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Essex Finney

Agricultural engineer Essex E. Finney was born in Powhatan County, Virginia on May 16, 1937. As a child, he worked on his family farm growing tobacco, wheat and corn as well as raising farm animals. Finney became interested in agricultural engineering when his family acquired a tractor. After graduating from Pocahontas High School in 1954, he enrolled at Virginia State University. In 1956, Finney transferred to Virginia Polytechnic Institute, where he was one of the first African American students to integrate the university. Finney earned his B.S. degree in agricultural engineering in 1959 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He went on to earn his M.S. degree in 1960 from Pennsylvania State University, and in 1963, he was the first African American to receive his Ph.D. degree from the Department of Agricultural Engineering at Michigan State University. Between 1963 and 1965, Finney served as an officer in the United States Military.

In 1965, Finney accepted a position with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s Beltsville Research Center in the instrumentation research laboratory. He was appointed assistant director of the center in 1977 and became director in 1989. For one year, Finney served as associate director of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) twelve-state North Atlantic Area. In addition, from 1980 to 1981, he was hired as a senior policy analyst in the Office of the Science Advisor to Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. In 1992, Finney went to work at the USDA headquarters in Washington, D.C. where he served as the associate administrator for the ARS. Finney worked with the USDA until his retirement in 1995. In addition to his administrative duties, Finney also conducted research. His early research investigated methods of drying cereal grains like wheat, rice, and barley, and his later research focused on techniques and instruments that measure food quality.

Finney was named a fellow of the African Scientific Institute. He was a member of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers and the National Academy of Engineering. In 1985, the College of Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University presented Finney with their Engineering Alumnus Award.

Essex E. Finney was interviewed by the The HistoryMakers on July 13, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.154

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/13/2012

Last Name

Finney

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

E.

Schools

Pine Hill Elementary School

Pocahontas High School

Virginia Polytechnic Institute

Pennsylvania State University

Michigan State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Essex

Birth City, State, Country

Powhatan County

HM ID

FIN03

Favorite Season

May, October

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bermuda

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

5/16/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Agricultural engineer Essex Finney (1937 - ) a pioneer in the field of agricultural engineering, led a thirty-year career with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Employment

United States Military

United States Department of Agriculture

Office of the Science Advisor to the President

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Essex Finney's interview - part one

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of Essex Finney's interview - part two

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Essex Finney lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Essex Finney talks about his family home in Powhatan County and his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Essex Finney describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Essex Finney describes his mother's growing up in Michaux, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Essex Finney describes his father's family background - part one

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Essex Finney describes his father's family background - part two

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Essex Finney describes the Finney lineage

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Essex Finney talks about his father's parents and family

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Essex Finney talks about his father, Essex Eugene Finney - part one

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Essex Finney talks about his father, Essex Eugene Finney - part two

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Essex Finney talks about his parents meeting and getting married

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Essex Finney talks about growing up around his family in Macon, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Essex Finney describes his childhood home

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Essex Finney corrects his great grandmother's name

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Essex Finney describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Essex Finney describes the Powhatan countryside

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Essex Finney talks about his father's farming

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Essex Finney describes his experience at Pine Hill Elementary School

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Essex Finney describes his childhood interest in farming

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Essex Finney talks about the changes that have occurred in Powhatan County

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Essex Finney talks about race relations in Powhatan County in the 1940s and 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Essex Finney talks about his grandmother's health problems

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Essex Finney talks about his earliest exposure to science

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Essex Finney describes the benefits of using tractors and mechanical equipment for farming

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Essex Finney describes his experience at Pocahontas High School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Essex Finney talks about his decision to attend Virginia State College

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Essex Finney talks about his mother's death

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Essex Finney talks about his mentor, Reuben McDaniel, at Virginia State College

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Essex Finney describes his experience at Virginia State College

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Essex Finney talks about the African American students at Virginia Tech in the 1950s

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Essex Finney talks about living with Janie and William Hogue in Blacksburg

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Essex Finney describes his experience at Virginia Tech

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Essex Finney talks about his mentors, Phillip Mason and Earl Swink, at Virginia Tech

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Essex Finney talks about his Aunt Novella's support of his college education

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Essex Finney talks about his mentors

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Essex Finney talks about the funding for his education at Pennsylvania State University and Michigan State University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Essex Finney talks about getting married to Rosa Ellen Bradley in 1959

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Essex Finney describes his experience at Pennsylvania State University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Essex Finney describes his decision to pursue a Ph.D. degree at Michigan State University

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Essex Finney describes his Ph.D. dissertation research on the viscoelastic behavior of the potato

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Essex Finney describes his experience at Michigan State University

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Essex Finney describes his experience in the military

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Essex Finney describes his early years at the U.S. Department of Agriculture

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Essex Finney describes his work at the U.S. Department of Agriculture

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Essex Finney talks about the racial make-up at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the 1960s and 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Essex Finney describes his experience as a mid-career fellow at Princeton University

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Essex Finney talks about Malcolm Thompson at the Agricultural Research Service

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Essex Finney talks about being appointed as the assistant director of the USDA Beltsville Research Center

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Essex Finney describes his service during the Carter and Reagan administrations

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Essex Finney describes the differences in the agricultural policies of the Carter and Reagan administrations

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Essex Finney describes his administrative responsibilities during his career at the USDA

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Essex Finney discusses current issues in agricultural research - part one

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Essex Finney discusses current issues in agricultural research - part two

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Essex Finney talks about a reunion with his friends from Virginia Polytechnic Institute/Virginia Tech

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Essex Finney discusses federal funding for agricultural research

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Essex Finney reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Essex Finney talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Essex Finney reflects upon his mentors

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Essex Finney talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Essex Finney talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Essex Finney describes his photographs - part one

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Essex Finney describes his photographs - part two

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

9$1

DATitle
Essex Finney describes his early years at the U.S. Department of Agriculture
Essex Finney talks about Malcolm Thompson at the Agricultural Research Service
Transcript
Now how did you I guess find out about the position or get, come to you know work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA]?$$When I was in graduate school at Michigan State [University, East Lansing, Michigan] and at Penn State [Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania], there was a publication, a journal that came out each month called 'Agricultural Engineering'. In that particular issue was a--each issue would have a, an article on advances in instrumentation and that was an area that I wanted to work in was instrumentation. And so Carl Norris who was the research leader or the chief of the instrumentation research laboratory in Beltsville [Maryland] was the one who edited and published these articles each month. So I had followed Carl Norris' career, his publications through that magazine and so when I finished at Michigan State, I knew I had to go into military service. While I was in the military service I had made contact with Carl Norris, sent him a letter and indicated I was interested in working in his lab if a position became available. So the last year that I was there, Carl Norris wrote to me and said--sent me a letter inviting me to apply. So I applied for a position in his laboratory and he accepted. By the way, while I was at Rocky Mountain Arsenal [Denver, Colorado], we did have a couple of scientists from Beltsville who would come and consult and give us advice on some of our research projects so I had also made contact through the Beltsville research programs, through those scientists who had been at Beltsville. So I was successful in getting a position at Beltsville working in the instrumentation research laboratory under Carl Norris.$$Okay, all right. So this, so now you were here, this is here, where we are today?$$Where we are today, yeah.$$In the same building or this is a--?$$I worked in the south building, the building adjacent to us. On the far end of that first floor was the instrumentation research lab so I started work in the, Carl Norris' laboratory complex in the building right to the south of us.$$Okay. And you were basically on this site for twenty-five years, right?$$I started work at Beltsville in '65 [1965] and I retired from USDA in '95 [1995], thirty years and Beltsville has always been my home. I was at Beltsville from '63 [1963] to '73 [1973] and I went away for one year when I was a mid-career fellow at Princeton [University, Princeton, New Jersey] for one year, came back to Beltsville. And then in 1987, I was assigned to the North Atlantic area in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania] so I went up to Philadelphia for two years then came back to Beltsville. So basically I've been at Beltsville for thirty years. My entire career had been here with a couple of exceptions.$$Okay. All right, now kind of walk us through what your initial assignment was and how you, you know--?$$At Beltsville?$$Yes, right.$$Okay, my initial assignment at Beltsville was in the instrumentation research laboratory as a research engineer. And I was responsible for developing equipment for sorting and testing the market quality of agricultural products. There was a division called the market quality research division, that was the division I was in and that division was concerned with once a product is developed on a farm, how do you transport it, how do you store it, how do you market it with optimum quality? And one of the quality of products that they were concerned about was the texture. That is, after products are harvested they tend to soften, it gets flabby and it ultimately will rot. So I was asked to develop instrumentation for automatic sorting and testing the textural quality, the texture of products, the hardness, the firmness, the roughness. How do these products behave in marketing channels? So that was my project. So I developed what they call sonic resonation, sonic resonance techniques for non-destructively measuring the texture or the hardness, the firmness of agricultural products so that was my first product that I was working on. So that was what I involved in and I wrote a number of papers, one of which received an award from the American Society of Agricultural Engineers for the quality of the work that was done. So that was my first responsibility at Beltsville.$One of the scientists I wanted to comment about and I think is worth putting on the record is an African American scientist who was here when I came and had been here for a number of years. His name was Malcolm Thompson. Malcolm Thompson as far as I know is the only African American scientist who is a member of the Agricultural Research Services [ARS agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture] Hall of Fame. The Agricultural Research Service has its hall of fame which is for the top one or two percent of the scientists in the agency. Malcolm Thompson was trained in chemistry. He got his early training from Xavier University [of Louisiana], in Louisiana [New Orleans, Louisiana]. He worked for a while for the National Institute of Health [NIH] and came to Beltsville [Maryland] as a research chemist working in the insect physiology laboratory which is a pioneering laboratory. It does basic research. And he probably is one of the top scientists, he is one of the top scientists in the agency. He's passed away now but he did research on identifying the chemicals that are important in the life span of insects.$$Hmm.$$Now that might not sound important but it is extremely important if you want to control the insect and control the insect in a way that is not harmful to other live animals or is not harmful to plants. So he had identified a number of chemicals that are extracted from the insect that can be used in developing insect control methods. So I'm not going to say anymore about it but I just wanted to put him on the record as one of the top African American scientists and top scientists in the agency itself. And he worked at Beltsville, very highly regarded.$$Okay yeah and this is Malcolm Thompson?$$Malcolm Thompson.

Lilia Abron

Chief executive officer and chemical engineer Lilia Ann Abron was born on March 8, 1945 in Memphis, Tennessee. Her father was a school principal and her mother was a school teacher who taught art and geography. Abron attended Lemoyne College in Memphis, Tennessee where she received her B.S. degree in chemistry in 1966. She earned her M.S. degree in sanitary engineering from Washington University in St. Louis in 1968. After receiving her M.S. degree, Abron worked for the Kansas City Water Department. She went on to become a research engineer for the Metropolitan Sanitary District of Greater Chicago. Abron received her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Iowa in 1972, the first African American woman to do so.

After completing her education, Abron served as an assistant professor of civil engineering at Tennessee State University and held a joint appointment as an assistant professor of environmental engineering at Vanderbilt University. In 1975, she joined the faculty of Howard University as an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering while serving as a consultant to local engineering firms. Abron founded PEER Consultants in 1978, an environmental engineering consulting firm that provides solutions to the problems of contamination of the environment. Her firm had contracts with the Superfund program including the Boston Harbor cleanup; the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy through its Hazardous Waste Remedial Actions Program. In 1995, Abron founded Peer Africa with the mission of building energy-efficient homes in post-apartheid South Africa. Peer Africa’s Witsand iEEECO (Integrated Energy Environment Empowerment-cost Optimization) Sustainable Human Settlement won the American Academy of Engineers 2012 Superior Achievement Award.

Abron is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and the International Women’s Forum. Professionally, she is a member of the Water Environment Federation, American Water Works Association and American Society of Civil Engineers. She also serves on the Advisory Board for the College of Engineering, University of South Florida. Abron has been active in in community serving as the president of the Washington DC chapter of Jack and Jill of American, Inc., and as a board member for the Baptist Home for Children. She was an original participant of the 1975 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) study, “The Double Bind: The Price of Being a Minority Woman in Science.” In 1999, Abron was the recipient of the Hancher-Finkbine Alumni Medallion from the University of Iowa; in 2001, she was awarded the Magic Hands Award by LeMoyne-Owen College, and in 2004, she was elected to the National Academy of Arts and Sciences. Abron has three adult sons.

Lilia Ann Abron was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 17, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.113

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/17/2012

Last Name

Abron

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

A.

Occupation
Schools

LeMoyne-Owen College

Washington University in St Louis

University of Iowa

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Lilia

Birth City, State, Country

Memphis

HM ID

ABR01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

I won't worry about that today, I'll worry about it tomorrow.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

3/8/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Chemical engineer Lilia Abron (1945 - ) , the first African American woman to receive her Ph.D. in chemical engineering, founded PEER Consultants, an environmental engineering consulting firm.

Employment

Kansas City water department

Tennessee State University

Vanderbilt University

Howard University

PEER Consultants

Peer Africa

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lilia Abron's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lilia Abron lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lilia Abron describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lilia Abron talks about her mother's growing up and education

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lilia Abron describes her mother's family resemblance

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lilia Abron talks about her mother's role in the family

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lilia Abron talks about her family as land owners

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lilia Abron describes her father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lilia Abron talks about her grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lilia Abron talks about her father's education and how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lilia Abron talks about her siblings and her parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lilia Abron describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lilia Abron talks about her childhood neighborhoods

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

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lilia Abron talks about the racial climate of Memphis when she was a child

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lilia Abron talks about her childhood career interests

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lilia Abron talks about her elementary school experience

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lilia Abron talks about the structure of her childhood schools

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lilia Abron talks about her family's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lilia Abron talks about her family's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement- part 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lilia Abron talks about her academic standing during high school

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lilia Abron talks about her social life during high school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lilia Abron talks about her decision to attend Lemoyne Owen College

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lilia Abron talks about her experience at Lemoyne-Owen College

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lilia Abron talks about famous people that visited Lemoyne-Owen College

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lilia Abron talks about the music of Memphis and her peers from college

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lilia Abron talks about her peers during her college years

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lilia Abron talks about her decision to major in chemistry

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lilia Abron talks about her decision to pursue her graduate studies at Washington University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lilia Abron talks about her experience at Washington University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lilia Abron talks about what a sanitary engineer does

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lilia Abron talks about environmental justice and her professors at Washington University

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lilia Abron describes the social unrest after Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lilia Abron talks about her mentors and research at the University of Iowa

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lilia Abron talks about bottled water

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lilia Abron talks about her post-doctoral employment opportunities and African American women in STEM

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lilia Abron talks about her experience teaching at Howard University and how her career trajectory shifted

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lilia Abron talks about how she met her husband

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lilia Abron talks about her business, PEER Consultants

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lilia Abron talks about environmental racism

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lilia Abron talks about her consulting projects from her business, PEER Consultants

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lilia Abron talks about PEER Africa and her work in Africa- part 1

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lilia Abron talks about PEER Africa and her work in Africa- part 2

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Lilia Abron talks about her awards and her future plans

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Lilia Abron talks about her business partner, Douglas Guy

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Lilia Abron talks about the dynamics of working in South Africa

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Lilia Abron reflects on her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Lilia Abron talks about the business operations at PEER

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Lilia Abron reflects on her career and talks about the challenges of owning a small business

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Lilia Abron talks about her family

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Lilia Abron talks about how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Lilia Abron describes her photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

5$5

DATitle
Lilia Abron talks about her decision to pursue her graduate studies at Washington University
Lilia Abron talks about PEER Africa and her work in Africa- part 1
Transcript
So then I saw these signs on the bulletin board one day for fellowships in sanitary engineering. What is that? And then about that time I, I had read Silent Spring and trying to figure out you know what to do. And the thing with Silent Spring just kind of upset me as to what we were doing. But then I, I hadn't connected the two and then I saw this. So I said well hmm, interesting. So I wrote and asked them what it was all about and they were recruiting. They were out looking for minority students cause this was beginning to be the heyday when white schools were going after black students and all. So they sent a group down to recruit me and that was so funny. My mom had to make sure that they were going to look after me. I mean I am grown, graduating from college and she still wants to know if I'm going to be safe on campus and are they going to look after me, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. But at any rate, so I got the full fellowship, full ride at Washington University. And I had read up about the curriculum and what they did and then I was beginning to put the Silent Spring together with what they did and oh!, so that's how that happened.$$Okay. All right, so Washington University in St. Louis, this is 1966. You start--now oh, before we leave Lemoyne, were there any special teachers that, like that you remember there that were either a mentor to you or really impressed you there?$$My chemistry professor, Dr. Buehler.$$Doctor what?$$Dr. Buehler, B-U-E-H-L-E-R, pushed me, kept me going, kept me moving. Dr. Williamson, she was the English professor and a linguist, probably the first black to get a Ph.D. in linguistics. She and my mom by the way were at Lemoyne together. She was younger than my mother. So I think when my mom was graduating she was just coming in and she was a Delta also. But she was really four years, I was there, fantastic. And she was doing a book on black speech and one of my jobs is I transcribed a lot of her tapes. So that was really fascinating watching her write a book. She wrote a book, never met anybody who wrote a book. And Mr. Whittaker he was, who was a music professor but he had taught me piano lessons for whole--all twelve years. So those are the people that really stand out. Professor Gibson who was the biology professor got really upset when I got the fellowship from Washington University and he just frankly told me to my face that I would never make it. But that's you know you had, still had stuff like that at Lemoyne even though you wouldn't know it. But you, you know--I wasn't--$$(Unclear).$$I wasn't a biology major. I wasn't--he just said you won't make it. You won't, you know. I don't know some people are like that. Only his students were the best and his students all went to Meharry [Medical College] and he handpicked who he considered were the best students. I wasn't one of his handpicked--I never wanted to be cause I didn't want to major in biology. And I think those are the ones that really stand out.$Now you started PEER Africa in 1995, right?$$Well '94 [1994] and we incorporated in '95 [1995].$$Okay. Tell us how that got started.$$Well I had wanted to go international started around 1990 and I had looked at going into Liberia because we thought the war would be over. Didn't know that it's still not over but at any rate a friend of mine, I was on the advisory board for the business school at Langston University and 1993 he called up one day and said oh, I'm going to have our next board meeting in South Africa. And I said you're going to have your next board meeting from Langston University B School in South Africa? Yes! I said, okay I guess we'll go. And I had already kind of started thinking about this was '93 [1993], ninety--this was '94 [1994], '94 [1994] and Nelson Mandela was president so I had kind of started thinking about umm, wonder if there is the opportunity that I might be able to do something in South Africa. So I said okay. So I went to the board meeting and while I was there for those two weeks for the board meeting I started looking around on the possibly of working, doing, see how we could do working. I wanted to do classical environmental engineering cause South Africa had said they wanted tourism to be one of their number one attractions and the country is very contaminated from all of the mining they do over there. They--it's a very rich country and they have--you name it, the minerals they have. They have--they're the fifth largest export of coal in the world, they have diamonds, they have gold, they have platinum, they have everything. So we had started talking to the Chamber of Mines about doing clean up work for them and President Mandela had instituted this housing program where he had set aside 5 percent of their GDP to get his homeless families into formal housing. So you had all of these housing projects going on and I'd ride up and down the street and see all of these and I kept wondering why they weren't doing them correctly with so many houses they had to build, why weren't they taking sustainable design into consideration and passive solar. And now this was before it became the buzz word that it is now, this is in '94 [1994], '95 [1995]. But I still felt with 5 million home, come on, or 5 million homeless families, surely you got to do this thing right and they weren't. So I went to Secretary O'Leary who was head of Energy under bill Clinton and they had this--$$It was Hazel O'Leary.$$Huh?$$Hazel O'Leary.$$Hazel, yeah. And they had this program that they had set up called Gore-Mbeki Bi-National Commission and six months, every six months they would either come to the U.S. or the U.S. would go to South Africa and this was a cooperation between the two vice presidents which they thought were going to become the presidents and to help them get up on their feet after apartheid. So I went to her and said you know one thing, sure would like to demonstrate passive solar and all this building they're doing. So she said well I'll give you a little money. I said what's little? Why don't you build one? So we became part of what they call the housing program under the Gore-Mbeki Bi-National Commission. So we were able to put up a couple of pallet houses and so that's how we got started in South Africa was through--we had already you know made some inroads and everything but that relationship really helped to push us over the top and to help us get solidified.

Georgia Mae Dunston

Geneticist Georgia Mae Dunston was born in Norfolk, Virginia on August 4, 1944 to a working class family. As a child, Dunston developed an interest in the biology of race and decided to continue her study of biology after graduating from high school. She earned her B.S. degree in biology from Norfolk State University in 1965 and her M.S. degree in biology from Tuskegee University in 1967. Dunston went on to study at the University of Michigan, finishing her Ph.D. degree in human genetics in 1972. She then accepted a position at Howard University Medical Center as an assistant professor which she held from 1972 to 1978.

From 1975 to 1976, Dunston completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute where she studied tumor immunology. She later served as a scientist there in an immunodiagnosis lab that was partly funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). At Howard, Dunston was appointed director of the human immunogenetics laboratory in 1985. At this time, she focused her research on diseases that are common in the black community as well as genes and immune reactions that are unique to African American populations. From 1991 to 1994, Dunston served as associate director of the Division of Basic Sciences at Howard University Cancer Center. She was promoted to full professor in the Department of Microbiology at Howard in 1993 and became chair of the department in 1998. Inspired by the Human Genome Project, begun in 1990, Dunston focused her attention on the genetic heritage of the African American population. Dunston’s work in human genetics and diversity resulted in her founding the National Human Genome Center at Howard in 2001.

Dunston is the recipient of several awards including the Howard University College of Medicine Outstanding Research Award, NAACP Science Achievement Award and the Howard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Graduate Faculty Member Award. She has been a member of the National Advisory Council for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Sigma Xi and the National Academy of Sciences Review Committee on Human Genome Diversity Project. Georgia Mae Dunston lives in Washington, D.C.

Georgia Dunston was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 5, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.088

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/4/2012

Last Name

Dunston

Maker Category
Middle Name

Mae

Occupation
Schools

Norfolk State University

Tuskegee University

University of Michigan

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Georgia

Birth City, State, Country

Norfolk

HM ID

DUN05

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Oceans

Favorite Quote

All things are possible to the one that believes.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

8/4/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chinese Food

Short Description

Geneticist Georgia Mae Dunston (1944 - ) is professor in the Department of Microbiology at Howard University and the founding director of the National Human Genome Center.

Employment

National Cancer Institute

Howard University Hospital

Howard University

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Georgia Mae Dunston's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Georgia Mae Dunston lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her mother's growing up in Princess Anne County, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Georgia Mae Dunston discusses her father's unique name

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes her patrilineal ancestors

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her father's education and social background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her father's near death experience and religious enlightenment

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her family's religious background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her siblings and growing up in Norfolk

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Georgia Mae Dunston reflects upon her experiences and interests as a young girl

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about being introduced to philosophy and science

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Georgia Mae Dunston discusses what distinguished her from her siblings

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her interest in biology, skin tone bias and race

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her transition to Ruffner Junior High School during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes her experience at Booker T. Washington High School, and her desire to become a biologist

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about receiving a state scholarship to attend college

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about being a first generation college student

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Georgia Mae Dunston recalls some of her influential college professors and peers

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her peers at Norfolk State University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Georgia Mae Dunston remembers getting her first 'C' and learning biology in college

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about graduating from college and searching for employment opportunities

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes her introduction to the field of genetics

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her experience with academic challenges, love and heartbreak at Tuskegee University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes her decision to pursue a Ph.D. degree at the University of Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes how her experience with research expanded her scholarly opportunities

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about George Washington Carver

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Georgia Mae Dunston comments upon being unaware of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment while she was at Tuskegee University

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about being the only African American in the human genetics program at the University of Michigan in the mid-1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about exploring different belief systems at the University of Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about the study of human genetics being influenced by social stereotypes

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about race and genetics

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes her doctoral work on characterizing a human blood-group variant first found in a native South American population

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about receiving an opportunity to pursue a post-doc at Howard University and NIH

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her relationship with her doctoral advisor

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about Dr. Willie Turner's role in her appointment at Howard University and the NIH

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about Dr. Willie Turner's mentorship at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her first experience with the NIH research grant process

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about African American geneticists and Howard University's program in human genetics

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes the establishment of the doctoral program and the first doctoral students in microbiology at Howard University in the 1970s

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her role in establishing the Human Immunogenetics Laboratory at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her work in the field of immunogenetics

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about the role of the Howard Immunogenetics Laboratory in providing clinical services for the transplant program

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about how Howard University became involved in the Human Genome Project - part one

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about how Howard University became involved in the Human Genome Project - part two

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes her initial meeting with Francis Collins in the 1990s, and her involvement with studying the genetics of diabetes in Africans

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes her involvement with starting the African American Hereditary Prostate Cancer Study

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about recruiting geneticist, Rick Kittles, to the African American Hereditary Prostate Cancer Study at Howard University

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about Rick Kittles' departure from the African American Hereditary Prostate Cancer Study at Howard University

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about factors that affect gene expression and regulation

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Georgia Mae Dunston reflects upon her legacy and talks about the genetic basis of diversity in humans

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Georgia Mae Dunston describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community today

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about her family and reflects upon her career's findings

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Georgia Mae Dunston talks about how she would like to be remembered, and describes the power of understanding the human genome

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$7

DAStory

4$2

DATitle
Georgia Mae Dunston talks about the study of human genetics being influenced by social stereotypes
Georgia Mae Dunston talks about how Howard University became involved in the Human Genome Project - part one
Transcript
But in genetics, I just remember sitting in that class [at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan] being conscious of being black, and they're talking about black genes and white genes and black this gene. And I honestly believed that there were black genes and white genes. That's why I'm so sensitized at this point in time, almost thirty, thirty-five years later, still in a mindset of trying to tie genetics of biology to black and white, you know, with this racial construct. And, and part of, sort of my whole story going out of--I think I've been called and blessed to be where I am, at the time that I am, meaning, genome project and all because if we don't get it right, if we don't get it biologically, we're gonna miss out on the tremendous power that the science has to bring.$$Now, let me ask you, what was the current, the thinking in 1967 about race and genetics? I mean can you kind of boil it down?$$Just like our (laughter), just like our thinking about society in general, that the--and because we're dealing with medicine, the focus is on disease, okay. I'm in medicine, which is different from public health. So the focus is on medicine. So when you look at it at a population level, and when you look at it through society with a racial construct, the genetics is seen and taught in that way too. So we have black diseases, white diseases. Never mind the fact that all blacks don't have it, but because it's more common, it gets the label of that kind of disease. Sickle cell [anemia], a black disease. Many blacks have anemia that's not based in a sickle cell. Some whites have anemia that is based in sickle cell, but because we have this categorization, it carries over in even how we handle our healthcare. Even to the big studies that were done in the '80s [1980s] about how a physician factors in the person's quote "race" into their diagnosis, into their recommendations for care, based on what's common or generally known, not based on the individual. See, the big push now in medicine is this whole term "personalized medicine" that's really driven by the knowledge growing in the genetic basis of biology. But we're still stuck in our old constructs that are really compromising the power of our new technologies and techniques, and that's part of the scholarly work that we have to do in terms of shedding light. But my point is simply this, that I was interested in human genetics at a time where it was taught as science, but still taught through the lenses of a racists society, racists in terms of constructs, not in--$$Well, give me an example.$$I don't mean racists in terms of anybody treating me differently.$$I understand. Give me an example of what you mean?$$Just like I, the clearest example is this whole idea that I heard all the time. Black gene, white gene. I actually thought black folk had a gene that you could describe as clearly as in blacks. This is a gene in black folk. And I'm thinking because you got the black gene and the white gene, that white folk don't have this gene that we call black gene (laughter), okay. One time, it was so bad, I really expected, at that time, we were looking directly at the gene. We were looking at the footprints or the, really the expressions, if you will, the footprints, with skin color being one. But sickle cell being one of your first classic genetic diseases, okay. That was, that's one of the hallmark, genetic diseases. And it was the chairman of our department, Dr. Neal, who really was instrumental in tying sickle cell to the malaria environment and actually working out the fact that the presence of a sickle cell gene actually was contributing to the adaptive advantage or the survival of people in an environment where malaria could be a threat to life, okay, working that out. But my point is, my, I'm in human genetics so my study and what we're looking at is genes related to disease in people, okay. And because we have this way of looking at people and grouping people, that influences how we communicate, how we interpret, how we see the data. And so I would hear all the time, black gene, white gene. Those were common terms, so much so that I really thought that there were genes that were present in blacks that weren't present in whites and genes for whites and that these lined up with what we call black and white.$Okay, now, let me ask you about this. Now, I wanna ask you about the role that Howard [University, Washington, District of Columbia] played, that you all here at Howard played in the Human Genome Project beginning in 1990?$$Well, you see, building up to 1990 also I had done another, and this is how I kept my--I was able to, I have been able to keep my research active because of the physical location of NIH [National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland], beginning with the post-doc. And then I was going back periodically to reboot, to realign. So during the opportunity to develop the immunogenetics lab, I did another visiting investigator stint at NIH with the [National] Cancer Institute [NCI]. But this time, I was looking at--my interest in human immunogenetics was growing--actually, one before that was the NK, when the NCI moved to Frederick [Maryland] and I was there. But let me say this, Howard, how we got tied to the genome project, the genome project was perking up to officially start in 1990, okay, as a formal fifteen-year project. When it was first envisioned, formally starting in 1990 to be a fifteen-year project to complete sequencing of the genome. Now, in the late '80s [1980s] there, we were sensitive from HLA [human leukocyte antigen], okay. Another change that was occurring was Howard had recruited George Bonney who is a statistical geneticist who had come out of New Orleans [Louisiana] with a big statistical group there. He was recruited to this same program that, I had the immunogenetics lab [Human Immunogenetics Laboratory, Howard University]. He came to head our bio-statistics lab. And I mention him because he's coming now in the, in the early, mid-80s [1980s], I don't know exactly. But the point is, he's coming to head statistical, the statistics core, and we, he's part of this RCMI [Research Centers in Minority Institutions] program. And he and I meet, and we talk, and he tells me, Georgia, HLA, which is what I'm studying, this human antigen, he's saying that your work here is foundational for the big project that's really on the way, and we're talking big project--he's saying this, the human genome project. I didn't know about the human genome project before he came because he's now coming out of the group that's doing the planning of the statistics for this work, how we're gonna analyze this data. That's the group he's coming out of. But he tells me, we need to have a genetics resource here that's part of the genome project. He also, he's not--, he's Ghanaian. And he was in touch with the French folk that were big on human genetic polymorphism institute there [Paris, France] called CEPH, the Center for the Study of Human Polymorphisms. The bottom line is, he introduces me to his colleagues, tells them about my work in HLA, but saying that I need to be thinking of having something comparable to their study of polymorphisms. Actually, we go to Paris to look at their set up and to really meet these folks. So George kind of introduced me to the community that was planning and working with plans for the genome project. So we write a grant from Howard to have a genome resource at Howard, a resource for genomic studies at Howard. At that time, we called it GRAAP, Genomic Research in African American Pedigrees, okay, GRAAP was the name. We, all excited because George is saying, you've gotta have, you're gonna have to come to us to have resources of black 'cause at that time, and true enough, all of the resources that the folk gearing up for the genome project working with all of these resources are from white populations. This was a heady time, but suffice it to say, our grant was not even close to being funded.

Gloria Anderson

Chemist and academic administrator Gloria Long Anderson was born on November 5, 1938 in Altheimer, Arkansas to sharecroppers Charley Long and Elsie Lee Foggie. As one of six children, Anderson was expected to assist with farm chores, though her parents never let farm duties get in the way of education. Anderson graduated from Altheimer Training High School in 1954 and then attended Arkansas A&M and Normal College, where she received her B.S. degree in chemistry and mathematics and graduated at the top of her class in 1958. Anderson went on to earn her M.S. degree in organic chemistry from Atlanta University in 1960 under the tutelage of her mentor, Henry C. McBay. She taught chemistry at South Carolina State College and Morehouse College between 1961 and 1964. Anderson then went on to earn her Ph.D. degree in physical organic chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1968.

Upon earning her Ph.D. degree, Anderson joined the faculty of Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia as an associate professor and chair of the chemistry department. In 1973, She was promoted to an endowed chair position and named the Fuller E. Calloway professor of chemistry, earning the illustrious title again in ’90, ’93, ’99, and ’07. Beginning in 1981, Anderson spent two summers at Lockheed Georgia Corporation in Marietta, Georgia as both a research fellow and research consultant. During the summer of 1984, she served as a faculty research fellow at the Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory at Edwards Air Force Base in California. From 1984 to 1989, Anderson was promoted to dean of academic affairs at Morris Brown College. She served as interim president from 1992 to 1993 and again in 1998, and from 1995 to 1997, Anderson was the dean of science and technology at Morris Brown Collge. Since 2007, Anderson has been serving as a professor of chemistry as well as vice president for academic affairs. Throughout her various academic and administrative positions, Anderson kept up her research in organic chemistry, particularly the chemistry of Fluorine-19. Her studies of chemical structure have also found use in further work on anti-viral drugs.

Anderson has worked tirelessly to improve the scientific programs at Morris Brown College. Through her efforts, the chemistry department grew, the chemistry curriculum was revitalized, and new scientific instrumentation was brought to the campus. Throughout her long career at Morris Brown College, Anderson secured more than $1,000,000 in grants for the college’s science programs and faculty. In addition to her dedication to Morris Brown College, Anderson was an involved member of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Board of Directors from 1972 to 1979. Throughout her career, she has received countless awards including two major awards in 2011 and patents in 2009 and 2001. Anderson lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Gloria Long Anderson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on 03/17/2012.

Accession Number

A2012.098

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/17/2012

Last Name

Anderson

Middle Name

Long

Schools

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Clark Atlanta University

University of Chicago

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Gloria

Birth City, State, Country

Altheimer

HM ID

AND13

Favorite Season

None

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

11/5/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Academic administrator and chemist Gloria Anderson (1938 - ) is the vice president for academic affairs at Morris Brown College. She studied the chemistry of Fluorine-19 and it use as a chemical marker.

Employment

South Carolina State College

Morehouse College

University of Chicago

Morris Brown College

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Pale Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:21162,163:22842,189:26914,232:30522,352:54116,613:129656,1203:144904,1295:146773,1317:148553,1340:148909,1345:160572,1453:163850,1463:164396,1472:165098,1482:168218,1514:168530,1519:168842,1524:176782,1601:180890,1614:187880,1673:188455,1679:189490,1689:189950,1695:197576,1730:206140,1792:206805,1800:208325,1819:216154,1866:218422,1874:219430,1883:263352,2298:263680,2303:265566,2326:265976,2332:273671,2383:285060,2491:294088,2601:294916,2611:307855,2725:308660,2733:320903,2925:325108,2939:326592,2957:336047,3012:338084,3042:338472,3047:351848,3179:354060,3227:356588,3274:360222,3357:382834,3556:384454,3575:385102,3582:391042,3615:405290,3779:405872,3806:406454,3816:417496,3931:419064,3957:420926,3987:434355,4134:434925,4141:435685,4150:449800,4275$0,0:19150,240:20014,249:24796,273:25780,284:29520,301:35350,370:36560,384:50770,461:53200,491:56514,502:57584,514:58440,523:59403,535:60794,551:61222,556:64646,591:65609,602:66893,617:78652,709:81090,738:81832,746:82892,759:84270,769:89158,786:90399,805:93060,837:98759,917:101794,944:102480,954:105492,975:105884,980:111830,1035:118960,1109:119644,1117:134400,1274:135420,1288:138140,1333:145650,1389:164383,1541:164878,1547:169927,1650:183920,1749:202785,1917:204045,1935:209820,2036:217814,2111:231670,2283
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gloria Anderson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gloria Anderson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gloria Anderson describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gloria Anderson describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gloria Anderson talks about her parents and siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gloria Anderson describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gloria Anderson describes the sights, sounds and smells of her growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gloria Anderson talks about her early education

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gloria Anderson talks about her high school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gloria Anderson talks about her high school principal

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gloria Anderson talks about her family's involvement in the church growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gloria Anderson talks about her decision to go to college

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gloria Anderson talks about Arkansas AM & N College

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gloria Anderson talks about her studies at Arkansas AM & N College

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gloria Anderson talks about her Negro History class at Arkansas AM & N College

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gloria Anderson talks about her post-baccalaureate aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gloria Anderson talks about how she met her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gloria Anderson describes her Master's thesis

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gloria Anderson talks about her experience teaching at South Carolina State University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gloria Anderson talks about her decision to pursue her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gloria Anderson talks about Dr. Henry McBay

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gloria Anderson talks about her experience at the University of Chicago (part one)

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gloria Anderson talks about her experience at the University of Chicago (part 2)

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gloria Anderson talks about her experience at the University of Chicago (part 3)

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gloria Anderson talks about her experience at the University of Chicago (part 4)

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gloria Anderson talks about having to prove herself

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gloria Anderson talks about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gloria Anderson describes her dissertation on Fluorine 19

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gloria Anderson talks about the chemistry department at Morris Brown College

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gloria Anderson talks about Morris Brown College's struggles

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gloria Anderson talks about her professional activities

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gloria Anderson talks about her experience with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Gloria Anderson talks about being promoted to Fuller E. Calloway Professor of chemistry at Morris Brown College

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Gloria Anderson talks about Morris Brown's relationship with the Atlanta University Center

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Gloria Anderson talks about her research on the drug, Amantadine, under the Minority Biomedical Support Program of the NIH

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Gloria Anderson talks about her professional activities

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Gloria Anderson talks about the problems faced by Morris Brown College

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Gloria Anderson talks about the importance of access to financial aid and accreditation to Morris Brown's future

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Gloria Anderson talks about her patents

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Gloria Anderson talks about her hopes for Morris Brown's future

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Gloria Anderson reflects on her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Gloria Anderson shares her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Gloria Anderson talks about her family

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Gloria Anderson reflects on how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

3$2

DATitle
Gloria Anderson describes her dissertation on Fluorine 19
Gloria Anderson talks about being promoted to Fuller E. Calloway Professor of chemistry at Morris Brown College
Transcript
Yes, ma'am. Okay, so Dr. King's assassinated in April the 4th [1968], and did you graduate in May or--$$No, what happened was, it's kind of funny. I finished my dissertation. I finished everything, but I didn't finish in time to graduate for that semester. So what I did was I graduated in December. And the funny thing about it, all the struggle that I had at first, there were only two students who got out before me in the Organic area.$$In the whole department?$$In the "Organic" part. And those students got out because their professor did not get tenure so he left and went on. And he got them out. They got out that summer, and I got--I had finished everything, but I didn't get it in in time, so I got out, in fact, I graduated in December. But if he had not, if it had not been for the fact that he didn't get tenure and he went on somewhere else, I would have been the first person from the organic class to graduate.$$Okay, now, tell us in, I guess in simplest terms as possible, what your dissertation was about? I know it was about Fluorine 19, right?$$Yeah, okay. There is something called, oh, how do I say it? Well, my professor was interested in looking at the mechanism of transmission of substituent effects. That's too much. We have in organic chemist, we have reaction, reactant in products and reactants come together, and they end up as products over here. Now, in between over here, the reactant and over here the products, there is something called a mechanism which is how they come together to form whatever is over here, the mechanism. And my professor was studying the mechanism of certain reactions. And he had been doing it, using something else, some other technique. And what he wanted to do, he wanted to try to use another, another way of getting information on the mechanism. And what he wanted to use was NMR, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. And if I have trouble saying some words, I had a stroke in 2004.$$Okay.$$And sometimes I, the words won't come out like I was trying to think of this thing. I can't, I know what it is. I couldn't think of it. Anyway, he wanted, he wanted to use nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, NMR, and he wanted to use fluorine, and Fluorine 19 because that shows up in the NMR. At that time, most people only, were only using hydrogen NMR. So, that's why he wanted, he wanted this parent compound, and he had been trying to get all these people to make it, and I had made it. And so what you do, we had the fluorine up, that was, we called the parent compound. And then we put a whole lot of different things at the, down here, we called the substituents. And we looked at, we looked at the NMR, and how the signal changes based on what is down here. When we start off, we have an "H" down here. That's the parent compound. Then we have a whole lot of different things down there. And we look at how the signal changes. And that gave us some information on how, it gave us some information on the mechanism of how these things come together and form this over here. That's the best I can do (laughter).$$Okay. And, well, the end product is what?$$Well, I had to make all the compounds. The first one I had to make. It had "F" up here, and "H" down here. That was the one he was concerned about, and then I had to make a whole lot of the others. And then I had to go and measure. Interestingly enough, they got an instrument at the University of Chicago that measured "H" NMR and F-19 NMR. And I was the only one who could operate it because you had to switch from "H" to F-19. And don't put this in there, but when I, when I didn't want to, when I didn't want anybody else to use the instrument, I would leave it on F-19. And they couldn't or they would have to come and ask me to switch it back for them (laughter). That was a brand new instrument.$$Well, some--$$And there were about, there were two or three other groups in the country that were doing F-19, same kind of stuff that I was doing.$$Okay, so you distinguish yourself at the University in that regard.$$Interesting enough, the man over in the cancer research would send some stuff over there for me to run the F-19 NMR for him. I don't even remember his name. He was doing research.$Okay. Now, it says in '73' [1973], you became Fuller E. Calloway professor of Chemistry at Morris Brown [College]?$$Yes.$$And I was asking you off camera, like who is Fuller E. Calloway, and what's his role in Georgia's--$$There's a whole Calloway family in Georgia. And some of, I think it was his children, maybe his son who set it up when Fuller E. Calloway died. They set up a trust fund. And they, the goal of that program is to enable every four-year college and, or university in Georgia to attract and maintain some of the best professors that they can find. So every four year college in Georgia has at least one Fuller E. Calloway professor or they have at least a slot. There may be some who don't have anybody right now because they may not have sent somebody up that would be qualified according to the advisory board because you have to send your CV [curriculum vitae] up there. And the advisory committee has to pick, you know, the person. So it's not just like the college said, well, I want "X" person to have this chair. They have to send, they have to recommend somebody, and that person, that person sends, rather the college sends the CV up there. And they, the advisory committee decides on, you know, who gets it. But every college and, or university in Georgia has at least one slot. Some of them have more than one slot.$$So that's basically, when you receive that chair, you are seen as someone who's extremely valuable to the campus, right?$$Yes, and interestingly enough, some of my colleagues didn't quite understand that. And I was sick one time, and they were running around figuring out who was gonna get this Calloway chair. But it's not that simple because the advisory committee-I have it right now, even though Morris Brown is not accredited. I went out sick in 2004. I had a stroke, and I came back to Morris Brown in 2007. And the president at that time told me that the Calloway people had told him that they thought I had retired, and if I wanted that chair back, I could get it back. All I had to do was teach one class. And so I still have it. It's really an honor to, it's more of an honor to say that I'm Calloway Professor of Chemistry than it is to say I'm Vice President for Academic Affairs as far as I'm concerned.

Calvin Howell

Professor Calvin Howell was born on December 7, 1955 in Warrenton, North Carolina. After graduating from high school, Howell earned his B.S. degree in physics from Davidson College in 1978. He then attended Duke University where he received his Ph.D. degree in 1984 with a specialty in experimental nuclear physics. Then, Howell conducted postdoctoral research at the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory (TUNL) for one year, serving as an instructor and research associate.

In 1985, he joined the faculty at Duke University as an assistant professor of physics. Howell was promoted to associate professor in 1992 and full professor in 2001. Also in 2001, Howell was hired as deputy director of the TUNL, a position he held until 2006 when he was promoted to director of TUNL. In addition to his positions at Duke University and TUNL, Howell held many visiting positions including visiting scientist at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He has served as a nuclear physics program director at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and a member Department of Energy (DOE)/ NSF Nuclear Science Advisory Committee. Howell's research interests in experimental nuclear physics include the study of the strong interaction in few-nucleon systems, nuclear astrophysics, plant physiology using radioisotopes and national security. In 2011, he and his colleagues from Duke were involved in a measurements important for developing technologies for scanning cargo ships for harmful materials using nuclear 'fingerprints'. Howell has co-authored more than 110 scientific articles.

Howell has worked extensively with the American Physical Society including serving as a chair of the executive committee of the southeastern section, chair of the committee on minorities in physics and member of the executive committee on the Division of Nuclear Physics. Howell became an American Physical Society Fellow in 2006. He also participates in activities to promote academic opportunities for minority students including serving as academic coordinator for the Minority Medical Education Program at Duke University and a member of the Duke’s Presidential Council on Black Affairs. In 2008, Howell received the Samuel DuBois Cook Award for Service at Duke University. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.

Calvin Howell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 21, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.039

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/21/2012

Last Name

Howell

Maker Category
Middle Name

R

Occupation
Schools

Davidson College

Duke University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Calvin

Birth City, State, Country

Warrenton

HM ID

HOW04

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Home

Favorite Quote

Success is measured by how many people you help.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

12/7/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Durham

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Mexican Food, Spicy Food

Short Description

Physicist Calvin Howell (1955 - ) is the director of the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory (TUNL) and has served as the nuclear physics program director at the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Employment

Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory (TUNL)

Duke University

North Carolina Central University

National Science Foundation (NSF)

Jefferson Laboratory

Stanford Linear Accelerator Center

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:9112,69:9586,76:10060,87:10613,95:11087,103:11719,112:21666,200:28944,273:36140,327:37980,362:39180,386:40220,401:40620,407:41020,413:55250,548:56865,569:60520,621:61200,630:71040,678:74100,724:74508,729:75018,735:87332,840:87756,845:90088,868:91466,882:92420,893:95070,920:95812,928:101214,976:106373,1036:110377,1126:116768,1258:125950,1375:126430,1384:128030,1399:129470,1425:130270,1440:132270,1481:132830,1489:133550,1500:134110,1511:140828,1553:142676,1594:143864,1611:164237,1906:169082,1962:172106,2024:172538,2031:175190,2050:175540,2056:176380,2072:177080,2085:177850,2097:178340,2106:179110,2125:181840,2174:194940,2264:195300,2269:200430,2363:201240,2375:203040,2399:217540,2588:217870,2594:219190,2619:220312,2641:220906,2651:221170,2656:227270,2726:227550,2731:240236,2884:258453,3152:258898,3158:259610,3167:259966,3172:264149,3227:264683,3241:272011,3305:277858,3405:278082,3410:278978,3434:279314,3441:279538,3446:279874,3453:289282,3509:292920,3548:293460,3555:296293,3576:310555,3746:313330,3796:313630,3801:313930,3806:330920,4041:331760,4060:332660,4080:333080,4108:335990,4176:347522,4308:354690,4402:360758,4450:361346,4459:362522,4470:368066,4569:370334,4614:375480,4637:375840,4643:376200,4649:376632,4656:377064,4664:377568,4676:377928,4682:378216,4687:378648,4694:379152,4703:380736,4737:384846,4760:387174,4804:388532,4820:409300,5045:409536,5050:410480,5065:410775,5071:411070,5077:411365,5087:411955,5098:412722,5114:416384,5141:434930,5380:438810,5410:442583,5477:447840,5528:455042,5608:456246,5624:459522,5666:462336,5724:465652,5748:466404,5758:474470,5876:475170,5891:475940,5905:481725,5980:496542,6163:497144,6171:499380,6219:504310,6265:505066,6275:511570,6334:512062,6344:513620,6368:515190,6376$0,0:1154,13:2712,37:3450,50:3942,57:19350,270:24596,351:26746,388:33014,441:35222,478:61232,781:62078,789:70212,873:71724,906:75504,974:76260,984:77100,995:86150,1044:86510,1050:86870,1055:89390,1086:91190,1106:104770,1239:105260,1247:112880,1360:113300,1368:115220,1413:125137,1553:125599,1560:128814,1575:129219,1581:134820,1662:135925,1674:136605,1702:143065,1861:143745,1870:145190,1893:153636,1939:154170,1946:154971,1965:157730,2003:158531,2015:169911,2172:173190,2210:173855,2218:174805,2235:175375,2242:176040,2253:179840,2363:193090,2433:193370,2447:194980,2499:202730,2589:203280,2595:207088,2636:211106,2703:218240,2816:230488,2963:231496,2976:233344,2998:243800,3086:244385,3097:246210,3135
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Calvin Howell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Calvin Howell lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Calvin Howell describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Calvin Howell talks about his grandfather's emphasis on educating his daughters

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Calvin Howell talks about his mother's educational background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Calvin Howell describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Calvin Howell talks about his father's mechanical abilities

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Calvin Howell describes the old field school he attended

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Calvin Howell describes his parents' secret marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Calvin Howell describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Calvin Howell talks about his siblings and describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Calvin Howell describes the sights, smells, and sounds of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Calvin Howell talks about civil rights in Palmer Springs, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Calvin Howell describes Palmer Springs, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Calvin Howell talks about his experience at Roanoke Elementary School

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Calvin Howell talks about his aptitude for math

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Calvin Howell talks about his childhood interests

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Calvin Howell talks about his experience at Park View High School

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Calvin Howell talks about his mechanical talents

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Calvin Howell talks about his high school science education

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Calvin Howell talks about his siblings and their various career paths

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Calvin Howell explains his decision to attend Davidson College

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Calvin Howell talks about his experience at Davidson College

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Calvin Howell talks about his year at Howard University, part 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Calvin Howell talks about his year at Howard University, part 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Calvin Howell describes his senior project on temperature physics

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Calvin Howell talks about his interest in experimental nuclear physics

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Calvin Howell describes his teaching experience at Duke University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Calvin Howell describes his doctoral research

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Calvin Howell talks about Triangle University Nuclear Laboratory

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Calvin Howell describes his teaching experience at Duke University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Calvin Howell describes his experience at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Calvin Howell talks about Jefferson Labroatory

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Calvin Howell talks about his experience at North Carolina Central University

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Calvin Howell talks about his return to Jefferson Laboratory

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Calvin Howell talks about Jefferson National Laboratory and the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Calvin Howell discusses his role as the Nuclear Physics Program Director

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Calvin Howell talks about private and government funded research

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Calvin Howell describes his research in Jefferson Laboratory in 1999

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Calvin Howell describes his role in preparing students to enter the medical profession

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Calvin Howell talks about his role as Director of the Triangle University's Nuclear Laboratory

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Calvin Howell talks about the high intensity gamma ray source

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Calvin Howell describes uses for gamma ray technology

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Calvin Howell describes his work as Physics Department chair and medical physics professor

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Calvin Howell talks about the American Physical Society

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Calvin Howell describes his current research

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Calvin Howell talks about the number of minorities entering careers in physics

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Calvin Howell shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Calvin Howell talks about his legacy and career

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Calvin Howell talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Calvin Howell talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$3

DAStory

4$5

DATitle
Calvin Howell describes his current research
Calvin Howell describes his senior project on temperature physics
Transcript
Okay. Now you've published quite a bit and I--can you describe your latest work, your current work in layman's terms so we can understand what you're doing right now?$$So I guess the two most recent things that I--well I can tell you the easiest thing to describe is that some of the work that I did with the group in medical physics. One of the things that a group, one of my former colleagues and we're still working on it, was something called Inspect, I think it was called, neutron (unclear) by excited--god, I forget all the acronyms. But what he wanted--what this group wanted to do was to use neutron beams or particle beams to do diagnostics of tissue. There is a, there's data in literature, in the literature that shows that there are certain elements that have a higher frequency than normal in cancerous tissue and so with this information one of our collaborators started to look at suppose you had an imaging technology that could image tissue and tell you something about it's elemental composition? So, one way of doing that is to use similar techniques that are used in nuclear physics. And so what we were proposing to use is either a photon beam or high energy gamma ray beam like over at the HIGS [High Intensity Gamma-Ray Source] facility or a neutron beam that we can produce downstairs in our lower energy accelerator laboratory. And so we did that, we started an R&D program. First of all we stopped and we asked ourselves is there any fundamental physics reason why this can't work and the answer was no, but there are technical challenges. And the technical challenges is to make an accurate enough measurement to distinguish the abundance of certain elements like calcium was one of the things we wanted to look at. Iron was another one that we wanted to distinguish out and to look at the concentration of iron per cubit centimeter of tissue to see if we could get a signature for cancerous tissue. So that was one of the things we worked on and I think you'll see that in some of my recent publications. The other thing that I've always had a fascination with too that you'll see in some of my recent publications that are probably coming out within this year too is to measure the basic interaction between two neutrons, that still is a bit of a challenge to be able to do and one of the things that--so we've done that quite a few times and so you'll see that also in the literature. One of the problems of trying to measure the interaction between two neutrons is because we can make a neutron beam but we cannot make a neutron target and so we're always trying to measure that by some indirect technique that requires a theoretical interpretation of data. And so you know every five years or so we'll get a new idea of how to do that and so I think you'll see that in some of my most recent publications as well. And of course I think some of the work that we've been doing for homeland security and has recently come out in the literature and that is nuclear resonance florescence. For instance, we did nuclear resonance florescence on uranium 235 and uranium 238 and discovered new excited states in those elements that nobody had ever seen before and it's purely because we have the most sensitive facility for doing that in the world, that's the HIGS facility. It's the highest, most high--highest intensity polarized gamma ray beam in the world and that allows us to do certain things that nobody else can do.$$Okay. And so, that's part of a, Triangle Universities'--?$$Yeah. So one of the things that is, it's not my research but one of the emphasis at Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory is something called fundamental symmetries and the study of weak interactions. And to a lay person, people may ask why would anybody spend so much time studying fundamental symmetry and weak interactions? Weak interactions, what do I mean by that? If I, if the strong nuclear force, the thing that binds nuclei, it's--lets, let me give it a strength of one. Then the weak interaction which is the other part of the nuclear force is about 10-7 so it's about ten million times weaker than the strong interaction. Why is that important? Well there's a lot of consequences of it and it's--many are starting to believe that it is these weak interactions that led to the initial breaking of symmetries that give us the universe that we have today. That in the beginning there must have been some process, some force that broke the symmetry between for instance matter and anti-matter so we end up with a surplus of matter and that's why the universe is mostly matter today. But the other thing that's more at home that I think most people take for granted in a weak interaction and that is the burning of stars. Remember I told you that one of the things I missed about growing up on a farm and I kind of took for granted was the night sky? Well all of those dots, all of those stars are burning by nuclear fusion and generating light and the closest one to us is the sun, right? And so most people I think never think about the connection between nuclear process and life. In some ways we live on this planet because of the nuclear processes in the sun but those nuclear processes are not driven by the strong interaction, they're driven by that interaction that is ten million times weak. It is electro-weak fusing of four hydrogens to make helium that burns hydrogen to make our sun glow and that bathes our solar system with light and gives us the temperature for life to exist on this planet. So in some sense the electro-weak interaction is responsible for life on our planet and in a big way, it's responsible or life in the sense that supposed it was the strong interaction. It turns out that suns--stars like our sun live billions of years. Our sun I think is about five billion years now and scientists predict it has about five to seven more billion years it can burn. Well it takes billions of years for life to develop on planets. If it was burning by the strong interactions, stars would live probably millions of years not billions. So that weak force, that if you just took it for granted that why are scientists studying and putting so much effort in it, has huge consequences. So something small can have a consequence. That's one of the reasons I really am fascinated by subatomic physics.$Now you were working on an important project your senior year from what I read, right?$$Yeah, so that's how I became connected to Duke [Duke University]. So I was--to do an honor's thesis you had to do a, an experiment. So I was doing an experiment in low temperature physics measuring I guess the magnetic field strength that--or demonstrating the magnetic field strength that a super conductor would quench. And a very famous physicist came to Davidson, gave a talk by the name of Professor Hors Meyer (ph.) who is now a colleague of mine here at Duke and he talked on Helium 3 phase transitions. That was his--one of the areas that he worked on, one of the topics of his research exploration. And while there he visited with undergraduates. He was a phenomenal individual that he really encouraged young people to do science and research in particular. And so he came down to the lab where I was working, I showed him what I was trying to do and told him what the technical challenges were and he of course understood them. And went back, came back to Duke and remembered my project and sent me some super conducting wire to make myself a super conducting solenoid for my experiment. And it--that experience, I never forgot it because when he came down, I knew he was pleasant. He was pleasant to everybody. I mean he was a gentleman. I kind of thought that once he came back and got busy with his research he wouldn't remember. But he remembered and he sent the roll of wire back and told us to use what we needed and keep the rest for future projects and I never forgot that. So when I started applying to graduate schools, I applied to Duke, Georgetown, American University and the University of Maryland. And so you can see probably a lot of them were in the Washington, D.C. [Washington, District of Columbia] area and that was kind of a personal choice for a number of reasons. But when I visited Duke, one of the things that stuck out was that first of all Professor Meyer was here and he took a lot of time to talk with me when I visited and encouraged me to choose Duke. And then a lot of other professors stopped what they were doing and met with me and you know this is somebody passing through on their spring break from college to visit graduate schools. I forget what time of year it was but it was about that time when you did that. And so I came with the idea after accepting and coming to Duke with the idea that I'd work with Professor Meyer but I changed my mind after being here and he was understanding and supportive of even that and has been a great support all of my professional career as quite a few of my colleagues here when I--that know me in making a transition from being a student to a researcher.$$Okay. Well were you--you earned your BS in 70--$$'78 [1978].$$Eight, okay. So you go into a program like many people do which is a combined Ph.--Masters-Ph.D. program right?$$Right.$$Here at Duke? Okay. So what did you focus on--?$$So after coming here I decided to do research in experimental nuclear physics and that was for a variety of reasons I was attracted to that field.

Howard Adams

Educator, consultant, and author, Howard G. Adams was born on March 28, 1940 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia to Delsia Mae Waller Adams and Daniel Boone Adams. As a child, he helped his father on the family farm and enjoyed exploring nature. Adams attended Southside High School, Blairs, Virginia. During high school, he worked after-school as a kitchen helper at the Greyhound bus station in Danville, Virginia. In 1958, Adams graduated from high school, and then moved Paterson, New Jersey to escape from the segregated south. In 1959, Adams enrolled at the Norfolk Division of Virginia State College (now Norfolk State University) where he majored in biology. In order to finance his education, Adams worked at a supermarket and, during his senior year, at a fast food restaurant. Adams was active on campus, serving as Cadet Captain in the ROTC Military Science Program, president of the sophomore and senior classes, president of the biology club, and vice president of the student government association. He received his B.S. degree in biology from Norfolk State College in 1964.

That same year, Adams began his professional career as a general science teacher at Jacox Junior High School in the Norfolk City Schools System. He also received his M.S. degree in biology from Virginia State College (now Virginia State University) in 1968 as a National Science Foundation In-Service Fellow. In 1970, Norfolk State University President Lyman Beecher Brooks recruited Adams to serve as the school’s first director of alumni affairs. After three years in that position, he was promoted to vice president for student affairs at Norfolk State University. Adams also enrolled in Syracuse University’s higher education administration program, receiving his Ph.D. degree in 1978. Adams then accepted the position of executive director of the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, Inc. In 1989, President Ronald Regan appointed Adams to a U.S. congressional task force on women, minorities and the handicapped in science and technology. Adams founded his consulting company, H.G. Adams & Associates, Inc. in 1995.

Adams has received numerous awards including the Centennial Medallion from the American Society of Engineering Education. He was named a 20th Century Outstanding Educator by Black Issues in Higher Education and he also received the Golden Torch Award Lifetime Achievement in Academia from The National Society of Black Engineers. Adams was named by President Clinton as one of the first recipients of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Mentoring. In addition, Adams is a board member of the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education and was a former faculty member of AABHE’s Leadership and Mentoring Institute. He has written three books including his 2002 book “Get Up with Something on your Mind! Lessons for Navigating Life” and over fifteen self-help guides and handbooks. Adams is married to the Eloise Adams, Ph.D. and they have one daughter, Stephanie Glenn Adams, Ph.D.

Howard Adams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 8, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.034

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/8/2012

Last Name

Adams

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

G.

Schools

Stony Mill Elementary School

Southside High School

Norfolk State University

Virginia State University

Syracuse University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Howard

Birth City, State, Country

Danville

HM ID

ADA11

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cruises

Favorite Quote

Get up with something on your mind.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

3/28/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Norfolk

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Meatloaf

Short Description

Educator, consultant, author, and science educator Howard Adams (1940 - ) is the founder and president of the consulting company, H.G. Adams & Associates Inc. and has written three books and over fifteen self-help guides and handbooks.

Employment

Greyhound Lines, Inc.

Norfolk Public Schools

Norview Sr. High School

National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, University of Notre Dame

H.G. Adams & Associates Inc.

Norfolk State University

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Howard Adams' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Howard Adams lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Howard Adams describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Howard Adams talks about his mother's growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Howard Adams describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Howard Adams talks about his father's growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Howard Adams talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Howard Adams describes the Primitive Baptist Church

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Howard Adams talks about the Primitive Baptist Church

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Howard Adams talks about his parents and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Howard Adams talks about his family

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Howard Adams describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Howard Adams talks about his father's business relationships

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Howard Adams talks about growing up in Virginia and the Martinsville Seven Case

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Howard Adams talks about South Side High School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Howard Adams talks about his elementary school experience

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Howard Adams talks about his favorite subjects and teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Howard Adams talks about the murder of Melvin Ferguson and racial tensions in Virginia during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Howard Adams talks about working at the Greyhound Bus Station

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Howard Adams talks about his interest in baseball

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Howard Adams talks about the arrival of electricity to his neighborhood and his interest in sports

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Howard Adams talks about his decision to move to New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Howard Adams talks about his experience in New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Howard Adams talks about his mentor and his experience at Norfolk State University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Howard Adams talks about his extracurricular activities and his colleague, Julian Manly Earls

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Howard Adams talks about his mentors from Norfolk State University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Howard Adams talks about his involvement in Civil Rights organizations

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Howard Adams talks about his post-baccalaureate job prospects

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Howard Adams talks about his experience teaching in the Norfolk Public School System, part 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Howard Adams talks about his experience teaching in the Norfolk Public School System, part 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Howard Adams talks about his experience working in administration at Norfolk State University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Howard Adams talks about his decision to attend Syracuse University for his doctoral studies

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Howard Adams talks about his work at the University of Notre Dame

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Howard Adams talks about his work at the University of Notre Dame, part 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Howard Adams talks about his work at the University of Notre Dame, part 3

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Howard Adams talks about his philosophy for success

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Howard Adams talks about his booklets

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Howard Adams talks about his speaking appointments and future plans

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Howard Adams reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Howard Adams reflects on his life and career

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Howard Adams talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Howard Adams talks about the problems with U.S. education, part 1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Howard Adams talks about the problems with U.S. education, part 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Howard Adams talks about the politics of graduate internships

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Howard Adams talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Howard Adams talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Howard Adams describes his photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$4

DAStory

2$2

DATitle
Howard Adams talks about his booklets
Howard Adams talks about his mentor and his experience at Norfolk State University
Transcript
Now, you've written several books and booklets, and so what are some of the titles and what are--$$Okay, one of them is that one, "Get Up With Something on Your Mind", all right. The, I wrote a lot of what I call "self-help" guides which are 14, 28 page, little documents, specific, "How to Have a Successful Internship Experience", "How do you go into a company and perform very well and get invited back the next summer so you don't have to worry about it? You might not go back, but you want the invitation to come back. So you, I want you--I wanted my students to have the attitude, if you don't--invite anybody back, it's gonna be me. When I'd leave Revlon's in the summer, the personnel guy would always tell me, "If we hire anybody, Adams, you're Number One". I knew that leaving. So when you leave--so we wrote a book on that, how to do that. We wrote a book how to master the graduate school process. How do you go to graduate school and finish yesterday? How do you get finished in a hurry? What does it take to get finished? We wrote a book on "Career Management 101" about how to sit down and plan to find a job and then get the job that you want and then go to work and perform well and get promoted, and don't have to worry about it. You don't have to--you don't have to worry about the economy being bad. If the place runs, I'm gonna have a job. If I don't, I go somewhere else and get myself another one. So you just don't have to worry about that. I never worried about that, never worried about a job. So I, I tried to give people the nuts and bolts, easy ready, self-help stuff on how to get to the next step of where you're trying to get to. When I first started doing graduate education, we didn't have things written in the language that's--what is a PhD? Most people don't know what it is. What's the difference between a PhD and an MD and a, and theological doctorate? What, you know, a science doctorate? What's the difference in those things? So we had to demystify graduate education, I call it. So a lot of what I, what I wrote was that. How do you decode what students need in a very simplistic kind of way so that one, they'll read it. It's readable, and it's quick and it points directly to the question that they most like have.$Okay, so, now did you know--Lymon Beacher Brooks was the president of Norfolk State.$$Of Norfolk State.$$Now, what was your relationship with Lymon Beacher Brooks?$$He was, he was the president when I was a student, and I was a student leader. So he was--by the time I got to be a senior, he had taken a particular interest in me. I wouldn't have called him a mentor at that time, but he had taken a particular interest in me. So he knew me well by the time I was a senior and would ask me to do little things. I got invited to little things. I might of got invited to a reception that somebody else didn't get invited to or something. When I graduated, I went to work at Jay Cox Junior High School which is right in the general area, right where Norfolk State is. And by that time, I had gotten back in the restaurant business. So I ran a fast food, Carl's Drive-In, my senior, my junior, end of my junior year and all of my senior year at Norfolk State [University]. I was night manager.$$Yeah, the Carl's--$$Carl's Drive--fast food, like a McDonald's--$$Okay.$$--but right on the campus, literally, almost, you know, I mean right by the campus and right across the street from the high school, Booker T. Washington High School is right across the street. So--$$Okay, I didn't wanna get you graduated yet from Norfolk State.$$Okay.$$Let's go back there for a minute. Like what was your major in--$$Biology. It was biology and I was a biology major. And I, I picked that simply because it had good equipment that I had never had a chance to use. I was going to be a history major. In fact, I sent my application in to be a history major. And I got down a week early just to look the place over and get set up and everything. And as I was walking around, I walked through the labs, and I liked the way the labs looked. I changed, went back down and changed my major to biology.$$Did--now, was there a particular teacher in biology that helped you, I mean that--$$In high school?$$No, in, in--$$Oh, well, the teachers, the faculty were good, but I didn't know them at the time. I mean I just changed my mind, just, just changed my mind because of the equipment sitting around. I just--you could walk through and see it at that time. You didn't have to have everything locked up.$$So it just kind of caught your--$$Just got a feeling, got a feeling that I'd like to do this. So I decided to major in biology. And so there was a good group of us who started out together, freshmen, freshmen. The freshmen class in biology was a pretty tight group. And so I made it through the freshman year. It was a struggle. I was behind. When I say I was behind, I hadn't had advanced chemistry. I hadn't had a good lab. I mean I had a chemistry class, and the teacher was good, but we didn't have no equipment. You know what I'm trying to say. I'd had a good biology class, but I didn't have no equipment, so I didn't know how to use the equipment and stuff. So I was behind, and so it was, it was harder than I thought it was gonna be. And I went home, and I was talking to my mother for Spring break my freshman year. She asked, "How's it going?" I said, well, it's going alright, Mother, but I'm not doing as well as I thought I was gonna do. So she said, she said, are you passing everything. I said, yes, ma'am, I'm not failing nothing. I'm just not doing as well as I thought. She said, "Are you studying hard?" And I was studying, so I said, yes, ma'am. She said, "Are you giving it your very best?" And I, you had to, you couldn't, you couldn't fib on that. You had to, you had to think about that. I mean am I, you know, am I giving it my best? And, you know, in hindsight, I probably could have given it a little bit more, but I mean I wasn't slacking off. I didn't miss no classes, I didn't cut class. I didn't leave early on Friday, none of that. So I was studying. And I'd study with people, and I went to tutoring and everything. So I said, I said, yes, ma'am, I'm, I'm doing it. She say, you go on back down there. You gone be alright. You keep giving it your best. She said, your best is good enough. You don't have to do no better than that. Your best is good enough. I put that in my book. That was good advice. "Your best is good enough." So I went back. The second year, my wife came as a freshman. And I was taking chemistry by that time. I didn't take freshman chemistry my first year. And she had had advanced chemistry. And she was on the other side of the, on the table on the other side that you could look through. And I could see her all the time. And she was brilliant and good looking. So I decided, hey, you gotta--you gonna have to hang out with somebody (laughter). It might as well be somebody who's good looking and who can do some chemistry. So we started dating, and we dated off and on all the way through, although I had a couple of girlfriends at the time. But I mean she, you know, we dated. And by the time we were juniors, we were pretty serious, and seniors, we were, we were--she was my girlfriend by the time we were seniors. And so we graduated together. But I went through. I was a, I went out for track, decided I couldn't do all of it. I couldn't work. I tell kids that you gotta decide what you can actually do. And I had to put it in the right order, so I learned how to prioritize even as a freshman. My number one priority was to have a job. You don't have a job, you can't go to school. I mean I couldn't--I had to support myself. So I had to have a job. This job was steady. It didn't pay well. It only paid .75 cents an hour, but I could, I could get 30 hours in just on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Nobody wanted to work on Sunday. I worked every Sunday almost. I worked 12 hours on Saturday the whole time I was at Norfolk State. I'd go in 8:00 o'clock on Saturday morning, and work till 8:00 Saturday night. And so I could take care of myself. School would end in May. The next day I was on the bus back to New Jersey, and usually, I'd get out in the middle of the week. So let's say, I always finished on Wednesday or Thursday. By Friday, I was back in New Jersey. By Monday, I was back at work at Revlon's, and I'd work right up until Labor Day, whenever school was--I wouldn't even go home. I'd come back here to school, and then I'd take a long weekend and go home just to holler at everybody. But most times, depending upon when school opened and how long they'd let me work. And so at the end of the year, there, but, of course, they would be closing down, and a lot of kids would wanna take some time off. Sometimes I'd work 16 hours a day. So my last check would be big. I'd, I'd get, you know, double-time, time and a half. I'd work (laughter), I'd put in all the hours I could put in so I could get a big check. They'd mail it to me after I was gone. I'd get back to school, so I'd have a big check. Sometimes my last check would pay my tuition 'cause tuition at that time was 270 a half a semester, I think, 270--about $500.00 a semester, a thousand dollars a year, a little bit less than a thousand dollars a year. I could pay that. So I didn't have to borrow money. I paid my way through. I--from the time I left home, I never wrote home for a nickel. I never wrote home for a nickel from the day I left home in 1958. I can say that. I've been able to support myself from that day.

J. K. Haynes

Biologist and academic administrator John K. “J.K.” Haynes was born on October 30, 1943 in Monroe, Louisiana to John and Grace Haynes. His mother was a teacher and his father was the principal of Lincoln High School in Ruston, Louisiana. Haynes began first grade when he was four years old. When he was six, his family moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Haynes began attending Southern University Laboratory School. He attended Morehouse College when he was seventeen and he received his B.S. degree in biology in 1964. Haynes aspired to attend medical school. However, a professor advised him to apply to graduate school and he went on to attend Brown University, where he obtained his Ph.D. degree in biology in 1970.

Haynes completed his first year of postdoctoral research at Brown University, where he worked on restriction enzymes. During this time, he became interested in sickle cell anemia, which led to a second postdoctoral appointment in biochemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he worked with Vernon Ingram, the scientist who discovered the amino acid difference between normal and sickle cell hemoglobin. In 1973, Haynes joined the faculty at the Meharry Medical School as a junior faculty member in the department of genetics and molecular medicine and the department of anatomy. His research was focused on why sickle cells were less deformable than normal. In 1979, he returned to Morehouse College as an associate professor of biology as well as the director of the Office of Health Professions. As part of his work, Haynes created a program for high school students interested in medical school. Haynes has also helped recruit minority students into science with the assistance of agencies like the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Haynes became the endowed David E. Packard Chair in Science at Morehouse College and chairman of the biology department in 1985. In 1991, he took a sabbatical and went to Brown University to continue his work on sickle cells. Since 1999, he has served as Dean of Science and Mathematics at Morehouse College.

Under Haynes administrative leadership, new buildings for both chemistry and biology were built at Morehouse College as well as a curriculum with an emphasis on lab work. Haynes has published papers on cell biology as well as on undergraduate STEM education.

J. K. Haynes was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 14, 2011.

Accession Number

A2011.013

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/14/2011

Last Name

Haynes

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Kermit

Schools

Southern University Laboratory School

Morehouse College

Brown University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

Monroe

HM ID

HAY12

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

We're Building A House At The House.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

10/30/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lamb

Short Description

Academic administrator and biologist J. K. Haynes (1943 - ) developed methods for detecting and preventing sickle cell anemia. He joined the faculty of Morehouse College in 1979 and later became Dean of the Division of Science and Mathematics.

Employment

Meharry Medical College

Morehouse College

Brown University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:3029,36:5320,119:9033,184:15200,260:20140,375:20748,384:21964,402:36644,604:37232,613:39416,647:53116,845:55428,883:63870,1026:65040,1047:65352,1052:67810,1057:69640,1066:72810,1117:74630,1192:102459,1581:103089,1592:105357,1645:109880,1687:111988,1736:123810,1937:128080,2036:128850,2049:129270,2056:139160,2181:143316,2221:145087,2257:147474,2307:150169,2364:150554,2370:152017,2414:160924,2522:169586,2614:175549,2692:176353,2708:183284,2776:185156,2820:185804,2830:189417,2868:189886,2876:198375,3034:209050,3231:210022,3244:210589,3253:214938,3297:222558,3375:224702,3428:239610,3591$0,0:12120,145:13055,156:13990,167:15690,197:16370,208:19175,255:19515,260:28600,368:28925,374:29640,391:30550,412:31265,425:32760,456:33605,472:34255,484:34515,491:36205,533:37505,556:43550,696:44785,720:45435,728:45695,733:46085,764:53270,828:58198,935:62108,993:67291,1095:70722,1180:71525,1193:73131,1225:74737,1267:75175,1274:76124,1295:77219,1316:88180,1478:94387,1532:94751,1537:95115,1542:95570,1549:97390,1579:98118,1588:102625,1622:103275,1634:103535,1639:119418,1986:122822,2067:123488,2078:140640,2342:140900,2347:141940,2365:142200,2407:152455,2533:156089,2659:175900,2846:176960,2858
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of J.K. Haynes' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - J.K. Haynes lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - J.K. Haynes talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - J.K. Haynes talks about his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - J.K. Haynes recalls his childhood in Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - J.K. Haynes talks about himself as a student

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - J.K. Haynes explains his family's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - J.K. Haynes recalls his father's funeral home business

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - J.K. Haynes recounts his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - J.K. Haynes talks about his interests during high school

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - J.K. Haynes talks about his experience in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - J.K. Haynes talks about resemblance to certain family members

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - J.K. Haynes recalls his experience at Morehouse College under President Benjamin Mays

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - J.K. Haynes recalls student activism in Atlanta

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - J.K. Haynes talks about the influential science faculty at Morehouse College, part 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - J.K. Haynes talks about the influential science faculty at Morehouse College, part 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - J.K. Haynes talks about his graduate school experience at Brown University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - J.K. Haynes talks about sickle cell anemia and relates his Ph.D. dissertation topic

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - J.K. Haynes describes his postdoctoral molecular biology research at Brown University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - J.K. Haynes responds to a question about his work as a biologist

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - J.K. Haynes discusses the nature of post doctoral research

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - J.K. Haynes talks about financial problems at the Meharry Medical College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - J.K. Haynes talks about his achievements in sickle cell anemia research, part 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - J.K. Haynes talks about his achievements in sickle cell anemia research, part 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - J.K. Haynes discusses his reaction to the first reported sickle cell anemia cure

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - J.K. Haynes talks about his research in sickle cell anemia, part 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - J.K. Haynes talks about his research in sickle cell anemia, part 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - J.K. Haynes discusses the nature of his scientific research and funding

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - J.K. Haynes describes Project Kaleidoscope

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - J.K. Haynes describes the history of the Nabrit-Mapp-McBay building at Morehouse College

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - J.K. Haynes talks about his involvement with the American Society for Cell Biology Minorities Affairs Committee

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - J.K. Haynes recalls Walter Massey's presidency at Morehouse College

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - J.K. Haynes talks about the sickle cell anemia drugs and treatments

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - J.K. Haynes reflects on the wisdom of his parents

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - J.K. Haynes talks about his academic promotions at Morehouse College

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - J.K. Haynes discusses health issues in the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - J.K. Haynes reflects on balancing his administrative, research, and teaching responsibilities

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - J.K. Haynes talks about the changing focus of sickle cell anemia research

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - J.K. Haynes talks about his involvement with the World Learning School for International Training

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - J.K. Haynes describes his concept for a program to develop new science faculty

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - J.K. Haynes shares his hopes for Morehouse College's future

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - J.K. Haynes talks about what he would have done differently in his career

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - J.K. Haynes discusses the impact of advice from his mentors

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - J.K. Haynes reflects on his life's accomplishments

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - J.K. Haynes talks about his family and his likeness to Ebony editor, Lerone Bennett

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - J.K. Haynes responds to a question about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - J.K. Haynes talks about his interest in art and music

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

5$7

DATitle
J.K. Haynes talks about the influential science faculty at Morehouse College, part 1
J.K. Haynes recalls Walter Massey's presidency at Morehouse College
Transcript
Some people like Lonnie King, and I think that Lonnie King may have been here. He may have been a senior when I was a freshman so Lonnie was one of these guys with Julian [Bonds] and others. That's what they spent their time doing.$$Now, was David Satcher a biology major too?$$Yes.$$Okay, so did you see a lot of him in the biology department?$$Yeah, yeah. So one of the powerful influences on the biology majors during that time was a guy by the name of Roy Hunter. And so Roy Hunter was one of, Roy loved David Satcher, and so when I came along under Roy Hunter, and so when I give talks about my mentors, he's the one who I always mention first at Morehouse [College, Atlanta, Georgia].$$Now, why was Dr. Hunter so important?$$He was a powerful, powerful instructor. So he was a guy who had polio when he was a kid, and so he spent his life on crutches before he moved to a motorized cart. But when he taught at Morehouse, he was on crutches. Yet he could draw these beautiful diagrams of anatomy and embryos on the board, and he'd talk with such facility about the subject. And so for those--it turns out that he and Dr. [Frederick E.] Mapp who was the chair of the department at that time, did not necessarily get along. And so Roy Hunter's tenure at Morehouse was short-lived. But for those of us who came along during the time that he was there, or here, he was a tremendous influence on us.$$Now, where did he go when he left Morehouse, do you know?$$I think he became chair of the Department of Biology at Morgan State [University, Baltimore, Maryland]. And he eventually became chair of the Department of Biology at Atlanta University, and at some point, he went to work for Lou Sullivan at the Morehouse School of Medicine as an administrator.$$Okay.$$So one of the things that I regret most is not bringing him back to the faculty at Morehouse when I became chair of biology. He and I used to talk about that. I just couldn't pull it off. So one of the things that I did as chair of biology was to move in the direction of hiring people who not only taught but did research. So Roy was way beyond doing research, but he was such a giant that I wanted to have him in the midst just to have that history and tradition and the power that he conveyed just talking to students. And I just didn't pull it off. And he always reminded me, I'm still waiting for you to invite me back. I just, just couldn't do it.$$So, he's passed now?$$Yeah, he died, I guess, about ten years ago.$$Okay, okay, but a great mentor.$$Powerful mentor.$$Okay, now we always hear a lot about Henry McBay. Did you have him for--$$I took him for, I had him in general chemistry class, and was also powerfully influenced by him. People were more frightened by Henry McBay. So he's known for either producing chemists or producing politicians or ministers. So Maynard Jackson used to tell the story that the reason--because Maynard Jackson apparently wanted to be a physician when he came here. And so Henry McBay turned him towards politics.$$So in other words, he, you either succeeded sort of--$$That's right.$$--big time here or he pushed out of--$$That's right, right. So he was very demanding, put a lot of emphasis on the mathematical basis of chemistry. He would fill up the board with just equations, and he wrote beautifully. And his, he had sort of an extreme attitude about things, and so he frightened a lot of students. I mean I thought he was a great instructor. I enjoyed his style of lecturing. And I don't think I felt intimidated by him.$$That's interesting. Okay.$Okay. So in '95 [1995], Walter Massey becomes the ninth president of Morehouse [College, Atlanta, Georgia]. He's a physicist.$$Right.$$Did his presidency facilitate science at Morehouse?$$Not as much as we thought it would, although Walter [Massey] was very supportive of a number of things that we did. So one of the important things that Walter did was to create three divisions at the college. So we have Business and Economics, Social Sciences and Humanities, and Science and Math. That was his idea, and so we've split the college now into about three equal parts. With about a thousand students--at the time, he was here, we had about three thousand students. And so his idea was to reduce the scale of the college more like it looked, and to make it more like it looked when he was a student here, so when I was a student, there were only eight hundred students at Morehouse. So he was trying to promote faculty-faculty interaction, faculty-student interactions, etc. And that actually had a transformative effect. So when we created, when we brought the three--six departments together that constitute the Division of Science and Math, it's been a, there was an explosion of activity. And so we meet, as a faculty, every month. People are talking across disciplines. And at some point, students finishing the division will have a more interdisciplinary education, which is where we wanna go. We're developing interdisciplinary curricula, interdisciplinary research and so I think while, at the time, it didn't seem like such a momentous deal, it has had an enormous impact. We began the Division of Science and Math with a grant that we got from the Packard Foundation. Walter was on the board of the Packard Foundation. So that's very helpful. So Walter is connected to the titans of American industry. So he brought the heads of GE [General Electric, Fairfield, Connecticut], Motorola [Inc., Schaumburg, Illinois]. Walter is more of a scholar than he is a business person. So he's not known for twisting arms. And so they didn't leave perhaps as much money as they might, but they came to know about us. And so the current president [Robert M. Franklin] I think is more of an arm twister, and I think, so we're gonna reap the benefits of what Walter has established. But Walter had to deal--you know, people have said about Walter that he's a guy who thinks very broadly. He's now the president of the Art Institute of Chicago, right, so (laughter). So he's had a very broad prospective, and so I think that he was a wonderful president at Morehouse. I don't know that he could afford, because we had a number of problems that he had to deal with. I don't know that he could afford to just tackle the sciences. So I think what he did was to seed something. And the fruits of that will be manifested in the years ahead.

Legand Burge, Jr.

Engineer and academic administrator Legand Burge, Jr. was born on August 3, 1949 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. His parents, Bobbie and Legand Burge, Sr., had a profound impact on their children’s lives. Burge’s father, an electronics radar technician by background, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and rose to the rank of master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force after the war, and continued to work with radar technology for the Federal Aviation Administration. Burge excelled in math and science during elementary school, and upon graduating from Oklahoma City Douglass High School in 1965, he was offered a scholarship to study at Oklahoma State University, where he earned his B.S. degree in electrical engineering in 1971. During college, Burge held internships with Oklahoma Gas and Electric. He considered establishing a career there, but through his acceptance to the Air Force Institute of Technology, he earned his M.S. degree in 1973. He was then assigned to work at the Sunnyvale Air Force Base in California with the National Reconnaissance Office. After four years of service, Burge returned to Oklahoma State University to study under Dr. Rao Yarlagadda, earning his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering in 1979.

Burge’s career has focused on information theory, coding theory, digital signal processing, and communications—areas of research that had become very popular during the 1970s and 1980s with the rise of both commercial technology and the military needs of the Cold War. Burge taught at the Air Force Academy before being selected to serve in the Intermediate Service School at the Air Command and Staff College. Shortly after, he was invited to work at the Pentagon under General Colin Powell’s supervision. Burge was assigned to the research and development group of the air staff’s International Program. In 1987, Burge became a lead researcher at the National Security Agency and later returned to the Pentagon, working as a cost estimator for the defense secretary. Burge retired from the military in 1999 after having served as vice commander of the entire Air Force ROTC program and the dean of the Acquisition Management School at the Defense Systems Management College. He was subsequently named a professor of electrical engineering and Dean of the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Physical Sciences at Tuskegee University.

Burge has been recognized for his administrative and research capabilities throughout his career. He was elected to the American Society of Engineering Education Executive Board in 2005. He has also worked with his son, Legand Burge, III to operate LL Burge & Associates, a consulting firm that addresses information technology needs.

Burge is the father of three adult children: Legand Burge, III, LeAnn Crisp, and Lamuelle Burge, and the step-father of Louis Burge.

Legand Burge, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 11, 2011.

Accession Number

A2011.016

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

4/11/2011

Last Name

Burge

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

L

Schools

Frederick A. Douglass High School

Oklahoma State University

F. D. Moon Academy

Truman Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
Archival Photo 2
First Name

Legand

Birth City, State, Country

Oklahoma City

HM ID

BUR19

Favorite Season

Winter

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Oklahoma

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

You Got To Have A Program.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alabama

Birth Date

8/3/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Tuskegee

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Academic administrator and electrical engineer Legand Burge, Jr. (1949 - ) became the dean of the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Physical Sciences at Tuskegee University in 1999, after a thirty-year career in the United States Air Force.

Employment

Oklahoma Gas & Electric

Air Force Academy

United States Department of Defense

National Security Agency (NSA)

L. L. Burge & Associates

Tuskegee University

United States Air Force

Defense Systems Management College

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:7171,143:7668,151:9017,189:12922,256:13206,261:19667,386:32726,489:33384,497:37614,549:40820,558:43988,577:46004,601:46964,615:48308,628:51572,662:51956,667:52916,682:62020,769:68851,874:77212,965:77524,970:78226,980:81034,1029:94815,1234:99656,1268:118257,1459:119742,1481:121524,1502:132974,1653:137798,1762:147466,1944:152692,2156:160898,2322:162360,2346:171390,2485:181782,2613:184568,2633:188294,2702:188780,2709:189347,2718:190481,2740:215040,3070:215400,3079:216750,3096:217380,3105:218550,3116:218910,3121:219360,3127:231050,3268:232250,3293:237520,3353$0,0:1138,9:2356,30:2994,40:3226,45:3690,55:4154,64:4386,69:4618,74:7190,86:8020,97:11976,133:12558,141:19462,212:21828,257:22283,263:22829,270:24467,285:24922,291:25650,302:31410,339:32010,346:34160,357:34660,363:37720,382:38398,390:40867,421:45670,435:57202,512:58570,539:60658,581:61018,587:61306,592:62170,602:66738,688:72670,776:75212,828:75540,833:76278,844:76934,866:79230,911:81034,957:81526,964:85042,984:85609,993:87472,1023:89902,1082:97840,1119:98180,1160:102884,1239:103196,1244:106154,1261:106960,1278:111174,1328:111958,1339:114030,1351:114555,1360:114855,1365:115905,1388:119505,1474:122580,1578:128348,1635:128833,1641:129803,1650:131064,1664:131937,1673:132810,1685:133877,1697:134847,1714:135429,1722:136108,1730:143418,1842:148662,1951:149802,1978:150410,1988:151322,2004:155880,2009:156501,2024:158157,2057:158778,2070:159468,2081:159744,2086:160434,2097:160917,2106:161400,2113:166870,2142:167816,2154:168160,2159:168934,2169:169278,2174:170826,2207:171342,2215:174352,2261:175298,2275:176416,2295:177964,2318:178480,2325:183085,2341:183535,2349:186610,2409:189160,2461:189535,2467:192085,2505:193060,2522:200000,2587:200714,2595:203170,2621:203995,2634:204595,2645:213765,2715:215070,2724:219618,2758:220448,2775:224266,2845:224930,2854:225843,2867:226175,2872:226756,2881:227503,2892:231132,2919:234220,2925:234808,2934:235816,2946:236488,2955:238000,2981:238504,2988:239092,2996:242360,3011:242728,3016:245490,3043:246896,3073:247858,3085:249708,3120:250448,3131:250818,3137:251632,3149:252076,3156:252668,3167:253112,3174:253556,3182:254296,3193:254666,3199:259001,3224:259333,3229:260661,3248:261823,3264:262155,3269:263649,3308:264147,3315:268712,3392:269044,3397:269874,3408:275221,3452:275760,3457:276607,3469:277223,3478:277762,3487:279225,3509:279533,3514:279841,3519:280534,3531:281150,3541:282074,3556:282613,3563:283075,3570:287110,3588:287608,3595:289019,3633:289434,3639:292173,3684:293169,3703:293750,3711:298979,3814:300888,3847:306305,3887:307052,3898:307467,3904:307799,3909:310621,3977:314937,4095:316016,4106:317261,4127:318174,4139:321670,4144
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Legand Burge's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Legand Burge shares his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Legand Burge talks about his mother's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Legand Burge explains his family's involvement in the history of negro spirituals

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Legand Burge talks about his family's Native American lineage

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Legand Burge talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Legand Burge talks about his father's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Legand Burge talks about his father's siblings and home town

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Legand Burge talks about his father's education and military experience

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Legand Burge explains the parceling of the family property, part 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Legand Burge explains the parceling of the family property, part 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Legand Burge talks about his father's military promotions

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Legand Burge talks about his parents' meeting and his mother's cooking ability

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Legand Burge explains his mother's approach to home training

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Legand Burge discusses the nature of his segregated school system

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Legand Burge discusses his school's tracking system

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Legand Burge talks about playing the piano at his church

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Legand Burge responds to a question about the Church of the Nazarene

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Legand Burge recounts how he got into electrical engineering

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Legand Burge talks about his school experience

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Legand Burge discusses educational philosophy

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Legand Burge recalls his high school mentors

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Legand Burge describes how family gatherings minimized the effect of his parents' divorce

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Legand Burge describes his father's remarriage

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Legand Burge talks about his social and extracurricular high school experience

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Legand Burge talks about his favorite musicians

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Legand Burge recounts his experience at Oklahoma State University, part 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Legand Burge recounts his experience at Oklahoma State University, part 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Legand Burge details his memory of the Martin Luther King Jr. Assassination in 1968

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Legand Burge discusses his family's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Legand Burge recalls his involvement in black student organizations at Oklahoma State University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Legand Burge talks about speech recognition technology

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Legand Burge talks about his experience in the Air Force ROTC program

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Legand Burge talks about his work as a satellite officer in the Air Force ROTC

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Legand Burge explains how he got his master's degree

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Legand Burge talks about the effects of his Ph.D. studies on his marriage, part 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Legand Burge talks about the effects of his Ph.D. studies on his marriage, part 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Legand Burge explains his Ph.D. dissertation in speech recognition technology

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Legand Burge describes accents and speech recognition software

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Legand Burge discusses speech recognition technology

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Legand Burge talks about his 1984 experience in the Air Command and Staff College of the Air Force Academy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Legand Burge details his work at the Pentagon

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Legand Burge relates his achievements at the Pentagon

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Legand Burge talks about his work at the National Security Agency

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Legand Burge responds to a question about tracking technology

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Legand Burge recalls his experience during the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Legand Burge talks about technological developments and U.S. national security

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Legand Burge talks about his experience in the Air War College

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Legand Burge discusses his work for the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Legand Burge recalls his job as commander of ROTC programs at Tuskegee University

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Legand Burge talks about his transition from the military to the electrical engineering department at Tuskegee University

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Legand Burge shares a story about nearly leaving his position at Tuskegee University

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Legand Burge talks about creating L.L. Burge and Associates with his children

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Legand Burge reflects on his life's accomplishments

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Legand Burge shares his thoughts on the future of Tuskegee University

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Legand Burge responds to a question about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

2$7

DATitle
Legand Burge discusses his school's tracking system
Legand Burge relates his achievements at the Pentagon
Transcript
A kind of tracking system.$$And it tracked, it tracked us from the time we left elementary. The better students were kind of tracked in their special courses. We got the better math, the better science, the better physics and all that through the junior high school. And we were forced into this higher end math. I actually had calculus before I left high school, all right. So we were tracked into the whole thing. As a matter of fact, my high school class, 1967, has today, of any Douglas High School group, of the whole time, more lawyers, doctors, colonels, high-end administrators. We got three or four politicians, just significant achievement from that class. We had about 420 to graduate. And I understand about 80 percent of the folk actually went to college, okay. We're talking 1967 now. I went to Oklahoma State [University, Stillwater, Oklahoma] and twenty of us went to Oklahoma State in engineering, all right. Seven of us graduated. So just unusually high preparation for, you know, achieving in the science and the engineering and the math. So that's really quite (unclear). And that happened out of [Frederick] Douglass [High School]. We had people winning science fairs, nationwide, out of Douglas, statewide. We had folks going to music, state music, and winning competition. As a matter of fact, the choir, the band, it was not unusual for us to win the statewide competition in choir and band because we were just that good, and I'm talking classical, you know, producing the kind of development with the entire repertoire, you know, doing concerts. That was just unusual, all right. So we were exposed to this business in the '50s [1950s] and '60s [1960s]. And you gotta understand that a lot of those professors were coming from, you know, Florida A and M [Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Tallahassee, Florida], and they ended up going to, you know, coming to Oklahoma City. We had people coming out of Tuskegee [University, Tuskegee, Alabama], coming here, you know, Howard [University, Washington D.C.], Hampton [University, Hampton, Virginia]. They would come and they'd work there and what have you. As a matter of fact, the guy who taught music actually studied at Fisk [University, Nashville, Tennessee], a guy named Leroy Hicks. He was there for like twenty or thirty, forty years. I had French from a black lady who had studied over in Paris [France], and she taught French. Matter of fact, Madam James, as her name was called, taught us one first, second, third year of French as you--and when you, believe it or not, I never had anymore French, and I could still go to France and be very comfortable with interacting with the people over the years since I've been around. One of the things as far as the fine arts goes, we did at Douglas was every year they performed 'The Messiah', all right. I'm talking about the Christmas version of it, all right. And then they did something in the spring too that was related. So the choir and the band and the orchestra at the time would put this on with the community and we would be exposed to this whole business every year. So you had those kind of fine arts things that were going on with the sciences and the math, you know, and the kind of things that would really give you wide exposure to, you know, what this is all about.$Okay, so when you were at the Pentagon, what would you consider your most significant project or achievement?$$Showing up and coming back to work on time every day (laughter). I have to share this with you. My wife, Janice (ph.) now, we have been married about twenty years now, was there when I got promoted to colonel. And one of the things that I was gonna have her do was to walk in with me because we had to both show up. And from North Parking to the Pentagon is a trek. It's a long, long way. And I said, you might wanna wear some tennis shoes 'cause, you know, she'd never done this trek before. And if you walk around, if you go around the Pentagon now, you find a lot of ladies wearing tennis shoes when they walk and going from the parking lot and all that, long way. Well, she says, oh, no, I don't wanna do that because of this and that and the other. I'd have to change shoes. I said, I think you wanna wear tennis shoes. Well, she didn't heed my advice. So she's in these heels and we're walking from North Parking. I'm talking about the last row. It's probably, if it's not a half a mile, it's three quarters of a mile, long way; nice sidewalk, but she's walking and says, how far is it? I said, we're going over there. She says you've got to be kidding. No, I said (laughter). So we walk over there and, indeed, she says the next time, I'm either gonna take the Metro in here (laughter), and that's the way you get in now, or you're gonna drop me off in the front (laughter). And since 9/11 [September 11, 2001], you know, you can't even get close to the Pentagon. You have to (unclear). But I do think that the international programs piece was a significant place to be. It gave me another dimension of what the whole world was all about. I'd been to all the NATO [North American Treaty Organization] countries, the Middle East, been to Korea. You know, I, I mean I've been like all over. You go to a lot of places, you know, and as a result of that you get to meet people and the cultures. You get to understand issues. You understand that everything that the United States is putting out is not necessarily what everybody else needs (laughter), okay. And you need to understand that, okay. And that's one of the reasons why I think, where we are right now in this very global environment, we need to appreciate that, what's going on. So--$$Can you give us an example of what you mean by that?$$Well, one of the first meetings I went to was a NATO meeting that was held in Brussels [Belgium]. And we had to get the--at that time, it was sixteen countries, you had to get everybody to agree on a decision that was gonna be made for something. My job was to get the staffers together and to share appropriate reasons why, how much it was gonna cost, you know, etc., etc. and just lay out what we called a consensus so that when the member was speaking, he would--or she would make the appropriate positive remarks towards where the United States' position was. That takes a lot of effort, all right. It's a win, win. You have to get rational discussions. You have to understand where everybody's coming from. You really have to appreciate their perspective too and that your perspective is not necessarily the only perspective, all right (laughter). So that's what I got out of a lot of this thing. And so at the end of the day, we got this particular item, you know, approved, and our guys went back happy. And everyone else was supportive of it, and they felt like it was theirs as opposed to the United States saying "do it", a little different there, all right. See, the other people have to feel like its theirs. If you look at all of the various consensus that are going on with the Desert Storm [1990-1991], the Iraq Wars [2003-] and all that, the coalition has to agree that it's their interests, all right (laughter). You're not doing that because the United States is forcing you to do this. This is very, very key in the international environment, all right. We just can't go in and push around and say, hey, this is not, this is my idea. It's gotta be everybody's idea.

Shirley Ann Jackson

Renowned physicist and university president Shirley Ann Jackson was born on August 5, 1946, in Washington, D.C., to George Hiter Jackson and Beatrice Cosby Jackson. When Jackson was a child, her mother would read her the biography of Benjamin Banneker, an African American scientist and mathematician who helped build Washington, D.C., and her father encouraged her interest in science by assisting her with projects for school. The Space Race of the late-1950s would also have an impact on Jackson as a child, spurring her interest in scientific investigation.

Jackson attended Roosevelt High School in Washington, D.C., where she took accelerated math and science classes. Jackson graduated as valedictorian in 1964 and encouraged by the assistant principal for boys at her high school, she applied to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Jackson was among the first African American students to attend MIT, and in her undergraduate class she was one of only two women.

In 1973, Jackson graduated from MIT with her Ph.D. degree in theoretical elementary particle physics, the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in physics in MIT’s history. Jackson worked on her thesis, entitled The Study of a Multiperipheral Model with Continued Cross-Channel Unitarity, under the direction of James Young, the first African American tenured full professor in the physics department at MIT. In 1975, the thesis was published in Annals of Physics.

After receiving her degree, Jackson was hired as a research associate in theoretical physics at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, or Fermilab. While at Fermilab, Jackson studied medium to large subatomic particles, specifically hadrons, a subatomic particle with a strong nuclear force. Throughout the 1970s, Jackson would work in this area on Landau theories of charge density waves in one- and two-dimensions, as well as Tang-Mills gauge theories and neutrino reactions.

In 1974, after two years with the Fermilab, Jackson served as visiting science associate at the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Switzerland, and worked on theories of strongly interacting elementary particles. In 1975, Jackson returned to Fermilab, and was simultaneously elected to the MIT Corporation’s Board of Trustees. In 1976, Jackson began working on the technical staff for Bell Telephone laboratories in theoretical physics. Her research focused on the electronic properties of ceramic materials in hopes that they could act as superconductors of electric currents. While at Bell laboratories, Jackson met her future husband, physicist Morris A. Washington. That same year, she was appointed professor of physics at Rutgers University. In 1980, Jackson became the president of the National Society of Black Physicists and in 1985, she began serving as a member of the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology.

In 1991, Jackson served as a professor at Rutgers while working for AT&T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey. In 1995, Jackson was appointed by President Clinton to the chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In 1997, Jackson led the formation of the International Nuclear Regulators Association. In 1998, Jackson was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame; the following year, she became the eighteenth president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Jackson remains an advocate for women and minorities in the sciences and, since 2001, has brought needed attention to the "Quiet Crisis" of America’s predicted inability to innovate in the face of a looming scientific workforce shortage.

Shirley Ann Jackson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 22, 2006 .

Accession Number

A2006.102

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/22/2006 |and| 11/4/2006

Last Name

Jackson

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Ann

Organizations
Schools

Charles E. Young Elementary School

Park View Elementary School

Barnard Elementary School

McFarland Junior High School

Theodore Roosevelt Senior High School

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Shirley

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

JAC20

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Toya Horn Howard

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

Aim For The Stars, So That At Least You Can Reach The Treetops.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

8/5/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Albany

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

University president and physicist Shirley Ann Jackson (1946 - ) became the first woman to receive her Ph.D. in physics from MIT in 1973. She chaired the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for four years and was named president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1999.

Employment

Martin Marietta Corporation

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

Bell Laboratories

Rutgers University

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Shirley Ann Jackson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Shirley Ann Jackson shares her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about her father's upbringing and involvement in the D-Day landing

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about her mother's upbringing and family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Shirley Ann Jackson describes her fifth birthday party and talks about her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Shirley Ann Jackson tells a story about protecting her sister during an encounter with a rude school bus driver

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about her family's move to the northwest section of Washington, D.C. and having to be bused to the black school.

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Shirley Ann Jackson describes her family's house in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Shirley Ann Jackson describes the chores and meals in her childhood household

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about a cousin who came to live with the family

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Shirley Ann Jackson tells a story about her mother walking to work at a home for mentally handicapped children

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Shirley Ann Jackson describes her parents' personalities and roles

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Shirley Ann Jackson recalls she and her siblings' childhood activities

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Shirley Ann Jackson remembers her childhood fascination with libraries

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about how the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling caused her to move to an integrated school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about starting the honors program at Barnard School in the seventh grade

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about the groups she was involved with as a teen

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Shirley Ann Jackson discusses the racial composition of the segregated and integrated schools including Barnard Elementary School

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Shirley Ann Jackson describes particular students and teachers from her childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Shirley Ann Jackson discusses her interest in math and her bee collection

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about her experience with segregation during family road trips

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Shirley Ann Jackson discusses how race influenced her life and the emerging Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Shirley Ann Jackson remembers the boys' assistant principal encouraging her to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about how the Brown vs. Board of Education decision and Sputnik launch inspired possibilities for many

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about her scholarships to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Shirley Ann Jackson describes her feeling of isolation at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about pledging the Delta Sigma Theta sorority while at MIT

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about volunteering in the pediatric unit of the Boston City Hospital

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Shirley Ann Jackson describes her relationship with her MIT professors

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Shirley Ann Jackson recalls an encounter with an MIT materials science professor who dissuaded her away from majoring in physics

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about her love of physics and making gold iron alloys in the laboratory

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about her summer job at Martin Marietta Corporation, part 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about her summer job at Martin Marietta Corporation, part 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about not wanting to return to MIT's campus

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Shirley Ann Jackson recalls certain professors and her decision to major in physics at MIT

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about the lack of activism at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about her presidency of Delta Sigma Theta Iota Chapter

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about applying to graduate school and her speaking at MIT's memorial service for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about the political climate of the time and the Orangeburg Massacre

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about the formation of a task force for educational opportunity at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Shirley Ann Jackson reflects on the racism and segregation that she experienced in her life up through college

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Shirley Ann Jackson shares talks about Delta Sigma Theta Sorority

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about her Boston area community service

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Shirley Ann Jackson describes the comfort of her childhood Washington, D.C. neighborhood

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Shirley Ann Jackson details her experiences of open racial hostility in Boston

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about working in a metallurgy and materials science lab the summer after her freshman year

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about her summer job at the Martin-Marietta Corporation

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Shirley Ann Jackson describes her summer work after her junior year in a materials science and engineering lab

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Shirley Ann Jackson explains her interest in materials science

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Shirley Ann Jackson explains how the death of Martin Luther King Jr. influenced her decision to remain at Massachusetts Institute of Technology for graduate school

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Shirley Ann Jackson explains the difference between nuclear physics and particle physics

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Shirley Ann Jackson describes the structure of the Ph.D. physics program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Shirley Ann Jackson describes her Ph.D. thesis on the high energy physics of colliding particles

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about Project Epsilon and Project Interphase

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about her academic courses, contacts, and activities during graduate school

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about her post doctoral work including two years at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Shirley Ann Jackson discusses Fermi Lab in the context of other national laboratories

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about working on Hadrons at Fermi Lab

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about her work at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Shirley Ann Jackson describes her early work at Bell Labs and her decision to stay there

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Shirley Ann Jackson describes her work in the solid state and quantum physics department at Bell Labs

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Shirley Ann Jackson explains the applications of her work and the importance of scientists in society

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Shirley Ann Jackson describes how she started a family while working at Bell Labs

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about her role on the board of New Jersey Resources

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about her involvement in higher education initiatives and the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about her position on the Board of Public Service Enterprise Group and chairing the Nuclear Oversight Committee

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Shirley Ann Jackson discusses her experience on corporate boards

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about balancing service on corporate boards, teaching at Rutgers University, and working at Bell Labs

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about her work on the board of New Jersey Resources and Public Service Enterprise Group

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Shirley Ann Jackson discusses her appointment to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Shirley Ann Jackson provides background on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Shirley Ann Jackson discusses the issues handled by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission during her chairmanship

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Shirley Ann Jackson clarifies the work and contributions of scientists and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about creating the International Nuclear Regulators Association

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about instituting the use of probabilistic risk assessment at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Shirley Ann Jackson describes the highlights of her tenure as chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Shirley Ann Jackson describes the process of her appointment to chair the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Shirley Ann Jackson continues to talk about her work at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about her strategic plan for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about leaving the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to serve as president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - Shirley Ann Jackson shares the history of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Tape: 13 Story: 5 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about the plan Rensselaer Plan, part 1

Tape: 13 Story: 6 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about the Rensselaer Plan, part 2

Tape: 14 Story: 1 - Shirley Ann Jackson details Rensselaer Plan's ideas for development of biotechnology and nanotechnology

Tape: 14 Story: 2 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about the Rensselaer Plan and how it addresses what she calls the "quiet crisis."

Tape: 14 Story: 3 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about the world energy crisis and energy security

Tape: 14 Story: 4 - Shirley Ann Jackson talks about the need to build scientific talent from within the United States

Tape: 14 Story: 5 - Shirley Ann Jackson responds to questions about her legacy and her being a change agent

DASession

2$2

DATape

8$13

DAStory

5$1

DATitle
Shirley Ann Jackson describes her Ph.D. thesis on the high energy physics of colliding particles
Shirley Ann Jackson continues to talk about her work at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Transcript
Now, who is advising you, you know, or mentoring you at this point?$$Well, when we went into grad school, there was a graduate advisor for the given class of entering graduate students. And I think the professor's name was Ken Johnson, but, you know, you're really causing me to dig deep into my memory. And then after one passed the exam I described, then one became a doctoral candidate. And then one would go around to find a Ph.D. advisor.$$So who was your Ph.D.--?$$His name was James Young.$$And he was--?$$Yes, he was an African American.$$African American.$$And I worked with him, but I also worked with another professor by the name of Roman Jakeef (ph.) on a separate Physics problem.$$And what was that problem?$$It really had to do with solutions to what were called Beta-Salpeter equations. These were one of, kind of a theoretical construct for studying two body problems where two things collide and come out under certain circumstances, you wanna understand the quantum physics. And the beta saltpeter equation also allowed you to try to go beyond a simple two-body problem to being able to in certain cases, look at the properties of three bodies. And it turns out that once you get beyond the two-body problem, it's very complicated. And so the interesting thing about my Ph.D. thesis was that what I was studying, you know, the title of my thesis was 'The Study of a Multi-Peripheral Model With Continued Cross Channel Unitarity.' That means nothing to you, but what it really was, was a way of understanding what happens when two particles collide at high energy. And then a bunch of stuff comes out. And you wanna try to describe that physics. But what ends up happening in the fact, is when the bunch of stuff comes out, meaning, many particles, you can actually detect and measure the properties of one or two of these particles. And so let's imagine you could measure the properties of one, and then there was a bunch of other stuff that you didn't measure the individual characteristics of. But you could do some statistical averaging over those properties. Anyway, with this issue, with this approach of continued cross channel unitarily, which you don't need to know much about except to say that it allowed you to turn a problem that had to do with two particles colliding, a bunch of things coming out where you looked at one and statistically averaged over the other, you could turn it into a three-body problem, okay, where it was three particles in, three particles out and the continued cross channel unitarily where you had multiple stuff in the middle, allowed you to figure out this one body inclusive interaction, which was the two in, one out, the rest statistically averaged over. And the statistical averaging is a process that is embedded in all the terminology of the title of the thesis, okay. And so then it turns out that I actually was able to use some of the things I had learned working on the Beta-Salpeter equation problem to actually do and figure out analytically how to approach this particular problem, and multi-peripheral just had to do with multiple collisions that occurred in a certain way with small forces or small momentum transfers. So that was my thesis. And so the two things played off of each other and actually, Roman Jakeef helped me get my first job at Fermi Lab, Fermi National Accelerator Lab [Illinois].$$Now, at this point in the Ph.D. program, you're the only black female, right?$$Yes.$$And are you aware, like are there other black female Ph.D. candidates around the country?$$You mean in physics?$$Physics, I'm sorry, in physics.$$None that I really knew of at that point. There was another woman at Howard [University, Washington, D.C.] that apparently was working in biophysics and we were, you know, more or less contemporaneous, but that was it. That's why I'm the first black woman to get a Ph.D. from MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts] because there weren't many African American women working on PhD's there, period, and there weren't others in the hard physics in the country. But there was a woman who was working in biophysics.$$Were you aware of that at the time?$$No, no, I wasn't.$$You were not, ah huh.$$Aware of, now, was I aware of what?$$Your singular position, the singularity of your position?$$Well, yes and no. I mean I was not out, you know, gathering data. There was no way for me to know. I mean I was at MIT. I was focusing on what I was doing. And so there was no way to know, and people weren't doing all this statistical data base and let's gather all this detailed knowledge the way they do today. So, and, and so I, you know, but I anecdotally knew there couldn't be very many others because I never met any.$I was voted out of committee. The other appointment was just left. And then it went to the full Senate. And after a discussion with Senator Joe Biden, there was unanimous consent.$$So how did that day feel?$$(Laughter) Well, that was not the day, I mean it was exciting that day, you know, to get one's--and that's my commission appointment [pointing], signed by [William] "Bill" Clinton. And it was exciting. It was a big deal, a big honor. But what really affected me was the first day I went to the NRC [Nuclear Regulatory Commission], you know, when I went up and there's this big, these buildings. And I said, gee, this is the agency that I head. So that for me was, and the meaning of it, and--because I'd been doing all this research and study and understanding what the NRC was all about and left my family in New Jersey and so this was a big deal. And I was nervous because it was a big responsibility. But I was excited because it was a big opportunity.$$So you commuted back and forth the--?$$I did.$$Okay.$$I stayed in Washington [D.C.] during the week, and on the weekends if I had meetings and things I had to do. And then otherwise, I would come back on the weekends. So my husband [Morris A. Washington] did everything.$$So you didn't really involved then in Washington, Washington, all the drama, the, you know, that--$$What drama?$$Well, I mean you didn't come, that going back--$$I mean I would go to agency, the different functions. I'd go to embassy receptions and parties and so I did things. And that's when I might stay in on the weekends sometimes. And then I would stay if there was some kind of a crisis or issue with the nuclear, something in the nuclear arena. And then I traveled a lot and I was gone for sometimes weeks at a time. So, but I, but the NRC is actually in Rockville, Maryland. And so it's actually outside the "beltway", quote, unquote. And because it's an independent regulatory agency, it, it really is interesting, it's an interesting creature because it creates regulation. It has the force of law. It adjudicates when it goes through licensing procedures. So it's like a court. And then it, it actually has an executive function because of its regulatory programs. So it has all three of these things embedded in one agency. And so it's kind of exciting. And the commission meetings, I loved chairing the commission meetings because they would be public meetings. And so one had a whole array of people coming to testify and one would be questioning them, and then having the commissioners question them, trying to pull it all together at the end. But I, I loved it. I just really loved it. And it was an interesting mixture again, because of my background in high-energy physics, then the nuclear physics, the nuclear science and engineering, I understood. And it was helpful to know that, to understand the physics, to understand what kinds of questions and how to get to the heart of the issue. But the marriage of that with regulation and public policy and so on, I thought was important. And I think I really learned how to operate in the international arena even more than when I used to travel abroad for physics meetings. And so it was a, you know, a fun time.