and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Rodney Adkins describes how he became involved in the martial art Nisei Goju Ryu

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Rodney Adkins describes his involvement in the martial art Nisei Goju Ryu

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Rodney Adkins talks about his middle and high schools

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Rodney Adkins describes his high school activities

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Rodney Adkins describes his time in the dual-degree program at Rollins College and the Georgia Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Rodney Adkins talks about African American student organizations at Rollins College and the Georgia Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Rodney Adkins describes how he was recruited by IBM

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Rodney Adkins describes the history of IBM

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Rodney Adkins talks about the history of computers and IBM

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Rodney Adkins talks about IBM

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Rodney Adkins talks about being a test engineer at IBM

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Rodney Adkins talks about his time at Rollins College and the Georgia Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Rodney Adkins describes his work on the IBM ThinkPad

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Rodney Adkins describes his work at IBM before he got involved in management

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Rodney Adkins talks about the IBM ThinkPad

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Rodney Adkins describes his transition from being an engineer to being a manager at IBM

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Rodney Adkins talks about the open-door policy of IBM

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Rodney Adkins describes the marketing of the IBM ThinkPad

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Rodney Adkins talks about the restructuring of IBM

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Rodney Adkins talks about his role as vice president of commercial desktop systems at IBM

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Rodney Adkins talks about the acquisition of Lotus by IBM

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Rodney Adkins talks about Lotus Notes

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Rodney Adkins describes being the general manager of the UNIX server division at IBM

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Rodney Adkins talks about collaboration in engineering products

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Rodney Adkins talks IBM becoming the world leader in UNIX systems

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Rodney Adkins talks about IBM's 1999 attitude change

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Rodney Adkins talks about his promotions in IBM

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Rodney Adkins talks about the sale of IBM's personal computer business

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Rodney Adkins talks about the new era of computing

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Rodney Adkins talks about becoming a senior vice president and group executive at IBM

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Rodney Adkins talks about the IBM Blue Gene System

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Rodney Adkins talks about the IBM supercomputer Watson

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Rodney Adkins talks about IBM

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Rodney Adkins talks about the minority programs at IBM

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Rodney Adkins talks about the Strategy Fifty

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Rodney Adkins reflects on the future of his career

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Rodney Adkins reflects on his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Rodney Adkins describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Rodney Adkins talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Rodney Adkins talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Rodney Adkins talks about his mentors at IBM

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Rodney Adkins describes his photographs

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Rodney Adkins talks about the restructuring of IBM
Rodney Adkins talks about the sale of IBM's personal computer business
Transcript
Now, IBM went through a restructuring in 1988, I believe, right? Could you tell us about that, and how did that affect research and development?$$So, it turns out one of the constants in IBM is our commitment to long-term research and development. And this is a company that really, really doesn't waiver from that, you know. So when you look at how the company started, and even when you look at our profile today, we continue to invest heavily in R and D, in research and development, because we have an innovation agenda, and we do believe innovation is part of--part of the capabilities in the--and solutions that we provide to the marketplace. This point on restructuring, just like any company, we have been faced throughout our history--not once, but it's been times in our history where we were challenged in terms of sustaining our growth, and, you know, continue to make a difference in the marketplace. And that was sort of an inflection point for us back then, where we actually had to rethink our overall portfolio and the focus of the company. So we made adjustments. And like any, I think, market leader or high-performance company, they are willing to deal with change. And, you know, I think that's one of the hallmarks of, you know, a company that has survived for a hundred years, that we are willing to deal with making change, and we continue to invest in innovation. And I think if you take those two principles, those have been sort of foundational for, for IBM. And even when you start to look at where we are today, we are already asserting, and have been asserting, that as we see the future, moving forward, we think that there is a new wave of computing. And we've already started making the investments. We've actually already delivered some products to the marketplace that will start to, you know, deliver on what we're describing as the cognitive era of computing; you know, the ability of, you know, systems that will have more learning techniques built into the systems as opposed to this current era or the previous era that we've been was more about programmable systems.$$Okay Okay. Now, in '93 [1993], you know, IBM was experiencing a downturn when Louis Gerstner--$$Yes. Yeah, Lou Gerstner joined the company.$$--became the CEO [chief executive officer].$$Yeah.$$And--well, there was this dramatic acquisition of Lotus, you know. Now, what were your thoughts about that?$$Well, Lotus--so, first of all, the point on Lou joining the company, he actually the--I guess, the first--he was the first CEO in our history that was hired from the outside; not a heritage IBM--IBMer. And I think he did some fundamental things to help, sort of, get IBM back on a growth track. And it was really going back to what we were good at - focused on the client and making sure that we are making the investments that will make a difference for the marketplace and our clients. And, as you can see, throughout his tenure along with the senior leadership team, we made, again, the necessary adjustments and changes to get us back on the growth path that, you know, back on the growth that we wanted to be on. So when you look at Lou, he did make a difference through his leadership along with other leaders across, across the company.$In 2004, I guess, prompted by the new CEO, Lou Palmisano--$$Palmisano, yeah.$$--IBM actually sells its PC- PC [personal computer] business to Chinese-based Lenovo.$$Yes. Lenovo.$$And what's your view of this sale?$$Well, the sale of our PC business to Lenovo, at that point in time, was the right, I think, time for us to sell that business, because, again, we started to see patterns in the marketplace where value was migrating to new spaces and into new areas. And this was very consistent with the role I had after coming out of the UNIX business on pervasive computing, because we started to see where the PC was no longer the centerpiece in IT [information technology]. New types of devices were being enabled as part of the information technology environment. And intelligence was moving into new types of devices, sensors, and actuators becoming part of business processes, even buildings. You start to look at how intelligence was being--medical devices being embedded, smart phones, tablets. So our view, at the time, was, you know, and this is traditional at IBM in terms of continued change and sustainable investments around innovation. That was a point in time where we said it made more sense for us to focus on other areas of growth with our clients. So the decision was, it became more straightforward over time where, since the PC was no longer the center of IT, this was an opportunity for us to sort of divest in that area and start to invest in other areas, like, more investments in software, more investments in services, more investments in what we're calling today smarter planet solutions, which some of the things that I worked on as part of Pervasive Computing, is consistent with some of the things that we're doing around what we call smarter planet solutions. So our view was, the value and the opportunity was shifting, and it made more sense for us to focus on those new areas of opportunity.$$Okay. Okay. Was there any reason why China was--I mean, you have any analysis as to why China wanted to take over the PC business?$$Now, I'm not sure if--well, I mean, when we looked at the opportunity, Lenovo was, you know, among the list of interested parties, and that's who we ultimately closed the business, business transaction with.$$Okay. So they were really interested in still making PCs then?$$Yeah. And even today, when you look at Lenovo's business model, they are--they continue to be a strong, you know, provider of PC-based, PC-based solutions.

Joseph Francisco

Chemical physicist Joseph Salvadore Francisco was born on March 26, 1955 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was raised by his grandparents, Merlin and Sarah Walker in Beaumont, Texas. He graduated from Forest Park High School in 1973. After earning his B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin in 1977, Francisco went on to receive his Ph.D. degree in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1983. Francisco worked as a research fellow at Cambridge University in England from 1983 to 1985, and then returned to MIT where he served as a provost postdoctoral fellow.

In 1986, Francisco was appointed as an assistant professor of chemistry at Wayne State University. He then served at California Institute of Technology as a visiting associate in the Planetary Science Division in 1991, and as a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1993. In 1995, Francisco was appointed as a full professor at Purdue University; and, in 2005, he became the William E. Moore Distinguished Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and Chemistry. In addition, Francisco served as a senior visiting fellow in the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Bologna; as a Professeur Invité at the Université de Paris; as a visiting professor at Uppsala Universitet in Sweden; and was chosen as an honorary international chair and professor by National Taipei University in Taiwan.

Francisco co-authored the textbook Chemical Kinetics and Dynamics published by Prentice-Hall and translated later in Japanese. He has also published over 475 peer reviewed publications in the fields of atmospheric chemistry, chemical kinetics, quantum chemistry, laser photochemistry and spectroscopy. Francisco served as editor of the atmospheric and ocean science section of Pure and Applied Geophysics, and on the editorial advisory boards of Spectrochimica Acta Part A, Journal of Molecular Structure: THEOCHEM, and Theoretical Chemistry Accounts, and the Journal of Physical Chemistry.

From 1994 to 1996, Francisco was appointed to the Naval Research Advisory Committee for the Department of Navy. He served as president and board member of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers and the American Chemical Society. President Barack Obama appointed Francisco as a member of the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science from 2010 to 2012. He also served as a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and is an honorary life member of the Israel Chemical Society.

Francisco was elected as a fellow of the American Chemical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Physical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Francisco received the Percy L. Julian Award for Pure and Applied Research, the McCoy Award, the Edward W. Morley Medal, and the Alexander von Humboldt Award. He also received Honorary Doctorate of Science Degrees from Tuskegee University, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the University of South Florida, and Knox College.

Chemical physicist Joeseph Salvadore Francisco was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 28, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.176

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/28/2013

Last Name

Francisco

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

S.

Occupation
Schools

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The University of Cambridge

University of Texas at Austin

Forest Park High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Joseph

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

FRA11

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Southern France

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Nebraska

Birth Date

3/26/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Lincoln

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Chemical physicist Joseph Francisco (1955 - ) , the William E. Moore Distinguished Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and Chemistry at Purdue University, served as a fellow of the American Physical Society and president of the American Chemical Society.

Employment

Purdue University

Wayne State University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Joseph Francisco's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Joseph Francisco lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Joseph Francisco describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Joseph Francisco describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Joseph Francisco describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Joseph Francisco talks about his household as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Joseph Francisco describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Joseph Francisco talks about growing up in Beaumont, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Joseph Francisco talks about raising animals as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Joseph Francisco talks about his summers visiting his mother and grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Joseph Francisco talks about his elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Joseph Francisco describes becoming interested in chemistry

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Joseph Francisco talks about his childhood experiments

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Joseph Francisco talks about his grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Joseph Francisco talks about his jobs as a child and teenager

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Joseph Francisco describes working at a pharmacy in junior high and high school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Joseph Francisco describes choosing his high school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Joseph Francisco remembers the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Joseph Francisco talks about the low expectations for him during high school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Joseph Francisco talks about his high school science fair project pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Joseph Francisco talks about his high school science fair project pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Joseph Francisco describes meeting Dr. Richard Price

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Joseph Francisco describes the mentoring of Dr. Richard Price

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Joseph Francisco talks about the mentoring of John Flannery

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Joseph Francisco describes his lack of college counseling in high school

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Joseph Francisco describes his decision to attend the University of Texas at Austin

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Joseph Francisco describes how he came to work in Dr. Raymond Davis' Laboratory pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Joseph Francisco describes how he came to work in Dr. Raymond Davis' Laboratory pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Joseph Francisco talks about his freshman roommate at the University of Texas at Austin

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Joseph Francisco describes working in Dr. Raymond Davis' laboratory

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Joseph Francisco describes being selected to spend a summer at Argonne National Laboratory

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Joseph Francisco describes earning the money for a plane ticket to go to Argonne National Laboratory for a summer

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Joseph Francisco describes his involved in research at the University of Texas at Austin

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Joseph Francisco describes his graduate school search

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Joseph Francisco describes why he chose to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Joseph Francisco talks about his year working for Monsanto

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Joseph Francisco describes the transition from Texas to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Joseph Francisco describes his doctoral program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Joseph Francisco talks about his doctoral research pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Joseph Francisco talks about his doctoral research pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Joseph Francisco describes working with Robert Gilbert

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Joseph Francisco describes selecting Cambridge University for his postdoctoral fellowship

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Joseph Francisco describes his doctoral research

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Joseph Francisco describes becoming interested in atmospheric chemistry pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Joseph Francisco describes becoming interested in atmospheric chemistry pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Joseph Francisco describes his decision to focus on atmospheric chemistry for his independent career pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Joseph Francisco describes his decision to focus on atmospheric chemistry for his independent career pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Joseph Francisco describes discovering the key fragment species of chlorofluorocarbon pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Joseph Francisco describes discovering the key fragment species of chlorofluorocarbon pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Joseph Francisco describes the reaction to his research on chlorofluorocarbon

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Joseph Francisco describes collaborating with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Joseph Francisco talks about the use of lasers in his research

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Joseph Francisco describes the underlining theme of his research

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Joseph Francisco describes the fragment species of chlorofluorocarbon

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Joseph Francisco describes being recruited by Purdue University

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Joseph Francisco describes how he derives research questions

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Joseph Francisco describes how innovation in laser technology has impacted research

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Joseph Francisco reflects on his professional accomplishments

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Joseph Francisco describes revolutionizing the field of computational atmospheric chemistry

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Joseph Francisco talks about dual-use chemistry

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Joseph Francisco talks about his involvement in chemistry education pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Joseph Francisco talks about his involvement in chemistry education pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Joseph Francisco talks about STEM curricula in the United States

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Joseph Francisco describes being elected president of the American Chemical Society pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Joseph Francisco describes being elected president of the American Chemical Society pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Joseph Francisco describes his accomplishments as president of the American Chemical Society pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Joseph Francisco describes his accomplishments as president of the American Chemical Society pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Joseph Francisco describes his next steps

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Joseph Francisco talks about the American Chemical Society

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Joseph Francisco talks about the legacy of Henry Hill in the American Chemical Society

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Joseph Francisco describes the role of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Joseph Francisco describes becoming the president of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Joseph Francisco reflects on his legacy

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Joseph Francisco describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Joseph Francisco describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

7$9

DAStory

6$2

DATitle
Joseph Francisco describes collaborating with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Joseph Francisco talks about his involvement in chemistry education pt. 2
Transcript
And so what happened was, the guys from Jet Propulsion Laboratory [Pasadena, California] invited me over to spend the week with them. They wanted to learn more about what we were doing. They wanted me to learn a little bit about what they were doing. And they felt that instead of me going out there as the lone wolf, you know, fighting against some big institutions, that they wanted to sort of give me a little bit of guidance along--I mean it was a new area for me, atmospheric chemistry. I'd never been in that community, but I knew my lasers. I knew my theory. They knew the lasers. They didn't know the theory, and they wanted to see where the opportunities were to really, you know, forge a collaboration. And so I saw an opportunity that if I could help them with their work, you know, by helping with their work, I could learn a little bit how they approach problems, and, you know, how they approach problems I can really take that in terms of my own work, and really strengthening how, you know, I make cases for, you know, our work. So I used that as an opportunity to learn how they were really successful and really branding, you know, themselves as Jet Propulsion Laboratory, as a world-class institution and recognized in atmospheric chemistry. And I learned a little bit about the secret of what they do. And so I wanted to really learn as much as--from working with them, collaborating on their work and bringing some of our work in to help them strengthen their case and at the same time too, bring some of what I learned from them back over into our own work.$$So how did you do that then? What actually happened as a result of that?$$Well, so I would--every summer I would leave Detroit [Michigan] and spend the summer out at Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Then they gave me a visiting associate at Cal-Tech [California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California], spent time in the geological and planetary science (unclear). So I had to learn about atmospheric modeling, and what I learned is what really makes them successful and what guides them is a real interesting push and pull between developing instruments that go up into the atmosphere, make measurements of the chemistry, but then they complement those measurements with laboratory studies, but those laboratory studies are guided by, you know, what they're seeing in the measurements. So that really adds focus and relevance and importance to the laboratory work that they're doing, but the big overview of those two is the modeling which really gets at the, where and the impact of that chemistry. So I really saw this sort of three pillars that were really key. Most people, if you're working in just, you know, theoretical chemistry, they don't see that, you know, and they don't see that connection. If they're working in the laboratory and trying to break into atmospheric, they don't see the connection between the atmospheric modeling and the, and the field measurements of how that's really informing. They just see, "Wow, these guys have done some important stuff that everybody is interested in, and they think it's important." But they don't see how it came about as being important and really seeing the importance. And I got a sense of that, and I learned a little bit about each one of those, and I also learned how to really judge the literature on each one of those and really guide, defining, you know, what are really the important abstract problems that we would work on, that would really have some real impact in informing the chemistry and the community and getting the community excited about the work that you do. But what I learned from JPL [Jet Propulsion Laboratory] and Cal-Tech that was really important, that whatever I do in that arena, that I push the envelope and the work that I do in terms of accuracy and precision and preciseness. And so that, that forced us to up our game two notches to really, you know, push things to the limit with the best work that we can possibly do.$And the person came in a couple of times and really looked at what I was doing, gave me some feedback. They thought I was doing a great job, but she said, "You know, I'd like to come back to your class again. I saw something." I said, "Well, do I have to pay for this?" So she said, "No, you don't have to pay for it, but she said, I saw something, and I just wanna come and sit in your classroom." So she came back a couple of more times, sat at various places. She was watching, you know, what I had learned and, and doing. She thought, gave me feedback, I was doing a great job. But she said, "I was watching the students in the classroom, and clues that you were giving and things that you were delivering, they were not responding the way, from an educational psychologist standpoint, that they should have been responding and that-" So she wanted to get at some of that. And so we decided to develop a little diagnostic to try to probe on certain delivery things that I was doing to engage students, what the students were doing, you know, and what they were getting out of the that delivery and collected a lot of data. And actually, the real interesting thing I learned was that students were doing different things. They were seeing different things. They were learning different things. And one amazing thing I learned, that if I got up in front of the classroom and just wrote a lecture on the blackboard, I was only engaging about a third of the class because you have some students who are very good listeners. You have some students who are very kinetic, that are writing and taking notes. They learn in that way. Some, through hands on, some students are hands on. So when I go into a lecture, I realize that if I'm going to reach a classroom more than a third, I have to engage in activities in delivering that material in different ways that play to their learning styles. So, just going up and giving a lecture is not gonna cut it, but I have to have, you know, people give PowerPoint's. They think they're pretty, and they're doing a great thing, but they're tuning out a third of the class because some kids, when you write something on the board, the act of writing triggers a learning event, you know, for them. And so that work was just very interesting because it actually started me in generating a series of papers getting into learning styles in the classroom. And I learned that the problem just wasn't me, but, you know, the problem is that you have to deliver your lecture in different formats in order to engage the kids. But I also, too, learned in the process that the kids have to know how to take notes. If we assume as a professor, that in a high school and junior high school, they know how to take notes, well, I learned that many of them don't know how to take notes. I assumed that they know how to listen, you know, for those clues. Well, I learned that, you know, a lot of them don't know to do it. I assumed that because they've been taking tests for (laughter), elementary school, junior high school, and high school, that kids know how to take a test and that really when a kid takes a test, and, you know, that test is a measure of whether they know the material, well, I learned that that's not the case. It's a combination of how good they are taking tests or how they're not good at taking tests, plus the material. So they may know the material very well, which that young lady, I believe, but what crippled, she did not know how to take a test. And that hurt her. And it wasn't that she didn't know the material, but she didn't know how to take a test. So as an instructor, you know, I took that really rather serious in really getting at, you know, why my students didn't do well. You know, a lot of students wanna complain. They wanna put all the blame on the professor. And I really, I was ready to accept that blame, provided I really understood enough of what was going on, not only from my perspective, but from the students' perspective. And so that series of work triggered us off into really venturing out into learning styles, learning skills in the chemistry classroom. So we published about, you know, six, about five or six papers in 'Chemical Education,' really getting at research to form how one can deliver better pedagogy or frame the class work where students can learn, you know, better.

Camellia Moses Okpodu

Research director and STEM educator Camellia Moses Okpodu was born on January 24, 1964 in Portsmouth, Virginia. Okpodu was the fourth of five children born to Frank Moses, a retired U.S. Navy veteran, and Luerevia Fullwood Moses. She graduated from West Brunswick High School in 1982, and then enrolled at North Carolina State University where she received her B.S. degree in biochemistry in 1987, and her Ph.D. degree in plant physiology and biochemistry in 1994. Upon graduation, Okpodu was awarded a postdoctoral research fellowship in plant molecular biology at the Virginia Institute of Technology. She also received certificates in Documentation and Record Keeping from the BioPharma Institute Program, in Forensic DNA Databases and Courtroom Consideration from the National Institute of Justice via the Forensics Training Network, and in Hazardous Communication from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

In 1996, Okpodu joined the faculty at Hampton University as an assistant professor in the department of biology. While there, she served as program director and principal investigator for Project O.A.K. from 1992 to 2002, and as chair of the department of biology from 1999 to 2000. In 2002, Okpodu left Hampton and joined the faculty at Elizabeth City State University where she was appointed to an endowed professorship and served for one year as the chair of the biology department. She then moved to Norfolk State University in 2003 where she was named professor and chair of the biology department. She also served as the director of the National Institutes of Health Extramural Research Office, director of the Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence, and as director of the Group for Microgravity and Environmental Biology (formerly, the Center of Microgravity and Environmental Biology).

Okpodu is a member of the Sigma Xi, Beta Kappa Chi, and the American Society of Plant Biology. Okpodu served as a reviewer for the Journal of Applied Phycology, and has published her research in the Journal of Plant Physiology and the Journal of Plant Science. Her academic and professional awards include the Gordon Research Conference Travel Award, the Intelligence Community Faculty Scholar Award, and both the Award of Recognition and the Special Recognition of Merit Award from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. In addition, she served as a National Institutes of Health Genome Fellow in 2006, an Extramural Research Associate Fellow in 2006, and as an American Council on Education Fellow in 2007.

Camellia Moses Okpodu was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 20, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.151

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/20/2013

Last Name

Okpodu

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Moses

Schools

North Carolina State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Camellia

Birth City, State, Country

Portsmouth

HM ID

OKP01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Holden Beach, North Carolina

Favorite Quote

I don't need nobody to get me nothin'. Just open the door and I'll get it myself. - James Brown

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

1/2/1964

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Hampton

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Asparagus

Short Description

Molecular biologist and plant biochemist Camellia Moses Okpodu (1964 - ) former chair of the Norfolk State University Biology Department, was the first Marshall Rauch Distinguished Professor at Elizabeth City University and the second director of the Norfolk State University’s Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence.

Employment

Norfolk State University

Elizabeth City State University

Hampton University

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Camellia Okpodu's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Camellia Okpodu lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Camellia Okpodu describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Camellia Okpodu describes her research on the Emancipation Oak pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Camellia Okpodu describes her research on the Emancipation Oak pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Camellia Okpodu talks about her mother's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Camellia Okpodu talks about her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Camellia Okpodu describes her father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Camellia Okpodu talks about her parents

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Camellia Okpodu describes her likeness to her parents

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Camellia Okpodu talks about her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Camellia Okpodu describes being raised by her uncle and aunt

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Camellia Okpodu describes the leaf collection that she submitted for a 4-H competition

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Camellia Okpodu describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Camellia Okpodu talks about Wilmington, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Camellia Okpodu talks about grade school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Camellia Okpodu talks about her extracurricular activities in school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Camellia Okpodu talks about her uncle Legrand incorporating North Myrtle Beach

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Camellia Okpodu describes her decision to attend North Carolina State University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Camellia Okpodu describes becoming Miss Brunswick County

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Camellia Okpodu describes her time at North Carolina State University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Camellia Okpodu describes why she became interested in biochemistry

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Camellia Okpodu talks about sports at North Carolina State University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Camellia Okpodu describes her time in graduate school at North Carolina State University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Camellia Okpodu talks about Arlene Maclin, Esther Terry, and Roseanne Runte

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Camellia Okpodu describes her doctoral dissertation

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Camellia Okpodu talks about her doing her postdoctoral work at Virginia Polytechnic and State University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Camellia Okpodu describes her time as professor at Hampton University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Camellia Okpodu describes her projects at Hampton University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Camellia Okpodu talks about her books

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Camellia Okpodu talks about Dr. Douglas Depriest

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Camellia Okpodu describes her transition from Hampton University to Norfolk State University

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Camellia Okpodu describes her time as chair of a department at Norfolk State University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Camellia Okpodu talks about photosynthesis

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Camellia Okpodu talks about her work with undergraduate research pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Camellia Okpodu talks about her work with undergraduate research pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Camellia Okpodu describes her time as the director of the Office of Extramural Research

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Camellia Okpodu talks about genetically modified food

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Camellia Okpodu talks about the Dozoretz National Institute for Mathematics and Applied Sciences

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Camellia Okpodu talks about the Mid-Atlantic Consortium-Center for Academic Excellence

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Camellia Okpodu reflects on her career

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Camellia Okpodu talks about her concerns for parents and the next generation

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Camellia Okpodu reflects on her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Camellia Okpodu talks about her family

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Camellia Okpodu talks about how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Camellia Okpodu describes her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

5$6

DATitle
Camellia Okpodu describes her projects at Hampton University
Camellia Okpodu describes her time as the director of the Office of Extramural Research
Transcript
You're writing proposals there at Hampton [University, Hampton, Virginia]--$$Yes.$$--and for--what were some of the projects you were trying to fund?$$Well, I wrote a proposal to NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration] to fund my research in the microgravity research that I was doing, I wrote a proposal for my, National Science Foundation [NSF] for a Research Experience for Undergraduates [REU], I wrote one to NIH [National Institute of Health] as part of the MARC [Minority Access to Research Careers] proposal which was part of a larger group of proposals that we all wrote which we considered AREA Grant [National Institute of Health's Academic Research Enhancement Award], I participated in the writing of an ANPS, Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority in Science, so I was actively involved in a number of those proposals.$$Okay. Tell us a little bit about microgravity, now that's just something that NASA is interested in, right?$$Yeah.$$(Unclear) What happens to plants in low gravity situations, right$$Right, well I'm no longer doing that research but one of the things we know that plants have responsive genes that turn on a response to changes in gravitational pull, so right now you can take a--you've probably done this. You grow a plant, if you look at the plant on the side, you know--if you've probably seen this, and then plant will grow towards--grow up, so how does a plant know that's up? So we looked for genes that we could disrupt because those are gravity sensing genes, and we looked for that and that's what I was trying to do at Hampton. I designed something I called The Modular Plant, Plant Module PM--MPM; I never got to drop it in the drop tower, and what we were trying to do was look at those early events of development. What I had found over the years with the inositol enzymes is that those enzymes got turned on very early in, in development. So anytime you're sensing the change, they return normal within--actually within seconds, which--at the time when we were telling people this, they didn't believe it to be true, and then Dr. Bolson, along with others, have shown that this is really--a change in the transcript level occurs very quickly. So I--my question is what happens very early in microgravity? And so I had developed a way to study this; unfortunately, I never got a chance to do it, I left Hampton, went to Elizabeth City State [University, Elizabeth City, North California], by the time I got the thing in place--my contract moved to Elizabeth City State, I--the person I was working with at NASA retired or left, and so I was never able to fulfill that research but I did design the module and my understanding is that it works, so I did do that, and that's one of the things that was very successful.$$Tell us a little bit more about this module. I had a note about it here but what was it (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--I designed it in such a way that as it dropped through the tower, that you could actually slowly or quickly freeze the material so by the time it got to the end of the tower which was a thirty second drop, that you could take lapse times, so I had it designed where you could--it would kill plants after one second, it would kill some of the--it'll freeze other plants after five seconds, and so forth and so on. So you could do what we call a dose response. So you could look at--isolate the tissue and see what happened early on the first second of dropping and see what we call subtractive DNA analysis to see if there was any genes turned on or off as a result, as you would do the gravitational but I never got a chance to do it. So the thing is created, we showed it work, I never got to do the experiments.$$Did you ever get a chance to see the results of how it worked?$$Yeah, I got to do it, I just never got to do the experiments.$$Okay, all right.$$It worked. We designed it and it worked, we built it but I never got to--'cause the person I was working with got changed to a different mission and then NASA Glenn [Center for Research, Cleveland, Ohio] was not doing the drop tower research anymore.$$Okay. Now what was Project Oak at Hampton?$$That was the REU (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--That was the--$$(Simultaneous)--That was the Research Experience for Undergraduates.$$Okay.$$I named it Project Oak, Opportunity Alliance Network, after the fact that I was bringing students in--college students from all over the country, to come to an HBCU, spend eight weeks with us and do research centered around the Emancipation Oak that's a live--living laboratory. So we did pathology, we isolated whatever pathogen was from the leaves. We did micro-- molecular biology where did the isolation of DNA from both prepared and herbarium stored samples and we did some biochemistry in analyzing the different types of iso-enzymes that were seen in the leaves in response to different stresses. So it was just simply using the Emancipation Oak as the foundational research project for our--what we were doing.$In 2007, you were director of the NIH [National Institute of Health] Extramural Research Office [sic, Office of Extramural Research, OER] here. What did that entail?$$So when I became a department chair, I realized that part of the problem was--I did a survey and people weren't writing proposals, and it's because I learned about Vroom's expectancy theory. You're like, "What, you're a biochemist, what do you know about all this sociology work?" So Vroom's idea is to change an organization there's some intrinsic things that people come with that you're not gonna be able to do, you know? If I'm a runner, I'm wired to be a runner and--but there are some things that you can manage that's an expectation. So most of us are intrinsically motivated but we have an expectation that you would provide me the tools by which I can have--affect my own change, and so if you want to change organizational culture or outlooks, one of the things you can do is manage expectations by providing students--people with the proper tools. So what I, what I found--my idea was--this was hypothesis-driven research that I did was trying to figure out how to get people to write proposals and most people would wanna write. I mean most people wanna write but they felt like, "You didn't give us the infrastructure or the tools." And so I developed a training program when I would train people to write proposals and then I would actually work with them and actually draft the proposals. And so one of the ones that we had the most success with is this Mid-Atlantic Consortium that we had between Morgan State [University, Baltimore, Maryland] and Norfolk State [University, Norfolk, University] and that we brought a group of people together and we sat down through the OER office and we wrote a proposal together. And then we crafted that proposal such that when we submitted it for final submission, it was one of the--it was the top proposal. We were told by the agency our proposal ranked number one out of the forty-one applications that they got. And it was because of the approach we decided. I didn't have a work shop just to be having a work shop. I had a work shop with tangible outcomes that when they left, they actually had something that they could submit. They had to massage it a little bit more, and I helped them in the process. But--so that was what the OER office did. We were a research development office. And I did that up until last year where I found that it was just a little bit too much--too difficult. In managing that, I micromanaged a lot. I don't do well in micromanaging. I figure that you tell me what it is you do and I can manage my own expectations, so that was--I just decided that I couldn't be effective at doing it so I'm no longer doing that. I still help people. The other day, somebody called me and said "Can you help me write this proposal?" I helped 'em write it because in the end run, the long run, you want people to be able to get tenure. The other thing I saw is that a lot of the young women, I thought, were not getting tenure. I don't know the reason why they were leaving, but I know part of it was they weren't getting it because they didn't have funded projects. And so I opened up the competition for anyone who wanted to apply. I helped-- helped anyone, but a lot of the young women I guess came because they saw me, and I guess for some reason I was--that translated to them. I helped anyone who wanted to be helped however, but a number of them were successful in getting funded projects and were able to get tenure, and I think it was directly related to that early grant; because if they hadn't been there, the process--even though we have an officer-sponsored program, it's not an easy process to get through. So I kinda helped them get through the process and get a final project that they could submit. Yep.

Lloyd Douglas

Mathematician and education administrator Lloyd Evans Douglas was born on October 5, 1951 near the Polo Grounds in New York City. Douglas’ family moved to Brooklyn where he attended Lafayette Public School (now the Eubie Blake School) and Berriman Junior High School (J.H.S. 64) before graduating from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1968. He was awarded a New York State Regents Scholarship and enrolled in the City Colleges of New York where he graduated with his B.S. degree in mathematics in 1972. While there, Douglas earned three varsity letters as a lacrosse player. He then attended graduate school at Miami University and worked as a graduate assistant in the math department and as an assistant coach of the lacrosse team. Douglas received his M.S. degree in mathematics in 1974. Douglas went on to enroll in Boston University’s doctoral program where he studied algebraic coding theory under the late Dr. Edwin Weiss. He was awarded a senior teaching fellowship in the mathematics department and worked as a mathematics tutor in the resident tutor program.

From 1971 to 1976, Douglas worked at the law offices of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby and MacRae in New York City as a paralegal assistant specializing in litigation. In 1976, he was hired as a mathematician in the U.S. Naval Underwater Systems Center (now called the Naval Undersea Warfare Center) in Newport, Rhode Island. Douglas joined the Trident Command and Control System Maintenance Activity in Newport in 1979 as a computer specialist where he was the on-site representative for the data processing subsystem on the first Trident submarines. From 1980 to 1983, Douglas served as an operations research analyst at the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command in Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey.

In 1983, Douglas moved to Washington, D.C. where he was appointed as a computer specialist in the U. S. General Services Administration and in the U.S. Office of Advanced Planning. In those positions, Douglas assisted in conducting technology assessments for automatic data processing and telecommunications throughout all federal departments. In 1984, Douglas joined the National Science Foundation (NSF). While there, he oversaw a large increase in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program in the Division of Mathematical Sciences. Douglas was then appointed as the assistant to the Vice President for Research at the University of Nevada, Reno. In 2010, he became the associate director of the Office of Sponsored Programs at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; and, in 2012, he has been the associate director of the Office of Contracts and Grants at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Douglas served on numerous committees in the Mathematical Association of America. In addition, he was elected as president of two, the Federal Executive Institute Alumni Association and the NSF Employees Association. He received NSF’s Meritorious Service Award in 2007.

Lloyd E. Douglas was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 19, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.143

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/19/2013

Last Name

Douglas

Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Evans

Schools

P.S. 25

Berriman Junior High School

Brooklyn Technical High School

City College of New York

Miami University

Boston University

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Lloyd

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

DOU05

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Any

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Las Vegas, Nevada

Favorite Quote

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

10/5/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Greensboro

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Candy

Short Description

Mathematician and education administrator Lloyd Douglas (1951 - ) served as a mathematician for the U.S. Army Communication and Electronics Command and the U.S. Naval Command Center, and as a research director at the National Science Foundation where he was instrumental in expanding the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program in the mathematical sciences.

Employment

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

University of Nevada, Reno

National Science Foundation (NSF)

United States General Services Administration

United States Army Communications and Electronics Command

United States Navy Trident Command and Control System Maintenance Activity

United States Naval Underwater Systems Center

Dewey & Le Bouf, LLP

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:22832,276:23162,282:24020,299:31850,392:33950,420:34895,434:36260,451:39967,491:41830,531:42451,588:55332,736:58248,798:58572,803:60597,839:67710,887:68280,895:71605,949:83547,1123:98761,1372:100327,1395:100762,1401:103981,1454:112552,1514:113128,1569:115648,1666:115936,1762:146530,2076:147010,2082:166164,2437:166428,2442:171401,2474:180626,2586:181161,2592:181696,2598:189969,2679:190237,2684:190505,2689:190907,2696:191443,2710:191979,2719:192515,2777:203070,2841:203520,2847:214576,2986:223385,3093:232270,3265:234500,3286$0,0:2098,23:16728,282:17596,309:18278,322:27358,424:42496,725:43738,744:44083,750:67404,996:68301,1012:87285,1302:92376,1391:92904,1398:101000,1605:106946,1659:108034,1667:112937,1707:115367,1749:116015,1758:129471,1909:132835,1931:133213,1938:143780,2136:144200,2144:148470,2404:176054,2601:177533,2629:180491,2713:180839,2718:181274,2724:182057,2736:187143,2767:190538,2806:191120,2813:200430,2882:208188,2922:216723,3044:220945,3104:222177,3156:228222,3195:228798,3200:235875,3258:239355,3303:239703,3312:240399,3321:241182,3350:249278,3437:254290,3487
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lloyd Douglas' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lloyd Douglas lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lloyd Douglas describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lloyd Douglas talks about his mother's immigration to the United States

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lloyd Douglas describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lloyd Douglas talks about his father's education and his employment in New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lloyd Douglas talks about his parents' marriage in 1948

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lloyd Douglas describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lloyd Douglas talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lloyd Douglas describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lloyd Douglas describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Lloyd Douglas talks about the Jamaican community in Brooklyn, New York while he was growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Lloyd Douglas talks about his childhood interests

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lloyd Douglas describes his interest in science in elementary school and talks about his father helping him with his studies

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lloyd Douglas talks about his interests as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lloyd Douglas talks about the schools that he attended in New York City and his experience in school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lloyd Douglas talks about his involvement in Christ English Evangelical Lutheran Church

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lloyd Douglas talks about the political climate in the United States in the early 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lloyd Douglas talks about his childhood interest in space

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lloyd Douglas talks about the 1964 New York City World's Fair and the Mobile Economy Run

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lloyd Douglas talks about his family's infrequent vacations and their trip to Jamaica in 1961

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Lloyd Douglas talks about his desire to attend Brooklyn Tech High School in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Lloyd Douglas describes his experience at Brooklyn Technical High School in New York City - part one

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lloyd Douglas describes his experience at Brooklyn Technical High School in New York City - part two

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lloyd Douglas describes his decision to apply to the City University of New York (CUNY), and attend Brooklyn College

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lloyd Douglas talks about the reaction to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lloyd Douglas describes his experience at the City University of New York (CUNY)

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lloyd Douglas describes his decision to pursue his graduate studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lloyd Douglas describes his experience at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lloyd Douglas talks about starting a Ph.D. degree in mathematics at Boston University, and leaving the program to go to work

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lloyd Douglas describes his experience at the U.S. Naval Underwater Systems Center

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Lloyd Douglas describes his experience with the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Lloyd Douglas describes his experience as a computer specialist at the U.S. General Services Administration

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lloyd Douglas talks about self-teaching himself computer programming

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lloyd Douglas describes his role as the head of the central computer system at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the early 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lloyd Douglas discusses the mission and funding mechanisms of the National Science Foundation, and Walter Massey becoming the head of the NSF

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lloyd Douglas describes his experience at the National Science Foundation

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lloyd Douglas discusses the National Science Foundation (NSF)'sfunding for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs)

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lloyd Douglas discusses his role as a program officer in the Division of Mathematical Sciences at the National Science Foundation (NSF)

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lloyd Douglas talks about the National Science Foundation (NSF) Employee Association and his appointment at the University of Nevada at Reno

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lloyd Douglas describes the history of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lloyd Douglas describes his experience in the Office of Sponsored Programs at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lloyd Douglas describes his experience as associate director of the Office of Contracts and Grants at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lloyd Douglas talks about his service at the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI)

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lloyd Douglas lists the professional organizations where he is a member

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lloyd Douglas reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lloyd Douglas talks about his interest in hockey

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lloyd Douglas describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lloyd Douglas reflects upon the approach to mathematics in the educational system and in the community

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Lloyd Douglas discusses his operating philosophy while reviewing grants and the importance of communicating science

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lloyd Douglas talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lloyd Douglas talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lloyd Douglas describes his photographs

DASession

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Lloyd Douglas talks about his family's infrequent vacations and their trip to Jamaica in 1961
Lloyd Douglas describes his experience as a computer specialist at the U.S. General Services Administration
Transcript
Now, did your parents [Calvin Sylvester Douglas and Lurline Isylda Brown] have a chance to go on many vacations in the car?$$No, in fact, they may--went on very few vacations. I think in '59 [1959] we went to Massachusetts. That was, my sister and I and my parents went. I think that's maybe the only vacation that we went on as a family. In '61 [1961] when I went to Jamaica to visit my grandmother, it was just my sister and my mother and I who went. And then we started going to New Jersey, to Asbury Park, and that was my sister and my mother and I who went. And then later, my mother would go to Pennsylvania and go on vacation. So it wasn't, we didn't vacation a lot. My father thought that he was going on vacation every time he left the house. So.$$So from what I gather, he had a keen appreciation of everything that was around him.$$Um-hum, yeah.$$Okay, so, now, your trip to Jamaica in '61 [1961], you would have been like what, nine [years old] or--$$Right, and so that's one of the reasons we went is because, so my sister is a little bit older, a year older than I am, and she--it was because of the airfares, because we could both go for less than adult fare because my sister was still young enough. And so that was the last year. So that was the year that my mother decided that we should go to Jamaica.$$Okay, 'cause if she had waited another year--$$Then my sister would have had to pay adult fare.$$Okay, so, all right, so what impression did Jamaica make on you?$$You know a lot of people go on vacation to Jamaica. I would never go on vacation (laughter) to Jamaica. It was, I mean saw the, you know, all the poverty side. And so that was, that's what struck me the most, you know. See my grandmother had a farm, but it was, there was really, there were dirt floors, and the house was pretty much a shack. And then there was, you know, a barn. And so it was, you know, even though things weren't really wonderful in New York, we lived in a house, and it was, it was a house. You didn't have chickens running in and out of the house and other creatures flying in and things like that. So that was sort of an awakening.$$Okay, so you could understand why your parents left Jamaica?$$Yeah, in fact, that was my father's thing. So people would go back to Jamaica or say they were gonna go back to Jamaica, a lot of Jamaicans (unclear)--maybe a lot of them thought they'd come to the U.S. and they'd make money and then go back. And my father would say, why would you go back? That's the reason you left there. So I think he had been in the U.S. forty years before he went back. And he had relatives there.$$It seems strange to hear that when most people consider it a vacation spot--$$Yeah, exactly.$$--but if you don't have the money there, it's not that much fun.$$Yeah, no.$$Okay, so, well, now, okay, anything else about the World's Fair? Now, but, you know, the trip in '61 [1961] in Jamaica, that's--you're actually going abroad for the first time. Did you learn anything about--$$Right, so that was the first time I had been out of the U.S. There was, as I mentioned before, the money was different, so that was unusual. People, although they supposedly spoke English, my mother had to translate for us. And so that was unusual too.$Okay, now, you started with the GSA [U.S. General Services Administration] in '83 [1983], right?$$Um-hum.$$And what was, how did that come about?$$So, I sort of had gotten back to, also--not back to New Jersey 'cause I hadn't lived in New Jersey, but New Jersey was sort of, it was close to home because it's close to New York, having lived in Ohio and Massachusetts and Rhode Island. And I thought I would just stay there because it was close, but then I started sort of looking at other opportunities, and, you know, a lot of them--being a federal employee, a lot of them were in the Washington, D.C. area, and I sort of resisted for a while, moving to D.C. I said, well, I can always move to D.C. later, and but all the interesting jobs I found were in Washington, D.C. And the job at GSA was the second that I applied for, that, where I was hired over the phone. I had applied for the job. They interviewed me over the phone, and they hired me, and they even told me that they were very reluctant to do that because they had never hired anybody over the phone before, but they, then compared my application to the other applications, they said it wasn't close. And so they, so then I moved to D.C., working at GSA as a computer specialist.$$Well, you know, you hear so many stories about job discrimination of black candidates going to an interview, and when they find out they're black, they won't even interview 'em or that sort of thing.$$Um-hum.$$And then the government's not necessarily--$$Right.$$--at this stage, it's not, isn't known for doing that kind of thing. But here you get two jobs on the telephone (laughter).$$Yeah, (laughter).$$This is fairly lucky it seems, to me. So, now, what did you--you worked for the GSA as a computer specialist, right?$$Um-hum.$$And so were you doing programming for the GSA?$$No, I was actually doing planning. So back then GSA was the government's purchaser. So if you bought anything, you had to go through GSA. So whether you bought pens or pencils or telecommunications systems, you have to go through GSA if you're with the federal government. And so I worked then in office, called the Office for Advanced Planning, and our job was to do--was to look at emerging technology to see where it could be applied throughout the federal government. And that was a really interesting job because you got to do technology--technical analysis, technology assessment, just looking at new technology and seeing where it could be applied.$$Okay, now, this is a time period when the whole computer world is changing rapidly, you know.$$Um-hum.$$Some people are still using mainframes, some people--PCs [personal computers] have come out and--$$Right.$$Just talk about some of the changes and--$$So that was the first time I ever used a PC. It was a Compaq computer, and, you know, it probably has hundredth of the capability that my phone does now. But it was not large in the sense of a mainframe. It was sort of like a desktop now and it was actually things that you could write and program and have it actually do things. So, again, with my interest in computers, I thought that was something that I really enjoyed doing.$$Okay, at this juncture, then, would you--the kind of programming you're doing, I guess would, you know, is PC-based, were you aware of Macintosh [from Apple, Inc.] computers at this point?$$No, no, I wasn't.$$Okay, and was the government--I guess the government was basically PC-based?$$Right, um-hum.

Frederic Bertley

Museum president and health researcher Frederic Bertley was born in Montreal, Canada in 1970. His father, Leo Bertley, served as professor of history at Vanier College, as editor of the newspaperAfro-Can, and author of Anglophone Blacks in Quebec; his mother, June Bertley, was the founder and president of the Quebec Task Force on Immigrant Women. Bertley graduated from McGill University with his B.Sc. degree in physiology and mathematics in 1994, and his Ph.D. degree in immunology in 1999. From 2000 to 2003, Bertley served as postdoctoral research fellow in development of an HIV vaccine at the Harvard University Medical School and the Children’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

In 1993, Bertley was named International Project Manager for the International Development Research Council (IDRC). While there, he provided clinical and technical support for researchers in Sudan, Africa and in Haiti, West Indies. After teaching at Northeastern University, Bertley joined Roxbury Community College in 2006 where he directed the Louis Stokes Alliance Membership Program, the Bridges and the Boston Science Partnership (BSP) programs. He was also recruited by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to serve as director of the Research Experience for Undergraduates program. In 2008, Bertley was named vice president of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He also serves as director of the Franklin Center, director of the Franklin Awards Program, and executive director of the Journal of The Franklin Institute.

Bertley was also the founder and director of the Color of Science Program and the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MACSP). He has published research in numerous academic scientific journals including the Journal of Immunology, Nature of Medicine, Diagnostic Microbiology & Infectious Disease, and the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.Bertley also co-authored the monographs, Absence of Immunologic Injury Following Hgh titer Vaccination in the Sudan, From West Philly to the White House: The Story of the Franklin Institute’s Partnership for Achieving Careers in Technology and Science (PACTS), and The Power of 3 Months: The Positive Impact of a Basic Science Research Internship of Underrepresented Minority Students.

Bertley served on the board of directors of the Philadelphia Biotech Life Sciences Institute (PBLSI), the Garvey Institute, Inc., and the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. He is a member of the Quebec Black Medical Association and served as a mentor for the Bell Science Foundation. Bertley is a recipient of the Dean’s Service Award from Harvard Medical School and the Dell Inspire 100 World Changers Award. He was also named to the Philadelphia Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” list. Bertley has keynoted or been an invited speaker at numerous venues including the White House, the U.S. Department of Interior, and the United Nations.

Frederic Bertley was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on Jun 18, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.149

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/18/2013

Last Name

Bertley

Middle Name

M. N.

Schools

Harvard Medical School

McGill University

Harvard

First Name

Frederic

Birth City, State, Country

Montreal

HM ID

BER02

Favorite Season

Spring

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Think, it's not illegal yet.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

11/27/1970

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Columbus

Country

Canada

Favorite Food

Chicken Roti from Trinidad

Short Description

Museum president and health researcher Frederic Bertley (1970 - ) , founder and director of the Color of Science Program and the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MACSP), served as vice president of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Employment

Franklin Institute

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, Bos

Wilmer Hale (formally Hale and Dorr LLP).

Roxbury Community College

Life Science Initiative

Harvard University Medical School and Children's Hospital Laboratory

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Frederic Bertley's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Frederic Bertley lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Frederic Bertley describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Frederic Bertley talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Frederic Bertley describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Frederic Bertley talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Frederic Bertley talks about his parents' involvement in the Universal Negro Improvement Association

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Frederic Bertley describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Frederic Bertley describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Frederic Bertley describes his three siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Frederic Bertley talks about his family's debates

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Frederic Bertley describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Frederic Bertley talks about learning French as a child in Quebec, Canada

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Frederic Bertley describes growing up African Canadian in Quebec, Canada

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Frederic Bertley describes becoming the Most Valuable Player at Cooper's Sport Camp

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Frederic Bertley describes a racial incident he experienced as a teenager

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Frederic Bertley describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Frederic Bertley talks about his first primary school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Frederic Bertley talks about the presence of religion in his family

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Frederic Bertley talks about the United Negro Improvement Association presence in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Frederic Bertley describes the Garvey Institute pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Frederic Bertley describes the Garvey Institute School pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Frederic Bertley talks about his interest in science during school

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Frederic Bertley talks about his high school

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Frederic Bertley describes attending Vanier College as part of the Canadian educational system

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Frederic Bertley describes his teachers at Vanier College

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Frederic Bertley describes his decision to attend McGill University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Frederic Bertley describes his experience at McGill University, his interest in immunology and working in the laboratory

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Frederic Bertley describes his experience as a research assistant in Haiti pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Frederic Bertley describes his experience as a research assistant in Haiti pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Frederic Bertley describes being a research assistant in Sudan

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Frederic Bertley talks about his experiences in Sudan

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Frederic Bertley describes his doctoral dissertation pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Frederic Bertley describes his doctoral dissertation pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Frederic Bertley describes his research on the Epstein-Barr virus

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Frederic Bertley describes his research on HIV as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Frederic Bertley describes his research on HIV as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Frederic Bertley describes teaching at Roxbury Community College and Northeastern University

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Frederic Bertley talks about his involvement in the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Frederic Bertley describes his research on HIV vaccines

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Frederic Bertley describes his time working at WilmerHale, LLP

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Frederic Bertley describes how he met his wife

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Frederic Bertley describes becoming a research affiliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Frederic Bertley talks about why he decided not to start a research laboratory pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Frederic Bertley talks about why he decided not to start a research laboratory pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Frederic Bertley describes being recruited by the Franklin Institute

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Frederic Bertley describes the projects he oversees at the Franklin Institute

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Frederic Bertley describes the demographics of the Franklin Institute

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Frederic Bertley describes the programs for minorities at the Franklin Institute

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Frederic Bertley reflects on his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Frederic Bertley describes his philosophy on science education

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Frederic Bertley describes his plans for the Garvey Institute

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Frederic Bertley talks about the Philadelphia Chapter of the Garvey Institute

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Frederic Bertley describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Frederic Bertley talks about his family

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Frederic Bertley reflects on his life

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Frederic Bertley describes the importance of The HistoryMakers

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Frederic Bertley talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

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Frederic Bertley talks about his experiences in Sudan
Frederic Bertley describes his research on HIV vaccines
Transcript
But I had, I had some very--so, Haiti was wonderful. And Sudan ended up being wonderful, too. But there were some really seminal things that impacted me. One was going to Khartoum and seeing where the Blue Nile meets the White Nile. And you know, I mean you grow up as someone with Afrocentric values. And so, you talk about civilizations, you know, great civilizations on the planet. And of course, you got to talk about Kemet, and you know, the Pyramids, and the Valley of the Kings, and all that good stuff. And you just get enamored with it. I mean, anybody, white or black--if you don't enamored with ancient Egypt, then there's something wrong with you. So, you get into that. So the Nile, of course, the Nile River, is you know, that's the mothership that produced all that, you know, that stuff. And I never went to Egypt at that point in time. But to be in Khartoum and see where the Niles meet was--for lack of a better way of putting it--a very spiritual experience. You know, first of all, you actually can see two colored rivers, which are phenomenal. One looks blue and the other looks--they call it the White Nile, but it looks like brownish. And it's because that one is carrying a lot of the soot from underneath the water, and so, dirties, dirties or browns the water. But then they connect. And you see right where they connect. And it's remarkable to see nature be that black and white, literally. You would think, okay, they would blend and-- No, it's a White Nile-- And seeing that, and knowing that that river goes up to Egypt was just, you know, a powerful thing. A second powerful experience was--I was staying in this hotel and it was about twelve stories. And it was, you know, by our standards would have been like a one-star, maybe two-star hotel. By their standards it was, you know, a place where you go for your honeymoon, and then you get married, there, etc. etc. And so, so they had running water, for example. And so, you had running water. You had a little sink with one notch and you could flush your toilet every now and then. And they had electricity. And so, I'm--so again, first time living in a Muslim country. You know, two in the morning, "Waaaaaaaaa", you know, it's the call for prayer. But not ever experiencing that, I'm like, you know, "What the heck is that noise?" You know, it sounds like cows being slaughtered. I'm not trying to be disrespectful, but it sounds--the sounds are very different. And then you learn quickly. Okay, those are the calls for prayer, and it happens, you know, five times a day, blah, blah, blah. Well, the other sound that was--it's burned in my brain like it heard it today. There was one night where I heard this woman wailing--like just screaming at the top of her lungs. And I was convinced she was being beaten. You know, you're not sure--how do I react? Do I go up there to find out what's going on? So, it's clearly coming from inside the hotel, one room. So, I run all the way downstairs to speak to one of the security guys. And when I say security guys--I mean this is no jacket and a badge. You know--some guy who's supposedly the security guy. And I said, "You know, what's going on? It's a lot of noise." And he's like, "Oh, you know, don't worry, my brother. Don't worry, my brother." So, I'm like, alright. I go back up--still going on. I come back down. He's like, "I told you, don't worry." So, I go back up. Finally, the next morning I come out. And it turns out that it was a newlywed couple. And the woman--and this is a practice that happens in Sudan--and I'm not judging it, I'm just reciting it. The woman went through female circumcision. And what they do after they cut off parts of your vaginal region, they then sew you shut to ensure you do not have sex. And when you then have sex for the first time, it is a traumatic painful experience, because they literally have to rip you open. And so here I am again, this little Canadian boy who, you know, read about female circumcision and heard stuff here and there, you know--there's some stories here. But obviously, I've never experienced it. I experienced at an absolute visceral and literal level. And then to see the woman and man a few days later and have to point out that that's the couple, you know, that is burned on my brain forever. And so, you know, Sudan was different, you know. But again, like Haiti, you know, you go to poor places, and the poorest people are the nicest people. And so, there's so many wonderful, positive stories and friendships that I built up through that. But those are some things that-- You know, you can't go through that and be the same person, and come back to Canada and say you're going to go to your class and study for an exam. I mean, it changes you. And if it doesn't change you, you know--hey, that's interesting. So you know, Haiti was a seminal experience, transformative. Sudan was a similar experience, further transformative. And both of them just made me understand that I got to be involved where I can, in international projects. I got to be involved and try my best to contribute to other people's lives, especially those who don't have much. And just really the ethos that my parents taught me started to jump forward as to a priority in my life. And you know, and so-- And also, those also cemented my love for research. And I said okay, I've got to go into the research, because there's not enough people that look like me doing this stuff, and I want to add and contribute and try to work in those areas.$Now you were part of a--okay, a DNA study in 2004, right?$$Uh huh.$$Was this another HIV--$$Yeah. So, between 2000--so I started my postdoc in 2000. And from about 2001 to 2004, there are a bunch of papers that came out on capturing the work. So, all of them are themed around using HIV DNA as the focal point for generating effective vaccines that can hopefully protect from infection of HIV, and therefore protection from AIDS. And so, they're variance of papers that came out that looked at different aspects of that model.$$Okay. This would involve the rhesus monkeys?$$Yes.$$And mucus membranes of--$$Okay. So, that's interesting. So HIV is a virus, as we all know. It affects the immune system, primarily one set of cells. But it's a disease that's transmitted by body fluids. So, what does that mean? That means you can get it through the blood, or you can get it through other body fluids. Well, as a sexual transmitted disease, the sexual body fluids are part of what's called the mucosal system. So, the vaginal and penile and anus areas are part of your mucosal system, which is really from the area of your mouth, all the way down your throat. For example, all the wet linings of your body, is the most simplest way of looking at it. There is an actual immune system that's different from the rest of your body's immune system that specifically line those areas. Because, as you can imagine, if you're breathing in or swallowing stuff everyday, you can get exposed to pathogens. And so, you've developed a mucosal system, sometimes referred to as MALT, mucosal ancillary lymphoid tissue. But we have a mucosal system that can protect us from infection. So, the rationale for vaccine developers--myself and our team included--was that if HIV infects you primarily through the mucosal system, which is you know, about 85 percent or whatever the number is--I'd have to like check. But it's, around 85 percent of HIV infection happens at mucosal surfaces. So the rationale was well, instead of injecting in an arm so it gets in your blood system, or injecting in your muscle for the vaccine, let's introduce the vaccine via that mucosal surface.$$Yeah, just for the record. The other way you could be infected would be through an open cut, or something like that.$$Through an open cut, exactly. But again, that's a very--very few people get HIV--well, in combination with certain sexual practices, you can have open lesions. But again, those lesions are at mucosal surfaces. So, you're absolutely right. If you have an open wound on your hand, and you get exposed, you could get infected. Just like if you have an HIV--so, if you have a blood transfusion with contaminated blood, like Arthur Ashe, you can get HIV. But, but the bulk of the HIV infection through sexual transmission happens at a mucosal sight. So, if you stimulate the immune reaction there, and load the vaccine there, the rationale is you would get a stronger immune response there, and maybe get better protected. And that's what that paper really looks at. And indeed, it works. When you vaccinate the monkeys at the mucosal sites, they are better protected than when you vaccinate the monkeys through intravenous injection. So, again, in the monkey models, it worked really well. Human models, you know, HIV vaccine is still remaining elusive.$$Okay. So, what is the difference between the response of the Rhesus monkeys and humans? I mean in terms of--why is there a difference?$$So, what is the difference? If we knew that, you know, I would not be sitting on this chair. We would be curing HIV all around the world, and be thrilled about it.$$So we're still trying to figure that out?$$Yeah. So, the term they use in immunology is 'correlates of immunity.' Meaning what's responsible, if you will, for a specific kind of immunity that you're looking for. And so, you know, you start in mice--you see the model working. You go to monkeys, you know, that's really close to humans. They're not just mammals, they're primates. And so, you know, they're as close--they're our closest cousins, if you will. And so, the correlates of immunity should be tighter, but there are things that just aren't fully understood. I mean, the bottom line is we don't fully know why a vaccine can work perfectly well in a monkey, and why it doesn't work in a human. Now, there's a gazillion hypotheses out there, but there's no smoking bullet yet. And so that's--as you know, we don't have an HIV vaccine yet. And we have candidate after candidate after candidate vaccine, but we are not there yet.$$Okay. So, who were some of your significant, I guess, colleagues or mentors at Harvard [University, Cambridge, Massachusetts]?$$Sure. So, my direct PI [Principal Investigator] was Anna Alvalini, a wonderful research scientist. She's Italian born, and trained as an M.D. Then she moved to the United States to the National Institute of Health where she got trained, and then came to MIT's Whitehead Institute [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts]. And then, of course came to, to Harvard, where she set up her lab. So, she was my direct PI. But we worked with a bunch of other very influential researchers, including Norm [Norman] Letvin from Harvard, Dan Barouch from Harvard. You know, there were several interesting scientists who were working--it's part of a bigger group, towards this HIV piece.

Ilesanmi Adesida

Electrical Engineer Ilesanmi Adesida was born in 1949 in Ifon, Ondo, Nigeria. Adesida enrolled in the University of California, Berkeley and earned his B.S. degree in 1974; his M.S. degree in 1975; and, his Ph.D. degree in 1979. Adesida was awarded an IBM postdoctoral fellowship from 1979 to 1981. His research interests include nanofabrication processes and ultra-high-speed optoelectronics.

Upon graduation, Adesida served as a research associate at the Cornell Nanofabrication Facility and School of Electrical Engineering at Cornell University from 1979 to 1984. He then returned to Africa and accepted a position as the head of the electrical engineering department at Abubakar Tafawa Belewa University in Bauchi, Nigeria. In 1987, Adesida returned to the United States and worked at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) as a professor of electrical and computer engineering. In 1994, he was appointed as a research professor for the Coordinated Science Laboratory and as a professor in the Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology. Adesida went on to serve in numerous academic and research capacities at UIUC. He served as the associate director for education for the NSF Engineering Research Center for Compound Semiconductor Microelectronics from 1990 to 1997. In 2000, Adesida became the director of the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory and was appointed as a professor of materials science and engineering. After serving as Dean of the College of Engineering from 2005 to 2012, Adesida was named provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs. A mentor as well as a research manager, he guided the education of nineteen post-doctoral fellows, conferred thirty-four Ph.D. degrees upon his students, and supervised numerous undergraduate research projects.

Adesida has organized and chaired many international conferences, including the International Symposium on Electron, Ion, and Photon Beams and Nanofabrication; the TMS Electronic Materials Conference; and the Topical Workshop on Heterostructure Microelectronics. He also served as the President of the IEEE Electron Device Society and was named a Distinguished Lecturer from 1997 to 2002. In addition, Adesida was a co-founder of Xindium Technologies, and served as a member of the board of Fluor. He has been a member of the National Academies Board of Army Science and Technology since 2009 and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

For his many contributions and service, Adesida was awarded the IEEE EDS Distinguished Service Award in 2011. He was elected as a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Vacuum Society (AVS), the Optical Society of America, and the Materials Research Society. Adesida also received the Oakley Kunde Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education and was elected as a University Scholar at UIUC. He was named as an Outstanding Alumnus of the EECS Department at the University of California, Berkeley in 2009.

Ilesanmi Adesida was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 7, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.093

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/7/2013

Last Name

Adesida

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

University of California, Berkeley

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Ilesanmi

Birth City, State, Country

Ifon

HM ID

ADE01

Favorite Season

Summer

Favorite Vacation Destination

Nigeria, Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Perfection is the enemy of good enough.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

5/15/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Urbana-Champaign

Country

Nigeria

Favorite Food

Plantains

Short Description

Electrical engineer Ilesanmi Adesida (1949 - ) , served as the Donald Biggar Willet Professor of Engineering and the Dean of the College of Engineering at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and as a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Employment

IBM

Cornell University

Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

National Science Foundation (NSF)

IEEE

Favorite Color

Light Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ilesanmi Adesida's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ilesanmi Adesida lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ilesanmi Adesida describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ilesanmi Adesida talks about Christianity in Nigeria and the Yoruba religion

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ilesanmi Adesida talks about the ethnic groups of Nigeria

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ilesanmi Adesida describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ilesanmi Adesida talks about the pre-colonial government of the Yoruba

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ilesanmi Adesida talks about his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ilesanmi Adesida describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ilesanmi Adesida talks about his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ilesanmi Adesida talks about his primary schools

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ilesanmi Adesida describes his schooling

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ilesanmi Adesida talks about the education of his generation

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ilesanmi Adesida talks about Nigerian Independence

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ilesanmi Adesida talks about his secondary school education

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ilesanmi Adesida describes Nigerian cultural life

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ilesanmi Adesida talks about Nigerian politics and the division between ethnic groups

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ilesanmi Adesida talks about the unification of Nigeria

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ilesanmi Adesida describes his secondary school interest in engineering

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ilesanmi Adesida describes his secondary school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ilesanmi Adesida describes graduating from secondary school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ilesanmi Adesida talks about attendibg night school at the University of Ibadan

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ilesanmi Adesida describes his time at the University of California at Berkeley

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ilesanmi Adesida describes his experience at the University of California at Berkeley

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ilesanmi Adesida talks about his mentors at the University of California at Berkeley

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ilesanmi Adesida discusses his doctoral dissertation

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ilesanmi Adesida describes his time as a research associate at Cornell University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ilesanmi Adesida describes his time as a professor at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ilesanmi Adesida describes his professorship at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ilesanmi Adesida talks about his graduate students

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ilesanmi Adesida describes his research on gallium nitrite

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ilesanmi Adesida describes his position at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ilesanmi Adesida describes being vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ilesanmi Adesida describes being vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ilesanmi Adesida describes the African American programs at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ilesanmi Adesida describes the importance of state colleges and universities

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ilesanmi Adesida reflects on his life and career

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ilesanmi Adesida describes the relationship between Nigerians and African Americans

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ilesanmi Adesida reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ilesanmi Adesida talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Ilesanmi Adesida talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

6$7

DATitle
Ilesanmi Adesida talks about the education of his generation
Ilesanmi Adesida describes his experience at the University of California at Berkeley
Transcript
You're in a special position, I suppose. You're part of this next generation that's being educated?$$Yeah, yeah, the generation that actually became educated, yeah, just--because previously, not too many had access to it, but there was a new government in the Western region, and the stuff was education, education, education. So they made, made it--not everybody went, but at least they made it bigger for, in terms of making sure that each town, each village had a school, yeah. So, so there's a rush, and there was the, the convincing people that, don't let the--I mean, you go to school during the week days and go help your parents during the weekend, go to farm. Okay, so that was, so they could at least live, parents could work out of field but on week days you, you went to school. Yeah, so that was something that was actually deliberately, let me see, canvassed all along because I remember waking up, people go like a town crier, you know, people go around four or five a.m. and try to wake people up and "Okay, your kids must go to go to school today."$$Oh, really--$$Yeah, instead of-- Because the kings will, when there are important things to do in town, you can a town crier go to the town and announce things at the top of their voice (unclear). So in those days, (they would?) saying "Okay, now, there's a new regime in town that you need to go to school," and all those things. So instead of huddling the kids, all the kids to farm, you try to preach to them to go to school.$$Were people excited about the chance to go to school?$$Oh, yeah, yeah, people were excited. Some people, their kids didn't go to school, but many parents told their kids, "You will go to school." And they made we went to school. If you don't go to school, you get, you get whooped, (laughter) gotta go, yeah--$$Okay--$$Because people saw it as a way to progress--$$Yeah.$$--okay, a way to move, to move away from what you are used to, but it will, bigger stuff.$$Now, did you think when you look back on it, did you think that that's why Islam and Christianity spread because they had a literacy associated?$$Well, they have literacy associated, especially Christianity, yeah, a lot of literacy associated with it, yeah.$$So, and the--(simultaneous)--$$And the--it depends on which country colonized people. If you look at the history of Africa. If you go to Congo, okay, the Belgians still want people to go to school, okay. So, where the British--$$The Belgians are probably the worse--$$The worst of them all, the Belgian's and the Portuguese.$$Slaughtering millions of people at a time, for rubber.$$Yeah, for rubber, yeah. But the British, the British sent some of their best people to be colonizers, okay, [University of] Cambridge [Cambridge, England, United Kingdom], [University of] Oxford [Oxford, England, United Kingdom]. So when they came, they came with what I call intellectual bent, that, "Okay, now, we've set this system up. Can we bring in the natives to train and take over some of these middle level jobs." Okay, so, so it was, so the British, I don't like colonialism, but they were more, what is it called? More egalitarian in terms of what they wanted to do in education. So you find that British colonizers around the world were reasonably educated, India, Hong Kong, all these places, Pakistan, reasonably well educated, yeah.$How, how were you treated [at the University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California] in '71 [1971]?$$Oh, see when you come from Nigeria where everybody's of the same skin color, and you've grown up to my age and you just go there, competition, that's all. You just--everybody may look different from you. You just want to compete and get your damn degree--excuse my language (laughter).$$So you weren't that concerned about social things--$$It didn't occur to me, really. It, I, not--it's only on reflection, going back and say, "Oh, this is what this guy meant. This is what this guy meant." Because I had a friend who came to me and said, "Oh, they said there's a black boy in the class that is getting 'As.'" I said, "Who is that?" "Oh, you." (laughter). It didn't occur to me. I was the only black face in the class (laughter), but it didn't, it didn't register in my brain. It did not register in my brain because you just come. I said, "Okay. I'm here for one thing, to get the damn,"--excuse my language, "Get the degree." (laughter). So you just, so you just see everybody as, okay, either as a collaborator or competitor, just compete. So that's the, that's--you come with the mindset, of whatever they put in your front, you're going to do it, and that's, that's what you see with people who come from foreign countries. I can see a difference between myself and my kids because they--$$Well, what did you think about Berkeley, California in 1971?$$In 1971, a little bit different 'cause there's, you see all the--I mean you came home--I've read about hippies and all those things in 'Time Magazine' and other things, but seeing them first time is a little bit different, yeah. So it was a, it was an interesting environment coming in the 19--around '71 [1971] because there was still--$$The Black Panthers were--(simultaneous)--$$The Black Panthers were there on campus, there was the Free Speech [Movement]. It was at a tail end, but it was still very active, Telegraph Street [sic, Avenue], Shy Talk and a whole lot of stuff. The, a couple of years later, there was the Patty [Patricia] Hearst, I've forgotten, Cinque, the--(simultaneous)--$$Right, right.$$Yeah, all those things, yeah.$$Symbionese Liberation Army--$$Symbionese Liberation Army, yeah, I was there at that time. Yeah, I was just down the street and watching it on tel--.$$I think D'Army Bailey was in City Council then, wasn't he?$$Who was he?$$D'Army Bailey. I think he was the first black City Council member?$$Yeah, yeah, the guy was a Congressman was, the tall guy.$$Ron [Ronald] Dellums.$$Ron Dellums, yeah, Ron Dellums, then he went to become mayor, yeah, yeah. Yeah, it was a, yeah, what's the name, this is--$$Oh, Angela Davis?$$Angela Davis, yeah, there was a big and George Jackson, those were big, big things going on when I got to Berkeley.$$George Jackson, right.$$Jackson, yeah.$$Now, was there a significant Nigerian community in--$$Oh, yeah, there was. There were, and I met a lot of Nigerians there. There were people who had come earlier and went to Berkeley and got Ph.D. in nuclear physics, chemical engineering and so on. They went back to Nigeria. So there was, I met a chunk there, and then people young as myself also had started coming at that time. So there was (unclear) common in the Bay [California] area.$$Okay, so did you kind of bond with that community?$$Bond with them, and that's how I found my wife (laughter). My wife came also in 1972, and we met, we met in 1972, and--$$Now, was she a student?$$She was a student in Mills College [Oakland, California]. That was a University of California, Berkeley at Mills. In Oakland, there was a women's college, women's college, yeah.