My father [Lucius Walker, Sr.] and my mother's [Inez Landers] brother were both in the physics program at Howard [University, Washington, District of Columbia], in the graduate program.$$Okay, all right, now, is there a story behind your father's involvement in physics, you know. That's a--$$Well, I mean, he just always as a young person aspired to be a scientist, you know what I'm saying. At least that's what he told me. And then he sort of influenced my thinking as well, you know, and gave me some confidence that if it was something I wanted to achieve, I could, which I think was a very important dimension that's missing from some young and women's lives, you know, someone who tells them, look, you know, (laughter). My father, incidentally, my father never tutored me per se. What he did was always reassure me that within my own abilities I could do the work, which is kind of a different perspective from, you know, you think that maybe he taught me physics. He never taught me physics. He taught me that if I needed to do physics, I could, you know (laughter).$$Okay, you know, with the emphasis today, I know we've been talking about STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics] education in the black community for years and how it's not, the hard sciences and some of the equipment to pursue them are not available in the black community--$$Um-hum.$$--especially in the old days when the one-room schools and people, you know. But, so I just imagine there's a story here on some level behind your father being even involved in physics in that, during that time period, you know. I mean, you know, Howard had a department but who inspired--did your father ever talk about how he was inspired to pursue physics?$$Well, it strikes me that he liked science before he ever came to Howard. But I may, you know, that's as best I recall, his telling me that, well, as a young person, like I said, I told you the story about, you know, he had entered a science fair and somehow, someone confiscated his science project. He was eternally upset about that even though he was, you know. I mean it was a thing of his past when I was growing up, you know. He was maybe thirty or forty years old and still talking about his high school science project (laughter), said someone had confiscated it, you know, so and unfairly so. So, he, he--but there's no science, I mean nothing beyond that I could really say at this time.$$Okay.$$That occurs to me.$Now, so what have been some of the highlights of your career at Howard [University, Washington, District of Columbia]? What would you say they are, if you could pick like three things maybe, as highlights?$$Well, one, I mean I've always enjoyed, you know, working with young men and women and, you know, seeing and I'm hoping, hopefully, opening up their vision, you know, for the future and especially as it relates to engineering opportunities. And, of course, Howard gave me a platform to pursue that concept and hopefully, I've inspired many people to, you know, be, pursue engineering careers and be successful in their careers as engineers. Secondly, I guess it would be, and I was real worried back--well, and National Science Foundation [NSF] introduced the idea of engineering education coalitions in the late '80s [1980s], I was concerned that, you know, we'd be a full part of that exercise of--the notion was to renew engineering education and its infrastructure with a special emphasis on increasing, you know, minority and women participating in engineering. But, but it involved more than just the, the people power issue. It also involved, you know, curriculum reforms and, and curriculum restructuring. So, you know, I took the initiative to organize a number of schools under what was titled 'The ECSEL Coalition'. And so finally, I was successful in bringing these schools together, which included MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts] and I had a (unclear), my son finished MIT. So that sort of gave me access. I, City College of New York, University of Washington, Seattle, Penn State [Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania], University of Maryland [College Park, Maryland] and Morgan State [University, Baltimore, Maryland]. That should be seven schools. So those were members of our coalition, and we were funded for, you know, fifteen million dollars for five years, over a five-year period to, to carry out these studies. Subsequently, we were refunded, although I was, you know, so you kind of know when to hold and you know when to fold (laughter). So I was sort of moving out of engineering education, and my directorship of Excel, and, but we were subsequently refunded for another fifteen million [dollars]. And actually, over the course of the program itself, we were funded maybe a couple extra million [dollars] here and there, you know, during the first five years. So I felt some pride that, you know, we were able to play some role, and our greatest contribution was, I think, introducing engineering in the beginning years of students' course of study. And so we had, we had some, that was the Engineering Design 'cause that was our theme, designed across the curriculum broadly conceived was the essence of engineering. And so, so a lot of schools now, you know, try to introduce students, you know, early on in their academic careers to, you know, doing engineering problems and doing engineering designs. And the one, the design we had, it was very exciting in the Washington metropolitan area. It was homeless shelters. You know, a lot of people sleep in the streets during the coldest month of the year, but the students, you know, came up with some low-budget, low-cost type of shelters that these, you know, people could live in. And they actually tested them in the streets here and there. But that has, you know, finally, we understood, you had to be a little careful about that (laughter) because of the liabilities involved in this, you know, in this society that we live in. But in any event, that was one of the contributions that we made, and then on the other end, well, the other end was, you know, maybe changing people's philosophy about how to teach, you know. Myself was, you know, more weighted to just the chalk-talk method as opposed to the whole idea of involving students in the teaching learning process, and, which I think, you know, we were fairly effective at different institutions in changing the philosophy, you know, of how to teach. Well, you've probably heard the Chinese proverb, what is it, "Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, and involve me, I understand". That was the concept. And so that was one of those things that we got across. And then the last thing was, you know, just to make all participating schools more conscious of the need to increase minority and women as engineering graduates. So those were the three by-products of the effort and, you know, one thing I came to understand was that when you talk about social change, you're talking about a big investment and a lot, lot in terms of, in terms of money and time, wow. It's unbelievably costly to realize social change, but, but, you know, I think all of our schools benefited from the program. And there's some evidence, because like I said, it was funded for an additional ten or, ten years or so.$$Okay.$$What else? Well, those were a couple of the major things that I was involved in, that I feel excited about the outcome. I guess that was the largest quote "program" that I, you know, had any role in developing.