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Peter Delfyett

Research scientist Peter J. Delfyett was born on March 8, 1959 in Queens, New York. He received his B.E. (E.E.) degree from the City College of New York in 1981 and his M.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Rochester in 1983. Delfyett then returned to the City University of New York and went on to graduate from there with his M. Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in 1987 and 1988, respectively.

In 1988, Delfyett joined Bell Communication Research (Bellcore) as a member of the technical staff where he focused on generating ultrafast high power optical pulses from semiconductor diode lasers. His research findings resulted in a number of important developments, including the world’s fastest, most powerful modelocked semiconductor laser diode, the demonstration of an optically distributed clocking network for high-speed, digital switches and supercomputer applications, and the first observation of the optical nonlinearity induced by the cooling of highly excited electron-hole pairs in semiconductor optical amplifiers. Delfyett has published over six-hundred articles in refereed journals and conference proceedings; been awarded thirty five United States Patents; and, is the sole proprietor of a license agreement which transferred modelocked semiconductor laser technology into a commercial product.

In 1993, Delfyett received a dual-appointment as a professor in the School College of Optics and Photonics and the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL) at the University of Central Florida. From 1995 to 2006, he served as the Associate Editor of IEEE Photonics Technology Letters; was Executive Editor of IEEE LEOS Newsletter; and, served as the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics. In 2008, Delfyett was elected to serve two terms as president of the National Society of Black Physicists.

Delfyett has been awarded the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Faculty Fellow Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, which is awarded to the nation’s top twenty young scientists. U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine recognized him in 1993 as “Most Promising Engineer;” and, in 2000 with the “Outstanding Alumnus Achievement.” In 2010, he received the Edward Bouchet Award from the American Physical Society. Delfyett is an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, and the IEEE Photonics Society.

Peter J. Delfyett was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 4, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.126

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/4/2013

Last Name

Delfyett

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

John

Occupation
Schools

City University of New York

University of Rochester

Martin Van Buren High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Peter

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

DEL10

Favorite Season

Christmas, Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

As you are walking across the path of life, if you come to a bump, step up.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

3/8/1959

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Orlando

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Asian Food

Short Description

Electrical engineer Peter Delfyett (1959 - ) University Trustee Chair Professor in the College of Optics and Photonics and the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers at the University of Central Florida, is an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, and the IEEE Photonics Society.

Employment

University of Central Flordia

Telcordia Technologies

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Peter Delfyett's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Peter Delfyett lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Peter Delfyett describes his mother's family background pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Peter Delfyett describes his father's family background pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Peter Delfyett talks about his parents' relationship and separation

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Peter Delfyett describes his family's personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Peter Delfyett talks about growing up in an extended family household

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Peter Delfyett talks about the Delfyetts

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Peter Delfyett describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Peter Delfyett describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Peter Delfyett talks about attending church during his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Peter Delfyett talks about his elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Peter Delfyett talks about his childhood interest in paleontology and his questions about religion

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Peter Delfyett describes why he chose to become an electrical engineer

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Peter Delfyett talks about fifth grade elementary school teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Peter Delfyett talks about his mentors in elementary and middle school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Peter Delfyett talks about his high school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Peter Delfyett describes how he learned to play the drums

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Peter Delfyett describes his band in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Peter Delfyett describes graduating from high school and choosing to attend the City College of New York

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Peter Delfyett describes his time as a student at the City College of New York

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Peter Delfyett describes when he chose to specialize in optics

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Peter Delfyett talks about his undergraduate optics class

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Peter Delfyett describes why he came back to the City University of New York for his Ph.D.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Peter Delfyett describes photonics

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Peter Delfyett describes his doctoral dissertation

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Peter Delfyett describes being hired by Bell Communications Research

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Peter Delfyett describes his time at Bell Communications Research

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Peter Delfyett describes how he broke the world record for the shortest and brightest light pulse

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Peter Delfyett describes how he solved the clock distribution problem

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Peter Delfyett talks about how it can take decades for an invention to be implemented

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Peter Delfyett explains why he chose to become a professor at the University of Central Florida

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Peter Delfyett talks about his teaching and research at the University of Central Florida

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Peter Delfyett talks about research funding and mentoring students

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Peter Delfyett talks about the future of technology

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Peter Delfyett talks about the future of holographic technology

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Peter Delfyett talks about his latest patent

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Peter Delfyett talks about his accomplishments at the University of Central Florida

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Peter Delfyett talks about his involvement in professional organizations

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Peter Delfyett gives advice to African American students

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Peter Delfyett reflects on his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Peter Delfyett reflects on his life

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Peter Delfyett talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Peter Delfyett describes his hobbies

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Peter Delfyett talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

7$4

DATitle
Peter Delfyett describes when he chose to specialize in optics
Peter Delfyett talks about his teaching and research at the University of Central Florida
Transcript
You said when you were a sophomore, that's when you decided to get into the field of lasers.$$That's right.$$And what was it, again, that got you involved?$$And so the thing, you know, the thing which happened was--you know, you're going along. You're taking your classes, your physics, your calculus, your differential equations. And then you start taking your engineering core--circuit theory, digital systems control, communications, whatever it is. But then they allow you to take some, some elective classes, you know, within the discipline. And so, there are so many electives. How do you choose? And then my thinking is I want to sort of choose an elective where I'm going to have, like, a focus. I want to choose all of my electives in a certain area, so I can get a real strong expertise. So, I'm just sort of looking through the course catalog. It's like looking at the menu, and just kind of reading what the different courses are about. Some are about computer architecture. Some are about, you know, circuit systems and digital systems. But then I saw this one course about "Introduction to Lasers." And then you kind of read the description, and everything is fine. And you read the last line and it says, you know, "The fundamentals and introduction to fiber optic communications will be covered in this course." And you know, what occurred to me, is that there are sort of other areas within electrical engineering that are--at that time were not growing. And one in particular might be sort of power systems. How do you deliver power? Con Ed [Con Edison], and this and that, and the other thing. Not super high-tech, not saying it can't be. But then I'm thinking, you know, "Gee, if an area in engineering is so mature, you know, there's not a lot of area for growth and expansion." And so I'm thinking, "If I want to get an expertise in something, I want to pick an area which is very, very new and futuristic, so there's going to be a lot of chance for growth and expansion." Because as that field grows and expands, I can basically evolve within that, and manage to make my way through an entire career. That was my philosophy. Because if the field is too narrow and not growing--if things get tight and there's nowhere to grow--you know, where do you go? It's not clear. And it wasn't clear to me at that time. And so, that's how I started. And so, the other thing which really got me going, I took a look at the elective classes. It said electromagnetic theory. So I said, well, I'm already taking that. But another class was, you know, 'Introduction to Optics,' you know, physical optics. So I said, that was a prerequisite, not necessarily--excuse me--it wasn't a requirement, but it was sort of nice if you had taken it. So, the next semester I went and I took the optics class. And the guy who was teaching that is a famous laser physicist, who literally--you know, after having the class with him--that was it, I'm going to school to get a Ph.D. There was no turning back at that point. They had me hook, line and sinker.$$Okay.$How was your, I guess, your time split here [University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida], in terms of research and teaching responsibilities?$$Sure. And so, every faculty--we teach graduate courses. Or at least when I first came to CREOL [Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers], it was primarily an academic institution and research institution that focused on graduate training and education. So, all faculty teach graduate level courses in the area of optics, and we're all expected to do research. We're expected to go out and hustle for contracts and grants, of which from that money we then pay the graduate students' salaries, their tuition. We use the money to buy the equipment to allow us to do the job. So we're like standard faculty in most other departments. We have to teach, we have to do research, and we have service. Your service duties are either related to the department and/or college, and your professional service as a scientist with professional societies, etc. So, we're like just like normal faculty--teaching, research and service.$$Okay, okay. So, what have been some of your research projects here at [University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida]--?$$So here, what I've done is I've tried to build a research group with a vision that if we want to make an impact on areas of application-- that what I wanted my philosophy to be is not what I'll call, device push-- like "Oh, here's a device, I think you need to use it." Well, like I'm pushing it on you. I prefer to have the application pull philosophy, meaning that let's take a look at what applications are out there that need some kind of advance. And then see if our research can play a role and allow our research to be pulled in that direction, so that if we're successful in our research, we can make some headway in that application. And so with that in mind, I've tried to divide my research area up into three groups--what I'll call sort of the fundamental physics--where we like to use, you know, short pulses of light and see how they interact with matter. That's the fundamental physics. We do that in semiconductors. And what we try and look for are new physics, so we can perhaps see new effects. So, we can then use that knowledge and then go into the clean room and make devices which can exploit these interesting effects, so these devices will have new functions. So, I study physics based upon the new things that we learn. We go up step up into the clean room. We fabricate new devices which are going to exploit those physics. So, these new devices will exhibit new functionalities. And with these new functions, I then take these devices that can show you functions, and I apply it in systems. And the systems are related to its communication and signal processing, making the internet go faster, etc. And when I see these new systems work faster, I say, "Great, we're successful." We patent along the way, we write papers, we give talks. And then once we do that, we say, "Okay, great, we solved that problem. What's the next problem?" And then we go back down and study new physics, to make more devices to make better impacts. So, instead of this thing being vertically integrated, I like to sort of say we're cyclically integrated between fundamental physics, devices and systems. And at each level there needs to be good communication back and forth between the fundamental physics and the systems area, between the systems and device area, and between the physics and device area. So, everybody knows what they're doing, and talking to each other so we can all learn from each other and push the overall vision of photonics forward. That's sort of my philosophy. That's how I do it. And again, we've made impacts in the area related towards secure communications, compact laser systems that are useful for material processing or drilling holes in walls, making lasers operate with more precision in atomic clocks, etc.

Sekazi Mtingwa

Research physicist and physics professor Sekazi K. Mtingwa was born on October 20, 1949 in Atlanta, Georgia. After receiving his B.S. degrees in physics and pure mathematics (Phi Beta Kappa) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1971, Mtingwa enrolled at Princeton University and graduated from there with his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in theoretical high energy physics in 1976. Mtingwa was awarded doctoral fellowships from the National Fellowships Fund and the Ford Foundation. Upon graduation, he was awarded post-doctoral fellowships and research assistantships at the University of Rochester, the University of Maryland at College Park, and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab).

In 1981, Mtingwa joined Fermilab as a research physicist where he, along with James Bjorken, developed a theory of particle beam dynamics, “intrabeam scattering,” which standardized the performance limitations on a wide class of modern accelerators. Mtingwa also played an important role in the design and construction of two of the Antiproton Source accelerator systems at Fermilab that were used in the discovery of the top quark and other particles. During 1988-1991, Mtingwa joined the staff of Argonne National Laboratory where he performed research on a futuristic accelerator concept called wakefield acceleration. In 1991, Mtingwa joined the faculty at North Carolina A & T State University as Chair and Professor of physics. Mtingwa was named J. Ernest Wilkins, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Physics at Morgan State University in 1997 and then returned to North Carolina A & T State University in 1999. He served as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professor of Physics at MIT from 2001 to 2003. He joined the faculty at Harvard University in 2003, where he served as Visiting Professor of Physics for two years. Returning to MIT in 2006, Mtingwa was named Lead Physics Lecturer in the Concourse Program in the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education. He was also appointed as the Faculty Director of Academic Programs in the Office of Minority Education. In 2011, he became Principal Partner of Triangle Science, Education & Economic Development, LLC and he was appointed Senior Physics Consultant at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

In addition to his research activities, Mtingwa is involved in a number of national and international initiatives. He is a founder of the African Laser Centre (ALC) and was the principal author of the Strategy and Business Plan upon which the ALC is based. In 1977, Mtingwa was a co-founder of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) and served as NSBP President from 1992 to 1994.

Mtingwa has been recognized by national and international organizations for his contributions to science. In 1996, he received the Outstanding Service Award for Contributions to the African American Physics Community from the National Society of Black Physicists. The National Council of Ghanaian Associations honored Mtingwa with the Science Education Award in 2007 for advancing science education among African peoples. Mtingwa was inducted into the African American Biographies Hall of Fame in 1994, and he was elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2008.

Sekazi Mtingwa is married to W. Estella Johnson; they have two daughters.

Research physicist and physics professor Sekazi K. Mtingwa was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 6, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.076

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/6/2013

Last Name

Mtingwa

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Kauze

Occupation
Schools

Princeton University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Henry McNeal Turner High School

Alonzo F. Herndon Elementary

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Sekazi

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

MTI01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cape Town, South Africa

Favorite Quote

Stay yourself.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

10/20/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Hillsborough

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sea Bass (Mediterranean)

Short Description

Nuclear physicist Sekazi Mtingwa (1949 - ) contributed to the design and construction of the accelerator systems used in the discovery of the top quark at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Mtingwa is a founder of the National Society of Black Physicists and the National Society of Hispanic Physicists, and he has made significant contributions to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education.

Employment

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Harvard University

North Carolina A&T State University

Morgan State University

Argonne National Laboratory

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

University of Rochester

University of Maryland, College Park

Favorite Color

Salmon

Timing Pairs
0,0:3510,150:4290,163:5148,173:6006,187:6630,197:9438,263:10140,274:14340,296:17380,361:17780,367:19380,394:19700,399:23860,468:31591,532:36932,583:38785,599:39657,604:40420,612:41728,627:49167,756:49572,762:50706,780:52326,815:54756,868:59098,900:63702,981:64538,996:64994,1004:72062,1141:72670,1157:73582,1171:77032,1183:81768,1286:82582,1296:83100,1304:86134,1352:94994,1466:95346,1471:95786,1477:101154,1560:106522,1593:109168,1618:117558,1724:120134,1766:128487,1854:136784,2028:139514,2077:140606,2146:156598,2331:160398,2390:165870,2494:171870,2597:175254,2661:177198,2684:177702,2693:184980,2811:185400,2818:185890,2827:188690,2898:188970,2903:192960,2990:202643,3146:204395,3186:204687,3191:205271,3201:206512,3220:210600,3315:211257,3326:230596,3546:233203,3677:233598,3683:241182,3855:241735,3930:247355,4026:247730,4032:249530,4078:251480,4116:254100,4134$0,0:3149,49:3417,54:7035,130:7370,142:7839,150:8107,155:9045,179:9313,184:9983,198:10452,206:11323,221:12328,244:12931,255:14673,286:15142,294:16080,311:16750,322:17554,341:18693,370:19028,376:19497,384:21909,442:22177,447:22981,461:23450,469:24321,485:25125,500:25460,506:27738,561:28207,571:28810,581:29078,586:29480,597:31088,627:31423,633:31758,642:32428,653:33165,668:33433,673:41350,680:42403,697:43132,707:44023,720:46291,747:46939,756:47911,770:48721,781:50260,806:50584,811:51070,819:51961,828:52933,843:54958,870:58934,898:59198,903:60518,935:61046,945:61508,954:63356,999:63620,1004:65534,1046:66128,1057:68108,1108:68702,1120:69296,1132:69626,1138:70220,1150:70748,1159:71672,1175:72464,1191:73124,1203:73586,1211:73916,1217:78264,1248:78648,1256:78904,1261:79544,1272:80376,1287:80888,1296:81656,1311:83576,1368:84408,1384:85304,1406:85624,1412:85880,1417:86136,1422:86456,1428:87288,1448:87928,1463:88248,1469:89336,1491:89912,1504:90552,1518:90872,1524:92088,1545:92344,1550:92664,1556:93112,1565:98040,1581:98530,1589:100360,1612
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sekazi Mtingwa's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his father's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his stepfather

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

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his schools

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes when he first decided to become a physicist

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his high school extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his high school mentors

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about transitioning from high school to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about the formation of the black student union at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about the black student union at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about why he chose physics as his field

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his mentors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Princeton University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about Alexander Pushkin pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about Alexander Pushkin pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his time at Princeton University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his doctoral dissertation

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about changing his name

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes assisting in the establishment of a university in Tanzania

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes what he did after receiving his doctoral degree from Princeton University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his work at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa explains the Higgs boson, dark matter, and dark energy

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his involvement in the Harold Washington Campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes why he joined the group at Argonne National Laboratory

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about being featured in several magazines

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his involvement in various African organizations

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his physics research as an exchange scholar in the Soviet Union

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about racial prejudice in the field of physics

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about the International Linear Collider

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his time as the Chair of the Physics Department at North Carolina A & T University

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his involvement in the African Laser Centre

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes how the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has changed since he was a student

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about visiting Russia for a nuclear waste disposal examination

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa reflects on his awards and recognitions

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his study 'Readiness of the U.S. Nuclear Workforce for Twenty-first Century Problems'

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his involvement in President Barack Obama's campaigns

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about being the chair of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Study

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his visit to Tanzania

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his involvement with organization that provide access to scientific instruments

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his involvement in the African Physical Society

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his work on textbooks

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa reflects on his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa reflects on his life

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

1$5

DATitle
Sekazi Mtingwa talks about the black student union at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sekazi Mtingwa describes his study 'Readiness of the U.S. Nuclear Workforce for Twenty-first Century Problems'
Transcript
Tell us about the beginnings of the black student union at MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts]?$$Okay. So we had a group, maybe about ten students, who would get together informally to meet. And you have to understand that the context of that period, with the Vietnam War, protests going on all over the place, you know, the Black Liberation Movement was in full swing. So, some of us, you know, were a part of that type of way of thinking, and we wanted to try to move MIT ahead. So we formed around 1968, probably the fall of '68 [1968]. The first co-chairs were Shirley Jackson, and I think The HistoryMakers did an interview of her. She's now president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute [Troy, New York]. And James Turner, who was a graduate student--in fact, at that time, they were both graduate students. Shirley was three years ahead of me. So my sophomore year, she was a first-year graduate student. James Turner, I think he must have been about a third or fourth-year graduate student in physics; they were both in physics. And James Turner actually most--he went on to become a top official at the Department of Energy, and most recently, I think, he's been at the Department of Commerce. But he had quite a career at the top levels of federal government. But, yeah, we basically met and we decided, "Hey let's just do this." And so we formed. And we tried to--one of the biggest initiatives was to get more black students into MIT. So we worked hard on that. And so, at the end of my sophomore year going into the junior year, that entering class went from the typical five-ish to fifty-three. And so the numbers have been big ever since. And, in fact, to this day MIT, again, admits only out of a thousand, eleven hundred students; about 20 percent of those are African Americans; and another 20 percent or so are Latino-Americans. So that we've (simultaneous)--$$(Unclear)--$$--come a long ways. Yeah. But it's interesting. One of the interesting things that helped the African American presence is the students who are immigrants or who are children of African Caribbean immigrants, because that's one thing that you note from the names when you meet many of the students. So that has really helped us intellectually. The black community in this country intellectually has been tremendously enhanced by immigrant students. They come here with a parent wanting a better life for their children, and so they come with that, you know, "Go to college, get your degree," and all that. And you can see the pay off. I don't think we could hit 20 percent of the students, African American students, if we didn't have the immigrants.$$They have a good observation.$$Yeah. It's a great thing. I tend to be a Pan-African, is to me, whether you're from the Caribbean, the continental of the U.S., we're all African peoples.$$Is this something you learned at home or something that you--$$No. I got so much at home, but just as I developed as a graduate student--really as a graduate student, I really became, you know, convinced that, you know, we're all the same. And then having traveled to Africa, you know, so many times. I think that the way people colonize, it's just--it's very similar to--the stories you hear are very similar to the stories of people like me out of Jim Crow South.$$Okay. Just in a different location.$$Just in a different location.$$Similar situations.$$Similar situations, yeah. Yeah.$$And--now. All right. So, the BSU [black student union] really made some gains (unclear).$$Oh, yeah. Definitely. Definitely.$$And I know it still exists actually.$$It still exists. It still exists.$$Shot a picture of it when I was there (simultaneous) (unclear)--$$Oh, you did? All right. That was great.$$--I was walking down the hallway and I saw it. And I said, "Oh, this is the famous BSU at MIT." And I thought--I shot it on my phone (simultaneous) (unclear)--$$Oh, really. Okay.$$--as to--yeah.$$(unclear), you know, it's still alive and well.$$Yeah. Yeah. So many of the people we met were a part--$$It was a part of that, yes.$Now, you were on the Nuc-- the 'Readiness of the U.S. Nuclear Workforce.'$$Okay, yeah. So that was a study I did because I'm--we have a real problem with training, you know, the next generation of nuclear scientists and engineers. And at one point, the Department of Energy, DOE, was cutting back funding the university programs, so I was concerned. You know, if you start cutting back, who is going to operate? Who's going to design the next generation of nuclear reactors if the people are not being educated? So we did this study, and we pointed out to them, you know, how many people are graduating, how much money is going into the university programs. And this report turned out to be extremely important in convincing DOE to turn its attitude around toward university education. And so since this report, their 20 percent of the nuclear fuel--Research and Development Budget--nuclear fuel cycle, Research and Development Budget is going to universities. So, I mean, that's like a big flip from not wanting to give in until now, 20 percent of your funding is going to universities. And that's important. Most of the money goes to the National Laboratories to work on the big problems of nuclear waste storage and so forth. But you need to have university professors and students working on new ideas. You know, turn them loose and let them dream and pursue blue-sky research, because you don't know what major revolution they may start up; what major breakthrough. And so that was the point of that whole story, to try to get more money going to universities to promote students and new ideas.

Albert Stewart

Chemist and chemistry professor Albert C. Stewart was born on November 25, 1919. Stewart received his B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1942. He was drafted into the U.S. Navy in 1945 and was among a select group of African American sea men trained as officers. Following his tour of duty, Stewart returned to the United States and enrolled at the University of Chicago. In 1948, he received his M.S. degree in chemistry; and, in 1949, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the U.S. Navy. Stewart earned his Ph.D. degree in chemistry from St. Louis University in 1951.

From 1949 to 1963, Stewart held teaching appointments at St. Louis University, Knoxville College, and John Carroll University where he taught chemistry and physics. In 1951, Stewart began his thirty-three year long career at Union Carbide Corporation as a senior chemist in the nuclear division. In 1960, Stewart became the assistant director of research and held several leadership positions until his departure in 1984. He was appointed as an associate professor and named as the associate dean in the Ancell School of Business at Western Connecticut State University. From 1987 until 1989, Stewart served as the acting dean and remained as an associate professor of marketing. In 1999, he became Professor Emeritus at Western Connecticut State University.

In 1966, Stewart received the University of Chicago Alumni Citation Award. Stewart is a member of a number of professional and academic societies, including the Radiation Research Society, the American Marketing Association, and the American Chemical Society where he is an emeritus member. He was a fellow of the American Institute of Chemists. He has also served as an advisor, consultant and on the Board of Directors of several organizations, including U.S. Department of Commerce, NASA, and the Urban League, respectively.

Albert C. Stewart was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 9, 2013.

Stewart passed away on October 13, 2016.

Accession Number

A2013.059

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/9/2013

Last Name

Stewart

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

C.

Schools

Saint Louis University

University of Chicago

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Albert

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

STE15

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caneel Bay Plantation, U.S. Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Connecticut

Birth Date

11/25/1919

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Haven

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

10/13/2016

Short Description

Chemist and military officer Albert Stewart (1919 - 2016 ) is Professor Emeritus at Western Connecticut State University and a veteran of the U.S. Navy, where he served from 1944-1956.

Employment

St. Louis University

Knoxville College

John Carroll University

Western Connecticut State University

Kanthal Corp.

Executive Register, Inc.

Execom

Foundation for Social Justice in South Africa

Union Carbide Corporation

United States Naval Reserve

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Albert Stewart's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about her mother's growing up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart talks about his father's growing up in Maryland and how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Albert Stewart talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Albert Stewart talks about his parents eloping, their life in Detroit, Michigan and their decision to move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Albert Stewart talks about his father's employment in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Albert Stewart talks about his father's employment at Sherwin-Williams in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Albert Stewart talks about getting a job as a resin researcher at Sherwin-Williams in Chicago, Illinois, and being drafted for World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Albert Stewart describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart talks about his parents' homes in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart talks about receiving a double promotion in elementary school, and graduating early from high school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about growing up in the West Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago and White City amusement park

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart talks about the Chicago American Giants baseball team and attending their baseball games on Sundays

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Albert Stewart talks about African Americans moving to Chicago from the South, and his father's job as a carpenter who remodeled homes

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Albert Stewart talks about attending baseball games in Chicago, and recalls Prohibition in Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Albert Stewart talks about his childhood jobs as a milk delivery boy and as a newspaper delivery boy for the 'Chicago defender'

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Albert Stewart describes his experience in elementary school and his interest in math and spelling

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Albert Stewart talks about his experience in school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart talks about the racial division in school and in the city of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart talks about his interest in chemistry and the schools for the black students in Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about graduating from high school, attending Wilson Junior College, and working on the railroad

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart describes how he decided to attend the University of Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart talks about walking to the University of Chicago every day from his parents' home

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Albert Stewart talks about working to support his education at the University of Chicago, and the help that he received from the Rotary Club

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Albert Stewart talks about his experience at the University of Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart describes his experience while working at Sherwin-Williams

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart talks about his draft to the U.S. Navy during World War II, and attending boot camp at Great Lakes, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about his mother wanting him to play the saxophone and his parents' skepticism of his prospects as a scientist

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart describes how he got commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy in 1945 - part one

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart describes how he got commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy in 1945 - part two

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Albert Stewart describes his assignment and experience on a U.S. Navy fleet oiler towards the end of World War II

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Albert Stewart talks about his experience aboard a U.S. Navy fleet oiler in China and Japan, and going into inactive duty

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart talks about how he became a research assistant at St. Louis University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart talks about getting married

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about his master's degree research on vacuum systems and getting a job as a research scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart describes his experience at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart talks about the racial climate in Oak Ridge, Tennessee in the 1950s, and how it affected him and his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Albert Stewart talks about his experience at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the racial politics there, and how he was hired at Union Carbide Company

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Albert Stewart talks about his Ph.D. dissertation research in boron chemistry

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Albert Stewart talks about his experience at National Carbon Company in the 1950s

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart talks about his getting promoted to the marketing department at National Carbon Company

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart talks about his patents

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about his experience in the marketing department at Union Carbide Company

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart talks about his services as a National Sales Manager and director of University Relations for Union Carbide Company in 1980

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart talks about teaching at Western Connecticut State University

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Albert Stewart talks about serving as the vice president of the Foundation for Social Justice in South Africa, and his international travels

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Albert Stewart describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Albert Stewart reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Albert Stewart talks about his wife

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Albert Stewart talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Albert Stewart describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$3

DAStory

1$2

DATitle
Albert Stewart talks about his experience at National Carbon Company in the 1950s
Albert Stewart talks about the racial division in school and in the city of Chicago, Illinois
Transcript
Okay, all right. So 1956.$$Six, yes.$$You're on your way to Cleveland to--now you're going to Cleveland to work with Union Carbide [Company]?$$National Carbon [Company].$$National Carbon?$$Yeah. And that was--they were connected to Ever Ready Battery Company too.$$Okay. All right, well tell us what happened in Cleveland?$$Hmm?$$Tell us about Cleveland?$$Well I started radiation chemistry there and had, got a radiation source like the one we had down in Oak Ridge and did all sorts of experiments but my main function was to be a group leader. And I hired, got some people from Oak Ridge, I mean from, not Oak Ridge, from St. Louis University and others and did a variety of experiments that were not classified but Union Carbide property. And things were going great there until Carbide decided to split up and split up some things. They sold the Ever Ready Battery Company and gave me a promotion to New York City. Well they promoted me and the laboratory they were going to send me to was in Niagara Falls, but they decided instead to send me to New York City. And when did Kennedy [John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy, 35th President of the United States] get assassinated?$$Nineteen sixty-three.$$Nineteen--?$$--sixty-three.$$--sixty three?$$Yes sir.$$I was in New York trying to decide what sort of research we were going to do and I had just been to the library and was walking down the street in Manhattan and I heard this report. I had an interesting time because, in New York City because they wanted me to, when I was looking for an apartment, the real estate people wanted me to move to Harlem. And--because we're now in a desegregation period, I said uh-uh, served my time there. We're desegregating communities, want to move to Manhattan. So they wanted to send me to a plant that, oh the aluminum--Alcoa was building in, near Harlem and I wouldn't go there. And finally ended up in a place where I could walk to work. So I started walking to work--$$So where was that in New York? Where was, this is--?$$On the west side.$$Okay.$$West 65th Street.$$Okay.$$But that was an adventure in itself because then we ended up deciding that we wanted to buy something and well, I worked in Chicago. I mean, Chicago--worked in Manhattan and they had changes. And I got promoted again to--out of science into a marketing department.$So did you run for a class office or anything like that or--?$$No, I didn't. In fact, we hardly, the black kids hardly talked to the white kids. At the, at Englewood [High School, Chicago, Illinois], remember there was little money around. There was a White Castle on 63rd Street and you got a hamburger--I remember they used to have a hamburger sales thing and you could get five hamburgers for some cheap price, I forget what it was. But I'd do that. But mainly instead of going to the school cafeteria on one side of the school nearest the South--the Wentworth and South Park side, there was a guy who rented a build--apartment that had food for the black students. And there was a guy who made fried pies. He sold fried pies and such stuff to the black kids. Well the black kids didn't go to the--there was another white guy who had also a store and so the kid, white kids who didn't have any money went to that instead of the cafeteria. And only rich kids went to the cafeteria. Pardon me. [Coughing] But there was no real association with the white students in Englewood. The black girls had started school in West, pardon me, in West Woodlawn. The professional people, the doctors, lawyers and so forth their daughters had school--had clubs. And they gave dances and the like at Bacon's Casino. And while the white kids were going to the Stevens Hotel and the blacks were not welcome. Blacks were not welcome in these big hotels and never on the North Side. When what's her name, the celebrated black woman who lived on the North Side, the television person.$$Oh god, you got me.$$You know of recent who bought--$$Oprah?$$Huh?$$Oprah Winfrey?$$Yeah, she was--I was so surprised when it turned out she was living on the north side because I always thought of that as a big division in Chicago. In fact, from, till 12th Street on the South Side, below 12th Street on the, in Chicago that was all white, nothing but.$$Okay.$$When you were growing up could you go past 63rd Street south? Did you go south of 63rd?$$Down 63rd Street?$$Yeah, did--no, did any black people live south of 63rd?$$Down--$$No.$$Below? No, 63rd Street was the dividing line. From 63rd to Washington Park was white between South Park and Cottage Grove. And that didn't turn over for quite a--never while I was growing up. And the big fight with West Woodlawn was the kids that lived at 58th and Calumet and over in there.$$Okay.

William Davis

Research chemist and chemistry professor William C. Davis was born on August 22, 1926 in Waycross Georgia to parents Kenice and Laura Jane Davis. In 1941, Davis moved to New York City to live with his brother, Ossie Davis, and attend college. Following graduation from Dwight High School in 1945, Davis attended City College of New York and New York University before enrolling at Talladega College in Florida. Davis left school and briefly served as second lieutenant of engineers in the Korean War. Returning to Talladega College after the War, Davis earned his B.S. degree in chemistry in 1956. Davis went on to earn his M.S. degree in organic chemistry from Tuskegee Institute in 1958 and his Ph.D. degree in biochemistry from the University of Idaho in 1965.

Upon graduation, Davis was appointed research director at Physicians Medical Laboratories. As director, Davis is credited with discoveries leading to or improving numerous amenities, among them the potato chip, the instant mashed potato, soft serve ice cream, and the organic glue that holds together wood-chip and particle board. Davis’ research has been public in academic journals such as, Journal of Medical Technology and European Journal of Pharmacology. From 1974 to 1975, Davis continued research as a visiting scientist at the George Hyman Research Institute in Washington, D.C.; and again between 1976 and 1982 when he was a research associate at the University of Texas Health Science Center. Davis was named full professor of chemistry at St. Philip's College in 1995. In addition he served as chair of the Natural Sciences Department and director of Renewable Energy. When Davis retired in August 2009, he was named professor emeritus of the natural science department; and, the science building at St. Philip's College was named in his honor.

Davis professional and academic affiliations include the American Chemical Society, the Health Physicist Society, the Society of Nuclear Medicine, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His is a recipient of Tuskegee Institute’s George Washington Carver Fellowship, the U.S. Armed Force’s Purple Heart Medal, and was inducted to the Texas Hall of Fame in 2000.

Davis and his wife, Ocia, live in San Antonio, Texas. They have two children: Mark Alan and Cheryl Elise.

William C. Davis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 1, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.029

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/30/2013 |and| 2/1/2013

Last Name

Davis

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Conan

Schools

Tuskegee University

Talladega College

City College of New York

Dwight High School, Manhattan

Dasher High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Waycross

HM ID

DAV28

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Waycross, Georgia

Favorite Quote

You never could tell what thoughts and actions would do in bringing you hate or love. For thoughts of things will have wings and they will travel like a carrier dove. Each thing must creates it's kind as it travels over the track to bring back whatever is left out of your mind.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

8/22/1926

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

San Antonio

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Rice, Chicken, Green Beans

Short Description

Chemist and chemistry professor William Davis (1926 - ) is professor emeritus of the natural science department at St. Philip's College.

Employment

St. Phillips College

Immutech, Inc.

University of Texas Health Science Center

College of Naturopathy

Warner Pacific College

United Medical Laboratories

University of Washington

Favorite Color

Brown

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William Davis' interview - part one

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William Davis lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Davis talks about his mother's family background, part 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Davis talks about his mother's family background, part 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William Davis talks about his mother's growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William Davis talks about his mother's interests and educational aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Davis talks about his father's family background - part one

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William Davis talks about his father's family background - part two

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Davis talks about his father and his business relationship with Alex Sessoms

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Davis talks about his father's education and his grandfather's religious affiliation

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Davis talks about how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Davis talks about his parents and his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Davis talks about his brother and his father's influence, part 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William Davis talks about his brother and his father's influence, part 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William Davis talks about his father's social beliefs

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William Davis talks about his siblings

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William Davis describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Davis talks about his childhood home in Georgia and remembers his Ethiopian family's visits

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Davis describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Davis talks about his father's business and his attitude towards white people

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Davis talks about Fonza Curry's involvement in a plot to kill his father, Kince Davis - part one

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William Davis talks about Fonza Curry's involvement in a plot to kill his father, Kince Davis - part two

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William Davis talks about the schools that he and his siblings attended

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William Davis talks about his grammar school teachers, music, and his principal

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William Davis talks about his childhood fascination with his father's profession as an herbalist

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William Davis talks about his favorite grade school teachers

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William Davis talks about his performance in grade school

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William Davis talks about why his high school ended at grade eleven

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William Davis talks about visiting the Tuskegee Institute

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William Davis talks about meeting George Washington Carver and his father's interests in plants

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William Davis talks about his father's cars, Henry Ford, and traveling to Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William Davis talks about his science instruction at Dasher High School

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William Davis talks about his decision to finish high school in New York and his brother, Ossie Davis' interest in the theatre

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William Davis talks about his academics and his overall experience at Dwight High School

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William Davis talks about his mentor, Jake Fishman, and his interest in the relationship between science, religion and philosophy

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - William Davis talks about his teachers at the City College of New York and his decision to transfer to Talladega College

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - William Davis talks about his experience at Talladega College and being drafted into the U.S. Army

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - William Davis talks about his interest in music, his appreciation of Albert Schweitzer, and his experience in Germany

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - William Davis talks about his experience in the U.S. Army and his interest in music

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - William Davis reflects on his experience at Talladega College

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - William Davis talks about his academics and his professors at Talladega College

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - William Davis talks about his mentor, Dr. Clarence T. Mason

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - William Davis talks about one of his peers' views on space colonization

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - William Davis talks about his research and his decision to continue his graduate studies in Idaho, part 1

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - William Davis talks about his research and his decision to continue his graduate studies in Idaho, part 2

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - William Davis talks about his journey from Alabama to Idaho

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - William Davis talks about traveling through Utah and his attempt to visit the Mormon Tabernacle

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - William Davis talks about his journey to Washington State University

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - William Davis talks about his experience in Idaho

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - William Davis talks about his research at Washington State University - part one

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - William Davis talks about his research at Washington State University - part two

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - William Davis talks about the research philosophy of scientists

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Slating of William Davis' interview - part two

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - William Davis talks about the space colonization theory and Dr. Wernher von Braun

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - William Davis talks about meeting Albert Schweitzer and his interest in playing the organ

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - William Davis talks about his doctoral research on potatoes

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - William Davis talks about his clinical research at a mail-order laboratory with Dr. Roy M. Chatters

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - William Davis talks about how he became a health physicist and nuclear chemist

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - William Davis talks about his certification in medical technology and his publication on blood tests

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - William Davis talks about the controversy regarding the clinical research at United Medical Labs

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - William Davis talks about the establishment of the Albina Healthcare Center, and his work with the Black Panthers

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - William Davis talks about his professional activities - part one

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - William Davis talks about health care providers

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - William Davis talks about his professional activities - part two

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - William Davis talks about working with Dr. Lehman

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - William Davis talks about working with Dr. Lehman in the hospital setting

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - William Davis talks about his interest in teaching and how he was introduced to St. Philips College

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - William Davis talks about his research on the psychoactive drug, Valium

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - William Davis talks about his professional activities, part 3

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - William Davis talks about St. Philips College

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - William Davis talks about the demographics of St. Philips College

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - William Davis talks about the Penta Water Company

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - William Davis talks about the molecular theory and processing of the Penta Water

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - William Davis talks about the unique chemical properties of kinetic water

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - William Davis talks about presenting his research to the community

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - William Davis explains the processes of osmosis, osmotic pressure, and isotonicity

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - William Davis talks about the benefits of kinetic water and the tendencies of nature

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - William Davis talks about nature, and considers the implications of Hurricane Sandy not destroying churches

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - William Davis talks about having a building named in his honor at St. Philips College

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - William Davis describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - William Davis reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 13 Story: 5 - William Davis talks about his family

Tape: 13 Story: 6 - William Davis reflects upon his life choices and talks about his musical interests

Tape: 13 Story: 7 - William Davis talks about how he would like to be remembered

Matthew George

Biochemist Matthew George was born on February 15, 1949 in Birmingham, Alabama. George was awarded an undergraduate scholarship to attend Wiley College in Marshall, Texas where he received his B.S. degree in chemistry and biology in 1971. George went on to earn his M.S. degree in microbiology and biochemistry in 1974 from Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University). In 1982, George graduated with his Ph.D. degree in biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.

From 1981 to 1984, George studied genetics and biochemistry at the San Diego Zoo and the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Maryland. George’s career at Howard University College of Medicine began in 1984 when he became an assistant professor of biochemistry. In 1992, he was promoted to associate professor. George’s research focused on the evolution and interactions of mitochondrial DNA as well as cancer metastasis. He was instrumental in the development of the “mitochondrial Eve hypothesis,” which attempts to explain the origin of humankind. George studies the molecular structure and behavior of mitochondrial DNA which traced humans back to a common ancestor that lived in Africa about 200,000 years ago. Between 1995 and 1997, George served as senior scientist on the African Burial Ground Project where he traced 200 year old remains back to West African locations by analyzing DNA from bones. Since 2001, George has served as chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Howard University College of Medicine.

George has authored numerous scientific research articles, which have appeared in journals such as the Journal of Molecular Biological Evolution. In addition, his research has been funded by prestigious organizations such as the National Institute of Health, the National Cancer Institute and the National Center for Human Genome Research. His research on mitochondrial DNA was featured in the exhibit “Science in American Life,” found in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. In addition to his research, George has mentored research students including several dissertation prize winners.

George lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with his wife Yolanda George, who is an education program director at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

George Matthew was interviewed by The HsitoryMakers on January 17, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.013

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/17/2013

Last Name

George

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Wiley College

Clark Atlanta University

University of California, Berkeley

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Matthew

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

GEO02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France, Florence, Italy

Favorite Quote

Be good.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

2/15/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pie (Sweet Potato)

Short Description

Biochemist and geneticist Matthew George (1949 - ) served as the senior scientist on the African Burial Ground Project in New York City.

Employment

Atlanta University

University of California, Berkeley

San Diego Zoo

National Cancer Institute

Howard University

National Center for Human Genome Research

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Matthew George's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Matthew George lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Matthew George talks about his mother, her growing up and his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Matthew George talks about his father's relationship with his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Matthew George talks about his father's growing up, his career, and his paternal relatives

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Matthew George talks about how his parents met and his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Matthew George talks about his likeness to his parents and his parents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Matthew George describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Matthew George describes his childhood home in the Loveman's Village projects

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Matthew George talks about growing up in the projects and his influence on his brothers and sisters

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Matthew George talks about his childhood memories, his upbringing in the church, and the evolution of his religious views

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Matthew George talks about his appreciation of the newspaper and the bombing incidents in Birmingham during the Civil Rights Era

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Matthew George talks about his academic performance and his work ethic

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Matthew George talks about his elementary school teacher, Annie Mae Mitchell Smith

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Matthew George talks about his father's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Matthew George talks about his mother's concerns about the Civil Rights Movement and the origin of the derogatory term, "bama"

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Matthew George talks about his childhood aspirations, his desire to be different, and his world view during his youth

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Matthew George talks about his high school's curricular structure

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Matthew George talks about his experience being inducted into the National Honor Society in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Matthew George talks about his extracurricular activities and his social status in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Matthew George talks about his high school counselor, Ms. Coman, and her influence on his decision to attend Wiley College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Matthew George talks about his decision to major in science at Wiley College and preparing for his high school Salutatorian speech

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Matthew George talks about his influence on his brothers and sisters

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Matthew George talks about his jobs during school

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Matthew George talks about segregation in Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Matthew George talks about his trip to Marshall, Texas and his first night at Wiley College

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Matthew George talks about his peers and the positive intellectual environment at Wiley College

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Matthew George talks about his decision to major in science and his experience at Wiley College

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Matthew George talks about his studies, his professors, and his financial aid at Wiley College

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Matthew George talks about his professors at Atlanta University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Matthew George talks about the faculty at Atlanta University and meeting his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Matthew George talks about his wife and the birth of his son

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Matthew George talks about him and his wife's experiences defending their theses

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Matthew George talks about moving to California

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Matthew George talks about his admittance to and his financial aid at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Matthew George talks about the difference between covert racism and overt racism

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Matthew George talks about how he matched with his Ph.D. Advisor, Allan C. Wilson

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Matthew George talks about his advisor's research interests

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Matthew George talks about mitochondrial DNA and the mitochondrial Eve

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Matthew George talks about his colleague, Rebecca Cann, and his experiences working with her

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Matthew George talks about his work with his doctoral advisor and his experience getting his dissertation completed

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Matthew George talks about his research with Oliver Ryder at the San Diego Zoo

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Matthew George describes his postdoctoral research at the National Cancer Institute, his appointment to Howard University, and his teaching influences

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Matthew George talks about his student, Daryl Basham, and the use of DNA fingerprinting in criminal investigation

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Matthew George talks about the ethics regarding genetic testing and the risks associated with modifying DNA sequencing

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Matthew George talks about his work on the African Burial Ground Project with Michael Blakey

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Matthew George talks about working with his wife

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Matthew George talks about the challenges of doing research at an HBCU

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Matthew George reflects on his career

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Matthew George reflects on his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Matthew George talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Matthew George talks about his family

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Matthew George talks about his experience at the Science and American Life exhibit and being recognized

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Matthew George talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Matthew George describes his photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$7

DAStory

3$4

DATitle
Matthew George talks about his experience being inducted into the National Honor Society in high school
Matthew George talks about his work on the African Burial Ground Project with Michael Blakey
Transcript
Also, during the 11th grade, one of my friends she came to me and said "Something good is gonna happen to you today." "What the heck are you talking about?" So you know we have assembly, and where you have these (unclear) monthly meetings and everything, and so I'm there in assembly with a bunch of my other friends, and I'm looking at the program, it's--you think it's gonna be dumb and boring which most of them were, but that particular day it's about the National Honor Society and suddenly you hear your name (laughter).$$So you were on it but didn't know it.$$Had no clue, but she knew. And the other thing about it was that it was a lot of other project kids that were being inducted at the same time. So we had the middle class kids who normally, you know, get inducted, and then there was us. It almost like a little first; it was like we were like the project slash ghetto kids being culled in with the middle class--the kids from the Honeysuckle Circles and the Honeysuckle Hills.$$Now that's a real name of a real group?$$Honeysuckle Circle, Honeysuckle Hill, okay? That was the name of the neighborhood. If you had a couple of bucks, you could get you a nice brick house, you could be an upper-class black person and you lived it. Fred Shuttlesworth (laughter); that's when it got bombed (laughter), okay? (Simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--On Honeysuckle Hill?$$Yeah, or something like that. But here's the kicker, and Yolanda's gonna get me for this (laughter). "Don't call any names." I'm sorry, it's a part of my life. Reverend [John Wesley] Rice lived in the Honeysuckle Circles and the Honeysuckle Hills. And he was the high school counselor.$$And Reverend Rice is the father of our former Secretary of State?$$Condoleezza's daddy.$$Condoleezza, okay.$$Okay? And so here it is, we're more or less, you know, busting up the show because we may not be the right type of people (laughter), but they can't deny the numbers, you know. We got the GPA's, we got the grades and things like that, but never once--at least me, I don't know about the others, but during those three years in high school, I never was counseled by Reverend Rice about a possibility or an opportunity to go to college.$$So--well wait a minute; now you're saying that you're in a National Honor Society--$$Yes.$$--you clearly are working above the level of the general course (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--But again--$$--but (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--remember what--remember, from the very beginning what I was told by my mom [Rosetta Johnson] to do when I go to school, right? That was, that was my mind set. This is how naive, this is just how dutiful I was, this is what I do. This is what I--I followed orders, rules and regulations.$$And you were the first in your family to get that far because you're the oldest, right?$$Yeah, oh yeah.$$So (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--Yeah, I'm, I'm--every step I take you know, I'm breaking ground.$$Yeah, and I guess they're looking forward to just you graduating from high school, right?$$Exact--this is--they told me "All we can give you is a high school education. Everything else is on your own. This is why we cannot give you $35.00 for vocational school. We can make certain that you have enough food to eat, the lights on, heat is on, gas, all that kind of stuff. We will give you what you need. I will wash your clothes, I will iron your clothes, okay? You do the rest, okay?"$$But to think of Reverend Rice (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--I'm not trying to--$$(Simultaneous)--a counselor, I know you're not trying to do that, but if this is--I believe what you're saying that he didn't do it. If he didn't counsel you then, you know, he's missing an opportunity--I don't know if everybody with your qualifications didn't get counseled, but that seems like a really--that seems like something that really slipped by; a really important person that slipped past him that he should have helped.$$Well, like I said, it wasn't just me I mean--as I said, there were several other project kids that were also inducted at the time. It was the strangest honor society that they've ever had, you know. We weren't the best dressed, we weren't the most well-spoken or anything like that, but we were the kids that got the job done. We did well academically, and the rankings said this is where we belong, and once we got into the honor society for our high school, the whole set of dynamics changed, your know; it really changed. And we became little heroes, if you will, to all of the people that did not live in the Honeysuckle Circles and the Honeysuckle Hills; they were just like 'bout time, thank you guys, okay--and girls because it wasn't just guys, I mean there were some females that were inducted that year and they also didn't live in the right places. But as a little collective and as a group, they were so proud of us because we were them; we were them.$$Okay.$Now this is something that's really important for--in a lot of different ways in terms of a history project like I was in, is the African Burial Ground Project in New York City. Tell us--I guess you can just set it up by saying that construction workers discovered a gravesite--$$Emm hmm.$$--that was identified by archeologists, I guess, as an African burial ground--$$Right.$$--a place where Africans brought over here enslaved in New York City unloading boats and that sort of thing back in the 1600's I guess (simultaneous)--$$Yeah, today the bones are like--well we said 200 years old, so you can just extrapolate to, yeah.$$So the decision was to study those (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--Well, right.$$(Simultaneous)--(Inaudible response).$$(Simultaneous)--Yeah, Michael Blakey, who used to be here in the Anthropology Department, was very much interested in that because, not only--by looking at the bones solely, you could look at--you could also tell about the work conditions, where the breaks occurred; is it on the clavicle, is it on the ribs, and things like that. Look in the clothing, what else is in the coffin gives you an idea what type of life these people led. The question then becomes well, where did these people come from? What is the origin of the skeletal remains? And so he wanted to have a genetic component to it, so from the anthropological part and sociological part, he was expert in that and he'd asked me to come on as a senior scientist to do the genetic part, so part of what I had wanted to do was to not only do that by using mitochondrial DNA because I knew how to isolate DNA from what we now call ancient materials--anything that's extinct or old--because you can do this technique called a Polymerase Chain Reaction so even minute amounts--you can put in specific little pieces of DNA to get large pieces of DNA back. Then you do DNA sequence and then you can see--compare what these sequences are closely related to in terms of different ethnic groups.$$What's that process called again?$$PCR, the Polymerase Chain Reaction. When that technique was developed, the person immediately got a Nobel Prize (laughter), okay? This is what gets people in trouble; this is your CSI. This is where your single strand of hair with a hair root and some DNA, this is what can be amplified to get--this is enough working material. Your DNA does not have to be purified; you put in the right set of primers, okay, that will actually allow you to amplify a specific set of sequences--that gold standard set of sequences, and they turn out to be yours, they got you. Lick a stamp, smoke a cigarette, wherever you get cells; this is why they say just rub the cheek cells, boom; break them open and DNA will spill out, get your probes in, and you're good. So I wanted to use that technique by using hair samples, so I just use--and you wanted--since the technique is so sensitive, you've got to make certain that your sample is not contaminated, to you have to test yourself, you have to test the workers around you to make certain that the sequences that you finally get back are those only from the bone. So I'd also wanted to mix in trained graduate students in Howard to use this technique and so it takes time when you're trying to get students who have little to no experience in a laboratory. So my end of the deal was a little bit slower than Michael would have like to see and this is where Rick Kittles came in; he's working solo, independent at NIH [National Institutes of Health] and everything like that; all he's doing is research. But that's beside the point; in the end, using the set of primers that I had for mitochondrial DNA and doing the DNA sequence, we were able to determine that the skeletal remains were from a region in West Africa, in a so-called Yoruba Tribe, and that worked out really well. And the other thing about grave sites like that is that, just as I told you early on about working for a dollar and a dime cutting grass in Elmwood Cemetery, slave graves were always kept separate from the white graves too, so that's another thing that made it useful in terms of like 'hey, what we're gonna find here is simply gonna be a slave or African origin,' and so that led the sociology and sociological part of anthropology as well, so then physical anthropologies, bones, the cultural parties, the social anthropology, so it's a huge team, large effort; and I think it paid off in a whole number of ways.$$Okay. So, you started this project in 1995--$$Emm hmm.$$--and I think it reached its conclusion with a publication of the findings (simultaneous)--$$Right, in 2009--$$(Simultaneous)--2009. Okay, that was a long time.$$Yeah, there was a lot of work. And you know, if you were to take a look on my book shelf, you could see--it was funded by the GSA, the government--what is it, the Government Services Administration?$$Emm hmm.$$Yeah. It was General Services Administration.$$Emm hmm.$$It was a tremendous number of people, and some things--there was some politics involved in it amongst us as scientists as well, so that probably added to it taking so long, and then plus with Michael transferring out to a school in Virginia. But Michael was a visionary and a strong advocate for this particular program, and I appreciate the time and effort that he spent, you know, in getting all of us involved in it.

Billy Joe Evans

Chemist and chemistry professor Billy Joe Evans was born on August 18, 1942 in Macon, Georgia. Evans grew up amidst the racism and segregation policies of the south during the 1950s. Evans’ father, Will Evans, worked part-time as a coordinator for the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and went to Washington, D.C. to confer and strategize with founder and President A. Philip Randolph about how labor issues facing African American in Macon. In 1959, he graduated from Ballard High School, the largest high school in Macon, Georgia. Following graduation, Evans entered Morehouse College and he received his B.S. degree in chemistry in 1963. Evans went on to pursue graduate studies at the University of Chicago. The State of Georgia paid the tuition difference between the University of Georgia and the University of Chicago, and in 1968 Evans earned his Ph.D. degree in chemistry. His Ph.D. thesis was entitled: “Order-disorder phenomena and hyperfine interactions in Spinel ferrites.”.

Evans accepted a position on the faculty of the University of Michigan in 1970 after performing some post-doctoral work at the University of Manitoba and teaching at Howard University. He has held research positions at the University of Marburg, the Naval Research Institute, and the Ford Motor Company. Evans initially started his work at the University of Michigan as an assistant professor of geology and mineralogy, but he joined the chemistry department as an associate professor in 1974. Evans has continued to pursue his research in solid state chemistry. His primary interests include the synthesis and characterization of crystal/chemical structures properties that directly affect the quality of human environments. His contributions to the firld were recognized by the University of Michigan who promoted him to full professor in 1986. Evans is the principal or co-author of more than 90 scientific publications. Evans is the principal or co-author of more than 90 scientific publications. He has been invited to give lectures at the National Conferences on Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, the International Conference on Magnetism, Gordon Conferences and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Advanced Study Institute. Evans was named professor emeritus of the University of Michigan in 2007.

Evans has been the recipient of many honors and prizes for his dedication to the improvement of the quality and accessibility of higher education for all students and for his work in the sciences. In 1991, he was honored with the Statewide Distinguished Faculty Award. He received the 1997 American Chemical Society Camille and Henry Dreyfus Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students in Careers in the Chemical Sciences. Evans’ professional awards include the 1995 Manufacturing Chemists Association Catalysts Award, the 1997 American Chemical Society Camille and Henry Dreyfus Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students in Careers in the Chemical Sciences. The following year Evans was named the winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering by the National Science Foundation.

Billy Joe Evans was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on 10/22/2012.

Accession Number

A2012.177

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/22/2012

Last Name

Evans

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Joe

Schools

George Washington Carver Elementary

Ballard Hudson High School

Morehouse College

University of California, Berkeley

Macalester College

University of Chicago

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Billy

Birth City, State, Country

Macon

HM ID

EVA06

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Europe, Austria, Germany

Favorite Quote

Who Told You That?

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

8/18/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Ann Arbor

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Banana Pudding

Short Description

Chemist and chemistry professor Billy Joe Evans (1942 - ) was the former director and professor in the Materials Science Department at Howard University and a professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Michigan.

Employment

University of Michigan

Atlanta University

Howard University

University of Chicago

University of Manitoba

National Bureau of Standards (NBS)

Morehouse College

Favorite Color

Light Blue, Gray

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Billy Joe Evans' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Billy Joe Evans lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Billy Joe Evans describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Billy Joe Evans describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Billy Joe Evans talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Billy Joe Evans describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his siblings (part 1)

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his mother's influence

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his siblings (part 2)

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Billy Joe Evans describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Billy Joe Evans describes his childhood neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Billy Joe Evans describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his involvement in the church growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his elementary school experience

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his elementary school teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his high school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Billy Joe Evans talks about George Washington Carver

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his teachers at Ballard Hudson High School

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Billy Joe Evans talks about how he got into Morehouse College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Billy Joe Evans talks about Morehouse College and Emmitt Till

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his math and science preparation for college

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his interests in the aeronautics field

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his role models and favorite teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Billy Joe Evans talks about perceptions of African Americans in the medical field

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Billy Joe Evans talks about Hamilton Holmes

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his peers at Morehouse College

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Billy Joe Evans talks about the distinction between scientists and doctors

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Billy Joe Evans talks about Dr. Henry McBay

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Billy Joe Evans talks about the differences between Southerners and Northerners

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Billy Joe Evans talks about Dr. Henry McBay's teaching philosophy

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his experience in Chicago

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Billy Joe Evans talks about meeting his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Billy Joe Evans talks about the State of Georgia's subsidization of black's education

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his research experience at the University of Chicago

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his near death experience in Chicago

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Billy Joe Evans talks about receiving his post-doctoral appointment at the University of Manitoba

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Billy Joe Evans describes his dissertation, "Order, Disorder and Hyperfine Interactions in Spinel Ferrites"

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his research on order/disorder in magnetic materials

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his experience at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Billy Joe Evans talks about how he came to the University of Michigan

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Billy Joe Evans talks about Warren Henry

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his experience at the University of Michigan

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his grants and professional activities

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his career prospects after completing his graduate studies

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his experience at the Danforth Foundation

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his professional activities in Germany

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Billy Joe Evans talks about the Program of Scholarly Research for Urban/Minority High School Students

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Billy Joe Evans talks about the Comprehensive Studies Program and the Research Club at the University of Michigan

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his professional appointments with the AAAS and Atlanta University

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his work at the University of Michigan

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his consultancy appointments with the Dynamic Testing Division, DuPont Merck, and the Louisiana State Board of Regents

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his consultancy appointment with the Inkster Michigan Public School System

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his awards

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Billy Joe Evans and Larry Crowe talk about Lloyd Ferguson

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Billy Joe Evans talks about Dr. Henry McBay

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his awards and professional activities

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Billy Joe Evans reflects on his career

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Billy Joe Evans reflects on his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his family

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Billy Joe Evans reflects on how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Billy Joe Evans describes his photos

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Billy Joe Evans describes his photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$7

DAStory

1$4

DATitle
Billy Joe Evans talks about his research on order/disorder in magnetic materials
Billy Joe Evans talks about the Program of Scholarly Research for Urban/Minority High School Students
Transcript
All right, University of Manitoba [Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada].$$Right.$$So your fellowship was carried out in the Department of Physics.$$Right.$$Okay, so yeah.$$But my, see when I was in Chicago [Illinois] I had already worked with physicists and I was in a low temperature laboratory which really is physics, almost totally physics. And my research was relevant to physics, not really to chemistry. So, and this fellow, his name was Morris, he had written one of the standard textbooks in magnetism and being a physicist he did not know as much chemistry as he knew he needed to know so the best way to solve that problem was to have a chemist come into the lab who also knew some physics. So I went into the lab specifically to help them solve a chemical problem they were having, which I was able to do. But in the meantime, we all, I also was able to do some of my own physics, again in order/disorder in magnetic materials.$$Well I was asked to ask you about what is meant by a permanent magnet?$$Right. We have different kinds of magnetism, all--there's something on this diamagnetism. Any material that contains electrons will have diamagnetism as one component of its properties. A material, doesn't matter what it is, gas, solid, liquid, if it has unpaired electrons, one, let's say a single electron, it will exhibit something known as paramagnetism. If you take a material that is paramagnetic that just has some electrons that are unpaired, you put it in a magnet, it will be attracted by the magnet, not very strongly but it will be attracted. Once you move the magnet away it remembers none of the magnetism. So with a paramagnet you can only tell what's going on with it when you put a mag, in the presence of a magnetic field. Then there are materials where you can have unpaired electron spans but they will be ordered so they all point up, they all point down or maybe one is up and one is down. And those configurations can be stable over long periods of time. But if they're all pointed up with moments, with electrons like that, they have a moment. They have a magnetic moment and that moment doesn't change. That's a permanent magnet. So there are some--and a permanent magnet can either be a metal or it can be an oxide so something known as alnico, aluminum nickel cobalt, that's an alloy that it's a, it's metal and most of the little dogs that you buy, the trick shops, they have Alnico magnets.$$(Unclear) of those, I mean they used to be popular in the 50s [1950s] these little Scotty dogs, I was hypnotized.$$That's exactly, that's right.$$I used to play with right with (unclear).$$One would--that's, I did the same thing. That's probably Alnico magnets. Then there are the class of magnets that are oxides and the most common one is something called a hexaferrite which occurs in nature. You can find them in Sweden, very complicated chemical compositions and complicated arrangements of atoms and so that would be a permanent magnet. So the refrigerator magnets, permanent magnets and they are made out of oxide materials that have been embedded in a plastic or a rubber material. And there's been virtually a revolution, no one knows about it but the starter motors on cars used to be very large and they had copper wiring on them. And the copper wire was used to create a magnetic field and then you could make the motor turn in that magnetic field. Well for about twenty years, they've been using permanent magnets, oxide magnets to create the magnetic field that you need in a starter motor. So now the starter motor is only about that big and that's because they're using these permanent magnets. They used to make them here in Michigan. Hitachi is a big manufacturer. General Electric used to make them but Hitachi bought the General Electric factory up near Michigan State and now Hitachi tends to dominate the market in these permanent magnets. But the door closers, the windshield wipers, they're all operated by these permanent magnet oxides so they're quite common in the environment. People are unaware of them but they are there.$$Okay, so instead of using the old magnets that we used to create in grade school with the dry cells when you wrap the--$$Yeah, right, right.$$--wire around (unclear).$$Right, right, right.$$They're using the permanent magnets now?$$You can now just use a permanent magnet for that, yeah.$Now in 1980 you were appointed director of the program of Scholarly Research for urban minority high school students.$$Right, right, right.$$And a lot of the people we've interviewed at some point get involved in STEM programs for high school students for youth.$$Right right.$$So how did this come about?$$Well actually I was the, I don't like this term but I'll use it, I started that program. What I noticed in my work here at [the University of] Michigan was that the black kids would come in and they would quickly degenerate to mediocrity in their work. And my assumption was that maybe they were not seeing the best kinds of things that one does here at the University of Michigan. So at that point I went over and we had a black associate vice president for academic affairs. His name was Richard English, was a social worker but he was one, a person that one could talk to. So I told English about my idea and that I wanted to try to do something. He supported me and the university allocated $15,000 for me to do this program. And initially we worked at one high school in Detroit [Michigan]. It was a selective high school but a small high school called Renaissance High. And so the first year the program was called the Renaissance High Project. We couldn't think of anything else and that really was what it was, a project at this one high school. And so the idea was to involve high school students in real research at the University of Michigan in the same way that we have graduate students. So I selected a group of faculty members who agreed to do this and the idea was that the students would come up in the summer but they would come every vacation that they had during their academic year, on weekends to continue their research. So instead of trying to do a research project in three summer months, we knew that was not enough time. You don't do research in that short a period of time. We would work over the entire academic year and so that's what we did. And there was a gifted administrator in Detroit, Beverly Thomas who was a music person but she understood what we were trying to do. She suggested as we were coming to the end of the summer phase of the program that we should have a symposium and the students would present their work. So I said okay we'll do that. And so the students worked all during the fall, during their Christmas vacation and oh, about the middle of January we would have a symposium. So the students gave ten-minute talks, they could only talk as long as we would talk in our professional meetings. And we worked with them all of the time for a month getting their talks together. And so the symposium came, we had it at Detroit at the Engineering Society a very scholarly technical setting. And without warning we knew nothing about it, Shapiro was in the back of the room. He was president of the university at that time. So he came in to see what we had done with his money and the students did fantastic. And when it was over Shapiro had allocated for the next year $150,000 for the program. So we went up by a factor of ten in funding and we continued that program for about fifteen years, fourteen or fifteen years and it was funded at that level for that period of time. We had about a three year period when the National Science Foundation funded us but we didn't like their money. They wanted to tell us what to do and we did not agree with them on that. They wanted us to have recreational activities and things like that for the students. We said no, our students will find out how to recreate themselves. The university is rich in those kinds of facilities and we're not going to spend our time worrying about that. But we did accept funding from them for three years and we didn't do it anymore. And I think we must have gotten about a half million dollars in funding from them. But the remarkable thing about that program was that during that period of time Detroit had more Westinghouse winners than they had had--the Westinghouse Science Talent Search had been going on for about since the 40s [1940s] I believe and in just this ten year period, Detroit had more winners in the Westinghouse than they had had for the previous forty years. And most of these kids, not all of them, most of these kids were black kids and most of the kids came from ordinary families. Their families were not professionals. One of the characteristics of the Westinghouse winners during that time was that the parents tended to be professionals, Ph.D.s, scientists themselves. But these were just ordinary kids. And so it showed what one could do with the general population just by doing those kinds of things at the university was already very good at doing. What's so distressing about that activity is that we--our last year of doing that program was 1994 and Detroit has not had a Westinghouse winner since. It's now called the Intel--Intel now does it but Intel and Westinghouse, that's the same project, same program. So, in what '94 [1994], that's about eighteen years so in eighteen years there has not been a single kid of any description from Detroit to be a Westinghouse winner, very distressing. And it says a little bit--and we still have the STEM programs. We probably have more STEM programs today than we had in 1981 or 1994. But it says something about what people are doing in these STEM programs.$$Okay.$$We should have more winners than we've had.

Percy Pierre

Electrical engineer Percy A. Pierre was born on January 1, 1939 in Welcome, Louisiana to Rosa Villavaso and Percy John Pierre. Pierre graduated from St. Augustine High School in New Orleans in 1957. Reverend Matthew O’Rourke, the school’s founding principal and president, served as one of Pierre’s mentors. It was in his senior year of high school that Pierre first decided to enter the field of engineering. Pierre received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1961. He stayed at the University and received his M.S. degree in 1963. Pierre went on to receive his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from John Hopkins University in 1967. He is the first African American in the country to earn a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering.

After graduation, Pierre began a series of successful posts in government and higher education. In 1969, Pierre was selected to serve as a White House Fellow and Deputy to the Assistant to the President for Urban Affairs. In 1971, he joined the faculty of Howard University as Dean of the School of Engineering. As dean, Pierre was instrumental in the founding of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME). In 1977, he left Howard University to serve as Assistant Secretary to the United States Army for Research, Development, and Acquisition, where he managed a $12 billion budget. Pierre started his own consulting business, Percy A. and Associates in 1981. He returned to academia in 1983, serving as President of Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical (A&M) University, and later as Honeywell Professor of Electrical Engineering.

Pierre came to Michigan State University in 1990 as Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies. In 1995, he became a professor of electrical and computer engineering. Pierre has taught courses and participated in research in the areas of signals and systems, random processes, and signal detection and estimation. He believes his greatest achievement in his field to be the exploration of linear functions and their properties. In addition to his research, Pierre has also created numerous programs to increase the financial support and mentoring opportunities available for minority graduate engineering students; most notably creating the Sloan Engineering Program in 1998. Pierre has served on many boards, including the National Security Advisory Board and the Defense Science Board. He was honored with the Founders Award from NACME in 2004 in celebration of the organization’s thirtieth anniversary. He also received the Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2008. Pierre is married to Olga A. Markham and they have two grown daughters, Kristin Clare and Allison Celeste.

Percy A. Pierre was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 13, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.224

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/13/2012

Last Name

Pierre

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Occupation
Schools

St. Joan Of Arc Elem School

St. Augustine High School

University of Notre Dame

Johns Hopkins University

University of Michigan

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Percy

Birth City, State, Country

Welcome

HM ID

PIE02

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring, Summer

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

1/3/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

East Lansing

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Electrical engineer Percy Pierre (1939 - ) was known for his work in signal processing, as well as for creating programs to increase opportunities for minority graduate engineering students.

Employment

Michigan State University

Prairie View A&M University

Department of the Army for Research, Development and Acquisition

Howard University

Percy A. Pierre & Associates

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

White House

RAND Corporation

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:3376,41:4366,56:5554,70:16690,260:17600,274:18860,294:19490,305:27932,412:28724,423:37768,536:49315,649:55187,742:56764,778:67030,921:73920,1020:77316,1052:77588,1085:78336,1095:79356,1171:79628,1192:88216,1288:91072,1315:97675,1417:98000,1423:106440,1532:109792,1595:112054,1632:118767,1759:122184,1844:125861,1870:127034,1900:128207,1925:132347,1997:132899,2007:133934,2030:135314,2061:135935,2071:137108,2104:137384,2109:155880,2292:156176,2297:160394,2345:162230,2369:165142,2384:165326,2389:180345,2428:198560,2666$0,0:9392,179:10596,194:13110,202:13638,207:16954,227:17451,236:18374,253:19510,269:20149,280:23604,346:24162,356:24472,362:25216,376:26084,392:26766,419:27386,430:27944,441:30730,451:33990,462:34390,467:35890,487:37790,524:40090,600:41190,618:44160,628:48160,667:48760,676:49560,685:51060,729:51960,741:53060,753:57228,771:60542,793:61334,805:62302,819:62742,825:65645,843:66302,854:66667,860:67324,871:69460,880:69816,885:70439,895:71151,904:72308,919:72753,926:75735,945:76255,957:76580,963:76970,971:77880,993:78400,1005:79050,1017:79570,1028:82820,1040:85214,1056:85846,1065:86320,1073:89050,1082:90206,1103:90478,1108:91800,1114:92250,1121:92850,1130:94125,1150:94425,1155:94875,1162:100274,1199:104462,1231:105476,1248:111212,1283:114470,1299:116045,1331:116420,1337:117620,1357:120020,1401:122730,1410:123500,1422:125449,1436:125821,1441:126844,1453:127495,1462:127867,1467:128425,1474:136174,1558:136650,1566:138334,1580:141042,1598:143460,1627:144135,1638:145260,1664:146010,1676:146310,1681:157806,1820:159834,1837:161960,1857
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Percy Pierre's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Percy Pierre lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Percy Pierre describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Percy Pierre talks about his mother and his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Percy Pierre describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Percy Pierre talks about the benevolent societies established by freed slaves in Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Percy Pierre talks about the Reconstruction Era in Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Percy Pierre talks about his father's family in Freetown, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Percy Pierre talks about his father's education and carpentry skills

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Percy Pierre describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Percy Pierre describes his family's life in Gulfport, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Percy Pierre describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Percy Pierre talks about his family

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Percy Pierre describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Percy Pierre describes his childhood neighborhood and house in New Orleans

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Percy Pierre describes the sights and sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Percy Pierre describes his experience in school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Percy Pierre describes his interests in science, math and basketball

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Percy Pierre tells the story of Roald Amundsen, the first man to reach the South Pole

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Percy Pierre talks about learning problem-solving skills

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Percy Pierre talks about watching television as a teenager in the 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Percy Pierre talks about his mother teaching him to read

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Percy Pierre describes his experience and mentors in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Percy Pierre talks about his interest in basketball and music in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Percy Pierre talks about preparing to enroll in college

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Percy Pierre describes his decision to attend the University of Notre Dame

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Percy Pierre describes his experience at the University of Notre Dame

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Percy Pierre describes his studies and his mentors at the University of Notre Dame

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Percy Pierre talks about religion and science

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Percy Pierre describes his interest in signal processing as a master's student

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Percy Pierre describes his decision to pursue a Ph.D. degree at Johns Hopkins University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Percy Pierre talks about the events in the Civil Rights Movement and politics in the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Percy Pierre talks about his Ph.D. advisors and dissertation research at Johns Hopkins University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Percy Pierre talks about being the only African American in his graduate program

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Percy Pierre talks about becoming the first engineering postdoctoral trainee at the University of Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Percy Pierre describes his decision to join the Rand Corporation in 1968

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Percy Pierre describes his experience at Rand Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Percy Pierre describes his experience as a White House fellow in 1969

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Percy Pierre describes how he became the dean of engineering at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Percy Pierre describes his contributions as the dean of engineering at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Percy Pierre talks about affirmative action and the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME)

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Percy Pierre describes his impact on minority engineering education

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Percy Pierre describes his experience at the Pentagon as the assistant secretary for research and development

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Percy Pierre describes his experience in consulting and as president of Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical University

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Percy Pierre describes his experience at Michigan State University

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Percy Pierre reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Percy Pierre reflects upon his career

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Percy Pierre describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Percy Pierre talks about his wife and daughters

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Percy Pierre talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Percy Pierre describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

2$1

DATitle
Percy Pierre talks about becoming the first engineering postdoctoral trainee at the University of Michigan
Percy Pierre describes his impact on minority engineering education
Transcript
All right, so now, you did post doctoral studies at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan], right?$$Yes.$$1967 to '68 [1968]. How did you manage to choose the University of Michigan?$$Well, that's an interesting story. It turns out I'm told I'm the first postdoc student ever at the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. Here's how that happened. I was doing my research, loving it, loving it, loving it. My advisor said, "It's time for you to go, write it up and leave." I said, "I want to keep doing my research." And the thought of getting a job and not doing research full time was not what I wanted to do. So I decided well maybe if I get a postdoc, I could keep doing my research. I don't want to be a professor, because then I'd have to teach, I just want to do my research. So my advisor says well, "Let's go to this conference and talk to people and see if we can find--if any university is looking for postdoc, so we went to the Princeton [University, Princeton, New Jersey] conference and talked to people from [University of California,] Berkeley, from MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts], from [University of] Michigan, etcetera. There was man at the University of Michigan, his name is Bill Root, who is really the godfather of my field. So we approached him and said, you know--. My advisor approached him and said, "Percy Pierre would love to do a postdoc; do you have a postdoc?" He said, "No, I don't have one, and we don't have postdocs in engineering, but I think we should, and maybe you could be the first one." So he created a postdoc position. He went back to the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan and talked to the dean; the dean created a position for me, and I went to Michigan as a postdoc. I was the only postdoc in the college.$$So you were the first and only postdoc in the college?$$Yeah.$$And the first African American postdoc--$$Yeah.$$--To be sure.$$But I loved it, because I spent all day doing my research. There were a couple assistant professors who were hired at the same time, and they had to teach. Now, eventually, I did teach. I taught the second semester. They asked me to teach a course, I thought one course. But my postdoc year was one of the most satisfying years of my life, because I was very productive; I published five papers in that year.$$Okay, and what are the journals that you published in as an electrical engineer?$$Half of them were math journals, probability theory journals, and the other half were engineering, 'Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineering' [IEEE].$$You were there until 1968-$Okay, around 1977--$$Can I go back to the--$$Oh, sure.$$--the NACME [National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering; Pierre was instrumental in establishing NACME in 1973] thing, because this is very important to me. I told you that through the academy, we put together a committee of CEOs [Chief Executive Officers] who were going to do something about minorities in engineering and then the [Alfred P.] Sloan Foundation decided to invest in programs. They asked me to run the program, but I said I didn't want to quit my job at Howard [University, Washington, District of Columbia]; I was only dean for two years. I agreed to do it half time. So for two years, I commuted between D.C. [District of Columbia] and New York to the Rockefeller Center to run the program. And one day early in my tenure at the Sloan Foundation, I was walking up Fifth Avenue and thinking that this is a fabulous opportunity to make a difference. I had reached the point where I thought I was putting myself in a position to make a big difference, because all the elements were in place to create organizations that would change minority engineering for the next thirty years. And I realized that that was that opportunity. And what I'm saying is I knew this was it. And it took a lot of work; we had to create organizations, we had to guess what to do, but the results have been fabulous; the increase in minority engineering graduates has been spectacular over the next thirty years, and both at the bachelor's and master's level, so, if I looked at one of the biggest impacts of my life, it's that. That's the fulfillment of my promise to Father Grant when I was a freshman in high school [St. Augustine's High School, New Orleans, Louisiana].$$Okay.$$It's a big part of it.$$And, of course, NACME is still in operation, still doing good work?$$Right.$$Okay.

Wendell Hill

Physicist and Professor Wendell T. Hill, III was born in 1952 in Berkeley, California to Wendell Hill, Jr. and Marcella Washington Hill, who met at Drake University in the 1940s. In the 1960s his father was the Chief Pharmacist at in the Orange County Medical Center, now the University of California Irvine Medical Center, and finished his career as the dean of Howard University’s College of Pharmacy in the 1990s. Hill III’s mother was a mathematics teacher who finished her career at the University of the District of Columbia. Hill III graduated from Villa Park High School in Orange, CA in 1970. He earned physics degrees from the University of California, Irvine (B.A., 1974) and Stanford University (Ph.D., 1980), where he was an IBM pre-doctoral fellow.

Hill was a National Research Council postdoctoral fellow at the National Bureau of Standards, now the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) from 1980 to 1982, after which he joined the faculty of the Institute for Physical Science and Technology (IPST) at the University of Maryland. In 1985 Hill was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Presidential Young Investigator Award, now known as a Presidential Early Career Award. Holding appointments in Physics and the Institute for Physical Science and Technology, Hill became a full professor in 1996 and a Fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute in 2006. Hill has guest-worker status at NIST and Lawrence Livermore National Lab and has held visiting positions at the Université de Paris, Orsay in France, the Instituto Venezalano de Investigaciones (Venezuela) and JILA (University of Colorado). He directed the Laboratory for Atomic, Molecular & Optical Science, and Engineering at the University of Maryland between 1999 and 2002 and was the Program Director of the Atomic, Molecular and Optical (AMO) Physics program at NSF from 2010 to 2012.

Hill’s research focus is laser-matter interaction under extreme conditions – ultra-fast, ultra-intense and ultra-cold. Hill has written numerous scientific articles within AMO physics, co-authored the textbook entitled Light-Matter Interaction that explains the underlying principals of AMO research and penned the opening chapter entitled “Electromagnetic Radiation,” for the Encyclopedia of Applied Spectroscopy.

Hill is a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) as well as an active member of the Optical Society of America (OSA). He has served on numerous society committees including the APS Council and Executive Board, the APS Division of Laser Science executive committee, and the OSA Technical Council; he has chaired the National Academy of Science’s Committee on AMO Science along with several program and award committees. His interest in improving the diversity in physics has him serving on the National Advisory Board of the APS Minority Bridge Program; the goal of the program is to increase significantly the number of “underrepresented minorities” earning a physics Ph.D. over the next decade.

Professor Hill and Patricia, his wife, live in Maryland and have three children, Nayo, Eshe and Safiya.

Professor Wendell T. Hill, III was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 12, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.226

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/12/2012

Last Name

Hill

Maker Category
Middle Name

T

Occupation
Schools

Peralta Junior High School

Taft Elementary School

Burnside Elementary School

Villa Park High School

University of California, Irvine

Stanford University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Wendell

Birth City, State, Country

Berkeley

HM ID

HIL14

Favorite Season

Summer

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

California

Favorite Quote

Have fun and be safe.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

9/21/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Mexican Food, Spicy Food, Fish

Short Description

Physicist Wendell Hill (1952 - ) was known for his extensive research in atomic, molecular and optical physics at the University of Maryland.

Employment

University of Maryland, College Park

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

University of Colorado

Favorite Color

Los Angeles Dodgers Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:14760,255:15695,273:16205,280:17055,292:18245,303:19605,325:22750,363:24195,396:24535,401:26150,424:26830,434:27170,439:27765,444:29210,472:30230,488:30910,501:31250,506:39900,560:40512,572:41260,588:48196,699:50508,754:52480,794:53160,812:54520,841:54792,847:55064,852:55336,857:55880,867:56220,881:56832,896:59280,945:59552,951:59824,956:60436,966:67570,1002:68050,1034:68410,1061:83763,1194:98409,1375:98844,1381:99279,1387:105684,1451:106167,1459:106650,1465:108375,1504:127164,1800:131980,1838:133405,1863:137830,1953:140530,2012:142180,2041:142630,2049:144655,2083:145255,2092:147130,2116:147880,2125:150955,2177:163472,2221:174520,2368:175360,2375:188277,2566:190331,2604:191832,2625:192938,2654:193649,2664:197836,2724:198468,2734:199258,2750:200048,2761:200522,2768:209808,2857:210124,2862:213521,2918:213837,2923:214153,2928:224858,3069:227714,3124:228386,3133:230040,3138$0,0:4312,133:6776,170:7238,177:7777,185:9240,204:10934,223:12474,246:13090,256:17094,338:17556,348:23544,365:25368,386:26508,405:28180,426:29168,443:29928,461:30840,477:32132,519:32512,525:33196,535:33728,544:38671,554:39559,563:40003,568:40447,573:42544,579:42964,585:43888,599:44224,605:44896,615:45400,622:46996,644:47500,652:49852,677:51196,695:54724,795:55312,804:57244,827:57664,833:63124,912:69310,923:70390,941:70810,947:71410,965:71890,974:72370,983:74290,1029:75250,1055:76570,1079:80050,1156:80530,1188:81670,1205:82450,1223:83470,1246:84010,1257:84250,1262:84790,1272:85690,1292:86170,1304:86530,1312:87130,1323:87670,1334:88090,1347:88390,1353:88690,1359:94726,1380:95316,1396:97145,1448:97381,1453:97794,1462:98266,1485:98620,1496:99151,1508:99623,1517:100685,1538:101452,1555:101806,1563:102396,1575:102927,1586:103989,1610:104815,1630:105346,1641:106880,1695:107293,1704:107765,1713:108060,1719:108768,1734:109122,1742:109712,1753:110125,1762:110479,1772:117640,1814:120592,1859:121248,1869:121904,1891:122232,1896:125512,1938:126168,1949:126824,1958:127480,1967:131334,2015:138284,2044:138812,2053:139208,2061:143586,2127:143894,2132:144356,2139:148360,2213:150901,2253:154050,2259:156906,2317:158402,2350:158674,2355:159354,2368:160102,2379:160918,2394:161190,2399:164658,2479:164930,2484:169004,2503:169596,2513:171372,2552:171668,2557:174110,2595:182230,2703:184267,2729:189443,2793:189881,2800:190976,2813:191414,2820:192217,2832:193093,2845:195137,2886:195794,2896:196305,2904:200758,2975:204255,2992:205035,3006:205620,3017:207570,3052:207960,3060:208415,3069:209455,3093:209715,3098:210560,3114:211015,3123:211275,3129:211665,3136:212380,3152:213095,3169:213420,3175:215435,3216:216670,3245:221755,3267:222145,3274:222470,3281:222990,3291:223575,3301:223900,3307:224290,3314:225070,3335:225590,3345:226240,3353:226890,3366:227475,3377:227865,3386:228320,3394:229880,3425:230920,3444:231505,3456:232090,3467:232805,3479:233130,3485:233455,3491:234430,3515:234885,3523:235665,3537:235925,3542:237290,3560:239825,3626:241645,3666:242425,3678:249170,3699:249674,3708:249962,3713:250250,3718:250826,3735:251330,3743:252266,3758:253850,3778:254570,3790:255722,3807:256586,3819:257018,3826:258098,3841:258818,3852:259106,3857:259610,3865:260114,3874:260978,3892:261410,3899:269000,3952:269560,3957:270200,3966:271800,3988:272360,3996:272760,4002:273560,4013:274360,4026:276040,4060:280310,4103
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Wendell Hill's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill talks about his mother's educational background and career

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill describes his father's family background and their relation to Fredrick Douglass - part 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Wendell Hill describes his father's family background and their relation to Fredrick Douglass - part 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Wendell Hill talks about his father's growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Wendell Hill talks about how his parents met and his father's education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill talks about his earliest memory of Southern California

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill talks about his brother and childhood neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about his childhood church, friends and social activities

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill talks about his nursery and elementary schools

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Wendell Hill talks about his parents' involvement in his schooling

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Wendell Hill compares the demographics of Los Angeles with that of Orange County

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Wendell Hill talks about his parents' move to Orange County, California

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill talks about the racial tensions in Orange County

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill talks about his early academic struggles

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill talks about his high school experience

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about his science preparation during his early education

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill talks about Disneyland and Knott Berry Farm during his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill talks about his interest in rockets, space exploration, and solar eclipses

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Wendell Hill talks about his family activities

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Wendell Hill talks about his favorite high school teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Wendell Hill talks about his interest in baseball

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill talks about Martin Luther King's assassination, the demographics of his high school and his grades

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill talks about his attempt to connect with the Black community through music

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill talks about his struggle to integrate into the black community

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about his struggle to integrate into the black community and his religious development

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill talks about his involvement with the black community at the University of California, Irvine

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill talks about reconciling science and religion

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Wendell Hill talks about his studies at the University of California, Irvine

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Wendell Hill talks about his professors at the University of California, Irvine

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill reflects on his experience at the University of California, Irvine

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill talks about his advisors at Stanford University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill talks about his dissertation in the area of laser physics and how he met his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about his religious identity

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill discusses the varying religious affiliations of scientists

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill talks about his post-doctoral work at the National Bureau of Standards

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill talks about his decision to join the faculty at the University of Maryland

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill talks about the economic disparities between underdeveloped countries and developed countries- part 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill talks about the economic disparities between underdeveloped countries and developed countries, part 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about his visiting appointments in Maryland and Paris

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill talks about his transition into teaching

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill talks about his work with cold atoms at the University of Colorado

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Wendell Hill talks about his professional activities at the University of Maryland

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Wendell Hill talks about the Joint Quantum Institute and his textbook, "Light-Matter Interaction"

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill talks about his research - part 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill talks about his research - part 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Wendell Hill talks about his students and the reception of his book

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Wendell Hill talks about the need for more African Americans in STEM

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Wendell Hill talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Wendell Hill reflects on his life choices

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Wendell Hill talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Wendell Hill reflects on his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Wendell Hill talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Wendell Hill describes his photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$5

DAStory

7$6

DATitle
Wendell Hill talks about his professional activities at the University of Maryland
Wendell Hill talks about his post-doctoral work at the National Bureau of Standards
Transcript
You became a full professor here in '96' [1996], I take it, that's right?$$Sounds about right, yeah.$$Okay, alright, so in 1999, you became the director of the laboratory for Atomic Molecular and Optical Science and Engineering.$$Yeah, we had a, we had a small lab that no longer exists now. There was, several of us, we got together, and we formed this lab, and this was a way for us to sort of work together. At the time, there was much less atomic, molecular and optic physics on this campus. It's much broader now and much larger than it was then. And so, those of us working in that area tried to form this lab together and so I was, I was, I guess the second director of that. And, but it, it sort of, I mean we had a little group, but then we all started going our separate ways. And so that, that lab no longer exists now. The thing that, it's more along the lines that we were trying to start then is this, this Joint Quantum Institute that, that currently exists. But it was, it was a way to bring the atomic physicists and atomic, molecular, optical physicists together.$$Okay, so, but, okay, Joint Quantum Institute doesn't start till about 2006, right?$$Yes, right, right.$$So, so this, so did this ever last, the atomic molecular optical science lab last for ten years or--$$No, no, no. It, that probably lasted, oh, another three or four years after--probably about three years that we actively worked together. And then we all sort of started going different ways. I mean we put the book together. My, we wrote a book, and so some of us who were in that lab put the book together. We actually, there's a two-volume book. Four of us together wrote these two volumes. So Chi Lee and I--Chi was in electrical engineering. He was part of this lab. He and I wrote the second volume at the time. There's a guy in, in chemistry, John Weiner, who was the first director of this lab. And a guy, another guy in engineering, Ping Tong Ho wrote the first volume. And so this two-volume set came out of that, that laboratory. And they're sort of textbooks designed for first-year graduate students, sort of upper division undergraduates to, on atomic, molecular and optical physics.$$Okay, now, in, was it around 2006 that you initiated the collaboration between University of Maryland and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory? Is that true?$$It was probably before that. I'm trying to think of when we started. Yeah, it may have been the mid-2000s. Yeah, I have a colleague. We used to go to, we, we first met at, at the, one of the annual meetings of the society of, National Society of Black Physicists. And we'd always say, oh, we should do something together. And so we, we did, we, we said these things for a number of years. And then some money became available and so we put in a proposal and got funded. And so I sent a student out to, to work with him. So, yeah, it was in mid-2000s, I guess, that, that came about. And so, yeah, we, collab--I collaborated out there, and the student is still writing his thesis. And so we still sort of have a loose collaboration, and if we find the right student, we'll continue that.$Oh, okay, alright. Alright, so, alright, so post-doctoral studies. Now, you--$$Okay, post-doc, so okay. I came to, and my wife and I decided that-we, we had sort of this binary problem where she was, had just gone to the J school, the Journalism school at Columbia [University], and so she was, wanted to be a journalist. And so we had a couple of options. She was working at a, a news service in the Bay area, "Bay City News Service" was the name of it at the time. And so we could either go--well, we were looking at three different options, going to, going to Bell Labs area, which would be, you know, either in Murray Hill or Homedale, New Jersey, going to, coming here to Washington, D.C., what was then the Bureau of Standards, now NIST [National Institute of Standards and Technology] or going to Chicago where I had an offer from a guy named Charlie Rhodes who was at the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle. He used to be at SRI which used to be called Stanford Research Institute, but it was split off from Stanford back in the '70's [1970s] because of, they did do some classified stuff. So it just assumed the name SRI. So he moved from SRI there. So I knew who he was and knew some of the people who worked with him. And so I got invited to come there. We ultimately ended up choosing to come to Washington because my parents, who spent seven years in Detroit--my father at Wayne State [University] and at Detroit General Hospital, then moved to Howard [University] to become the dean of the pharmacy school there. And so having not lived with my parents for almost ten years, I thought--lived near my parents for almost ten years, we thought well, it would be kind of fun to be close to them. We fully intended to go back to California within a couple of years, and so that two-year period hasn't come up yet, 'cause we--that in 1980 when we first got here (laughter). So I came here. I, I did a post-doc. I was what was known as a National Research Council post-doc at, at Bureau of Standards and worked when they, out at the facility here in Gaithersburg [Maryland], and so I did a lot of laser spectroscopy type things there. And from there I went on to, to the University of Maryland because again, we had this binary thing that my wife, during my post-doc years had a job. And so I didn't wanna displace her and Washington is a good place to get both of us working at the same time. So we decided that, well, you know, maybe I should just, at least for the time being, try to get, launch my career here at Maryland. And so I came over here. I had, had an offer here to, to work. So.$$So you were in the National Bureau of Standards in Gaithersburg, right?$$In Gaithersburg, that's correct.$$Okay, now, what were you working on at the Bureau of Standards?$$Well, I was in what's known as the Vacuum Ultraviolet Spectroscopy group or, or, I guess it was part of the radiation physics division. And so they had a technique, two, two gentlemen who hired me basically, had a technique for looking at spectroscopy of ions. And they did this by taking a laser and creating this long column of ions, which is very, highly unusual. And so that opened up a whole area of being able to do spectroscopy on species that you couldn't do before. And so my, my thesis topic, which was basically doing things that you couldn't do before on species because of a technique, this was another technique. So I worked on that technique and, and worked on a variety of experiments along those lines. So, again, doing sort of spectroscopy, this time on ions, and which you couldn't do absorption, absorption spectroscopy on ions before 'cause you'd never get enough of them in one spot to do that. So, that was what I've done. And then I started developing new techniques as I was thinking of moving on to, to Maryland. I missed looking, using continuous wave lasers, which is what I did all my thesis work on, continuous wave lasers. These lasers added, were repulsed lasers. And, and so I started doing techniques which got me back toward doing continuous wave lasers which is sort of what I'm doing now.

Keith Jackson

Physicist Keith Hunter Jackson was born on September 24, 1953 in Columbus, Ohio to Gloria and Russell Jackson. He earned two B.S. degrees, one in physics from Morehouse College and one in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Jackson then moved to California where he obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University in 1979 and 1982, respectively.

After obtaining his graduate degrees, Jackson began working for Hewlett Packard Laboratories. He became a member of the Gate Dielectric group and developed techniques to create thin nitride films on silicon layers. In 1983, he served as a professor at Howard University, working in the Solid State Electronics group. Beginning in 1988, Jackson worked for Rockwell International (now Boeing) in the Rocketdyne division where under the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) program he performed research on diamond thin films, high powered chemical and Free Electron Lasers (FEL) and water-cooled optics. In 1992, Jackson began working for the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as associate director of the Center for X-Ray Optics (CXRO). His research interests were in the Extreme Ultra-Violet (EVU) lithography, x-ray lithography, electroplating and injection molding. EUV lithography is the technology, which is used to build billions of nano-sized devices for use in computers and cell phones. X-ray lithography and molding is used to build micro-sized mechanical devices like micropumps, and tiny mirrors for large screen projection TV’s. In 2005, Jackson became Vice President of Research and Professor of Physics at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU). On January 4th 2010, Jackson moved to Baltimore, Maryland and joined the faculty of Morgan State University as Chair of the Department of Physics.

Jackson served as president of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) from 2001 to 2006. He is also a fellow of the National Society of Black Physicists and the African Scientific Institute. In 2004, Jackson was selected as one of the 50 Most Important African Americans in Technology by U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology. In addition to his published papers, Jackson has written pieces on minority physicists including “Utilization of African American Physicists in the Science & Engineering Workforce” and “The Status of the African American Physicist in the Department of Energy National Laboratories.”

Accession Number

A2012.140

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/16/2012 |and| 9/10/2012

Last Name

Jackson

Middle Name

H.

Schools

Morehouse College

Georgia Institute of Technology

Stanford University

First Name

Keith

Birth City, State, Country

Columbus

HM ID

JAC29

Favorite Season

April

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

In Physics, We Don't Teach You What To Think. We Teach You How To Think.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Birth Date

9/24/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Oranges

Short Description

Physicist and physics professor Keith Jackson (1953 - ) served as president of the National Society of Black Physicists, vice president of research at Florida A&M University and chair of the Department of Physics at Morgan State University.

Employment

Morgan State University

Florida A&M University

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO)

Rockwell International

Howard University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Keith Jackson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson describes his mother's experience growing up in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson talks about his mother attending Ohio State University

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Keith Jackson describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Keith Jackson describes his father's service in the U.S. Air Force and his experience at Harvard Law School in the 1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson describes his father's death in 1957

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson describes how his parents met and got married

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson recalls his memories of his father

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson talks about his brother, and describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Keith Jackson describes the sights, smells and sounds of growing up in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Keith Jackson describes segregation in Columbus, Ohio, in the 1950s and 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Keith Jackson describes his experience in school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Keith Jackson describes his interest in comic books and Estes model rockets

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson describes his childhood perception of the space race

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson talks about his secular upbringing

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson talks about his brother, David Jackson, and his childhood interest in slot cars

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson describes how slot cars work

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson talks about his technical problem-solving skills as a teenager - part one

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Keith Jackson talks about his technical problem-solving skills as a teenager - part two

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Keith Jackson describes his experience attending Champion Junior High School and Bishop Hartley Catholic School

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson describes his mother's reasons for sending him to Bishop Hartley Catholic School

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson describes his experience at Bishop Hartley Catholic School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson describes his experience at Eastmoor High School in Columbus, Ohio - part one

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson describes his experience at Eastmoor High School in Columbus, Ohio - part two

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson talks about the activism of Dr. Charles O. Ross at Ohio State University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Keith Jackson talks about applying to colleges in the 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson describes his decision to attend Morehouse College to major in physics

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson describes his experience at Morehouse College

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson talks about Carl Spight's role in improving the physics department at Morehouse College - part one

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson talks about Carl Spight's role in improving the physics department at Morehouse College - part two

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson describes his experience at Morehouse College - part one

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Keith Jackson describes his experience at Morehouse College - part two

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson talks about the physics department at Morehouse College

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson talks about his foundational education in physics at Morehouse College

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson talks about black professional societies in the 1970s, and the trends regarding black scientists at the time

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson discusses science education at historically black colleges and universities - part one

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson discusses science education at historically black colleges and universities - part two

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson discusses the importance of a foundational education for physics and engineering students

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson discusses recent discoveries and trends in the physical sciences and technology

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson describes the Higgs boson and the implications of its discovery - part one

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson describes the Higgs boson and the implications of its discovery - part two

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson describes his experience as a graduate student at Stanford University - part one

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Keith Jackson describes his experience as a graduate student at Stanford University - part two

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson describes his decision to work at Stanford University's Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson describes his doctoral research at Stanford University's Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory - part one

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson describes his doctoral research at Stanford University's Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory - part two

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson describes his doctoral research at Stanford University's Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory - part three

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson talks about the dangers of working with lasers

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson describes his decision to join the department of electrical engineering at Howard University

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson describes his decision to leave Howard University and accept a position at Rocketdyne

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson describes his work on the free electron laser at Rocketdyne

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson describes his work on diamond thin films at Rocketdyne - part one

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson describes his work on diamond thin films at Rocketdyne - part two

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Keith Jackson describes his work on the application of Rocketdyne's water-cooler mirrors in the synchrotron radiation community

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson describes the importance of finding the correct match in employment

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson describes his decision to join Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1992 - part one

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson describes his decision to join Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1992 - part two

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson describes the concept of Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson describes his work on Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson discusses the futuristic projects at Rockwell International's Advance Programs division

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson describes his involvement with the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) - part one

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson describes his involvement with the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) - part two

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson discusses the lack of African American professional physicists at laboratories funded by the Department of Energy - part one

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson discusses the lack of African American professional physicists at laboratories funded by the Department of Energy - part two

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Keith Jackson talks about what it takes to become a successful physicist

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson talks about the shortage of African American scientists in management and research roles

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson talks about the African American scientists employed at Thomas Jefferson National Laboratory

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson describes his involvement with the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAEOHE) - part one

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson describes his involvement with the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAEOHE) - part two

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson describes his decision to become a professor of physics at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Keith Jackson describes his experience working at Florida A&M University, and the nature of the U.S. federal granting process

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson describes the mismanagement of research funds at Florida A&M University in the early 2000s - part one

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson describes the mismanagement of research funds at Florida A&M University in the early 2000s - part two

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson describes the state of research funding at Florida A&M University

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson describes his involvement in securing research funding for Florida A&M University - part one

Tape: 13 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson describes his involvement in securing research funding for Florida A&M University - part two

Tape: 13 Story: 6 - Keith Jackson describes his involvement in securing research funding for Florida A&M University - part three

Tape: 14 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson describes his experience at Florida A&M University

Tape: 14 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson describes his decision to leave Florida A&M University

Tape: 14 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson describes the challenges to science education at HBCUs - part one

Tape: 14 Story: 4 - Keith Jackson describes the challenges to science education at HBCUs - part two

Tape: 14 Story: 5 - Keith Jackson describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today

Tape: 14 Story: 6 - Keith Jackson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 15 Story: 1 - Keith Jackson reflects upon his career choices

Tape: 15 Story: 2 - Keith Jackson talks about his family

Tape: 15 Story: 3 - Keith Jackson talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

2$1

DATape

9$8

DAStory

6$4

DATitle
Keith Jackson describes his work on the application of Rocketdyne's water-cooler mirrors in the synchrotron radiation community
Keith Jackson describes his doctoral research at Stanford University's Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory - part three
Transcript
About this time, there was, I made a reintroduction to the synchrotron light source community because we had, the company [Rocketdyne; rocket engine design and production company] had a contract or thought that they were competing for a contract to build a large free-electron laser. And this was a half billion dollar contract. A lot of effort went into it, and eventually, the [U.S.] Air Force decided that they weren't gonna go for it. They weren't gonna build this huge free electron laser to take out satellites because they didn't believe--I mean take out missiles because they didn't believe it would work, which left us with a number of technologies. One was the, one was, had to do with particle accelerators and magnetic structures called undulators that go around them. And it also left us with a division that built cooled mirrors, water-cooled mirrors, okay.$$What--okay.$$So you'd have a water-cooled mirror for the laser. That way you'd be able to keep the temperature rise at the surface, and the optics wouldn't distort and the laser would keep running. Now, the trouble is, when you looked at this, well, who else needed these kinds of technologies, you know? Who, who could, who had the pocketbook to pay for this and the technical need. And I argued within the company that the synchrotron radiations community needed these kinds of optics because the advance photon source at the Argonne National Lab [Illinois] was coming on line, and also the advance light source at Berkeley [Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California] was coming on line. And when you looked--these were sources that were built for these small-cap, magnetic insertion devices called undulators. And when you put these undulators into being, they pulled out a tremendous amount of light at x-ray wavelength, at EUV [extreme ultra violet], and x-ray wavelengths. And they would, and when you had optics on there, they would build a tremendous amount, there would be a tremendous amount of thermo loading on the mirrors. And they had various schemes, technologies that they had developed that were, that relied on very exotic cooling techniques. One was a liquid gallium cooled mirrors. So gallium like mercury is a liquid, not quite at room temperature, but add a little bit above. And you have the, you can pump it as you would any liquid, and it has a tremendous thermo-conductivity. And so there was one scheme where you would use this to cool a mirror. Now, I never, the reason I smile is, I never believed that that would work. And the people at the Advanced Photon Source at the time said that something like 90 percent of their mirrors would be these gallium-based things. And this is, and plus, they did not have the technology--they would have to build the mirrors. That's how they, because that's why it was gonna be 90 percent of it so they would have a job for life. But, you know, we had a company, a little company that actually built these mirrors, these water-cooled mirrors. We had prototypes, we had some of the--Rocketdyne solved these technical problems like how you bond these mirrors together, how you actually, you had, we had different types of 'em, some of 'em which had, we called 'em pinFET. That means you stuck little pins in, and then you put it on top, and then you blow water through it. And you can change the size of this pin. You could change the concentration of the pins. So we needed something, one area cooler than the other. There were even schemes for being able to use the thermo differences to bend and focus mirrors, which was unheard of at these wavelengths.$But, so anyway, so we engineered an apparatus after we looked at the requirements, okay. So we have to have a window, something that shows us from the storage ring. And so we have to use a thin film metal window. Then the issue was, well, if you vent your chamber, you let it up to air, if there's atmospheric pressure there, it's gonna break through this window. I said, well, we're not, I'm naive and I say, well, we're not gonna let it vent. And they say, well, what we're gonna have is we're gonna have a fine. Anybody who vents their chambers, $10,000. And I said, well, maybe we'll get a thicker window. So I started to look into getting windows thick enough to take atmospheric pressure--and by the way, these foils are about a hundred times thinner than a sheet of aluminum foil. A sheet of aluminum foil is a hundred microns thick. These films, these foils were ten microns thick. Your hair is 125 microns thick. And it soon became clear, well, there's no foil on earth that's gonna be thin enough that I could put in there. So I, then I looked at supported films. And so there's a mesh there, and somehow, this guy miraculously gets aluminum foil on there that's three microns thick. And I say, well, that's still not gonna support this thing if I vent. And so the senior graduate student said--he wants to graduate. And so he's saying, well, we're gonna go back to the first suggestion of not venting the chamber and use the reputation of Dr. [Richard] Zare [Jackson's doctoral thesis advisor] and the desire that they had to get other people using this thing. And so we tried that, once. And this graduate student I was working for was from India. His name is Javed Hus--well, his ancestry is Indian. I don't think he was, I think he was born in the United States. And so we're running an experiment, and he's putting these things in, noxious gases. And I'm saying, well, Javed, you know, we don't really have the equipment to be handling this. And so we're doing that. We're getting some data, and the people come up there and inspect our apparatus. And we complete the experiment, and as I'm taking the thing down 'cause I was the only one authorized to use the crane, all right, the director of operations comes over to me. And I'll never forget, he says, well, Jackson, you're okay, but we don't want this Indian guy here anymore. And you need to go tell Zare. And in the meantime, 'cause I'm thinking, boy, you know, here I gotta go play, I gotta play rat. And in the meantime, he's getting impatient 'cause he wants to graduate. He's been there seven years, and he's not such a great experimentalist, all right. So he's starting an experiment in the lab using a laser and it's a gas laser, and he's got the gas plumb to it. And he got impatient and he didn't hook up the gas properly. So he took a big cylinder--and normally, you have a regulator that drops the pressure, he built an adapter where he was taking the straight pressure from the cylinder, with just some plastic tubing. And it's a low-pressure cylinder, but, no way. And the gas reacted with the plastic, burned away and the gas pours out into the room. The gas is poisonous. The other fifteen members of the group exit, you know, the lab, and they're out on the lawn. I came into the building from the back. I didn't see 'em. I come into the elevator. I go down into the lab. We're in the basement. And I opened the door and it was like a fist struck me from the gas that was in there. Happily, there was a graduate student, no, a post-doc that was there that was there with a gas mask or he made a gas mask. And he helped me back in the elevator, and we got up to the lawn where I was sitting up there coughing away. And after I regained my composure, I conveyed to Dr. Zare what the operations director said, and agreed with him (laughter). He's gotta go, you know. And then he got tremendous flack from the chemistry department and the university for the accident down there. And therefore, I, you know, that's where he worked out another experiment for the student to do, and I got to take over the experiment and, eventually got another assistant; engineered a system, a safety system that would shut two valves to protect the accelerator, sensor mat to go with it, utilized a new species of pump, turbo-molecular pump, to evacuate the chamber, all first for there, initiated collaborations with another scientist, David Shirley, director of Lawrence Berkeley [National] Laboratory [Berkeley, California], to get some experiments going, why this stuff was being built. And then got it, and did the experiment, did it on two gases, well, I did it on three gases, published the thesis on two, CO [carbon monoxide] and N2 [nitrogen] and was, you know, able to demonstrate for one of the first measurements, first that the alignment actually exist, what its value was, how to--the theory for coupling together the angular momentum so that it agrees with the experimental results and published that. That was my thesis. And then took a job in, at Hewett Packard [HP] in the semi-conductor device laboratory.

Arnold Stancell

Chemical engineer and corporate oil executive Arnold Stancell was born on November 16, 1936 in Harlem, New York to Maria Lucas, a seamstress and Francis Stancell, a musician. He lived with his single mother and was focused on his education throughout his youth. After passing competitive exams to attend Stuyvesant High School, Stancell went on to City College of New York where he graduated magna cum laude with his B.S. degree in chemical engineering in 1958. Stancell was awarded a graduate fellowship from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and became the first African American to earn his Ph.D. degree from MIT in chemical engineering in 1962.

After graduation, Stancell worked at Mobil Oil Corporation from 1962 to 1970, researching new chemical and plastic products. During this time, he was awarded eleven patents for new plastics processes and plasma (ionized gas) reactions for new products. In 1970, Stancell took a leave of absence from Mobil Oil to teach at MIT. He started a research program on plasma reactions at surfaces and his student, David Lam, went on to found Lam Research, the preeminent company worldwide in plasma etching of circuits into the surface of silicon chips. In 1971, Stancell declined a tenured professorship position at MIT to return to Mobil Oil. He continued to excel at Mobil, becoming vice president of Mobil Plastics in 1976 and led the commercialization of a new plastic film that revolutionized packaging and replaced cellophane. In 1982 he became vice president of Mobil Europe Marketing and Refining based in London. He then progressed through a number of additional executive positions becoming vice president of oil and natural gas Exploration and Production in 1989 responsible for finding and developing oil and natural gas reserves in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Australia. Stancell initiated, negotiated and launched the now $70 billion liquefied natural gas production joint venture between Mobil and Qatar which sells natural gas to markets worldwide.

In 1993, he retired from Mobil after a thirty-one year career and a year later accepted George Institute of Tecnology’s invitation to join its faculty as professor of chemical engineering. He became the Turner Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in 2001, and in 2004 retired as Professor Emeritus. After the 2010 British Petroleum (BP) oil spill, Stancell consulted and advised the United States Department of Interior. In 2011, he was appointed by President Barack Obama to the National Science Board.

Stancell has received numerous recognitions including the American Institute of Chemical Engineers National Award for Chemical Engineering Practice, Career Achievement Award of City College of New York, Professional Achievement Award of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers and in 1992 was named Black Engineer of the Year. In 1997, he was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering and in 2009, was elected to its Board. In 2010, he was appointed to the Governing Board of the National Research Council. He has also received numerous outstanding teacher awards. Arnold Stancell is married to artist Constance Newton Stancell.

Arnold Stancell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 14, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.090

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/14/2012

Last Name

Stancell

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

F

Occupation
Schools

Stuyvesant High School

City College of New York

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Arnold

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

STA07

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Europe

Favorite Quote

Everything comes to he that waiteth, if he worketh while he waited.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Connecticut

Birth Date

11/16/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Stamford

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Beef Tenderloin

Short Description

Chemical engineer and corporate executive Arnold Stancell (1936 - ) had a thirty-one year career with Mobil Oil starting in research and rising to vice president of Exploration and Production. He served on the National Science Board and advised the United States government after the British Petroleum (BP) oil spill.

Employment

Georgia Institute of Technology

Mobil Oil Company

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Arnold Stancell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Arnold Stancell lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Arnold Stancell describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Arnold Stancell describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Arnold Stancell talks about meeting his father

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Arnold Stancell describes his earliest childhood memory and his childhood home

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Arnold Stancell describes the sights, sounds and smells of his growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Arnold Stancell talks about his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Arnold Stancell talks about his junior high school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Arnold Stancell talks about his involvement in the church and youth organizations

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Arnold Stancell talks about his junior high school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Arnold Stancell talks about his high school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Arnold Stancell talks about his high school experience and his decision to go to City College of New York

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Arnold Stancell talks about his experience at City College of New York

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Arnold Stancell talks about social baggage

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Arnold Stancell talks about living in Harlem during the 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Arnold Stancell talks about his interest in polymers

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Arnold Stancell talks about his first professional job at Exxon and his decision to pursue a doctoral degree

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Arnold Stancell talks about his perceptions of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Arnold Stancell talks about his experience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Arnold Stancell talks about his mentorship at MIT

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Arnold Stancell describes his dissertation on improving crude oil recovery

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Arnold Stancell talks about his work at Mobil

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Arnold Stancell talks about the poetic qualities of thermodynamics

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Arnold Stancell talks about his work with plasma

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Arnold Stancell talks about his professional relationship with NOBCChE and how he met his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Arnold Stancell talks about his marriages

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Arnold Stancell talks about his work at Mobil Chemical, part 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Arnold Stancell talks about his work at Mobil Chemical, part 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Arnold Stancell considers the environmental impact of his work

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Arnold Stancell talks about his progressive roles at Mobil, part 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Arnold Stancell talks about his progressive roles at Mobil, part 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Arnold Stancell talks about David Lam

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Arnold Stancell talks about his international work with Mobil

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Arnold Stancell talks about Mobil's drilling activities and drill technology

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Arnold Stancell talks about the Quatar Deal

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Arnold Stancell talks about the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Arnold Stancell talks about his retirement from Mobil

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Arnold Stancell talks about the BP Oil Spill

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Arnold Stancell talks about his perceptions of U.S. education

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Arnold Stancell talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Arnold Stancell reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Arnold Stancell talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Arnold Stancell talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Arnold Stancell describes his photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

5$2

DATitle
Arnold Stancell talks about his progressive roles at Mobil, part 1
Arnold Stancell talks about his international work with Mobil
Transcript
Okay, alright. Now, now in 1980, you were in the management of Mobil Corporate Planning in New York?$$Yes.$$Okay.$$Ye that's--$$How did that come about, first of all?$$Well, I must have done a good job on the vice president of plastics, so I think the president of Mobil heard a presentation from me on our plastics business. And so this particular job, when you come now to New York--I came from the Rochester area, Macedon, New York, down to New York City headquarters. Now you're in a position where you're handling planning for all of Mobil, and you report to the senior vice president for planning of Mobil. And he's on the board. So now the board directors, the presidents of Mobil's major divisions and the chairman and the president of Mobil all get a chance to see you up close. You make presentations, you make points regarding strategies of the different businesses and so on. And I guess I could have used a little mentoring more at that time, so that now I've been with Mobil for awhile, I mean, I just, I'm coming right out--first I was in research, then I ran a business--I'm coming into world headquarters. I mean I don't know the rules of the game, and I'm in a very visible position, being this manager of corporate planning, making presentations to the board and so on. So, you start picking up on what's the way things are done. I always called it the way I saw it, though. And so I must have done pretty well with that, but that was a very exciting time, because Mobil made a bid for Marathon Oil, and I started getting more into the financial aspects of Mobil, of course through the business of my prior job, running the film business, plastic film business. So with corporate planning, you get heavily into financial matters, but a president asked me to head up a task force within a small group, and he wanted to keep it quiet. To select the target, Mobil was ready to make an acquisition that we would be an oil company, and of the various oil companies, what's our recommendation? And so, that was really exciting. We worked, obviously, secretly and so on, and we chose Marathon Oil. We thought they were heavily undervalued compared to their real underlying value. I came up with estimates of their underlying value, and we had experts from the financial houses worrying about how you structured a deal, and it was a heady time. we mounted our offer. It was on the low side, and Marathon rejected it. Now, Marathon's another oil company, so they knew that if Mobil takes them over, you know, we didn't need their whole super structure. So, they held us up and they filed an antitrust suit. We increased our offer. We kept increasing our offer. But they were successful, as you might expect, really, that they filed an antitrust. That takes time, and people had started at sixty dollars a share and it got up quickly to 70 dollars a share, 80 dollars a share. We finished putting our offer out there at 120 dollars a share, and people didn't take our offer, they took the 120 dollar a share offer from U.S. Steel. U.S. Steel joined in, and U.S. Steel bought Marathon. And of course, there was not going to be antitrust issues that Marathon had some refineries, they had some service stations, and if Mobil and Marathon got together, it would restrain trade. There were no issues, because U.S. Steel is a steel company. So they quickly closed their deal and we were locked out. So, people thought we would never close on our deal, it would take too long. But here's a guy who was 120 dollars a share right now. So that was very disappointing that we missed out on the Marathon acquisition.$Okay, alright. Now, when we broke, you were in London as a vice president for Mobil Europe, right?$$Yes.$$And the '80's [1980s] were a time, I was thinking about this during the break, that British Petroleum started, you know, making inroads into the U.S. market in the '80's [1980s]. I don't know if they were doing that when you were there, but it was--$$Yes, they were, they had a presence in the U.S. market through Standard Oil Ohio. and their exploration and production, they were active in the Gulf of Mexico and other areas of the U.S. They were not aggressive, but they had a presence. The early '80's [1980s] in London, Europe was going through where like Margaret Thatcher was putting in her conservative policies in Britain, and there was a big fight with the coal unions. And it was a time of transition in Europe to more of a market economy, even more of a market economy, so--$$Okay. I know that was the beginning of it. That was, Standard Oil of Ohio was basically taken over by BP.$$Yes, that's right.$$By the end of the '80's [1980s], they had not only Standard Oil of Ohio, I think, but Standard Oil, period, right?$$They had Standard Oil of Indiana, Amoco. They ended up merging with--around late '80's [1980s], like '89' [1989] or something like that, yeah.$$So, what were you doing? So you're in London, and what were some of the highlights of what you're--$$It gets a little--my district--the advantage of having a technical background, and you're also running a business, I think you can maybe see some issues. And in terms of when you build a refinery, it's not just saying I'm going to run some crude oil through here and get some products. You've got to be concerned about the location of those products, because the transportation costs of those products to the different markets can be considerable. So, people recognize that, but then also the configuration. What hardware do you put in a refinery? If you just put in simple hardware--so, you got a refinery, it takes crude oil and gives you some products, but it's the type of products you get. You want to maximize gasoline, jet fuel, heating oil and diesel. Those are the products that have the value to them. The heavy part, after you get through refining, has low value. So, you really want to take the heavy part that has low value and put investment in to convert that up to these higher value products. So you want crude oil to come into the box, and out just comes gasoline, heating oil, jet fuel, and diesel. And if you don't have that, your refinery is going to be uncompetitive. You won't have the margins to survive against refineries that have all that hardware. So, we cut through all the issues of in terms of what refineries you should keep, which ones we should invest in, by having this simple picture, and we use that very powerfully. We ended up as negative, but we ended up shutting four refineries. But we invested heavily in the remaining ones to make them only produce G and D, and overall we were more profitable. So that was very exciting. I had a strategy that made sense. The, just the different countries, I'm trying to think of any particular issues-France--we had a lot of union issues because we were trying to make our operations more efficient. But the laws of the country gave a lot of strength to the unions, and you couldn't close, you couldn't shut down... As I mentioned, some refineries you want to keep, some you don't. And so it was difficult, very difficult. In France we tried to shut down a refinery which was a negative, but it made economic sense. We were going to continue with the workers in other operations, but we couldn't move them. See, the mobility of workers in Europe wasn't, isn't like the mobility here in the U.S. If you have an operation and you say, look you can be more efficient, you can have your job, but you'll have your job over here. I know it disrupts your family, but, et cetera. But people, a lot of people will do that. But in Europe, they won't. And so we had union people bust into our offices in France and Paris armed with bats and threatening the general manager. So I got a call from the general manager, the president of Mobil France, and he says, "Arnie" (laughter), because they call me Arnie, "We got a problem here. The workers are rioting here, threatening and so on." So, I said, "You've got to call the police." (laughter). Cooler heads ended up prevailing, but you know, they took to the streets on that one. We ended up convincing enough workers to take the deal and things calmed down, but it was a trying time.$$What was the deal?$$The deal was that we had another refinery location and a refinery we thought was competitive that had the kind of hardware that I was telling you about. And we were going to expand that. We could move a bunch of those jobs up north. So they were down in this lovely area near the Mediterranean, charming restaurants, charming hillside, and we were going to move them up to Ravensheugh, north, and they didn't want any part of that. So, and then for those who didn't want to move at all, they agreed in negotiation with the union on a payout. But a bunch did take it, and moved up to Ravensheugh. There were those kinds of things in Europe.$$Alright. So you were there for--$$I think it's almost three and a half years, or four years, three years.$$Okay, so you arrived in '82' [1982], right?$$'82' [1982] and left in '85' [1985].$$'85' [1985], right.$$Yes three years, yes.$$So you became vice president of Mobil Global Marketing and Refining Planning in New York.$$Yes so that's Mobil's deal of, now you've finished an operating job, and now you go back to world headquarters and now back into planning, but now for broader knowledge and strategy for a major division. I had the corporate planning job, but this is a way now of getting more familiar with the marketing and refining. I had not been in marketing and refining. So, with that job--I mean, I was in marketing and refining, operating--now I'm getting marketing and refining, a broad overview.$$Okay, alright. So what are some of the highlights of that?$$That was, I'm trying to think of the, at that time, now we were, in terms of the particular operation, you know, it really was a continuation of this thought that I started in Europe where now I could apply it to Mobil's global marketing and refining, where you look to your refineries that are going to be your keepers, because you're going to invest heavily in them with this upgrading to make more valuable products, and less investment going into closure of the office for overall better efficiency. And we applied that worldwide. of course we operated-- marketing and refining, you know, we had Japan, we had, you name it. We were marketing and refining throughout the--well, Singapore, Australia. I didn't start it, but we started in Saudi Arabia with marketing and refining, mainly refining. So it was a continuation of the strategy that we started in Europe, but now applying it more broadly [unclear].