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Bertram Fraser-Reid

Chemist and chemistry professor Bertram Oliver Fraser-Reid was born on February 23, 1934 in Coleyville, Jamaica. In 1956, Fraser-Reid enrolled at Queen’s University in Canada and graduated from there with his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in chemistry in 1959 and 1961, respectively. He went on to earn his Ph.D. degree in chemistry from the University of Alberta in 1964 under the supervision of Dr. Raymond Lemieux. Upon graduation, Fraser-Reid was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at Imperial College of the University of London and studied under Nobel Laureate Sir Derek Barton from 1964 to 1966.

From 1966 to 1980, Fraser-Reid served on faculty of the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario where he established a research group known as “Fraser-Reid's Rowdies.” His work at the University of Waterloo emphasized the synthesis of chiral natural products, such as insect pheromones, could be made using carbohydrates as the starting materials instead of petroleum products. In 1980, Fraser-Reid briefly taught chemistry at the University of Maryland, College Park before he was hired by Duke University in Durham, North Carolina in 1982. In 1985, Fraser-Reid was named James B. Duke Professor of Chemistry. He later found the Natural Products and Glycotechnology Research Institute in Durham, North Carolina where he oversaw research to develop carbohydrate-based vaccines to fight malaria and tuberculosis.

Fraser-Reid received the Merck, Sharp & Dohme Award in 1977 from the Chemical Institute of Canada, and he was honored with the Claude S. Hudson Award in 1989 from the American Chemical Society. Fraser-Reid was nominated for the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1998, and he was recognized as the Senior Distinguished U.S. Scientist by West Germany’s Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 1990. In 1991, Fraser-Reid was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and received the Percy L. Julian Award from the National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers. The American Institute of Chemistry named him the North Carolina Chemist of the Year in 1995. In addition, the Royal Society of Chemistry bestowed upon him the Haworth Memorial Medal and Lectureship, the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science elected him as a Fellow, and the Institute of Jamaica honored him with the Musgrave Gold Medal.

Bertram Oliver Fraser-Reid was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 6, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.106

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/6/2013

Last Name

Fraser-Reid

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Oliver

Schools

Imperial College, University of London

Queen's University

University of Alberta

Bryce Elementary School

Clarendon College

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Bertram

Birth City, State, Country

Coleyville

HM ID

FRA10

Favorite Season

Fall

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere New

Favorite Quote

One day at a time.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

2/23/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Pittsboro

Country

Jamaica

Favorite Food

Cake (Chocolate)

Short Description

Chemist and chemistry professor Bertram Fraser-Reid (1934 - ) is a well-respected scientist whose research in carbohydrate chemistry has led to significant advances in many diverse fields.

Employment

University of Waterloo

Duke University

University of Maryland, College Park

NPG Research Institute

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bertram Fraser-Reid's interview - part one

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of Bertram Fraser-Reid's interview - part two

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bertram Fraser-Reid lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bertram Fraser-Reid describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about his mother and his step-mother, and how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bertram Fraser-Reid describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about his father's education and his interest in music

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about the early relationship between school and church in Brice, Jamaica

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about the school where his father was a head teacher and describes the Jamaican education system

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about his father's personality, and his first experiment in chemistry

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about his siblings and his likeness to his father

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bertram Fraser-Reid describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bertram Fraser-Reid describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Jamaica

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about the landscape of the island of Jamaica

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about attending school in Brice, Jamaica and going to boarding school in Kingston, Jamaica

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about his father's emphasis on his education and learning

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bertram Fraser-Reid describes his experience in high school in Kingston, Jamaica

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bertram Fraser-Reid describes his experience in high school at the foothills of Bullhead Mountain, Jamaica

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bertram Fraser-Reid describes his decision to pursue his studies in chemistry

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about his poor preparation in the sciences in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bertram Fraser-Reid describes the influence of his friends' mother, Mrs. Jackson, in his pursuit of higher education in Canada

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bertram Fraser-Reid describes his decision to attend Queens University in Canada

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about his choice to study in Canada over the United States

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bertram Fraser-Reid describes his experience at Queens University in Canada

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about taking his first physics exams while he was in college

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about working with chemist J.K.N. Jones at Queens University as an undergraduate student

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about the history of sugar production, slavery, and his introduction to sugar chemistry in the 1950s

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about his mentors at Queens University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about attending the University of Alberta to pursue his doctoral degree with Professor Raymond Lemieux

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Bertram Fraser-Reid describes his doctoral dissertation research in sugar chemistry

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about his postdoctoral advisor, Sir Derek Barton at Imperial College in London

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about how he met his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Bertram Fraser-Reid describes his research in interest pheromone chemistry - part one

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Bertram Fraser-Reid describes the concept of optical isomers of sugars

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about the application of sugar chemistry to pheromone synthesis

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Bertram Fraser-Reid describes his decision to accept a position at the University of Maryland in 1980

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about the strengths of the undergraduate program in chemistry at the University of Waterloo in Canada

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about his experience at the University of Maryland and his decision to accept a position at Duke University in 1982

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about developing a novel method to link simple sugars into oligosaccharides, and its potential applications

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Bertram Fraser-Reid reflects upon being nominated for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1988

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about playing the organ internationally, while traveling for conferences

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Bertram Fraser-Reid describes his research interest in RNA synthesis

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about the funding that he has received for his work on RNA synthesis

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about his former interest in applying carbohydrate chemistry to find a cure for AIDS

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Bertram Fraser-Reid reflects upon his legacy - part one

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Bertram Fraser-Reid reflects upon his legacy - part two

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about receiving the Percy Julian Award from the NOBCChe in 1991

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Bertram Fraser-Reid describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Bertram Fraser-Reid describes his photographs - part one

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Bertram Fraser-Reid describes his photographs - part two

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

2$3

DATitle
Bertram Fraser-Reid talks about taking his first physics exams while he was in college
Bertram Fraser-Reid describes his research in interest pheromone chemistry - part one
Transcript
But I learned a lot because some parts of chemistry involve a lot of physics. And I mention that only because I think this is one of the most interesting things that came up. I was due to graduate in May, and in February, the registrar called me in to come to see her. And she says, you haven't taken any physics since you're here at Queens. I said, that's right, Ms. Royce. And she went on to say, and there is no physics on your record at Clarendon College in Jamaica. I said, no, we didn't have any physics teachers. She says, oh, I don't know what to say because we can't allow you to graduate without any physics. And then I fell right to the floor. And then she lifted me immediately and said, why don't you go over to the high school, speak to Mr. Earl, and ask him if you can take the physics exam with his students. I went to him, and he was a very, very nice man and said, oh, that would be fine with me. You can do that. But I don't know when you would study for it because you, your last exams are whatever. And the exams for physics is two weeks later. So how can you do that? And I said, I'm gonna do it, sir, because I had to study so much physics on my own to understand the chemistry because there's physical chemistry, and there's organic chemistry, and there's ana--and so you have to be able to know what this is. And one of my dearest buddies--he just passed away, gave me his book because he had used it in the first year, and I still have it (laughter), still have Barry's physics book. And--$$So you studied Barron physics--(simultaneous)$$No, my friend, I'm sorry, my friend was, his name was Barry.$$Okay.$$And he was from Trinidad. And he, so he said, here, I'm not gonna use this again. He was studying geology. So he gave it to me (laughter), gave me his physics book. And I looked at what--and discovered that really the chemistry I had been studying in physical chemistry, just has physics married to it, so to speak. So all you need to do to master physics for the high school chemistry is to divorce the two subjects. And so I went and he gave me some back exams, Mr. Earl, the teacher at the school. And I could solve them by just looking at the physics I knew. And I got an A in it.$$That's very good.$$Yeah.$And now, in '66' [1966], you returned to Canada to the University of Waterloo?$$'66 [1966], not '56 [1956].$$'66 [1966], yeah, '66 [1966].$$Yeah.$$Near Toronto [Canada], right?$$That's right.$$And you continued, then you got back on the sugar chemistry research?$$Right.$$Now, what--now, I have here that you were determined that sugar could be used to create many carbon-based chemicals, medicines, plastics and paints. And is this, now, this sounds like George Washington Carver [pioneering African American scientist] almost with the peanut. I mean you, so all these things could be created with sugar?$$I don't know about paint, I don't know about paint.$$Okay, I'll scratch that one out.$$But because of my training with [Raymond] Lemieux, I saw that these could be used for compounds which themselves are not sugar. Typically, the synthetic work that was done in sugar which is, you know, such a great source of material. You know, you have starch. That's a sugar. You have glucose. These are easily obtainable sugars. But most of the work that was going on was taking one sugar and making another. Now, part of that is because of the repertoire of chemicals that we had. Sugars are very easily abused, so, you know, they burn, as you know. So you can't use reagents on them that are too strong. And I was fortunate to come in at a time when the reagents that you could use on sugar were now available much more readily. Well, we were in Canada, University of Waterloo and I remember this so clearly. We, one of our seminar speakers had come from the Canadian insect control, whatever. And Canada had a big problem at the time with beetles eating the lumber. And the cost to Canada was in the billion dollar range. Okay, well, I asked, well, we asked this guy to come and give us some lectures on how the insect, the insect damage to the trees, how bad is it? And he introduced me to then practice, developing practice, particularly in Alabama, to try to fight insects by using insect pheromones. And he said, well, we have pheromones of the beetles that do it, and I said, what does it look like? And so he drew up on my blackboard in my office a structure, and I said, boy, that doesn't look--I'm not familiar with that type of structure. And he said, well, if you think about it, let me know because he has to go to speak with another professor. Well, he left the thing on my board, and I then took it and built a model of it. Do you know what I mean? A chemical model, you know?$$Explain it.$$Well, most of the time when you look, if I--normally, the molecules as they're drawn on the blackboard are only drawn in two dimensions. But the molecules are in three dimensions. So I, with these models, you can make it in three dimensions, and so it's totally different from what you're seeing on the board. I turned it around. I said, oh, my goodness. This is so and so and so and so. And I decided that, you know, this may be an interesting thing to synthesize. And I applied to the Canadian Research Council for, I remember it was only 68-, $68,000 for a student and me to try to synthesize this. And we did, and there's a picture of Brian up there, and me, plotting the synthesis of this compound. And so that, we did synthesize some of them, and it was published in the British newspapers. And so everybody became aware of our ability to synthesize insect pheromones, frontalin, various insects pheromones from various insects from sugars. And the one that is from Alabama-(unclear) I can't remember. But the use of it really killed a lot of this, the beetle, the pests that used to affect the cotton, the boll weevil. The boll weevil, was one of the things [pheromones] that we were trying to make. I don't think I mentioned that. But that was one of the first ones that we, you know, got interests in.

Grant Venerable

Chemist, artist, and author Grant D. Venerable was born on August 31, 1942 in Los Angeles, California. After receiving his B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1965, Venerable enrolled at the the University of Chicago and graduated from there with his M.S. degree in physical chemistry in 1967, and Ph.D. degree in physical chemistry in 1970. He completed the research for his doctoral dissertation as a Resident Research Associate in the Radiation Chemistry Section of the Argonne National Laboratory. Upon graduation, he was awarded the United States Atomic Energy Commission Fellowship for postdoctoral studies in radiation biology at UCLA’s Laboratory of Nuclear medicine.

In 1971, Venerable was appointed as a high school chemistry and biology instructor with the Duarte Unified School District. He then taught chemistry at California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo from 1972 to 1978, and the University of California, Santa Cruz in Oakes College from 1978 to 1980. During the 1980s, he was as a systems scientist in the Silicon Valley industry. From 1982 to 1989, Venerable served as the executive vice president of Omnitrom Associates while simultaneously serving as a partner in the Coral and Courtland Groups. From 1992 to 1999, he was president and CEO of Ventek Software, Inc. Venerable has also consulted for several other California companies including Banks Brown, Inc.

From 1989 to 1996, he served on the faculty at San Francisco State University in the College of Ethnic Studies where he developed and taught a new field blending history of science and ethnic studies. Venerable was also integral to the development of the “Step To College.” In addition, Venerable served at Chicago State University as the Associate Provost and as a professor of chemistry and African American studies (1996-1999), at Morris Brown College as the Dean of Faculty, interim Dean of the College, Provost, and professor-at-large of science and civilization (1999-2002), as chair of the Council of Chief Academic Officers for the Atlanta University Center (1999-2002), and as the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs (2010-2011) and the Vice President for Academic Affairs (2002-2010) at Lincoln University (Pennsylvania). He held adjunct teaching appointments at the California Institute of Integral Studies in the MBA degree program in information and technology, and in the chemistry departments of Laney College of Oakland and California State University, Los Angeles.

His publications include six books, forty commissioned oil paintings on molecular structure, dozens of academic articles and editorials in such places as the San Francisco Examiner and the Wall Street Journal. Venerable’s honors and awards include the National Educational Leadership Award from the JGT Foundation, the Step To College Distinguished Teaching Award from San Francisco State University, the California Alliance for Arts Education Outstanding Achievement Award, and the Alpha Chi Sigma Chemistry Fraternity Molecular Art Appreciation Award, and the Distinguished Teaching Award of Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo.

Grant D. Venerable, II was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 9, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.100

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/9/2013

Last Name

Venerable

Middle Name

D

Schools

James A. Foshay Learning Center

University of California, Los Angeles

University of Chicago

First Name

Grant

Birth City, State, Country

Los Angeles

HM ID

VEN02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

California

Favorite Quote

To Everything, There Is A Season.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

8/31/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken, Stir Fry Vegetables, Rice, Salads

Short Description

Chemist and academic administrator Grant Venerable (1942 - ) taught chemistry and cultural studies in California universities, worked in Silicon Valley industry, and served as senior academic officer and as professor-at-large of science, technology, and civilization higher education institutions in Illinois, Georgia, and Pennsylvania.

Employment

Argonne National Laboratory

United States Department of Energy

University of California, Irvine

Omnitron Associates

Coral Group and Courtland Group

Step To College/ASCEND

San Francisco State University

Ventek Software, Inc.

California Institute of Integral Studies

Morris Brown College

Lincoln University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Grant Venerable's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Grant Venerable lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Grant Venerable describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Grant Venerable describes his maternal family's migration to Kansas and later to California

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Grant Venerable talks about his mother's life in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Grant Venerable talks about his mother's education and employment in Los Angeles, California, and the Sugar Hill neighborhood in Los Angeles

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Grant Venerable describes his father's family background - part one

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Grant Venerable describes his father's family background - part two

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Grant Venerable discusses his paternal family's cultural lineage, and the name "Venerable"

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Grant Venerable talks about his father's education in Kansas City, Missouri and San Bernardino, California

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Grant Venerable describes his father's experience attending college in California - part one

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Grant Venerable describes his father's experience attending college in California - part two

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Grant Venerable describes his father's trip to Chicago to meet chemist, Lloyd Hall

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Grant Venerable describes how his parents met and married in the late 1930s

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Grant Venerable talks about his father's career

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Grant Venerable describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Grant Venerable talks about his siblings, his mother's death, his step-mother, Ida Walls Lee, and his paternal aunt, Neosho Venerable Tatum

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Grant Venerable describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Grant Venerable talks about the neighborhood where he grew up in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Grant Venerable describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Grant Venerable talks about attending Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Grant Venerable describes his experience in elementary school

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Grant Venerable talks about learning music, his interest in painting, and his lack of race consciousness as a young boy

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Grant Venerable reflects upon the murder of Emmett Till in 1955, and its influence on his racial consciousness - part two

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Grant Venerable reflects upon the murder of Emmett Till in 1955, and its influence on his racial consciousness - part two

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Grant Venerable describes his early interest in science

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Grant Venerable talks about his scientific curiosity in high school and college

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Grant Venerable describes his experience in high school

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Grant Venerable talks about his teachers in high school

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Grant Venerable talks about his leadership roles in high school and his relationship with James S. Cantlan at Pacific Telephone

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Grant Venerable talks about his experience as a senior in high school, and about applying for college

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Grant Venerable talks about his mentors at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - part one

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Grant Venerable talks about his mentors at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - part two

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Grant Venerable describes how he created oil paintings based on chemical molecules

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Grant Venerable talks about hearing prominent political and cultural figures speak at UCLA and in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Grant Venerable talks about meeting historian, John Hope Franklin, at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Grant Venerable reflects upon the Civil Rights Movement and the socio-political climate in the United States in the 1960s

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Grant Venerable describes his decision to pursue graduate studies at the University of Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Grant Venerable talks about the African American scientists who graduated from the chemistry department at the University of Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Grant Venerable describes his experience as a graduate student at the University of Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Grant Venerable talks about organic, inorganic and physical chemistry

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Grant Venerable talks about his master's degree advisor, Mark Inghram, at the University of Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Grant Venerable describes his doctoral dissertation research at Argonne National Laboratory

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Grant Venerable describes his doctoral dissertation research and its implications

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Grant Venerable talks about the Manhattan Project

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Grant Venerable talks about his postdoctoral work at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Grant Venerable talks about his involvement in the Black Students Alliance at the University of Chicago in the 1960s

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Grant Venerable talks about his experience looking for university faculty positions in 1971

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Grant Venerable describes his experience at Duarte High School and his recruitment to California Polytechnic State University

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$7

DAStory

3$4

DATitle
Grant Venerable describes his early interest in science
Grant Venerable talks about his involvement in the Black Students Alliance at the University of Chicago in the 1960s
Transcript
Now, you were also drawn to science, of course, and were you--is there a place in your elementary school experience where you really focused in on science or did it occur at home?$$It started right at home. It started with my becoming nearsighted at the age of seven. This 'Book of Knowledge' collection--there were about twenty volumes of the 'Book of Knowledge' sitting in my parents' [Thelma Lorraine Scott Venerable and Grant Venerable] bookcases flanking this big fireplace in the living room; other volumes of literature, which they purposely placed there for their children's curiosity, to lead them there. And once I got hold of the 'Book of Knowledge' around age five--I really learned to read from Grandmother Venerable, who would just drill us, just read to us. Parents would read to us, and then I would learn to read; all of us learned to read. Then it was accelerated in school. We had out loud reading sessions in school. But, anyway, I could pick up and read anything that was drawing my attention, whether it was how the food is processed in the body and goes in the throat to the stomach, passes through the colon to how does the moon go through eclipses? And I would get so excited with what I would learn, I would further ask my father [Grant Venerable] for further clarification. And he was full of ways of demonstrating things. He could demonstrate the eclipse. We had a little globe, a model globe, and he would have a light bulb and a lamp without the shade, and he would have a little baseball that would be the moon, and show how this baseball would cast a shadow on this little globe from the light. I got so excited by things like that. I would have to share it now. Here's where the teaching instincts start to come out. I'd go up to the fifth grade and tell my teacher, "Can I show the class how an eclipse works?" That was the only male teacher I had in elementary, but he was also focused on science. And he said, "Sure." So that's how he encouraged--you can imagine it if he had said, "Oh, well, not today." No, he said, "Sure. Can you do it tomorrow?" And so I brought a little--a little duffle bag with all these things in it and showed the class. So when we reached geography of California, and we were making a papier-mache topographic map of California showing the mountains, the bays, the coastline, and I said, "The mountains are not high enough. The coastal mountains are lower than the Sierras." And I--so I was the one who oversaw the correction of the mountains' heights because I was keyed into that. Maybe that happened in the fourth grade--I don't know. But that's really what got it started.$You realize, again, you acknowledge this was the 1960s of turmoil. And I had done some innocent things that did not look innocent to certain people. In applying for my Argonne [National] Laboratory [near Chicago, Illinois] Fellowship and my AEC Fellowship, there's questions on race, which they've always been. And there was a box to check for "Negro," and I averted it and went--and then there's a box for "Other," and I wrote "Black" and checked that. And I dare say I was probably investigated as a possibly risky black radical, because nobody used black then other than the Black Panthers [black revolutionary socialist organization active in the United States from 1966 until 1982].$$In those days, now, these are the days in Chicago [Illinois]--$$This is 1967.$$Yeah. '67 [1967], '68 [1968], '69 [1969]. These are the days you had a Black Panther Party in Chicago. You had the Communiversity going on at the (unclear) studies, a lot of--$$So I realize--and then I was also the convener of the Black Students Alliance on the campus; all made me eligible for FBI [Federal Bureau of Intelligence] surveillance. And so I know there's video footage of me in the university archives, because one of the professors told me he had watched some of it after he had met me. Yeah, I was a figure to keep track of on the campus, but they also found me quite clean, as they say in those days, so.$$Yeah. So this is also the time when Dr. [Martin Luther] King--you were working on your Ph.D. when Dr. King's assassinated.$$Yes, I was.$$Though, the Chicago riots took place on the West Side (simultaneous)--$$I was.$$There was--$$Yeah. Half of the Black Students Alliance took over my apartment with my three other roommates, one of whom was a black Panamanian from Brooklyn [New York]; the other two were white upper middle class from America. So that was quite an interesting experience we all had, 'cause these students--I was their convener there, like, their chairman, and they were mainly undergraduates. There was a woman there--have you heard of Leath Mullings (ph.)? Yeah. Leaf was in that group. She was one of the undergrads there then. Roscoe Giles [also a HistoryMaker] was there. Roscoe was--he was an undergrad in physics, then, who went on to MIT [Massachusetts Institute fo Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts]. But these were some of the smartest kids--$$Yeah. Leath Mulligan--$$--you've ever saw in your life. They were in the first large group of black students admitted by the University of Chicago as a prestige Ivy League caliber institution. Sharp as a tack. And they're the ones that felt they wanted me to be the convener of the alliance as a buffer between them and the black graduate students, most of whom were in sociology and political science, who had two different agendas. The undergrads had a more practical, immediate agenda; was like in the--when the West Side went up in flames after the King assassination, they wanted to be free to get out there to take food and clothing to people. The black graduate students were more interested in theorizing about the coming revolution, the black revolutions. The undergrads weren't interested particularly because it was too abstract for them. The university actually curfewed all the students in the dorms where a lot of the undergrads lived. So that's why the thirty to forty undergrads deposited themselves at my apartment so they would not be hemmed in, and they could have access to things they felt they needed to do. So that was an interesting moment. They disappeared. The administration didn't know where they were. If you were a president of a college and you could not account to the parents of your students where they were, that's a difficult situation. So it took me and one of my chemistry professors to be able to establish a communication with the administration so that they were assured that all was well, and then all was well. Edward Levi was president then. Do you remember who he was? Well, he was also--had been dean of the law school, a very careful legal thinker, but he was [President] Gerald Ford's--President Ford's Attorney General. He handled student--shall we say, uprising in a whole different way than Governor [Ronald] Regan did in California. So when the students took over the administration building at Chicago, Levi simply moved out to another building and said, let him know when you're done, but just stay as long as you want to (laughs). So they eventually came out on their own. California--Regan's technique was "Teargas them." And it just radicalized all the students on the--well, a lot of the students everywhere in the system. So, it was two different administrative approaches that also affected me (laughs), my development.$$Okay. So, this is--so you were involved in a lot of political activity during the time you were doing intense research as well.$$Very deeply, but not as aware of them as I am now in hindsight.$$Okay.$$I said, "Geez, you were lucky you got your Ph.D."

Sharon Haynie

Biochemist Sharon Haynie was born on November 6, 1955 in Baltimore, Maryland. She graduated from Baltimore City Public Schools in 1973 and enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania. During her undergraduate years, she became fascinated with biochemistry and advanced inorganic chemistry. In her freshman year she was a work/study research assistant to a graduate student in organic chemistry. After receiving her B.A. degree in biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1976, Haynie enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and graduated from there in 1981 with her Ph.D. degree in chemistry.

Haynie was appointed as a member of the technical staff at Bell Laboratories from 1981 to 1984. She then moved to the DuPont Company Experimental Station Laboratory. In her first assignment in the Central Research Department Haynie worked in the Medical Biomaterials Group. She conducted research in developing the synthetic materials used in vein replacements and she isolated peptides with inherent antimicrobial properties. She also worked with the award-winning bio-3G team. Haynie authored and co-authored numerous patents, many of which detail processes of using environmentally friendly, bio-inspired pathways in a laboratory setting to create certain organic materials. Haynie served as an adjunct professor of chemistry at Delaware State University and the University of Delaware. She has been a mentor to students through several outreach projects, such as Project SEED (Summer Educational Experience for the Disadvantaged), a project sponsored by the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Haynie has been recognized for her scientific research and serving as a mentor to African Americans pursuing STEM careers. In 2003, not only did Haynie work on the research team that received the 2003 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Presidential Green Chemistry Award for New Innovation; but, she was also elected to serve as chair of the Philadelphia Section of the ACS. She is a member of the Chemical Heritage Foundation Board of Directors. The National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers bestowed upon her their Henry A. Hill Award in 2006 and their Percy L. Julian Award in 2008.

Sharon Haynie was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 24, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.080

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/24/2013

Last Name

Haynie

Maker Category
Middle Name

Loretta

Occupation
Schools

Western High School

University of Pennsylvania

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Sharon

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

HAY14

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

It Beats Walking The Streets.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Delaware

Birth Date

11/6/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Wilmington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Chemist Sharon Haynie (1955 - ) was known for her innovative research working with E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. Her research topics included developing peptides with antimicrobial properties and developing environmentally friendly pathways to create certain organic materials.

Employment

Bell Laboratories

E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

American Chemical Society

Delaware State University

University of Delaware

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sharon Haynie's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sharon Haynie lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sharon Haynie describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sharon Haynie talks about her maternal grandfather, William Penn

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sharon Haynie talks about her maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sharon Haynie describe the importance of her maternal grandfather, William Penn

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sharon Haynie talks about her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sharon Haynie talks about her mother's career in the Baltimore Police Department

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sharon Haynie describes her mother's decision to leave the Baltimore Police Department and to become a claims investigator

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sharon Haynie describes her father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sharon Haynie talks about her father's time in the U.S. Army

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sharon Haynie describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sharon Haynie talks about her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sharon Haynie describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sharon Haynie describes the neighborhoods of Baltimore, Maryland where she grew up

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sharon Haynie describes the first home her family owned

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sharon Haynie talks about being given independent reading and math during elementary school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sharon Haynie remembers the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sharon Haynie talks about her elementary schools

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sharon Haynie talks about her elementary school mentor

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sharon Haynie describes her independent math course in elementary school

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sharon Haynie talks about junior high school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sharon Haynie talks about the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sharon Haynie talks about the 1969 moon landing

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Sharon Haynie describes when she decided to become a research scientist

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sharon Haynie talks about her high school

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sharon Haynie describes her high school mentors

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sharon Haynie describes her extracurricular activities in high school

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sharon Haynie describes how she chose to attend the University of Pennsylvania pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sharon Haynie describes how she chose to attend the University of Pennsylvania pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sharon Haynie recalls her time at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sharon Haynie describes her work as a chemistry lab assistant at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sharon Haynie describes the influence of Dr. Phoebe Leboy pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sharon Haynie describes the influence of Dr. Phoebe Leboy pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sharon Haynie talks about Dr. Allen McDermott

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sharon Haynie describes why she chose the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for graduate school

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sharon Haynie describes how she picked Dr. George Whitesides as her graduate adviser at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sharon Haynie talks about her graduate research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Sharon Haynie talks about environmental stewardship in chemistry

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sharon Haynie describes how she was recruited by Bell Laboratories

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sharon Haynie talks about collaboration in science

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Sharon Haynie talks about the diversity programs at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Sharon Haynie describes why she moved from Bell Laboratories to DuPont

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Sharon Haynie talks about her research at DuPont

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Sharon Haynie describes her research on vein replacement materials

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Sharon Haynie describes her work with antimicrobial materials

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Sharon Haynie talks about her research on amphiphilic helices

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Sharon Haynie talks about her involvement in Project SEED

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Sharon Haynie describes the 3G Process

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Sharon Haynie describes her involvement in the American Chemical Society and the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Sharon Haynie describes receiving the Presidential Green Challenge Award

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Sharon Haynie describes Green Chemistry research

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Sharon Haynie talks about winning the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineer's Henry Hill Award

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Sharon Haynie reflects on her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Sharon Haynie offers advice for young people interested in chemistry

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Sharon Haynie explains why she went into industry rather than academics

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Sharon Haynie reflects on her life

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Sharon Haynie describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Sharon Haynie talks about her family

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Sharon Haynie talks about how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Sharon Haynie describes her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

7$8

DATitle
Sharon Haynie describes her work as a chemistry lab assistant at the University of Pennsylvania
Sharon Haynie talks about her research on amphiphilic helices
Transcript
Now, what did you work on as a lab assistant (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$Well, I had several research projects. So I was sort of a rolling stone, if you will. I didn't work in the same laboratory for all three and a half years I was there at Penn [University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]. I thought it was important to get a sampling of different research experience. So for the first year, I worked with an organic chemist, but she was also doing some enzymology. She was making molecules that would be inhibitors for an enzyme. And this was exactly the area that I was interested in. So I did that for the first year, and then I came back to Baltimore [Maryland] that summer, and I worked as a telephone operator, as I had done during high school. But in the second year, I wanted to expose myself to another science which might lead to a summer position. So I then worked for, in the Department of Engineering for the then, Dean of the Department of Biochemical Engineering, and I worked with a graduate student doing fermentations. They were using cells and breaking them up to make single-cell protein. So they were interested in converting biomass to something more useful, which was a theme that, at the time, you know, probably didn't make a lot of sense to me, and it's only, you know, twenty or thirty years later that I realize that these were some of the pioneers in doing some biochemical engineering work that became very important and also as a theme in my own research career. And in that group, working with Dr. Humphrey, it was Arthur Humphrey's group, I became exposed to more of the dynamics of working in a large research group where they have retreats, regular seminars. It was more of a community, and I got exposed to that. And so that was of interest. Then I had two additional research experiences which were more singular in terms of, I was the dynamic--I was the only undergraduate in the organization. So the next was with Dr. Brittan Chance. He was a world-renowned spectroscopist. He also I think had won--I don't know if he, he was sailor. I'm not sure I he had won a cup, but he was a sailor. He was also known as a sailor. He was also very well known as a sailor. And that was a very interesting experience 'cause I was--he didn't even have graduate students. He only had post-docs in his laboratory. And I just worked independently. I worked under a post-doc, Jerry [Jeremy] Smith and just learned how to work on my own. And what was interesting in that experience was that I really didn't know what I was doing. I mean, and I will own that to this day. I mean I did spectroscopy and I could talk about the fundamental principles. They were doing some very basic work in trying to develop support of a theory of electron transport in cell membranes. And so I understood exactly what they were trying to get at, but exactly how my research connected to what they were trying to support in terms of the theory was very vague to me at that time. But I got a grounding in terms of how, sort of the mechanisms of doing fluorescence spectroscopy, and again, that whole experience in Dr. Chance's lab, I think speaks to my sort of fearlessness in sort of going and working independently without having much of guidance and mentorship, even if it didn't prove to be ultimately fruitful. I think I would have flourished more had I had someone--cause Brittan Chance certainly wasn't gonna play the role. He would come in occasionally. He worked sort of odd hours and asked me how things were going. But he was like a god. And, you know, just to, you know, sort of indulge this undergraduate working in his laboratory and, you know, wrote me a very nice reference, obviously, for graduate school, but I think I would have flourished more had I had someone who was more engaging one-on-one. But he was a very hands-off, sort of aloof person.$I have a note here about amphi-- amphiphilic helices--$$Amphiphilic helices, yeah, these were the--(simultaneous)--$$Helices, right.$$Right. These were a type of molecule that, that were antimicrobial, that is, they killed microbes, various different types of microbes, but this particular class of microbes formed a certain shape, if they were in the right environment. And so they formed a helix, so it's like a coil. You think of like a coil for a spring. So they formed a coil and they're called amphiphilic because along--so the coil, let's pretend the coil is like going in this direction. On one side of the coil, they have a charge that attracts it to surfaces. It's got, they have a positive charge, and on the other side of the coil, they have like a greasy part of the molecule that's hanging off. And it's, this particular shape, this amphiphilic helix is a theme that happens often in molecules that disrupt the exterior of microbes. And so I looked at studying this particular class of molecule and putting them on material surfaces to see if I anchor them on the top of a material that could become a carpet or a piece of clothing, if that would disrupt a microbe if it came in contact with it.$$And did it work?$$Yes, it did, and--$$Okay, you're--$$And what was very gratifying was that that work was inspired by a class of molecules that was discovered by a scientist out of the, at the time he was at the NIH [National Institutes of Health], Michael Zasloff, and his work inspired me. He found, it was, just an anecdote. He was doing some work and found that frog excreted a molecule which ultimately he called magainins, he then went off to form a pharmaceutical company, actually, outside of here in Philadelphia. And I met him for the first time. So he inspired me, he actually inspired the one patent which I'm the sole author on, and I met him for the first time three weeks ago at a Gordon Research Conference on antimicrobial peptides. And I had a poster to talk about my work--these Gordon conferences are fairly small and intimate. You have scientists coming from all over the world. And he came over--and I was dying to meet him. So this was like the second day of the conference 'cause he sat, like he was sort of the grandfather of this whole area. He was sitting in the front row of the lecture hall, and I, you know, knew that at some point during the conference, I would have to go over and introduce myself and just to acknowledge how important his discovery, you know, was an inspiration to me and my science at that particular part of my science. And in standing with my poster, he came up to me and hugged me and acknowledged how my patent had caught the attention of, caught his attention and other people in his company and some funders because, you know, it represented, you know, something they didn't think, at least conceptually, was possible. And so it was just a great affirmation for me, I mean to have, you know, a giant in the field, you know, make that connection--$$Indeed, for you both.$$Yes, yeah, yeah, so it was--$$And actually, you know, patent something and prove something that he did was useful where--$$Yes, absolutely.$$--where it hadn't been proven before-- I mean, hadn't been thought--(simultaneous)--$$Absolutely, yes, yeah, yeah. So that was, you know, even though I've long moved away from that particular science, I mean that was in '90 [1990], it was in the early '90s [1990s], '92 [1992] to '96 [1996], I think for me were the formative part of my work in that area. I sort of consulted loosely to a group that started up at DuPont in that area, sort of 2000, 2005. So it was just a, for me, just wonderful to have that affirmation. So, yeah.

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

Joseph Gordon, II

Research chemist and research manager Joseph Grover Gordon, II, was born on December 25, 1945 in Nashville, Tennessee to Joseph Grover, Sr. Juanita Elizabeth (Tarlton) Gordon. He is one of four children, including Eric Rodney, Craig Stephen, and Rhea Juanita. After briefly attending Atkins High School in North Carolina, Gordon went on to graduate from the prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy in 1963. Gordon earned his A.B. degree in chemistry and physics from Harvard College in 1966. He received his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1970.

After finishing his graduate education, Gordon worked at the California Institute of Technology as an assistant professor in the Chemistry Department. In 1975, he began working as a research staff member at Almaden Research Center (IBM Research) and was promoted to interfacial electrochemistry manager in IBM’s Applied Materials Division in 1990. There, Gordon managed a research staff team and contributed greatly to the fields of materials science and electrochemistry. Between 1975 and 1994, Gordon established a program in fundamental electrochemistry that developed solid: liquid interface. From 2004 to 2009 Gordon Developed an exploratory battery materials research program and evaluated new battery technology for ThinkPad strategic planning in Raleigh, North Carolina and development in Yamato, Japan. In 2009, Gordon was hired as the senior director for the advanced technology group in at Applied Materials, Inc. Throughout his career, Gordon has published numerous research papers in leading scientific journals, such as Physical Review Letters and Sensors and Actuators A: Physical.

Gordon is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Chemical Society, Society for Analytical Chemistry, Electrochemical Society, and the National Research Council. Throughout his career, Gordon has shown a continued commitment to scientific research and has credited with twelve United States Patents. Gordon has been recognized many times for his work. In 1993, he was awarded the Black Engineer for Outstanding technical Achievement, and in 1993 the National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers awarded Gordon the Percy L. Julian Award. Gordon and his wife, Ruth M., reside in San Jose, California.
Joseph G. Gordon, II was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 7, 2012.

Joseph Gordon passed away on September 13, 2013.

Accession Number

A2012.242

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/8/2012

Last Name

Gordon

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Grover

Occupation
Schools

St. Vincent de Moor

Fort Bragg Elementary School

St. Benedict The Moor

Phillips Exeter Academy

Exeter Community Day School

Harvard University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Atkins Academic and Technology High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Joseph

Birth City, State, Country

Nashville

HM ID

GOR03

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere With Friends

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

12/25/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/San Jose

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Black-Eyed peas

Death Date

9/13/2013

Short Description

Chemist Joseph Gordon, II (1945 - 2013 ) is credited with twelve United States patents for developing solid liquid interface technologies and the battery materials research programs for IBM ThinkPad computers.

Employment

California Institute of Technology

Almaden Research Center (IBM Research)

Applied Materials (Firm)

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:814,9:1190,14:2130,28:2976,39:3822,50:9370,121:11610,163:17420,279:17770,285:19730,331:30894,479:63860,786:65260,810:73340,893:83560,1077:83980,1084:86100,1100:88684,1120:89832,1143:92760,1156:95440,1183:95740,1190:95990,1196:98690,1229:99810,1259:100290,1270:103258,1299:110940,1404:115034,1463:122566,1539:128827,1650:129229,1657:129698,1666:129966,1671:133090,1701:133986,1719:139562,1814:140588,1853:142530,1882:142750,1887:146580,1940:147180,1954:147630,1961:147930,1966:149330,1973$0,0:1588,17:1956,22:2416,28:7844,116:10696,157:11984,181:18640,216:19000,221:19810,233:24860,301:28412,385:28782,391:29152,397:40510,562:42148,594:42904,608:51476,703:51788,710:52048,716:53570,723:54290,733:55250,747:56050,755:58130,786:59170,800:63554,859:67031,964:67487,975:78613,1039:80365,1072:87592,1207:89052,1236:89709,1246:96964,1333:97391,1341:109470,1509:117185,1621:117493,1626:119716,1644:121648,1684:122476,1692:124776,1713:125420,1721:130940,1801:131400,1807:137323,1898:137737,1904:139669,1965:140704,2010:143050,2066:161640,2207:162690,2230:163530,2244:164580,2265:165140,2275:168872,2312:169116,2317:170641,2342:171312,2356:171922,2367:176518,2392:184729,2591:194893,2751:195177,2756:200786,2887:207174,3003:210216,3072:225960,3224
DAStories

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

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

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Joseph Gordon describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Joseph Gordon talks about his mother's growing up in Sumter, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Joseph Gordon describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Joseph Gordon talks about his father's growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Joseph Gordon talks about his early childhood

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

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Joseph Gordon describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Joseph Gordon describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Joseph Gordon talks about growing up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Joseph Gordon talks about the integration of the medical societies

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Joseph Gordon talks about his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Joseph Gordon talks about his early interest in science

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Joseph Gordon talks about his elementary school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Joseph Gordon talks about his memories of the Civil Rights Era

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Joseph Gordon talks about his grade school and his family's religious background

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Joseph Gordon talks about his experience at Phillips Exeter Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Joseph Gordon talks about his peers at Phillips Exeter Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Joseph Gordon talks about his social life at Phillips Exeter Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Joseph Gordon talks about his decision to attend Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Joseph Gordon discusses his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Joseph Gordon talks about his advisors at Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Joseph Gordon talks about his decision to pursue a career in chemistry

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Joseph Gordon summarizes his experience at Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Joseph Gordon talks about living in France

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Joseph Gordon talks about his professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Joseph Gordon describes his dissertation

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Joseph Gordon talks about his pre-doctoral fellowship from the National Science Foundation

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Joseph Gordon talks about his post-doctoral employment opportunities

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Joseph Gordon talks about notable people at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Joseph Gordon compares his experiences at the California Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Joseph Gordon talks about his experience at the California Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Joseph Gordon talks about electrochemistry and his work at IBM

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Joseph Gordon talks about his professional awards

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Joseph Gordon talks about his professional activities and awards

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Joseph Gordon talks about the significance of NOBCChE

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Joseph Gordon talks about his racial ambiguity

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Joseph Gordon talks about his professional activities

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Joseph Gordon talks about his career transition into more managerial roles

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Joseph Gordon describes his technological contributions at IBM

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Joseph Gordon talks about his career at Applied Materials Incorporated

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Joseph Gordon reflects on his career

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Joseph Gordon talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Joseph Gordon reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Joseph Gordon talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Joseph Gordon talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Joseph Gordon describes his photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

1$2

DATitle
Joseph Gordon talks about growing up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Joseph Gordon describes his technological contributions at IBM
Transcript
Okay, we were talking about sights and sounds and smells. Now, Winston-Salem [North Carolina] has a pretty active black community there. Did you live in, I mean what was, how was Winston-Salem situated? I mean what--$$Okay, yeah, actually, it was a characteristic smell there every year. It was cured tobacco. And we actually used to put the stalks on the lawn for fertilizer. So the whole place smelled of, actually, it's a quite nice smell, I think, of, curing and cured tobacco. Winston-Salem at the time was about, slightly less than 50 percent black. It was, it was, quite physically divided. We lived in East Winston, which was the black part of town. We built a house on a, you know, in a circle [sic, cul-de-sac] at the end of 14th, 14th Avenue. The neighborhood was quite mixed. So in our circle, we had, the guy up the street from us was a, was a barber, next door was a physician, next door to him was a, were two college professors who taught at Winston-Salem, but TC at the time, now Winston-Salem State. There was a high school teacher, another high school teacher, a high school football and tennis coach, the high school music teacher and the elementary school music teacher. And then up the street further, you know, there were people who were, you know, there were a couple of policemen, you know, other--I'm not quite sure exactly what jobs, but they had nonprofessional jobs, the head of the [National] Urban League lived on the street, and it was, it was actually a fairly, fairly mixed sort of, sort of neighborhood, which was characteristic I think of black neighborhoods at the time. You couldn't, there wasn't enough space to have isolated, actually, you know, only professional people in one, in one area. And so we were able to walk to the school. We went to a Catholic school, and I was able to walk to high school. There was one black high school in town, one city high school and there was a county, black county high school.$Okay, okay, now, some place within your career at IBM, didn't you do something, didn't you develop a new battery or something for--$$Okay, yes, during this, about the same time, in early 2000, well, since 1990 I had been working on, with the "Think Pad" division on lithium ion batteries. And in the early, mid-'90's [1990s]--I'd have to go back and figure out the dates now, I had a small group that I actually was trying to develop a new lithium ion battery for, for portable electronics. After a while though, it became obvious, when I put together several business plans, that IBM wasn't interested in making batteries. So we, we stopped that effort also. But it turned out that the "Think Pad" people still needed technical assistance in setting standards for, for safety, the qualification standards, and there're a whole stream of new technologies coming on, and they needed somebody to help them evaluate the new technologies. So I stayed involved in that for a while. And then in the, around 2002, '03' [2003], there were a series of laptop fires that were quite publicized. And so all of the laptop companies then put together groups to investigate the cause. So every single incident was investigated. And I was the technical person for the IBM incident team who worked with the engineers in development and with outside consultants to do a failure analysis on each incident so we actually knew what was going on and could feed back to the battery manufacturer that they needed to correct some part of the manufacturing process. So that was a pretty intense operation for about, for two or two and a half years. Yeah, one year I remember I spent more than a 180 days in hotels, traveling to various places to perform the analyses.$$Now, that's between 2003 and 2005?$$I think, I think that was the time. I'd have to go back and look and--$$I remember the incidents, yeah, an Apple computer battery caught fire--$$Yeah, it caught fire at some conference--$$Yeah, and blew, yeah.$$--yeah, right, okay. And every time there was even a report of something at an IBM thing, we'd go and investigate it, whether it got into the news or not. And I also, at that stage helped with the, what series is it? I think it's the T-40 series. We put in a number of improvements in that battery pack to help reduce the severity of a failure of an individual cell, okay. And several people at research were involved in, in helping with that and to getting these things and doing simulations, doing calculations, doing experiments.$$So if it did get hot enough, it wouldn't actually flame up or something?$$Right, yes, so it wouldn't catch fire, and it wouldn't set off an adjacent cell. If you have a single-cell failure, that's usually not real serious. The big incidents happen when you have one cell set off another cell, sets off another cell. And you get all six or all nine go off.$$Okay, all right, now, but, okay, so--$$Yeah, so that actually took a lot of time. I was actually, at that time I was also the second-line manager. So that was a pretty, that was a pretty, how do I say it--fully occupied my time for a while.$$Hectic time, I guess.$$Very hectic, that's the word I'm looking for (laughter).

Linneaus Dorman

Organic chemist and inventor Linneaus C. Dorman was born on June 28, 1935 in Orangeburg, South Carolina to schoolteachers John Albert Dorman, Sr. and Georgia Hammond. Raised in the Jim Crow South, Dorman’s parents sent him to the historically black South Carolina State College laboratory school. The state college afforded him a better education than he would have received otherwise and nurtured his nascent interest in science. As a child, Dorman became fascinated with his friend’s chemistry set and the idea of creating new things. When he entered Wilkinson High School in 1948, his teachers immediately recognized his natural talent in science and encouraged him to take more science courses. This led him to declare chemistry as his undergraduate major after he graduated from high school.

In the fall of 1952, Dorman enrolled at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. Because his father was a World War I veteran, having served in France, Dorman received a scholarship from the small, private institution and its scholarship program for the children of World War I veterans. After receiving his B.S. degree in chemistry in 1956, Dorman enrolled in the organic chemistry Ph.D. program at Indiana University. During the summers, he traveled back to Peoria, where he gained invaluable research experience as a chemist for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) at the Northern Regional Research Laboratory. In 1961, he earned his Ph.D. degree and took a position as a research chemist at the Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan.

While Dorman has garnered a reputation for publishing many research articles in premier research journals, he has become most known for creating over twenty inventions and patents in organic chemistry and biomaterials. Many of his earliest patents involve synthesis methods in organic chemistry. In 1985, he invented a chemical compound that functioned as an absorbent that removed formaldehyde from the air. In 1992, Dorman invented a calcium phosphate biomaterial that was used in hard tissue prosthetics such as bone prosthetics in 1992. Between 1992 and 1993, he developed a new process for the controlled release of herbicides, this method became critical to crop rotation.

He joined the American Chemical Society (ACS) in 1957 and served in a number of administrative positions such as secretary, councilor, and director. Named Inventor of the Year by Dow Chemical Company in 1983, Dorman has been credited with over twenty inventions and patents in organic chemistry and biomaterials. He received the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers’ most prestigious award, the Percy C. Julian Award in 1992. Although he retired in 1994, Dorman continues to work in the scientific community as a mentor. He and his wife, Phae, live in Michigan and have two children, Evelyn and John.

Linneaus Dorman was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 24, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.174

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/24/2012

Last Name

Dorman

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

C.

Occupation
Schools

Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School

Bradley University

Indiana University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Linneaus

Birth City, State, Country

Orangeburg

HM ID

DOR06

Favorite Season

Fall

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

I will study and prepare myself, then maybe, my chance will come.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

6/28/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Midland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Watermelon

Short Description

Chemist Linneaus Dorman (1935 - ) has twenty-six inventions and patents in organic chemistry and biomaterials. He also served as a research chemist at the Dow Chemical Company.

Employment

Dow Chemical Company

Northern Regional Research Laboratory

Comerica Bank

Dow Corning

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
0,0:4379,58:7709,96:9041,109:15670,177:21026,200:21650,211:22430,223:26341,275:30550,330:31315,340:31740,346:32080,351:32505,380:32845,408:42507,511:43203,520:45523,531:49438,581:50461,612:51949,637:52786,658:54646,709:67571,848:68572,864:75458,967:77240,995:77645,1001:92409,1154:93476,1168:94155,1178:113996,1386:114620,1395:129002,1504:136188,1519:136734,1527:140470,1567:141190,1581:141550,1587:142360,1602:164810,1808:168830,1825:169496,1836:171710,1866:173577,1878:174200,1887:174556,1892:180112,1926:180888,1939:196600,2094:208596,2224:208941,2231:209493,2241:215190,2290:217290,2322:220446,2335:223480,2355:224200,2365:225690,2380:229320,2427:230031,2437:232448,2458:232964,2464:233480,2471:234168,2481:234684,2489:235028,2494:239380,2522:239842,2528:240612,2546:241151,2555:244693,2643:246002,2666:249156,2684:249904,2699:253846,2733:254306,2739:254766,2745:264523,2819:265244,2827:265862,2832:266274,2837:266686,2842:267510,2852:267922,2857:268540,2864:268952,2869:277630,2942:279810,2952:281384,2961:285930,3030$0,0:3737,34:4721,44:5213,49:7796,79:16148,153:25620,251:32672,296:36160,335:37888,369:38176,374:40048,416:40840,429:43496,441:50984,517:55433,559:59998,616:62654,652:63567,665:64231,674:76310,807:83985,884:84815,895:85645,912:88965,951:92285,1005:92783,1013:94858,1043:95190,1048:96186,1061:96767,1070:101590,1087:104470,1177:111700,1233:112036,1238:113464,1256:114892,1270:115732,1293:116320,1298:116740,1304:122710,1343:123102,1348:123984,1358:129664,1409:130730,1426:131796,1440:137526,1460:137918,1465:141642,1517:150116,1583:150728,1593:153760,1614:159144,1654:159568,1659:175404,1808:180375,1831:185017,1871:186784,1906:187156,1911:199755,2139:206804,2185:258448,2463:259190,2472:259932,2480:269547,2507:270023,2512:277950,2529
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Linneaus Dorman's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Linneaus Dorman lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Linneaus Dorman describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Linneaus Dorman describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Linneaus Dorman talks about his father's education and career

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Linneaus Dorman talks about his parents and his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Linneaus Dorman describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Linneaus Dorman describes the neighborhood where he grew up in Orangeburg, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Linneaus Dorman describes the sights and sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Linneaus Dorman describes growing up in Orangeburg, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Linneaus Dorman describes his elementary school experience at Middle Branch School and Felton Training School

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Linneaus Dorman shares his childhood memories of World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Linneaus Dorman describes his introduction to chemistry and his early interest in mathematics

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Linneaus Dorman talks about the prominent speakers who visited South Carolina State College

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Linneaus Dorman talks about the first African American chemists

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Linneaus Dorman describes how his early thoughts about segregation served as a motivating force

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Linneaus Dorman describes his decision to attend Bradley University in 1952

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Linneaus Dorman describes his experience as a busboy at Carter Hotel in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Linneaus Dorman talks about the founder of Dow Chemical Company

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Linneaus Dorman describes the differences between the black communities in Orangeburg, South Carolina and in Peoria, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Linneaus Dorman describes how he met his wife, Thae

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Linneaus Dorman talks about Robert Lawrence, Jr. at Bradley University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Linneaus Dorman describes what influenced him to attend graduate school

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Linneaus Dorman talks about Robert Lawrence, Jr.'s death and his legacy

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Linneaus Dorman describes his extracurricular activities at Bradley University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Linneaus Dorman describes his experience as a doctoral student in the chemistry department at Indiana University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Linneaus Dorman talks about getting married and starting a family while in graduate school

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Linneaus Dorman describes his summer research experience at the Northern Regional Research Laboratory

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Linneaus Dorman describes his work for his Ph.D. dissertation on heterocyclic compounds

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Linneaus Dorman describes his decision to work at Dow Chemical in Midland, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Linneaus Dorman describes his experience in Midland, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Linneaus Dorman describes his early work on pharmaceutical compounds

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Linneaus Dorman describes his work on synthesizing artificial bone material

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Linneaus Dorman describes thermoplastic elastomers

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Linneaus Dorman talks about Percy Julian, one of the first African American research chemists

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Linneaus Dorman talks about his activities in the community

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Linneaus Dorman talks about travel

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Linneaus Dorman describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Linneaus Dorman talks about the importance of documentation and communication at the workplace

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Linneaus Dorman reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Linneaus Dorman talks about his children

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Linneaus Dorman describes how he dealt with the frustrations of science

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Linneaus Dorman describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Linneaus Dorman describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

1$3

DATitle
Linneaus Dorman describes his decision to work at Dow Chemical in Midland, Ohio
Linneaus Dorman describes his early work on pharmaceutical compounds
Transcript
All right, also in our outline, it mentions here that you considered at one time teaching for a historically black college?$$Yes. But I, something told me I didn't wanna teach because that's what so many of my friends and relatives had done, not because they wanted to, but that was the only job open to them. So I wanted to do something other than teach.$$Now, did you believe that Dow [Chemical Company] would hire you?$$At the time?$$Um-hum.$$I didn't think Dow would hire me because some of my friends in graduate school had told me that Dow would not hire me, because they, some of them who had gone, who worked at Dow, (unclear) come back to Indiana University [in Bloomington, Indiana] to do further study, they told me that Dow would not hire me. But I went up to, to the Dow interview because I had a Dow fellowship. And I felt out of respect for the department [of chemistry], I should at least go up for the interview. Well, it turns out that Dow was desperately trying to get a black person, preferably one who had a Ph.D. who could come to work and be standing on your foot, on your feet alone, somebody who was strong enough, educated enough to not just be a laboratory worker, but to be an independent laboratory worker. So I discovered the chairman who was eager to hire, to talk to me and try to get me interested in Dow, much to my surprise. And I still didn't think it would happen, and I also got an offer from Ex-, it wasn't Exxon. It was Esso at the time out in Linden, New Jersey. And I thought that was a real possibility because Dow wouldn't, you know, because of the fact that this was an all-white town, Dow wouldn't probably hire me. And I'll never forget, my wife said to me, "Ah, I'll bet you get the job at Dow and not at Exxon." And that, I went out to Exxon and I followed all the people who were, with their heads in the clouds, who were not very sympathetic to a graduating black person. And sure enough, they didn't offer me a job. But Dow, I came out to Dow, and they were all very nice to me, and encouraging to me and recognized that Dow was trying to get blacks to come to work there. And it was encouraging enough that we had to make up our minds whether we were gonna take a chance on living in an all-white community. And we took a chance, made up our minds to do that and not stay a while and go someplace else because I could have done that after staying around. My telephone rang for a period of time, almost every six months, some other company wanting me to come, stop Dow and come work for them. They were offering me all kind of incentives. So I got to a point, I asked them what can you do for my retirement? They could never do anything to--I would be giving up those years working for, towards retirement. So that was always a no-no, and I had a feeling that they were trying to hire people just like Dow was trying to hire people. So I said, no, no, no. So I stayed here, and that, we decided to retire and live here. And we're happy with that decision.$Okay, all right. Now, during the course of your career, your research changed focus at different times. In the '60s [1960s] and '70s [1970s], you were focused on, from what I understand, peptides, right?$$Pharmaceutical compounds.$$Okay, and--$$And later to, when I got here, one of the things that Dow [Chemical Company] did was to become involved in the pharma--in some pharmaceutical business, thought it was a good venture because the return on pharmaceuticals is like 20 percent, which chemicals are around 10 percent. So Dow was gonna, Dow was very, always into agricultural compounds, and its agricultural compounds were tested for medicinal chemistry by somebody else. We had something called a K-List which every compound we made, you sent a sample of it, and it got a number, a K-number. And those are, one of the things the K-List did was to check it for various, for biological activities. But that was all agricultural until we got into the chemistry, to the drug business. And I was, just so happened to be in position at that time to also become a part of the drug business by synthesizing compounds here in Midland [Ohio]. We had a pharmaceutical group here in Midland. And, well, they later asked me to get into peptide chemistry because that, that was--peptides are like small proteins, and they were becoming more, more prominent because there's a guy by the name of Muirfield who devised a way to make peptides using a solid phase that would cut out a lot of the steps involved in make a peptide. Peptides are made from about twenty-five amino acids in different combinations, but to make a simple peptide, di-peptide, it's many steps, [to] make a tri-peptide, many more steps. So I became involved in the solid phase peptides chemistry, which I made some contributions to the field when I was doing that. And later on, the pharmaceutical business, we had the group here in town which was a part of the pharmaceutical effort, moved down to Indianapolis [Indiana]. And I didn't move with them, so I started something else. And that was diagnostic, latex diagnostic gauges.$$About what year is this?$$How's that?$$About what year is this when you start with the latex diagnostic gauges?$$Oh, ghez, I don't, '74 [1974]--$$Is this in the '70s [1970s] or--$$It's in the '70s [1970s], yeah.$$Okay, that's good enough.$$And we worked on developing a pregnancy test, and I worked in, in that area for a while. And from there we went to control, control release technologies. And from that to plastics.

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.

Esther A.H. Hopkins

Chemist, city council member, and patent attorney Esther Arvilla Harrison Hopkins was born in 1926 in Stamford, Connecticut. Working as household servants, Hopkins’s parents encouraged her and her siblings to pursue their education. In 1947, Hopkins graduated from Boston University with her B.A. degree in chemistry. Just two years later, she obtained her M.S. degree in chemistry from Howard University.

Hopkins taught chemistry at Virginia State College for a short period of time before she decided to pursue research. Hopkins worked with companies such as the New England Institute for Medical Research as an assistant researcher in biophysics and the American Cyanamid’s Stamford Research Laboratory as a research chemist. Hopkins studied at Yale University, where she received her second M.S. degree in chemistry and her Ph.D. degree in chemistry in 1962 and 1967, respectively. She continued her work at the American Cyanamid’s Stamford Research Laboratory while she earned these degrees.

Following the completion of her Ph.D. program, Hopkins was hired as a supervisory research chemist with the Polaroid Corporation, where she led the Emulsion Coating and Analysis Laboratory, checking the chemical composition of the film coating for uniformity. During this time, Hopkins also developed an interest in the work of the patent department and returned to school. She received her J.D. degree from Suffolk University Law School. Hopkins retired from Polaroid Corporation in 1989 and began work as the deputy general counsel at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. In 1999, Hopkins became the first African American selectman of Framingham, Massachusetts. She stepped down from this post in 2005, but has remained active in the community. Hopkins is married to Ewell Hopkins, a social worker and minister. They have one son, Ewell Hopkins, Jr.

Accession Number

A2012.222

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/13/2012

Last Name

Hopkins

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.H.

Occupation
Schools

Boston University

Yale University

Suffolk University Law School

Howard University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Esther

Birth City, State, Country

Stanford

HM ID

HOP03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Connecticut

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

9/18/1926

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Martha's Vineyard

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Peanuts

Short Description

Chemist and lawyer Esther A.H. Hopkins (1926 - ) is known for her continued dedication to environmental protection and for her work in scientific research at such business organizations as the Polaroid Corporation.

Employment

Virginia State University

New England Institute for Medical Research

American Cyanamid's Stamford Research Laboratory

Polaroid Corporation

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

Framingham, Massachusetts

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:3815,21:23932,296:25024,310:25444,316:36660,441:39510,492:46529,527:47478,544:47770,549:48427,561:50106,580:50763,591:51347,605:55143,671:57041,707:57990,742:58793,755:59596,768:59888,773:67088,828:67528,834:70168,876:71752,887:83590,1030:84286,1035:85678,1077:86809,1095:91602,1145:95005,1206:95752,1216:118480,1531:119145,1539:120000,1549:124115,1608:129090,1632:134106,1724:134790,1740:137450,1782:139426,1824:158216,2007:159918,2054:161250,2085:162656,2112:163396,2132:164876,2157:165690,2170:171705,2217:175443,2300:177668,2362:182045,2395:182640,2403:184425,2438:186125,2465:187740,2494:189780,2535:190545,2547:199274,2738:219024,2932:219516,2939:219844,2944:221070,2956:224895,3024:225645,3035:226920,3054:228870,3088:230970,3121:231495,3133:233220,3172:233820,3181:239280,3213:240050,3227:240330,3232:242290,3268:243060,3334:246420,3373:248100,3404:248800,3414:249570,3426:250830,3447:252020,3469:253000,3482:253770,3497:254260,3506:264666,3608:278300,3754$0,0:1630,19:6040,135:6760,147:7840,161:23290,397:26250,457:26730,464:27690,479:28170,486:31290,554:32090,567:32650,575:43292,659:43628,666:43852,671:44972,692:45364,701:48205,734:48655,741:48955,746:49555,757:49855,762:51130,778:52030,792:52405,798:54205,857:62810,889:63967,903:68951,974:70731,1002:71265,1007:81100,1039:81604,1048:81892,1053:82540,1071:82900,1076:83188,1081:83908,1092:85708,1129:86140,1136:86932,1151:87220,1156:90620,1167:91070,1178:91745,1189:92195,1200:92570,1206:93020,1215:93470,1222:95120,1253:95870,1264:100457,1300:103096,1340:106372,1391:107191,1404:107828,1412:108465,1420:109557,1433:112500,1451:114064,1476:114948,1492:115356,1499:115628,1504:115968,1513:117736,1546:118280,1555:118960,1566:119980,1591:120388,1611:122088,1647:122360,1652:127451,1680:128003,1689:129452,1712:130418,1734:132281,1783:133040,1799:134765,1834:135455,1846:135731,1851:138474,1865:139762,1879:140314,1886:141694,1901:142614,1913:143350,1923:151724,2072:152428,2085:153196,2096:154348,2122:154604,2131:155244,2142:156076,2156:156652,2170:156972,2176:157676,2184:158060,2192:165040,2242:165390,2252:165740,2260:166590,2284:167140,2297:169092,2323:169898,2339:170456,2351:171138,2366:171386,2375:172626,2398:173308,2411:173556,2416:174486,2439:177462,2513:177834,2520:179198,2548:179818,2560:183420,2566:184232,2589:185276,2600:185972,2608:186552,2614:190842,2636:194031,2668:197757,2730:198486,2740:201750,2765:202730,2782:203290,2791:204977,2805:206162,2819:207031,2839:208532,2867:209480,2882:212883,2919:213297,2927:213918,2939:215229,2966:215505,2971:216333,2985:216816,2993:218748,3040:220887,3096:225360,3138:225927,3150:226620,3165:227439,3182:227817,3189:228951,3215:229707,3226:233800,3276
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Esther Hopkins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Esther Hopkins lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Esther Hopkins describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Esther Hopkins talks about her mother's growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Esther Hopkins talks about her mother's career as a domestic

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Esther Hopkins talks about her mother's educational aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Esther Hopkins describes her father's growing up and career

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Esther Hopkins talks about access

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Esther Hopkins talks about her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Esther Hopkins talks about her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Esther Hopkins talks about her childhood home

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Esther Hopkins talks about her childhood and her parents' work, part 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Esther Hopkins talks about her childhood and her parents' work, part 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Esther Hopkins talks about her childhood neighborhood

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Esther Hopkins talks about her elementary school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Esther Hopkins describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Esther Hopkins talks about her interest in math

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Esther Hopkins talks about her middle school experience, part 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Esther Hopkins talks about her involvement in the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA)

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Esther Hopkins talks about her middle school experience, part 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Esther Hopkins talks about her interest in reading, television and radio

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Esther Hopkins talks about her high school experience

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Esther Hopkins reflects on the effects of World War 2 during her high school years

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Esther Hopkins talks about her decision to attend Boston University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Esther Hopkins talks about her initial career aspirations at Boston University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Esther Hopkins talks about her experience at Howard University, part 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Esther Hopkins talks about her experience at Howard University, part 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Esther Hopkins talks about her decision to teach at Virginia State College

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Esther Hopkins talks about her experience teaching at Virginia State College

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Esther Hopkins talks about her decision to attend Yale University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Esther Hopkins talks about meeting her husband and her involvement with music

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Esther Hopkins talks about graduating from Yale University

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Esther Hopkins describes her dissertation research

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Esther Hopkins talks about her decision to join the Polaroid Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Esther Hopkins describes the chemistry behind a Polaroid picture

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Esther Hopkins talks about her interest in patent law and her decision to attend law school

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Esther Hopkins talks about her experience at Polaroid Corporation

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Esther Hopkins talks about the Double Bind Symposium

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Esther Hopkins talks about her article, "A Certain Restlessness"

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Esther Hopkins talks about her experience at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Esther Hopkins talks about her political career

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Esther Hopkins talks about her involvement with professional organizations

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Esther Hopkins talks about her professional activities, part 1

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Esther Hopkins talks about her professional activities, part 2

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Esther Hopkins talks about her professional affiliations

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Esther Hopkins talks about Della Hartman

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Esther Hopkins talks about her family and her favorite things to do

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Esther Hopkins talks about her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Esther Hopkins reflects on her life and career

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Esther Hopkins reflects on her legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Esther Hopkins talks about how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Esther Hopkins describes her photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

7$7

DAStory

3$6

DATitle
Esther Hopkins talks about her experience at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Esther Hopkins talks about her professional activities, part 1
Transcript
So, you retired from Polaroid in '89' [1989], and you start a new career with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, EPA, the Massachusetts EPA?$$DEP.$$Oh,--$$Department of Environmental Protection.$$DEP, okay, right.$$But it's comparable to the, to the federal EPA. It's the Massachusetts State Department of Environmental Protection.$$Well, tell us about the transition to that job. What happened?$$Polaroid had a big offer of people, they were allowing them to retire early. And they were offering ten years additional onto your age or your, or your, the numbers of years you had worked there and everything and numbers of people were leaving at that time. And I took advantage of that one because at the time, if I worked, if I continued to work until I was old enough to retire at the regular age, I would really earn no more pension than I had at that point because of this additional one that they were giving out. So I retired. And I'm not one to sort of sit still and do nothing. I had the, the work that I had done in terms of getting a law degree, and I had passed the bar, I was a member of the bar. And a woman representative, my, from my hometown, from Framingham, indicated that there were some jobs available in various sorts of things. And she said, went over, and I applied there. I went over to interview them. It was different, it was law, but it, and it was not patent law obviously, but it was environmental law, and I did mainly administrative law with the department, with the general counsel's office. So I learned a lot about how laws are made, about regulations, about what goes on in the Commonwealth by way of pollution and about clean air and clean water and the things that are going on. And I found it very helpful to have learned that part of what goes on in terms of, of the Commonwealth. And I stayed there a little over eight, some years, and had an accident. My heel was broken and my jaw and my back and I was out for a long period of time, and it was very difficult to sort of get back. And then I was gonna be going out to Worchester to work rather than in Boston. Boston was very difficult to manage if you're, if you have problems getting around with the cobblestones and the traffic--$$Well, what happened to you?$$Huh?$$What happened to you?$$The automobile, I was in an automobile accident.$$Okay.$$Yeah, and so I decided that I was not going to go through another winter of hobbling around, trying to get out to work there on my feet. If I'm not gonna work in the winter, I don't want to work over the summer 'cause the summer is pleasant. So I quit.$$Okay, was it helpful to be a chemist and have, you know, a PhD in chemistry--$$Oh, yes. I have found that my scientific training has been very helpful in almost everything I've done. And I found that numbers of, of these things, you know, where I dip into this, and I do that, so many of those things come together in terms of being able to do things. And so, yeah, I found, I find my scientific work has, has been important in all of that. And my scientific work was important in terms of my getting to be a fellow in the American Chemical Society to have it down there. That, because that happened relatively recently.$$Now, this is, that's almost like the, if I'm not mistaken, it's almost like a Hall of Fame where they--$$They decided that those persons who have made significant contributions to the profession and to the society over years would be named as fellows. And they named a class of fellows in, I guess, 2010 and then 2011 and this year, they named another group. And--$$So you were made a fellow--$$A fellow of the--$$--in what year?$$Last year.$$Last year, okay, 2011?$$Eleven [2011], uh-huh.$Well, give us, you know, kind of a run-down on things you're proudest of, that you've been involved in?$$You know, people ask me about that, and I have on these things here, I have fried marble. My son made me that fried marble when he was in nursery school. And I put it on with my keys. And he, he often, he--whenever I get a chance to wear it, he sort of looks around and wants to know if I still have it because he brought it home to me wrapped in a little piece of green tissue paper for Mother's Day that year when I was at, at Yale, and he was going to the nursery school there. And I said, yes, I'll wear it son, and I'll put it on there. I have always been interested in a wide range of things. I've been interested in things that have to do with education, with religious and moral life. I've been interested in things that have to do with music. I have, of course, been interested in science and what that does for all of us. I've been interested in the arts, and how they, how the arts speak for that part of us. And from the time that I was, well, from high school on, when I first went to college, my, my father told me not to join everything that I was invited to join. And every year, my father would say, I had to get out of everything except three organizations. And by Thanksgiving, I was, so I ended up with Scarlet Key at Boston University which is the, the student, the student leaders organization there. I believe that if you're part of a profession, you should work with the profession. And so I joined the Chemical Society as soon as, when I finished Howard [University] because Howard--remember I told you that Howard was certified by the Chemical Society as, for giving degrees. And so I, I joined the professional society, and I'm still a member of their professional society, although I'm emeritus at this point. But I worked, I was thirty three with the council. I worked on most of the committees there, the, the committee on committees, which my husband thought was funny. They got so many committees they have to have a committee on them, with women chemists. I worked with the nominating committee. I worked in our local section here in Massachusetts. And I've been, I've chaired that, which was another thing I needed to thank Polaroid for because in terms of being chairman of the section, it takes a lot of time and doing. And my boss at Polaroid was kind enough to say, yes, he thought it was a good thing that I could do that. And so they allowed me enough time to, to be chair of the section for doing that. And I've gotten awards for some of those things. And I, and I actually chaired one of the ACS National Committees. I chaired the Committee on Professional Relations when, when Mary Good was president of the Chemical Society. She named me as a chair of one of the committees. And this is an organization. Earlier, the women who were chemists sort of went to the meetings, and they used to have breakfast and fashion shows. And we were part of the women chemists committee. We figured we really needed to do more than that, and we were gonna--they changed the name to the Women Chemists Association. We worked diligently at getting the society to recognize women chemists as full-fledged chemists.

James Mitchell

Research chemist James W. Mitchell was born on November 16, 1943 in Durham, North Carolina as the eldest and only son of tobacco factory workers. Mitchell’s interest in chemistry stemmed from the disciplines logical principles and their reliability. Mitchell received his B.S. degree in chemistry from North Carolina A & T State University in 1965, and his Ph.D. degree in chemistry from Iowa State University in 1970. His doctoral thesis focused on analytical chemistry, a branch of chemistry concerned with analyzing the characteristics and composition of matter.

Mitchell first joined AT & T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey after receiving his doctorate. He chaired the Lab’s Affirmative Action Committee and was one of the founders of the Association of Black Laboratory Employees. In 1982, Mitchell was promoted to supervisor of the Inorganic Analytical Chemistry Research Group. Mitchell became head of the Analytical Chemistry Research Department in 1975. Under his leadership the department was transformed into an internationally renowned research organization. In 1985, Mitchell was named an AT & T Bell Laboratories Fellow, and, in 1989 he was extended membership into the National Academy of Engineering. He has written nearly 100 publications with as many citations attached to his work. He earned the 1999 Lifetime Achievement in Industry Award by the National Society of Black Engineers.

In 2002, Mitchell began his tenure at Howard University. He served as the David and Lucille Packard Professor of Materials Science, Director of the CREST Nanoscale Analytical Sciences Research and Education Center, Professor of Chemical Engineering, and Dean of the College of Engineering. Mitchell has also lectured internationally. In addition, he co-authored a book, Contamination Control in Trace Analysis, published more than seventy-five scientific papers, and invented instruments and processes. He also served as a member of the editorial advisory boards of Analytical Chemistry and Mikrochimica Acta. Mitchell and his wife Jean live in Washington, D.C. They have three children.

James W. Mitchell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 11, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.236

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/11/2012

Last Name

Mitchell

Maker Category
Middle Name

W

Occupation
Schools

North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University

Iowa State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Durham

HM ID

MIT13

Favorite Season

Holiday Season

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Alaskan Cruises

Favorite Quote

When times get tough, the tough get going.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

11/16/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Turkey, Greens (Collard), Fish, Barbecue

Short Description

Chemist James Mitchell (1943 - ) was the first African American honored as an AT&T Bell Laboratories Fellow, and is the Dean of the College of Engineering at Howard University.

Employment

Bell Laboratories

Lucent Technologies

Howard University College of Engineering

CREST Nanoscale Analytical Sciences Research and Education center

Favorite Color

Gold, Purple, Red, White

Timing Pairs
310,0:4470,95:5350,111:6310,131:6630,136:7270,150:9110,189:10310,208:15672,263:22832,332:23781,347:24365,356:25241,370:25679,377:32120,416:34760,468:35880,487:36600,502:36920,507:37240,512:38200,525:38840,534:39480,543:40200,554:42200,587:47750,630:49270,656:50150,672:53670,726:55910,761:58230,784:59270,799:60310,813:61270,827:61590,832:66579,850:67492,863:68239,872:68571,877:69733,894:70231,901:71900,928:72593,940:73097,950:73601,959:74042,967:75428,992:75995,1002:76562,1014:78011,1043:78641,1104:84833,1129:89948,1225:98063,1312:103076,1342:105169,1372:111930,1410:112262,1415:112677,1421:116635,1444:117145,1451:121410,1486:121766,1491:126928,1562:127284,1567:127818,1572:128708,1584:129153,1590:135470,1647:135926,1654:136458,1663:138054,1689:139422,1712:141980,1719:142360,1724:143025,1733:151406,1803:153494,1830:155495,1857:160280,1915:161498,1930:166066,1956:173326,2113:173590,2118:180270,2203:181020,2215:181545,2224:182070,2236:185032,2252:185402,2258:185846,2265:187178,2286:188140,2300:189028,2313:189694,2323:192358,2364:192654,2369:193024,2375:193690,2385:197728,2406:200968,2470:201256,2475:201688,2482:202912,2503:203488,2513:204496,2528:205504,2553:209827,2577:211681,2593:212196,2599:221466,2679:222048,2686:222436,2691:223212,2700:224182,2713:225928,2737:227770,2742$0,0:8907,32:10041,51:18951,164:23498,179:26427,214:29815,246:33222,274:34671,303:34923,308:37210,323:44237,393:45013,403:47147,424:50932,444:54663,484:56895,512:57546,521:59499,540:59964,546:61917,573:67638,614:70992,654:71850,667:78222,723:80242,751:83582,779:87023,803:87451,808:88414,818:89591,835:93110,861:95407,879:96208,890:96742,897:99224,927:99763,935:103151,979:105230,1015:105846,1024:106924,1045:108310,1072:108926,1082:109927,1098:110389,1106:118830,1184:119570,1195:124422,1230:131730,1262:132094,1267:133277,1283:136752,1310:138026,1325:139104,1337:140084,1348:140476,1353:140868,1358:143612,1388:155430,1457:156022,1462:157370,1469
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James Mitchell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James Mitchell lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James Mitchell describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James Mitchell describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James Mitchell talks about how his parents met

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

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James Mitchell describes his childhood neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James Mitchell talks about his family

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James Mitchell talks about his parents' separation and reconciliation

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - James Mitchell describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - James Mitchell describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - James Mitchell talks about his elementary schools

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James Mitchell talks about his elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James Mitchell talks about his natural ability of taking things apart and reassembling them

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James Mitchell talks about what influenced him while growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James Mitchell talks about his involvement in church

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James Mitchell talks about his interest in music

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James Mitchell talks about growing up in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James Mitchell talks about his childhood jobs

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James Mitchell talks about the importance of education

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James Mitchell talks about the book rent policy in North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James Mitchell talks about his father's return after a long absence

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James Mitchell talks about his relationship with his mother

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James Mitchell talks about his experience at the summer science program at North Carolina Central University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James Mitchell talks about his high school experience

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James Mitchell talks about his decision to attend North Carolina A&T University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James Mitchell talks about his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement (part one)

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - James Mitchell talks about his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement (part two)

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James Mitchell talks about the segregation at North Carolina A&T State University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James Mitchell talks about his mentors at North Carolina A&T State University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James Mitchell talks about his college experience

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James Mitchell talks about his summer employment during college

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James Mitchell talks about his decision to attend Iowa State University for his Ph.D. degree

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James Mitchell talks about his friend, Dr. Reginald Mitchner

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James Mitchell talks about his experience at Iowa State University and his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - James Mitchell talks about his experience at Iowa State University

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - James Mitchell describes his dissertation on the separation of rare earth elements

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James Mitchell talks about the practical applications of his research on the separation of rare earth elements

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James Mitchell talks about his employment prospects after graduating from Iowa State University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James Mitchell talks about the assassinations of prominent figures during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James Mitchell talks about the work environment at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James Mitchell talks about his work at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James Mitchell talks about his patents

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James Mitchell talks about his professional activities and awards

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James Mitchell talks about AT&T Bell Laboratories' merger with Lucent Technologies

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James Mitchell talks about his mentorship activities at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James Mitchell talks about his colleagues at Bell Laboratories/Lucent Technologies

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James Mitchell talks about his career at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James Mitchell talks about his goals for the college of engineering at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James Mitchell describes the challenges he faces as dean of the college of engineering

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - James Mitchell talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - James Mitchell reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - James Mitchell reflects on his life choices

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - James Mitchell talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James Mitchell talks about his parents' reaction to his success

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James Mitchell shares his advice for young people

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James Mitchell talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

4$5

DATitle
James Mitchell talks about the work environment at Bell Laboratories
James Mitchell talks about his goals for the college of engineering at Howard University
Transcript
Okay, so, and so, after graduating in 1970, so you joined Bell Labs [Bell Laboratories]. Now, this is, as you said, Bell Labs has been touted by the people we've interviewed as one of the greatest places to work. Of course, the culture is destroyed now, but at that time, it was a scientist's dream.$$It absolutely was one of the best corporate research facilities on Planet Earth. It was run by managers who had first been accomplished scientists themselves. You didn't get to be a manager at the AT&T Bell Laboratories Research Facility unless you were an extraordinary researcher first. And so the people in charge of the place understood what was necessary in an environment in order for it to be essentially perfect from the standpoint of supporting, fostering and allowing scientific and technological excellence to take place. I had the blessings of enjoying Bell Laboratories for thirty years. It was the type of environment where you couldn't believe that you were paid to do something that was so enjoyable and to do it under conditions that were so excellent.$$Yeah, it's hardly anyone that says something like that, but that's, those who talk about Bell Labs do speak that highly of it. So, for instance, what made it such an enjoyable place to work?$$Well, it was such an enjoyable place to work because money was not an obstacle to accomplishing the impossible. If a young person had an idea about something and it had a finite probability of being feasible, the only thing you had to do was convince the manager of your organization that this idea concept was worth pursuing and that if brought to fruition, its scientific impact would be extraordinary, and it was possible for you to do that. That could be done in a conversation and on one page. It didn't require a 300-page research proposal. So you could pursue extraordinary research ideas and so forth without exhaustive inputs and justifications before the fact. You had colleagues on your hallway who were experts in virtually all aspects of science and technology. You could learn in a thirty-minute conversation with one of your colleagues what would require you three months of digging through the literature and research in order to acquire the knowledge. You could almost instantly generate a collaboration with anyone, excellent people will collaborate at a finger snap with other excellent people. And you had access. If you indicated that you worked at Bell Laboratories, that almost immediately gave you access to collaborations with anybody else in the country. And so it was just an amazing place where the money, the infrastructure, the intellect, the vision and all of those things came together that allowed important science to be done.$Okay, so that's 2009. Now, so, just tell us about what you're doing as dean here and what your prospects are as well as for the college?$$As a dean, I believe the most important responsibility I have is to put in place the underpinnings and the structure of the College of Engineering such that in the next century we are able to implement, establish and grow entrepreneurships, intellectual property, technology parks and businesses. Howard University is not going to be a greater university than it has been until we have done what the other universities do, establish technology parks, establish intellectual property and have a gigantic foundation with funding sufficient for us to accomplish anything on our own, if necessary. And so I see my greatest goal is to lay the foundation for pursuing that long-term goal. And so we have, are in the midst of restructuring the college to pursue that. We are in the midst of working with the faculty to recruit entrepreneurial professors, individuals who see the business aspect of science as important as the knowledge aspect of science and who want to operate in both arenas. And my job is to hopefully work with the upper-level management here and transform the environment from one of teaching excellence with science done in addition to it, but one of scientific and engineering excellence that even surpasses by far the teaching legacy of excellence that we have. And so that's the unfinished job that exists.