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Joseph Francisco

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

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

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

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2013.176

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/28/2013

Last Name

Francisco

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

S.

Occupation
Schools

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The University of Cambridge

University of Texas at Austin

Forest Park High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Joseph

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

FRA11

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Southern France

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Nebraska

Birth Date

3/26/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Lincoln

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

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

Employment

Purdue University

Wayne State University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DASession

1$1

DATape

7$9

DAStory

6$2

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

Fillmore Freeman

Organic chemist and chemistry professor Fillmore Freeman was born in 1936 in Lexington, Mississippi. Freeman earned his high school diploma from John Marshall High School in Chicago, Illinois in 1953. In 1957, he graduated summa cum laude from Central State College in Wilberforce, Ohio, with his B.S. degree, and then went on to pursue his graduate studies at Michigan State University, where he received his Ph.D. degree in physical organic chemistry in 1962.

After a brief stint working with a private firm, Freeman served as a National Institutes of Health Fellow at Yale University in 1964. The following year, he became an assistant professor of at California State University at Long Beach. During this time, the school expanded its chemistry and biochemistry programs to accommodate the growing interest in these fields. In 1973, Freeman became a professor of chemistry at the University of California at Irvine, where he continued to work for the duration of his professional career. With his background in physical organic chemistry, Freeman has conducted research on a number of topics, including organic synthesis pathways and reactions, particularly those of cyclic compounds. His research has also relied heavily on the use of computational chemistry. In 1991, Freeman was the recipient of a grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the biochemical properties of allicin, a component of garlic chemistry. Freeman’s work has had a strong emphasis in isolating, researching and synthesizing compounds with anti-tumor and anti-viral properties.

Freeman has received much recognition for his work in the field of physical organic chemistry. He was named an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellow and a Fulbright-Hayes Senior Research Fellow. He also had the opportunity to serve as a visiting professor at the Max Planck Institute of Biophysical Chemistry and the University of Paris. Author of numerous academic papers, Freeman was identified as the third most highly cited African American chemist in a 2002 report by Oklahoma State University.

Fillmore Freeman was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 29, 2011.

Accession Number

A2012.203

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/27/2012

Last Name

Freeman

Marital Status

Divorced

Schools

John Marshall Metropolitan High School

Central State University

Michigan State University

Yale University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Fillmore

Birth City, State, Country

Lexington

HM ID

FRE06

Favorite Season

None

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France, Berlin, Germany, Spain

Favorite Quote

The time before memories.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

4/10/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Organic chemist and chemistry professor Fillmore Freeman (1936 - ) joined the faculty of California State University in 1973. He has conducted significant research in the field of physical organic chemistry, particularly in the synthesis and structural understanding of potential anti-tumor and anti-viral compounds.

Employment

University of California, Irvine

California State University, Long Beach

California Research Corporation

National Science Foundation (NSF)

Université de Paris VII

Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles

Max-Planck-Institut

Favorite Color

Blue, Earth Tones

Timing Pairs
0,0:2952,24:4584,45:10440,63:10824,72:12264,94:14088,106:15048,117:14365,129:16232,135:16824,144:17490,154:17934,160:18674,172:19710,184:20154,190:20672,198:21782,215:23040,252:23854,264:24150,269:25112,284:33396,392:33948,400:35696,420:36616,425:36984,430:37904,441:43050,446:43458,451:47118,495:48210,513:48522,518:50784,579:51486,590:51798,595:52344,604:52890,615:57780,664:59060,686:63008,748:63872,763:64544,768:71368,829:72115,840:72779,849:77676,965:80881,987:83578,1037:85231,1061:89332,1104:90718,1126:91510,1141:92005,1147:94480,1171:97574,1187:98634,1201:101424,1219:101936,1224:102576,1230:103088,1235:107464,1282:109732,1311:110740,1326:123274,1439:126086,1452:126806,1463:127670,1480:128822,1502:129182,1508:130982,1544:132998,1605:133502,1614:136146,1623:137730,1647:138082,1652:141074,1702:143802,1752:144770,1767:145122,1772:149334,1795:152716,1843:161104,1975:167475,2053:167855,2058:168710,2079:169850,2092:171609,2106:172266,2118:172850,2127:175697,2182:176427,2195:177011,2204:177668,2221:177960,2226:178690,2238:182632,2306:183581,2325:184092,2334:198128,2527:198558,2533:200250,2541:201496,2556:208821,2634:209295,2642:210006,2652:211902,2684:212534,2694:213640,2710:217118,2736:217898,2747:220160,2793:220940,2815:222266,2842:222890,2851:223358,2859:223748,2865:225308,2888:226868,2915:227258,2922:231790,2938:232238,2949:232462,2954:234870,3033:235206,3041:238038,3071:238794,3082:239130,3087:239466,3092:240894,3113:241902,3127:242238,3133:242994,3143:244170,3162:244506,3167:245094,3175:246102,3189:246774,3198:247782,3212:253700,3243:254388,3253:256360,3262:257240,3274:257960,3288:261240,3353:261800,3362:268416,3444:268962,3453:270953,3472:271338,3478:273109,3502:278900,3580:281710,3611:283250,3644:284790,3654$0,0:360,5:3384,59:4032,70:4968,86:6489,99:7371,118:12872,179:13884,192:15356,221:15816,233:17564,256:17932,262:20232,294:24301,330:24763,337:26149,360:27304,378:27612,383:27920,389:29691,415:30769,430:31539,446:31847,451:32771,465:35770,486:36130,493:36790,507:37750,529:39990,539:40368,547:40620,552:41124,562:42430,570:44152,606:44562,612:46694,646:48006,674:48416,680:49646,696:50056,702:50712,717:51860,736:52352,745:52762,751:54320,773:54894,782:59360,796:60970,832:63140,885:63560,892:64050,902:64750,915:65030,920:67550,994:67830,999:73484,1076:76026,1115:76354,1120:76764,1126:77420,1135:77748,1143:78076,1148:78896,1159:85378,1197:86768,1211:87880,1222:91070,1232:91472,1239:92142,1250:93080,1267:93549,1274:94152,1290:95425,1317:95760,1323:97893,1337:100532,1393:101624,1407:102443,1417:105719,1473:111458,1569:111920,1580:121485,1676:124269,1730:130405,1802:133499,1834:133864,1840:134740,1857:135105,1863:135397,1868:137877,1896:138416,1904:138724,1909:140803,1956:141111,1961:141881,1973:143960,2007:144422,2015:144730,2020:148150,2038:148710,2047:149910,2068:151190,2106:151910,2116:153510,2141:154950,2182:155670,2192:158550,2250:160070,2274:161270,2293:171755,2409:174815,2495:181148,2576:182384,2598:182796,2603:186105,2659:186855,2670:187455,2679:188280,2691:189030,2702:190980,2721:191580,2730:199700,2811:200500,2822:201140,2831:202340,2851:203380,2867:208180,2918:208740,2927:214375,2949:214765,2957:215480,2971:216260,2987:216520,2992:216975,3000:218015,3040:218405,3047:218925,3057:219315,3065:220485,3091:220745,3096:221330,3112:222240,3129:222695,3136:223410,3150:224255,3176:224515,3181:225880,3207:234340,3298:235780,3322:237060,3342:237780,3353:238180,3359:241300,3371:241940,3382:242452,3391:246148,3462:246736,3469:249872,3533:250460,3540:251440,3554:258460,3674:259126,3686:262752,3773:265860,3844:266378,3853:266896,3862:270005,3879:270345,3884:271620,3918:272895,3935:277990,4002
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Fillmore Freeman's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Fillmore Freeman lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Fillmore Freeman describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Fillmore Freeman describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Fillmore Freeman talks about segregation and slavery in Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his paternal family owning land in Mississippi, and his father's role as a Baptist minister

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his father's training to become a Baptist minister

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his parents moving to Chicago, his mother's death, his father remarrying, and his four siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Fillmore Freeman talks about the socio-economic dynamics of skin color in the African American community

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Fillmore Freeman lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Fillmore Freeman describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Fillmore Freeman talks about moving to Chicago when he was five years old, and his early experience there

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Fillmore Freeman describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Fillmore Freeman talks about the Chicago public school system, and the condition of the city's housing projects in the 1940s

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Fillmore Freeman describes his experience in Catholic school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Fillmore Freeman talks about gang activity in Chicago in the 1940s

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Fillmore Freeman talks about leaving Chicago in 1953

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Fillmore Freeman talks about graduating from elementary school and attending high school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Fillmore Freeman talks about attending his father's church as a child, and his perspective on religion

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his parents' employment in Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his jobs as a youngster in Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Fillmore Freeman describes his experience in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Fillmore Freeman talks about Maxwell Street in Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Fillmore Freeman talks about playing basketball in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his academic performance in high school and the pressures of life for African Americans who lived in the housing projects

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Fillmore Freeman describes his studies and his extracurricular activities in high school

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Fillmore Freeman describes his decision to attend Central State University, and his involvement in the ROTC Program

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his professors at Central State University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Fillmore Freeman talks about Charles Wesley, HistoryMaker, Alice Windom, and segregation in Wilberforce and Xenia, Ohio in the 1950s

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Fillmore Freeman describes his decision to pursue a doctoral degree at Michigan State University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Fillmore Freeman describes his Ph.D. dissertation on tetracyanocyclopropanes chemistry

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Fillmore Freeman talks about the interest in cyclopropane chemistry in the 1950s

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Fillmore Freeman describes being involved in a serious laboratory accident at Michigan State University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his recovery from a serious laboratory accident in 1959 - part one

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Fillmore Freeman talks about meeting his wife in Chicago, and getting married in 1959

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his recovery from a serious laboratory accident in 1959 - part two

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Fillmore Freeman describes his decision to work at Standard Oil of California, and his experience there

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Fillmore Freeman describes his experience as a postdoctoral researcher at Yale University and his decision to work at California State University

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Fillmore Freeman talks about the lack of African American faculty and students at the University of California, Irvine

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his sabbatical at the University of Paris, and accepting a tenured position at the University of California, Irvine

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Fillmore Freeman describes his research on using chemical compounds to combat Chagas disease

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his involvement with NOBCChE

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Fillmore Freeman describes his experience in Paris in 1972

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Fillmore Freeman describes the university system in California

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his early research in synthetic organic chemistry, screening chemical compounds against HIV, and his work on carbenes

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his sabbatical at the University of Illinois, Chicago in 1976

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his experience on sabbatical at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Fillmore Freeman describes his experience at the Max Planck Institute in Germany and at Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles in France

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Fillmore Freeman talks about the African American demographics at the University of California, Irvine

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Fillmore Freeman talks about serving as a visiting scientist and program director of organic and macromolecular chemistry at the NSF in 1989

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Fillmore Freeman describes his research in the area of organosulfur chemistry, and his collaboration with Professor Eloy Rodriguez

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Fillmore Freeman talks about the health benefits of garlic and its component compounds - part one

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Fillmore Freeman talks about the health benefits of garlic and its component compounds - part two

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his report on the properties of di-tert-butyl chromate in the Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Fillmore Freeman talks about the dwindling number of African American faculty in chemistry departments across the United States

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Fillmore Freeman describes the field of computational chemistry, and its applications in medicine and in the pharmaceutical industry

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Fillmore Freeman shares his perspectives on the impact of computers on society and the future of physical organic chemistry

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his work to promote undergraduate chemistry research and his goals for the future

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Fillmore Freeman reflects upon his career and his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his hobbies

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Fillmore Freeman shares how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$5

DAStory

5$4

DATitle
Fillmore Freeman describes his research in the area of organosulfur chemistry, and his collaboration with Professor Eloy Rodriguez
Fillmore Freeman describes his decision to work at Standard Oil of California, and his experience there
Transcript
So it seems in 1991, it seems you received a grant of $507,750 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to study tropical plants in Latin America and Africa that fight various fungal diseases, viruses and--$$Yeah, but that was in conjunction with Professor Eloy Rodriguez who was in the School of Bio [Biological] Science, so it was a joint grant.$$Okay, all right, and this is something. Did you have much experience with folk remedies growing up?$$No.$$Okay.$$Well, not experience, but I knew about them. I mean if you got sick in the old neighborhood, there's no such thing as going to a doctor. Everybody had some kind of folk remedy, many of which did not work, but that's all you could have.$$I just wondered if your family had any folk remedies, you know, that you remembered growing up?$$No, the medicine I remember most of all is Vicks VapoRub because of the way it smelled, and they'd rub it on your chest, and that's supposed to cure you when you got sick or have a cold. But that was an interesting collaboration. He's at Cornell [University, New York] now, but we inadvertently become, became sort of world experts in organosulfur chemistry. And when I was in Germany, they had some money left over. And they asked me did I want to go to a conference. And so I looked around, and in Yugoslavia, there was an organosulfur conference. And so I decided, hey, they want me to go so I will go. So I went to this conference which was on the Adriatic Sea. It's a place called Portoroz, and it's just like California. This was when Tito [President Marshal Tito] was still in power in Yugoslavia. But it was just capitalism. It was a tourist place. But it was, after being in Germany for that winter, it was so nice to get to this warm coast. And these sulfur chemists were arguing about a particular reaction intermediate called an alphadisulfoxide. So, you know, I just said, well, we'll just, we can just oxidize this and oxidize that because we know how to oxidize things. So everybody just laughed. So I came back to the [United] States after Germany. And there was a graduate student, Christos Angeletakis, a Greek fellow. And he wanted to do research with me. And we were looking for this elusive intermediate, the alphadisulfoxide. And one way to do that is to work at very low temperatures so you could (unclear) the rate of reactivity. And we were looking and we were looking. We couldn't get any spectroscopic evidence for it. But finally we did. So we became the first ones to identify or to build an alphadisulfoxide. And so we got into sulfur chemistry. Now, to get back to Professor Rodriguez, he's the big world's expert on plant chemists, chemistry. Now, there is this lady, Goodall, who studied the chimpanzee,--$$Yeah, Jane Goodall.$$You're right. Well, when she was studying some of these chimpanzees, she noted that they would eat leaves from a certain plant. They would just keep the leaves in their mouths. They wouldn't chew it. They'd spit it out. Some of them swallowed it. And so it turned out that some Canadian chemist was interested in this, Professor Rodriguez. And so they started isolating the chemical components of this particular plant. And it turns out that the significant component was some brilliant red compound. It had a six-membered ring and all kinds of things on the side. But in the six-membered ring, they had two sulfur atoms. So since we were thought to be world experts on organosulfur chemistry, and that's when I started collaborating with Professor Rodriguez. Again, all unplanned, but, you know, we've done a lot of sulfur chemistry.$Now, what did you do between '62 [1962] and '64 [1964]?$$I worked for Standard Oil of California. This is in the Bay Area [San Francisco, California], and it's a little--there's Berkeley and next to Berkeley is a little town called Richmond. And next to that, there's a bridge that goes from Richmond over to Marin County. And that's where the Standard Oil refinery was. At that time, Standard Oil had a lot of administrative offices over on Bush Street in San Francisco. And so I worked there for two years, and one of the reasons I went to work there was because they promised that we were gonna do basic research as opposed to industrial research. Well, there were about eleven of us in basic research. And that lasts for six months. After that, as with any big company, profits drive everything. And so we used to have these, what we called "dog and pony" shows where the people from Bush Street would come over, and we'd tell 'em what we're doing. And all they wanna know is how much money is that gonna make us. And so basically, during that two-year period, almost all of us had moved over, moved from basic research over to some industrial routine kind of work. And out of the eleven of us, nine of us left, and became professors somewhere in the United States because, again, we had wanted to do basic research. In industry, at that time, Standard Oil was one of the big people in the detergent industry because when they would crack petroleum to get these low molecular weight compounds, we all alkanes, and they could just put--and alkenes, and they could just put a sulfonate group on it. So you needed alkane, alkene that's nonpolar and a sulfonate group that's polar. So this is how you make suds and things. The non-polar part gets out the dirt and the oil and the polar part (unclear) solubility. But these things would not break down easily in the environment. Streams were getting blocked and plugged up, and so we were just looking for ways to improve making those, but also to make alternatives. So what you would do is to run a reaction and then you have to try all different concentrations. So it's routine, the same thing. Then you'd try different temperatures. Then you'd add, change one reagent, and so industrial chemistry is necessary from the profit motive. But intellectually, it's not very challenging. It's very routine. And so that's when I left to go back to Yale [University, New Haven, Connecticut] when I got a National Institutes of Health [NIH] post-doctoral fellowship.$$Okay, this is in 1964?$$Right.$$Okay, so this is a post-doc at Yale University in New Haven [Connecticut]. And--$$Now, the California Research Corporation eventually became the Chevron Research Corporation. And so--$$Oh, the California, I mean the Standard Oil?$$Right, the California Research Corporation was the research arm of Standard Oil.$$Okay.$$And so now it is the Chevron Research Corporation. And, of course, getting a job there was a big deal because growing up in Chicago [Illinois], I had always wanted to live in California. But that was also part of the big migration in the United States to the West. And there were not many jobs for chemists at that time. Shell had a facility at Emeryville which is north of San Francisco. And in Albany, California, there was a government lab. So basically, those three labs, California Research Corporation, Shell and the government lab were the only ones that were hiring people. So everybody was trying to get to the West Coast. And that's when I was in Detroit [Michigan]. I went from Lansing [Michigan] to Detroit. It was 13 [degree Fahrenheit] below [zero]. Got to San Francisco. This is in January on my interview trip. And they were having a heat wave. It was 88 degrees. Now, even since being a little kid, growing up in Chicago, I know I'm going to California. And that trip just solidified everything. There's no way I wanted to live back in the Midwest or where there was cold weather.

William Jackson

Chemist and academic administrator William M. Jackson was born on September 24, 1936 in Birmingham, Alabama. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from Morehouse College in 1956 and Catholic University of America, CUA in 1961, respectively. His expertise is in photochemistry, lasers chemistry, and astrochemistry.

Jackson has been a research scientist in industry at Martin Co (now Lockheed-Martin) and the government at the National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology) and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). He has been an academician at the University of Pittsburgh (1969-1970), Howard University (1974-1985), and the University of California, Davis (UCD). He joined the faculty at UCD as a chemistry professor in 1985. He then became a distinguished professor in 1998, and chair of the chemistry department from 2000 to 2005. He was awarded millions of dollars in research and education grants and has taught and mentored under representative minority students at Howard University and UCD. Under his direction, the minority student population of the UCD chemistry graduate students increased. He continues to do research, as well as, recruiting and mentoring minority students in chemistry, even though he is officially retired.

In the field of astrochemistry, Jackson observed comets with both ground-based and satellite telescopes and used laboratory and theoretical studies to explain how the radicals observed in comets are formed. He led the team that made the first satellite (IUE) telescope cometary observation. His laboratory developed tunable dye lasers to detect and determine the properties of free radicals formed during the photodissociation of stable molecules. He continued to use lasers in the laboratory to map out the excited states of small molecules important in comets, planetary atmospheres, and the interstellar medium decompose into reactive atoms and radicals and are important in the chemistry of these astronomical bodies. Jackson published over 176 scientific papers, has a United States patent, and has edited two books.

Jackson is the recipient of many awards from universities and scientific organizations. They include the National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) Percy Julian Award (1986), a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship (1989), the CUA alumni award for scientific achievements (1991), the Alexander von Humboldt Senior Research Award (1996), the Morehouse College Bennie Trail Blazer award (2011) and election as a Fellow in the American Physical Society (1995), in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2004) in, and American Chemical Society (2010). He is one of the six founders of NOBCChE; and in 1996, the Planetary Society named asteroid 1081 EE37 as (4322) Billjackson in his honor for contributions to planetary science.

William M. Jackson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 6, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.212

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/6/2012 |and| 12/2/2017

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Middle Name

M

Occupation
Schools

Catholic University of America

Morehouse College

Central High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

JAC32

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Warm

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

9/24/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Davis

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Astrophysicist William Jackson (1936 - ) was one of the founders of NOBCChE and a fellow of the APS, ACS, and AAAS. He also had an asteroid named in his honor.

Employment

University of California, Davis

University of Pittsburgh

Howard University

Diamond Ordinance Fuse Laboratory

Martin Marietta Corporation

National Bureau of Standards (NBS)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center

University of California Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

National Taiwan University

Goddard Space Flight Center

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:15515,163:28614,193:32145,244:33108,254:36104,392:50357,444:65905,624:106326,920:107318,930:125850,1129:132891,1200:136092,1265:137062,1277:137450,1282:142670,1340:143070,1346:146700,1412:174982,1720:194302,1908:194944,1916:248236,2373:258401,2418:259065,2432:259729,2441:260476,2453:261057,2461:269300,2514:275081,2573:278615,2662:303612,2919:308022,2994:308984,3017:309576,3027:322600,3210:323400,3219:327762,3271:332861,3425:335840,3503:360564,3743:365566,3793:366076,3799:366484,3804:367198,3817:385084,4000:417774,4337:418458,4347:435998,4464:437131,4476:437955,4485:442584,4496:443352,4503:445000,4510:452140,4589:452524,4594:454636,4640:488588,4878:489596,4901:495116,4954:495980,4981:499688,5025:501436,5059:502880,5086:503412,5094:503716,5099:512834,5201:514210,5267:519800,5297:521720,5327:522488,5334:522968,5340:540610,5423$0,0:903,13:2193,33:18834,251:26954,263:27489,269:34837,371:39167,401:40278,414:66847,667:90950,892:98650,974:99090,979:104730,1003:113942,1043:115760,1054:132349,1188:137302,1243:148473,1363:158424,1483:165220,1513:173958,1636:189736,1864:206443,2022:216494,2127:217421,2137:242962,2378:263669,2516:266295,2553:279324,2682:324451,3145:324906,3151:359621,3469:380579,3652:401920,3852
DAStories

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

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

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Jackson describes his mother's family baclground

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Jackson describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William Jackson describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William Jackson describes his father's educational background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Jackson describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William Jackson talks about his parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Jackson describes his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Jackson describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Jackson describes the sights, smells, and sounds of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Jackson describes the racial climate of Birmingham, Alabama in his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Jackson talks about his home on Dynamite Hill

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William Jackson describes the difference between "black" and "colored"

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William Jackson describes his experience with polio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William Jackson describes his involvement in sports

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Jackson describes his recovery from polio

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Jackson describes his experience at Immaculate Catholic School

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Jackson talks about his decision to attend Morehouse College

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Jackson describes his experience at Morehouse College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William Jackson describes his social life at Morehouse College

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William Jackson talks about Dr. Benjamin Mays

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William Jackson talks about Omega Psi Phi Fraternity

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William Jackson talks about those that influenced him

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William Jackson talks about his decision to attend the Catholic University of America

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William Jackson describes his influences at the Catholic University of America

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William Jackson talks about meeting is wife

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William Jackson describes his research

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William Jackson talks about completing his Ph.D. degree

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William Jackson describes his work at the Martin-Marietta Company and the National Bureau of Standards

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William Jackson describes his work at the Goddard Space Flight Center

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William Jackson describes the faculty at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William Jackson describes his work at the University of Pittsburgh

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William Jackson describes his inspiration for building his laser

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - William Jackson describes his work at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - William Jackson describes his decision to work at the University of California, Davis

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - William Jackson describes his work at the University of California and abroad

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - William Jackson talks about efforts to produce more minority Ph.D.s in science (part 1)

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - William Jackson talks about efforts to produce more minority Ph.D.'s in science (part 2)

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - William Jackson talks about his work as Chair of the Chemistry Department at University of California, Davis

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - William Jackson describes his early interest in chemistry, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - William Jackson describes his early interest in chemistry, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - William Jackson talks about his decision to become a physical chemist

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - William Jackson describes how he came to attend Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - William Jackson talks about his research assistant position at Catholic University of America

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - William Jackson remembers his classmates at Catholic University of America

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - William Jackson talks about his Ph.D. work at the National Bureau of Standards, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - William Jackson talks about his Ph.D. work at the National Bureau of Standards, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - William Jackson talks about the instruments he used in his Ph.D. work

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - William Jackson describes the history of instruments and processes in chemistry

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - William Jackson describes his work at Martin Marietta Corporation

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - William Jackson describes his reasons for leaving Martin Marietta Corporation, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - William Jackson describes his reasons for leaving Martin Marietta Corporation, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - William Jackson recalls his reasons for returning to the National Bureau of Standards

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - William Jackson describes his research at the National Bureau of Standards

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - William Jackson remembers his coworkers at the National Bureau of Standards

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - William Jackson describes his experiences with racial discrimination at Martin Marietta Corporation

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - William Jackson talks about the role of the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - William Jackson talks about his family

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - William Jackson recalls his reasons for leaving the Goddard Space Flight Center

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - William Jackson describes his role at the Goddard Space Flight Center, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - William Jackson describes his role at the Goddard Space Flight Center, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - William Jackson talks about his research on photodissociation at the Goddard Space Flight Center

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - William Jackson talks about his research of free radicals using tunable light sources

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - William Jackson talks about the applications of his work in free radicals

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - William Jackson remembers the formation of NOBCChE

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - William Jackson talks about the creation of NOBCChE, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - William Jackson talks about the creation of NOBCChE, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - William Jackson describes the NOBCChE's Minority Resource Centers for Science and Engineering, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - William Jackson describes the NOBCChE's Minority Resource Centers for Science and Engineering, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - William Jackson talks about the early years of the Minority Resource Centers for Science and Engineering

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - William Jackson talks about women in the sciences

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - William Jackson remembers the faculty and staff of the Howard University Department of Chemistry

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - William Jackson talks about the funding of the Howard University Department of Chemistry

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - William Jackson remembers his professorship at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - William Jackson describes his sabbatical at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Erlangen, Germany

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - William Jackson recalls his reasons for coming to the University of California, Davis, pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - William Jackson recalls his reasons for coming to the University of California, Davis, pt. 2

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - William Jackson talks about his rank of professorship at the University of California, Davis

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - William Jackson describes his positions at the University of California, Davis

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - William Jackson talks about the lack of African American professors at the University of California, Davis

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - William Jackson describes his role as chair of the chemistry department at the University of California, Davis

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - William Jackson talks about his research at the University of California, Davis

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - William Jackson describes his research in surface chemistry

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - William Jackson talks about the implications of his research on climate change

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - William Jackson talks about the effect of politics on the STEM industries

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - William Jackson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - William Jackson remembers the Ph.D. students he taught

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - William Jackson describes the role of a Ph.D. mentor and advisor

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - William Jackson reflects upon his life

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - William Jackson shares his advice for aspiring chemists

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

5$3

DATitle
William Jackson describes his experience at Morehouse College
William Jackson describes his work at the Goddard Space Flight Center
Transcript
Okay, alright. So, okay, Morehouse. So, now was it much more challenging at Morehouse than it was in high school?$$I didn't get all A's, so yeah. Yeah, I mean, yeah, it was.$$Okay. Now, at Morehouse there was the great Dr. Henry McBay that everybody talks about.$$Right.$$We hear his name over and over again in these interviews.$$Right.$$What was your relationship like with Dr. McBay? What was he like?$$I did not take chemistry in high school, and I told you, my stepfather was a dentist. School started on a Monday, so the way I was going to get to Morehouse, he had to drive me up there. And so, he was going to drive me up there on, he wanted to leave on Saturday morning. And Mobile is about 250 miles from Atlanta, and then there were no interstate highways in those days, 1952. So, Harry Truman was president, and the interstate didn't come in until Eisenhower was elected. And he started it. So, he wanted to drive up that weekend. I think we started, and he had to come back so he wouldn't have to close his practice for the half a day on Saturday. So, we left, and I got there a couple days earlier than most of the freshmen, than all of the freshmen, in fact. It was early enough for me to talk to the upper classmen who were going to be assigned to work with the freshmen when they got there. In fact, when the other freshmen got there, they thought I was an upper classman. But in talking to the upper classmen, they said, "Well, what are you going to major in?" I said, "I'm going to major in math." They said, "Well, that's good. Don't take chemistry, because McBay is going to flunk you." At that point in my life, I didn't, you know, I was, I didn't believe that. And I didn't, I took it as a challenge, you know. I enrolled in general chemistry. Fortunately, I got a C the first semester and a B the second semester. But I got hooked. I liked the way, I mean, he made it interesting. He was a very good lecturer. He was very difficult, but I thought he was very fair. He didn't give you anything, but he didn't take anything away from you.$$So, you didn't start off setting the world on fire in chemistry. You got a C. Now, you're like fourteen years old, or fifteen?$$Fifteen.$$Fifteen, okay.$$My son did better in chemistry than I did.$$Okay.$$But, yeah, I got a C, but that's okay. I mean, you asked me my relationship with him. After I finished college, and got finished with graduate school, and started publishing papers, we had a very good relationship. When I finished Morehouse, he wanted me to stay at Atlanta University and get a master's degree. And I didn't see any reason why I should do that, even though my grades weren't that good. So, I had been accepted to Northwestern [Northwestern University] and Purdue [Purdue University], but couldn't go because I didn't have any money to go, and they didn't give me any assistantship. So, I moved up to Washington, D.C. [District of Columbia] because I had a cousin there, who said, "Well, with your degree in chemistry you can get a job in the federal government." So, I went around all that summer looking for jobs in the federal government. But in the process, I knew I wanted to go into physical chemistry. And I kept asking, well what's the best school for physical chemistry? And they kept saying Catholic University, which was about a mile from where I was staying with my cousin.$$I want to stop this right here and then go back. We skipped the whole Morehouse experience, which we need to get to before we get you to graduate school. And Morehouse, I mean, you were telling me when we were walking around the campus earlier with you, your roommate was Maynard Jackson, right?$$Yeah, my freshman roommate.$$Your freshman roommate. And there was another student there that people might know, another one was Charles Brown, right?$$Right.$$Who's a Reverend. You didn't have any idea that he was going to be a Reverend at the time?$$No. Let's see. There were a lot of people there. I mean there was Charles Brown, there was Maynard Jackson, there was Till, who only stayed two years. After the first two years he went back to Texas and got his undergraduate degree and became a neurosurgeon, and teaches at Howard University Medical School.$$What's his name?$$Till, T-I-L-L.$$Okay.$$Aaron Jackson was a chemistry major. He died recently, but was a urologist. He taught at Howard University. Major Owens, who was and still is a Congressman from New York. And that's only a small number of the ones that come to my mind right now.$$Now, you weren't the only early admitted student, right? So, there were other--$$One, everyone that I named was an early admitted student. There were about twenty five or thirty of us. Most of them were really smart. And a guy from Chicago by the name of Joe Carl, I remember him. I can't remember all the people in the class at this stage. But it was a pretty--in fact, there are people who say we were the most famous class at Morehouse. There were others who tried to rival us, but given the fact that out of seventy five students, the accomplishments of that class were outstanding.$$Okay. So, but there were about thirty early admitted students?$$Right. But the program continued after that. Walter Massey, who was president of Morehouse, was a couple years later. So, I mean, there were--so there were, it was a pretty distinguished class.$Now this is, you're at Goddard's Space Flight Center at the beginning of, and I guess the most publicized era for U.S. space flight?$$That's right. So I mean, it was, Goddard, NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration] was getting money at that time. There were a couple of things that I did that you talked about. You asked me about astrochemistry. It was there that I started using my knowledge of chemistry and applying it to comets, which is what I was hired to do, and trying to understand the physical and chemical processes occurring in comets, and why they look the way the look, what they're made of. And so I started working on problems like that.$$How did you study the comet, I mean did you study the names of comets, or--$$Well, primarily, comets are studied by spectroscopic observation. You look at, use telescopes and measure the spectra. And spectra are the signatures for molecules in comets. And from the ground we can see signatures of free radicals like C-N, O-H, just barely. CN-OH, C-2, C-3 and N-H. That's the first clue. There's other things. You could just look at the orbits and see how the orbits change in periodic comets. And a famous scientist by the name of Fred Whipple figured out that when they evaporate material as they heat up going around the sun, that material, when you go to have a force go in one direction, it exerts in the equal and opposite direction, remembering the second law of motion. So, that slight motion changes the orbit, and if you measure it precisely, you can determine how much force was involved. And he wrote a really brilliant paper, where he used that information, and he came up with what we call the icy nucleus model. The comets are made up of frozen water with various materials inside, and when the water evaporates, it pushes back on the comet, and that's what causes this chain to orbit. And so, you look at that and you try to figure out well, then, how do free radicals come about? And we showed that they come about and that you can make sense out of it by photo association. That means light from the sun. Molecules absorb radiation from the sun and break apart. For example, water, H20, absorbs light and breaks apart H plus O-H, and we see the O-H. HCN breaks apart and gives you C-N plus H, and so forth and so on. So, I worked on those kinds of problems. I wrote a, NASA was setting up a telescope called the IUE telescope. They did ask for an ultraviolet exploratory telescope. And I used, I proposed that we could use their telescope to study the ultra violet emissions spectrum above the atmosphere of the earth, so that you could see things that you could not see from the earth.$$Now this is, correct me if I'm wrong. This is about 1974?$$The proposal was written to use a telescope, was written before that, because it takes five years to send up a satellite.$$Okay. You started, got it in '64' [1964].$$Right.$$That's ten ten years. That was in '74' [1974].$$'74' [1974]. We actually made the observations in '74' [1974], '75' [1975]. But I wrote, I was the principal investigator on the observations.$$And this is the first team to use the ultra violet explorer.$$Explorer, that's right. And the interesting thing, to me, was the astronomers who designed the telescope said we wouldn't get a big enough signal from a comet to be able to use it. But I showed that you, in fact, could do that. Because I showed them a piece of paper, and we actually made the first observations. The signal was about what I had predicted it was going to be. So, being a chemist, it felt good to prove the astronomers wrong.$$Okay. So--$$That telescope went on to make some of the most significant observations of comets.$$Okay.$$And the newer versions of the HST telescope and so forth is still making significant observations of comets.

Linneaus Dorman

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

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

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2012.174

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/24/2012

Last Name

Dorman

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

C.

Occupation
Schools

Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School

Bradley University

Indiana University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Linneaus

Birth City, State, Country

Orangeburg

HM ID

DOR06

Favorite Season

Fall

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

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

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

6/28/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Midland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Watermelon

Short Description

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

Employment

Dow Chemical Company

Northern Regional Research Laboratory

Comerica Bank

Dow Corning

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

1$3

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

James Mitchell

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

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2012.236

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/11/2012

Last Name

Mitchell

Maker Category
Middle Name

W

Occupation
Schools

North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University

Iowa State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Durham

HM ID

MIT13

Favorite Season

Holiday Season

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Alaskan Cruises

Favorite Quote

When times get tough, the tough get going.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

11/16/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Turkey, Greens (Collard), Fish, Barbecue

Short Description

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

Employment

Bell Laboratories

Lucent Technologies

Howard University College of Engineering

CREST Nanoscale Analytical Sciences Research and Education center

Favorite Color

Gold, Purple, Red, White

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

4$5

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

Sharon Barnes

Biologist, chemist and inventor Sharon J. Barnes was born on November 28, 1955 to Selena and William Jefferson McDonald in Beaumont, Texas. She attended Sisblee High School where she received three scholarships to attend college. In 1978, Barnes received her B.S. degree in biology-chemistry and clinical laboratory science. During her time in college she interned at clinical laboratory science program for the Baptist Hospital of Southeast Texas.

After college, Barnes began working as a technologist in Clinical Laboratory Science at Veterans Administration Medical Center. During this same year, she received her certification as clinical laboratory scientist from the Veterans Administration at Baylor University. In 1981, Barnes obtained a new position at Brazosport Regional Health Center where she worked as an assistant lab director. Five years later, she pursued her interest as a chemist at the Dow Chemical Company serving as a special chemistry lab supervisor. In 1991, Barnes obtained a U.S. Patent for a new application in Infrared Thermography Technology. She was a member of a team of five, including one other African American, who invented the process and apparatus for con-tactless measurements of sample temperature. A year later, she received her certification as clinical laboratory director from the National Certification Agency at Baylor University and became laboratory director at Dow Chemical Company and clinical lab director in the Clinical Health Department. Barnes has also worked as a QA/QC chemist in Research & Development in the Texas Analytical and Environmental Lab. In 1996, Barnes became Dow Chemical Company’s training specialist as well as manager for Site Training and Development. She eventually assumed the role as human resource partner and consultant. In 2005, she received her MBA in human resources management from the University of Phoenix and promptly became human resources associate director for the Performance Plastics Division for manufacturing and engineering, finance, assets and supply chain, licensing and catalysts.

In 1991, Barnes was named Dow Texas Inventor, she has also received the Outstanding Scouter Award twice from Dow Chemical Company and was selected as one of the 50 Most Influential Blacks in Research by Engineer.com. Barnes was named Most Distinguished Alumnae for 2003 by Baylor University, Waco Texas. That same year she was elected to serve as National Secretary for the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemist and Chemical Engineers (NOBCCHE). She has also serves two terms as Gubernational Appointee – District One Review Committee for Harris, Galveston and Brazoria countries (appointed by Governor George W. Bush and re-appointed by Governor Rick Perry). Barnes currently resides in Freeport, Texas with her husband Ronald Barnes. They have two children together, Ronald Barnes, II and Ashley Crawford.

Sharon J. Barnes was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 14, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.192

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/16/2012

Last Name

Barnes

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Silsbee High School

Baylor University

University of Phoenix

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Sharon

Birth City, State, Country

Beaumont

HM ID

BAR13

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Costa Rica

Favorite Quote

Lord willing.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

11/28/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Freeport

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Cake

Short Description

Chemist Sharon Barnes (1955 - ) created the process and apparatus for con-tactless measurements of sample temperature.

Employment

V.A. Lakeside Medical Center

Brazosport Reginal Health Center

Dow Chemical Company

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:4920,62:10486,135:13046,193:13942,226:15286,241:15542,246:16822,277:18806,338:19382,349:19702,355:20022,361:20342,367:20598,372:21558,400:28145,439:29410,448:29985,454:33640,493:34540,513:36380,522:36983,534:38302,555:54250,738:54845,746:55185,751:55695,758:58415,807:66166,948:66600,957:71531,1027:73071,1050:73841,1062:77845,1124:79770,1156:80848,1184:82157,1206:89050,1240:89345,1246:93416,1339:96012,1393:99230,1398:100022,1411:100352,1418:100814,1427:101276,1438:101936,1449:103058,1480:103520,1488:104972,1522:110120,1655:118512,1774:119318,1796:120744,1825:123906,1921:124650,1949:125580,1966:126076,1975:130110,2015:136026,2145:136502,2154:138270,2194:143745,2247:144130,2255:144570,2275:145230,2289:146055,2315:153220,2370:154795,2412:155095,2417:157045,2452:158545,2482:158995,2489:159895,2503:160945,2525:161620,2536:169356,2621:169842,2628:170814,2644:176780,2724:177820,2739:182830,2767:184195,2775:186841,2818:190604,2899:191811,2921:198070,2995:199918,3058:202492,3117:203152,3128:203614,3137:209420,3170$0,0:1515,21:2222,29:4141,48:15271,137:35339,408:37748,467:39208,498:41106,559:48075,638:49971,680:50287,685:60855,831:65983,906:66830,926:67138,931:70526,981:74730,1038:82010,1143:96748,1335:97966,1365:107915,1483:108341,1491:109051,1506:115654,1679:120952,1713:123965,1749:124775,1766:128096,1809:131811,1842:132119,1847:132427,1852:132735,1857:136530,1892:138230,1900
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sharon Barnes interview

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

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sharon Barnes describes her mother's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sharon Barnes describes her father's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sharon Barnes talks about her family and growing up in Silsbee, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sharon Barnes shares some of her early childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sharon Barnes talks about her childhood interests

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sharon Barnes talks about the sports personalities that came from the Silsbee area

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sharon Barnes talks about her interest in science

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sharon Barnes talks about her favorite teachers in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sharon Barnes describes her experience with school integration

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sharon Barnes talks about discrimination in middle school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sharon Barnes describes her family's reaction to Dr. King's death

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sharon Barnes describes her years at Silsbee Junior High and Silsbee High School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sharon Barnes talks about the teachers that inspired her

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Sharon Barnes talks about her activities at Silsbee High School

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Sharon Barnes remembers the moon landing in 1969 and the Vietnam War

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sharon Barnes talks about her decision to attend Baylor University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sharon Barnes talks about her teachers at Baylor University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sharon Barnes describes the climate at Baylor

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sharon Barnes describes the attitudes about politics at Baylor University and in her family

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sharon Barnes describes her studies at Baylor University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sharon Barnes describes meeting her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sharon Barnes talks about becoming a clinical laboratory intern

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sharon Barnes talks about working with the Veteran's Administration Medical Center

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sharon Barnes talks about her husband and children

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sharon Barnes talks about working at Dow Chemical

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sharon Barnes discovers a new use for the infrared thermometer

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sharon Barnes talks about NOBBCHE

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sharon Barnes talks about her career at Dow Chemical Company

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sharon Barnes talks about her approach to Human Resources

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sharon Barnes discusses her involvement in Lake Jackson politics

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sharon Barnes talks about the loss of her parents

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sharon Barnes discusses some of her honors and awards

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sharon Barnes talks about her current work at Dow Chemical Company

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sharon Barnes shares her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sharon Barnes discusses her experience as an African American woman at Dow Chemical Company

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sharon Barnes talks about her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Sharon Barnes talks about building a career while raising a family

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

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sharon Barnes describes her photos

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sharon Barnes shares additional photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

7$2

DATitle
Sharon Barnes describes her years at Silsbee Junior High and Silsbee High School
Sharon Barnes talks about her teachers at Baylor University
Transcript
Okay. Okay. Now, Silsbee Junior High School. Now, how were your grades during this time? Are you like--is your interest in science reflected in your grades?$$Somewhat, I think. Again, the science class were the ones that were, I think, most important to me and the ones I really enjoyed. I was starting to get a little bit into the speech and drama thing about this time, and so, I was kind of interested in that. But, you know, my time was still science, I guess, and spent, you know, with my brother and sister. That was my world.$$Okay.$$Yeah, family.$$All right. Okay. So, you go to Silsbee all the way through junior high after high school--through high school?$$In high school, mm-hm.$$All right. So, did you--were you a part of high school clubs or--?$$I was.$$I think you said you were a cheerleader, right?$$But that was young. That was too young.$$(unclear) That's okay.$$I was. The other thing about '68 [1968], if I can go back for just a bit, I think that was really, I think, instrumental for me was that the HemisFair was held in San Antonio in 1968. And I do remember going, and that was a big deal for me to see a lot of the concepts and, you know, how things will be in the future. And so, you know, I like being considered as a, you know, futurist or someone that thinks kind of in the future, how things might be. And so, that was--that again was, I guess, more confirmation that I would go into maybe science or technology. I remember seeing concept cars. I think one was the Aurora that was built by Oldsmobile. And I was like, (What about?), wonder if I'll ever have a car like that one day." And sure enough, I think the Aurora was actually a concept car that they actually did produce, and I remember seeing it at HemisFair. My sister Betty, and her husband Walter, lived in San Antonio, and so, you know, it was just natural that, you know, they told us everything that was going on, and how they were refurbishing the Downtown area. And so--$$Is that when they were building the Riverwalk?$$The Riverwalk, I think, it was redone then, and then the Tower of Texas--you know, Tower of Americas; so that was being built, and we actually went up in that big skyscraper. So, that was, I think, another turning point that was more confirmation, that, yeah, I'm a science person.$$Okay. All right. So, now, did you run for a class office or anything when you were in high school?$$I did. And you mentioned clubs, and I was in, I think, Future Homemakers of America, I was in the Speech and Drama Club, I was in the Latin Club. I think the only club I probably wasn't in was Future Farmers and the Automotive Club. I liked clubs. And I was in JETS, Juniors in Engineering and Technology and Science. And I did run for Student Body Officer. It must have been my junior year, and I didn't win, but the teachers appointed me, so I was still on Student Council my junior and senior year.$$(Unclear) (simultaneous).$$And I was co-editor of my school newspaper two months (out of a year?).$$Okay. So, you weren't elected, but you got appointed anyway. Now, was there any resentment from the students?$$No.$$Okay.$$No. Nope.$Okay. Now, were any special teachers at Baylor that you remember?$$Dr. A.G. Pinkus. P-I-N-K-U-S. Alvin Pinkus. And Dr. Pinkus was my organic teacher, and this was nineteen--maybe 1976. And I happened to find a lump in my breast at, I guess, the semester or so before. And went home one holiday, talked to my mom, she took me to our family doctor, and said, "You probably need to have this looked at or taken out or whatever." And so, I had a biopsy and it was benign. And Dr. Pinkus was so nice. He just bent over backwards to make sure I had all my homework, because I had the surgery in Waco. But he made sure I had all of my homework and all the assignments. And he just really treated me royally once I, you know, kind of confided in him and told him why I was going to miss class. And so, he and I connected after that, and he--he was kind of a confirmed bachelor, so to speak, but he was always one that was very supportive of me, very encouraging in making sure that, you know, I kind of, you know, stayed in line. My financial aid officer was also very instrumental in making sure that I had the funds for school. When I first went to Baylor, the tuition was $35 a semester hour. And I think now it's maybe $700 a semester hour. I don't know. When my daughter was there, it was about 500 an hour. And, $35 an hour, that was quite a bit of money for, you know, in 1974. So, Mr. W.J. Dube, D-U-B-E, was very instrumental in making sure that I had funding to stay in school. And I didn't have to--I had, you know, work-study jobs, you know, where you could work a little bit and study the rest of the time. But those two folks, I think, were very, very helpful in making sure that I was successful. Dr. Wydner (ph. splg.) would be another person. Dr. Eldridge (ph. splg.) would be someone else. So, again, people that were very supportive of me. Dr. Packard for physics.

Tyrone Mitchell

Chemist and federal government administrator Tyrone D. Mitchell was born on May 6, 1939 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Mitchell was taught by an excellent chemistry teacher at L.B. Landry High School who reinforced his interest in science. He received his B.A. degree in chemistry from Dillard University in New Orleans and earned his M.S. degree in organic chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh in 1964. Mitchell then joined General Electric Company (GE) as a process chemist. In 1971, he became an associate staff chemist at General Electric R & D Center. Mitchell received his Ph.D. degree in polymer chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.

After completing his education, Mitchell joined General Electric Silicones as a senior chemist. In 1990, after twenty-five years, he left GE, with the company, having co-authored sixteen technical publications. During his time there, he received more than twenty-five United States patents in the areas of organosilicon chemistry, polymer chemistry and the synthesis of adhesion promoters for use in silicone sealants. The products he helped to develop produced over $100 million in annual sales in 1990. He joined Corning Incorporated where he worked in developing new coatings for optical fibers. Mitchell held a number of management positions in the Science & Technology Division at Corning, where he sought out new technology to improve Corning’s research and development projects. In 2000, he retired from Corning to serve as a program officer in the Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry Program at the National Science Foundation (NSF). In 2003, he was promoted to program director of the Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry Program.

Mitchell has served on the Board of Directors of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers, the Center for Advanced Materials Processing at Clarkson University and the Technology Transfer Society. He was a member of the Chemistry Section Committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and a member-at-large to the Industrial Science & Technology Section of AAAS. In 2006, he was inducted as an AAAS fellow. Mitchell is married to Sandra Parker Mitchell and they have three children: Tracey, Tyrone, Jr. and Todd.

Tyrone D. Mitchell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 27, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.152

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/27/2012 |and| 7/17/2012

Last Name

Mitchell

Maker Category
Marital Status

Marrried

Schools

L.b. Landry High School

Dillard University

University of Pittsburgh

Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Tyrone

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

MIT12

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

New Orleans, Louisiana

Favorite Quote

There are a lot of things I don't do, but nothing I won't do.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

5/6/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo (New Orleans)

Short Description

Chemist and federal government administrator Tyrone Mitchell (1939 - ) serves as the National Foundation program director of Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry and holds twenty-five patents in the field of silicone and polymer chemistry.

Employment

National Science Foundation (NSF)

Corning Incorporated

General Electric Company

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:3972,60:6702,141:10874,177:15324,237:16248,248:29818,397:31382,430:31790,438:32946,468:33558,482:62295,968:62750,977:64440,1014:65285,1036:65935,1049:66260,1055:67365,1093:75414,1214:76584,1233:77598,1245:77988,1251:79080,1276:84940,1328:92300,1458:92620,1463:99660,1558:114810,1735:116000,1764:116350,1770:116700,1776:117120,1784:117610,1793:120830,1889:129356,1984:129736,1990:130040,1995:130344,2000:135403,2070:135695,2075:144820,2292:148397,2373:157602,2530:161130,2629:173950,2812:174503,2819:177900,2881:178374,2888:188392,2997:189222,3014:190633,3037:192957,3081:194700,3088$0,0:3510,75:4666,106:8162,146:8570,153:12582,213:12990,220:13398,227:14690,253:15030,259:15914,281:17954,317:19722,351:20334,362:20674,368:21014,374:23190,414:26522,477:34271,539:36097,601:41409,665:41907,673:42654,682:43567,697:48298,786:53486,809:53990,817:54422,829:54782,835:56510,887:60542,995:61550,1015:62486,1032:62774,1037:68561,1080:68916,1086:70052,1116:70691,1127:71259,1136:72040,1153:73105,1176:73531,1184:73815,1189:74170,1195:74880,1210:83659,1322:83967,1327:84352,1333:86277,1361:87894,1376:89588,1413:97552,1480:111002,1603:111590,1611:112766,1639:113186,1645:119220,1719:119635,1726:120880,1754:127022,1855:130093,1905:130923,1916:143993,2158:146747,2249:167630,2405:189872,2635:192988,2679:199945,2726:200529,2735:205128,2831:205639,2840:207537,2883:216748,2999:218268,3030:218800,3042:220548,3094:222448,3138:227270,3169:227814,3181:233798,3324:240130,3411:240955,3430:242080,3451:243505,3472:246150,3483:246840,3494:250566,3559:254699,3607:255034,3613:259992,3740:260662,3752:260997,3758:261868,3780:262136,3785:263342,3809:265955,3875:273181,3953:277120,3993:277600,4005:278800,4051:285791,4170:286330,4178:287254,4193:287793,4201:288948,4227:295262,4359:303803,4466:306356,4523:306839,4541:307874,4557:308978,4577:317602,4670:318150,4675:330314,4825:331810,4858:332602,4873:333130,4880:338870,4933:339398,4945:343160,5047:351841,5155:361100,5292:364454,5340:372968,5471:373398,5478:377390,5504:377908,5512:378880,5523
DAStories

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

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

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

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

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about his father's work experience

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about his parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Tyrone Mitchell describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Tyrone Mitchell describes the neighborhoods where he grew up

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

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Tyrone Mitchell describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up - part two

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

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about his childhood activities

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Tyrone Mitchell describes his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Tyrone Mitchell describes his interdiction to science

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Tyrone Mitchell describes his thoughts about college as a young person

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about living with his Aunt Edna

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about L. B. Landry High School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about his high school interests and activities

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about the space race and the focus on science in the 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about the guidance and advice he received from his high school teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about his decision to attend Dillard University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Tyrone Mitchell describes the chemistry department at Dillard University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Tyrone Mitchell describes his research of azides with Dr. Jan Hamer

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about his organic chemistry courses

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about his decision to attend graduate school

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Tyrone Mitchell describes the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about his preparation for graduate school and his mentor, Dr. Claiborne Griffin

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about being hired to work for General Electric

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Tyrone Mitchell describes his work at General Electric

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about his doctoral studies (part 1)

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about his doctoral studies (part 2)

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Tyrone Mitchell describes his doctoral research on reactions of esters with amines

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about his patents and his work with aminosilanes at General Electric

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about silicon breast implants

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Tyrone Mitchell summarizes his work at General Electric

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Tyrone Mitchell describes his decision to work at Corning Incorporated

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about his efforts to improve diversity at Corning Incorported

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about Corning's efforts to increase the minority representation in graduate school

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about Corning's efforts to improve conditions for women

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Tyrone Mitchell's interview

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about his decision to work at Corning Incorporated

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about his work at Corning Incorporated

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about Corning Incorporated's efforts to employ more women and minorities

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about the leadership at Corning Incorporated

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about Historically Black Colleges and Corning Incorporated

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Tyrone Mitchell compares General Electric and Corning International

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about leaving Corning Incorporated's employment

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about going to work for the National Science Foundation

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about his wife and his family life

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Tyrone Mitchell describes his work as program director for the National Science Foundation

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about the nation's focus on STEM and federal funding

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about his move to the National Science Foundation

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Tyrone Mitchell discusses the presence of African Americans at the National Science Foundation

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about honors he has received

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about funding for the National Science Foundation

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about the importance of research for smaller institutions

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about resources available to small schools

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about Historically Black Colleges and the importance of a research focus

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about his legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Tyrone Mitchell reflects on his career

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Tyrone Mitchell shares his hopes and concerns for the African American Community

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about his children (part 1)

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Tyrone Mitchell talks about his children (part 2)

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Tyrone Mitchell tells how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Tyrone Mitchell describes his photos

DASession

1$2

DATape

3$7

DAStory

7$2

DATitle
Tyrone Mitchell talks about his organic chemistry courses
Tyrone Mitchell talks about going to work for the National Science Foundation
Transcript
But like I say, Dr. Hamer was outstanding. And he actually left Dillard and went to, became a professor at Tulane [University], once he got established. But we were fortunate enough to get him for organic chemistry, and like I say, he became, he became a mentor and made sure that we learned what we had to learn because at the time he taught organic chemistry, but desegregation of some of the schools was happening during our time in college. And there was a new school. It's called LSU New Orleans. LSU [Louisiana State University] had a campus in New Orleans. And one of his good friends, Dr. Jack Stocker, S-T-O-C-K-E-R, was teaching a summer course. And it was the same course he taught. He taught an organic chemistry course. Dr. Jack Stocker was gonna teach an organic chemistry, the summer course, which was the same course he taught, except he's teaching it out of a new book by, called, by authors 'Morrison and Boyd.' Now, Morris and Boyd became like the bible of organic chemistry during my time, and every, most schools were using that because it taught chemistry in a different way. It taught organic chemistry in a different way, (unclear) mechanistically. Before organic chemistry was memorization. But they taught using mechanisms and things of that sort. So Hamer insisted, not insisted, but he encouraged Sandra and I to go to LSU in New Orleans and take the summer course from Dr. Stocker. And it was like, the school had just integrated. So after, the summer after we took organic chemistry from him, we went to, I took that summer at LSU in New Orleans, which now is called the University of New Orleans, but then it was LSU-NO, in New Orleans. So I took the course, and I did quite well in the course. But the interesting thing about that is that the class was all white students, and Sandra and I were the only black students in that class. And these white students had never been to class with blacks before. So they accepted it, but one thing that they would do is when we--if they got to class before us, wherever we sat, they would move, get up all and move to the other side of the room or to the back of the room or to the corner of the room. So we used to play games with them. We'd wait till they get seated, then we go in, and we'd sit down. And they would (laughter), they would all get up and move. So, but we'd, that was the whole summer. But, but, you know, Dr. Stocker was fair, and he taught the course, and I did very well. I worked the problems and made, made a decent grade in that course. And that was--$$I'm just saying, this is the first time, this is the first time that LSU was integrated like that?$$Yeah, they'd just integrated LSU, yes.$$Okay.$$It'd just been integrated. And, and Dr. Hamer told us, encouraged us to go and take the course that summer 'cause he knew we would learn--and that course is really what got me, cemented my interests in organic chemistry and actually helped me to be more competitive when I went to graduate school. And it really prepared me very well for going to graduate school.$And one of the things I thought, I always wanted to do, well, all my whole career, I wanted to teach in a university. I wanted to, and I thought having been in industry for thirty-some years, I thought that--and having worked with the interns and with young people, I saw it as a value to take and go and teach at a university and try to bring these skills and bring these connections I had and try to help those students to plan their careers, whether they wanted to go into research or industry or whatever they wanted to do, and to be aware of the landscape. And I thought I could help them with that in becoming, into making that transition and understanding what is required when you go to work anywhere, you know, any kind of work that you go to do. You know, you have to, you have to understand the culture that you're going into, and the other thing I always tell students is that you, there's no substitute for working hard. You have to work hard. Okay, there's just no way to get around that. And I always point out that even though I've been in my career for all these years, I still end up working nights and weekends because you have goals to meet, and you have to meet those goals. And it becomes, you know, if you're self-motivated, then you'll do that. And a lot of young people that I mentor have done quite well and been successful by following that advice. So I thought I wanted to do something differently. And so I got, I worked to get my, put a CV together, and I started sending it out. And I sent it to, I, I was, I guess I was a little naive because I sent it to two schools that I thought I definitely would like to, to work at, that I thought had the infrastructure, and I thought that I could really bring a lot of value to that school as a research scientist and as a chemist and as a person that worked with young people and a person who had contacts and knew the industrial area and knew, and, and having the technology transfer stuff, I had a lot of contacts at universities and so I put together a CV, and I sent it to two schools. Maybe I should have blanketed it, sent it to more schools. But I sent it to two schools that I was interested in, two HBCUs [Historically Black Colleges and Universities] that I was interested in transitioning to. And to my surprise, I never heard back from them. And after a few months, I called them, and they said, oh, we lost your, must have misplaced your CV. And they, they said, send us another copy. So meanwhile, when this is, when this was going on, I had served on a number of boards, okay. And I was on a board of, when I was at Corning, I served on the Center for Advanced Materials processing. It's a board, it was an entity at Clarkson University that was funded by the state. And the State of New York funds a number of different centers, about ten or twelve centers throughout the state. And they get something like a million dollars a year or something in that ballpark, and New York Centers of Excellence. And each of these centers are located at universities throughout the State of New York. And they all have an expertise that, that university will take and, area they'd work in, to try and develop technology in the state and make jobs in those regions that they're located. Well, Clarkson, being in upstate New York, had a Center for Advanced Materials Processing. When I was on the board of that center, one of the things Corning was a supporter, and in my technology assessment capacity, I managed a lot of those activities in terms of giving funding. So I managed the funding that went to these different university centers, like there was one at Cornell, one at SUNY Albany [State University of New York, Albany], and if part of the money that I'm, part of the Vice President of Research's budget, then I managed those activities and sat on the boards and things of that sort. Well, the director of the Center for Advanced Materials Processing had, had stepped down as the director of that. He had been there the whole time I was there, and I know him, knew him very well. And he had come to NSF [National Science Foundation] to do a rotation as a program director, as a program director in the chemistry division. And when I was waiting to hear from these universities, he contacted me. He said, Ty, you really should look at doing a rotation as a program director at NSF, as a rotator 'cause they brought in rotators. NSF brings in people from universities to come in and spend a couple of years helping with the, with the review process and funding process. But they didn't, they didn't recruit many people from industry. And my, my friend from Clarkson, what was his name? Ray, Ray--I've forgot his name at the moment, he, he actually encouraged me to send my CV to NSF. And when I did, they invited me in to give a talk. I came in, and I talked about some of the research I had done at Corning. I also talked about the management, some of the management activities I had done. And, and lo and behold, I got an offer from them to come and be a rotator at NSF. And meanwhile, I still hadn't heard from the universities that I was interested in transitioning to. So I decided to do that for a couple, for at least two years--it was a two-year appointment, while I sought out the other part of, of going, becoming part of a university faculty. And after working there, I enjoyed the work, and I saw an opportunity to really, to really make a difference in some of the funding activities.

Jeannette Brown

Organic chemist and historian, Jeannette E. Brown was born in Bronx, New York on May 13, 1934 to Freddie Brown, a building superintendant and Ada Brown. At age six, Brown was inspired by her family doctor, Arthur C. Logan, to pursue a career in science. Brown graduated from New Dorp High School on Staten Island in 1952 and in 1956, she received her B.S. degree in chemistry from Hunter College as one of two African Americans in the first class of Hunter College's new chemistry program. Brown then earned her M.S. degree in organic chemistry in 1958 from the University of Minnesota and was the first African American female to do so. Her thesis was entitled, “Study of Dye and Ylide Formation in Salts of 9-(P-dimethylaminophenyl) Flourene.”

After earning her M.S. degree, Brown joined CIBA Pharmaceutical Company as a research chemist, where she developed drugs for diseases such as tuberculosis and coccidiosis, which afflicts chickens. In 1969, Brown was hired by Merck & Co. Research Laboratories where she continued synthesizing compounds for testing as potential new drugs. In 1986, she was appointed chairperson of the Project SEED Committee for the American Chemical Society. She served on the faculty at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) from 1993 to 2002 as a visiting professor of chemistry and faculty associate. Beginning in 1998, Brown also served as the regional director of the New Jersey Statewide System Initiative, improving science education in Essex and Hudson counties. In 2008, Brown contributed seven biographies of African American chemists for the African American National Biography, including those of Dr. Marie Daly and Dr. Jennie Patrick, the first African American women to receive their Ph.D. degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering, respectively. She went on to publish her own book in 2011 entitled, African American Women Chemists .

Brown has received recognition including outstanding alumni awards from both Hunter College and the University of Minnesota. Throughout her career, she has been involved in countless professional societies including the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCCHE) and the American Chemical Society (ACS). In 2007, Brown was an Association of Women in Science (AWIS) fellow. She also earned recognition as an American Chemical Society fellow and a Chemical Heritage Foundation Ullyott Scholar.

Jeannette Brown was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on 01/16/2012.

Accession Number

A2012.010

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/16/2012

Last Name

Brown

Maker Category
Middle Name

E

Occupation
Schools

New Dorp High School

Hunter College

University of Minnesota

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Jeannette

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

BRO51

Favorite Season

Winter

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

101 years ago.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

5/13/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Hillsborough

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ice Cream

Short Description

Organic chemist Jeannette Brown (1934 - ) is the first African American woman to earn an M.S. degree from the University of Minnesota's chemistry department and is the author of, 'African American Women Chemists'.

Employment

CIBA Pharmaceutical Company

Merck & Co.

New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jeannette Brown's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jeannette Brown lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jeannette Brown describes her mother's history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jeannette Brown talks about her mother's education and work experience

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jeannette Brown describes her father's history

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jeannette Brown talks about racism in North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jeannette Brown discusses her father's education and work experience

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jeannette Brown describes her parents' early life together

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jeannette Brown describes her relationship with her parents

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jeannette Brown talks about her relationship with her father

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jeannette Brown remembers the her early childhood years

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jeannette Brown talks about having tuberculosis and her early interest in science

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jeannette Brown reminisces about her early school days in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jeannette Brown talks about Winthrop Junior High School and growing up in New York's Flatbush area

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jeannette Brown remembers her time at Prospect Heights High School and New Dorp High School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jeannette Brown talks about her study of science in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jeannette Brown talks about preparing for college and deciding which college to attend

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jeannette Brown talks about studying chemistry at Hunter College

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jeannette Brown talks about why she chose to attend graduate school at the University of Minnesota

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jeannette Brown discusses her research and her discovery of liquid crystals

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jeannette Brown remembers the racial climate in Minnesota in 1958

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jeannette Brown describes attitudes about blacks and women at University of Minnesota in the 1950s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jeannette Brown talks about her days in the laboratory at Ciba Pharmaceuticals

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jeannette Brown talks about the history of the United States chemical industry

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jeannette Brown tells about her career at Merck Pharmaceuticals

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jeannette Brown describes her work on Primaxin at Merck Pharmaceuticals

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jeannette Brown reflects on her work as a chemist in the pharmaceutical industry

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jeannette Brown talks about NOBCChE, Dr. Marie Daley, and her interest in history

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jeannette Brown talks about her difficulty at Merck Pharmaceuticals, including an adverse physical reaction

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jeannette Brown describes the atmosphere at Merck Pharmaceuticals and mentoring other black female chemists

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jeannette Brown talks about her work at Merck Pharmaceuticals to attract more African Americans chemists

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Jeannette Brown talks about students she met at Grambling State University

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Jeannette Brown talks about her induction into Iota Sigma Pi Honor Society

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Jeannette Brown talks about her work with the American Chemical Society and economically disadvantaged youth

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Jeannette Brown talks about her work with the National Science Foundation

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Jeannette Brown discusses the Percy Julian Task Force and the research for her book

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Jeannette Brown talks about the female scientists featured in her book about Africaa American Female Chemists

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Jeannette Brown shares the response to her book and need for science education

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Jeannette Brown talks about the need for quality science education

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Jeannette Brown reflects on the ethical responsibility of chemists

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Jeannette Brown talks about her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Jeannette Brown reflects on her career, her successes, and her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Jeannette Brown talks about her family life

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Jeannette Brown talks about her hobbies

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Jeannette Brown tells how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Jeannette Brown shares photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

3$5

DATitle
Jeannette Brown talks about having tuberculosis and her early interest in science
Jeannette Brown tells about her career at Merck Pharmaceuticals
Transcript
Okay, now, tell me if I'm moving ahead too fast, but I know at a certain juncture, you got sick, right? And --$$Oh, yeah, when I was a little--okay, we, as I might have said, we lived in Washington Heights, New York [New York], and we lived at 436 West 160th Street. And that's where my father [Freddie Brown] was super. At age four or five, I got very ill, and they put me in the hospital. Columbia University Medical School [New York, New York] had a place called Vanderbilt Clinic which is up in Washington Heights, where we used to go all the time. One of the doctors there, and I think, as I look back on it, Arthur Logan, he was an intern there at that time. But he lived in the house that we lived in. And so he was my doctor. They put me in Babies Hospital [Babies and Children's Hospital of New York, New York, New York]. I remember being in a crib. I thought I was in jail (laughter). I think I saw all the bars around me. And so when I got better, I think what I had was living in New York, I had Infantile TB [Tuberculosis]. I think that's what I had. But anyway, so living in New York, when I saw Dr. Logan later on, 'cause he lived in my building, I said, "Well, how do you become a scientist?" And, oh, no, "How do you become a doctor?" He said, "Oh, you study science," you know. And I have a picture, in fact, when I saw the five year olds at the Science Museum the other day, I said, Ah, they were that small and so was I. You know, I looked up at him, and I said, "Okay." And I decided that, yeah, Science was something that I'm gonna learn because I wanted to be a doctor like Dr. Logan.$$Now, was Dr. Logan a black doctor?$$Um-hum.$$Okay.$$Yeah, Arthur Logan. There is a wing of Harlem Hospital [Harlem Hospital Center, New York, New York] named for him.$$Okay.$$I now talk to his--Adele Logan was his daughter, and they lived in the house. And she was about two or three years younger than I am. And we've met as adults. And I've got a, I've got to tell her that my book is out. I have, you know, because I've met, I've talked to her since. And she's a writer too.$$Okay, Adele--$$Adele Logan, yeah.$$Okay.$$Adele, I'm wanna think of what her married name is, oh, Adele Logan Alexander. That's her married name.$$What kind of books does she write?$$She wrote history. She's a historian. And she wrote her family history in, on her mother's side, not on her father's side.$$Okay, all right, all right. Okay, so then were you consciously thinking of concentrating on Science when you were in school then, as a result of that?$$Yeah, somehow or other, it's--I don't know. He [Dr. Arthur Logan] must have made an impression on me, and I decided, oh, yes, Science sounds like fun. The, where we lived in forty--in the Washington Heights, the library was right across the street. So I would go there for story hour. And my mother would take me across the street. It was, it wasn't a very big, you know, big street with a lot of traffic. And we'd go for story hour. And later on in years, I would go to the library, I started looking up books about what they called space at the time because there was no space travel. And as we moved from house to house 'cause my father, as I said, would get the job as a superintendent. And that included an apartment. So when he would lose that job, he would get to another job. We went to the Bronx [New York], and when I was in third grade. And I remember this, in third-grade class that I lived in--that I had there, was the Science room. So I sat right next to the fish, the goldfish bowl. I had goldfish too that I worked on as a Scientist. I think I killed 'em. And so we moved to the Bronx, and then the next job was in Brooklyn [New York]. So we moved to Brooklyn, and I was still interested in Science and things like that. So we had two jobs in Brooklyn that my father, you know, my father was the superintendent, the super's kid. And, but I was still, you know, I wanted to learn, and I wanted to be a scientist because I wanted to be a doctor. So I was always interested in, you know, learning everything there was to learn. One of the reasons why we moved out of Manhattan to the Bronx was the first grade--well, I, we skipped kindergarten.$$$Okay, well, tell us about Merck?$$Yeah, well, one of the reasons why I got to Merck was one of the women who worked with me in Ciba, her husband was a manager at Merck. And he was--this was, the Civil Rights Act had come. He was mandated to go out and look for African Americans in Science. Well, I said, well, I wanted to change jobs. So I was talking to my girlfriend, and she says, "Oh, I'll ask my husband." And so she did. And he brought me in for an interview. And they really wanted me. They wanted me, I guess, also because of my--I had, by that time I had some publications, I guess, from Ciba or pretty close and my expertise. But when I looked, later on when I looked at my personnel file, which I could, the very first page, which they forgot to take off, said, "to be filled by an African American", and I went "Umm". And the woman who was showing it to me happened to be, the personnel, head of personnel, an African American woman chemist. And she, she nearly died that they had forgotten to take that page out, the first page. But anyway, so I was hired at Merck. And all the guys said, oh, well, you came in as a legacy because of the Civil Rights. And, no, I came because of my, you know, my credentials, you know. I could do independent research, and while I was there I did. I mean what I liked about Merck was they would give me a project, and, you know, we all work in teams. So I would be, I would have a piece of the project that the team was going to work on. And you're gonna work, mostly I liked to do cyclopropyl compounds 'cause I had done that at Ciba. And so, okay, you'll do the cyclopropyl derivative. And so I would go off and study how to make this compound and come up with a plan and try to implement the plan. We would get together in group meetings and I'd get some advice from my bosses or the other members of the group. But most of the time in the lab, we were just doing our own thing. When we got together with a group, then they would say, okay, do this, do that, do other things. Once we got a target and a compound, then we'd just go do it and come up with it--and later on in our career, we started to have deadlines because it was management by objectives. And so we had to have objectives and by the year--by the third quarter, we will have, and by the fourth quarter, we will have. And we needed to have compounds ready for the biologists to test by Friday. Okay, if my compound is not ready, you know, totally analyzed and ready to go by Friday--well, if I didn't think it was gonna be there by Friday, I, you know, just worked, you know. You'd go in the labs, you know, 24 hours or whatever, Saturday, Sunday or whatever, to get the job done 'cause I had to have it there for the biologist who was gonna do the tests. And he was ready with--and he or she were ready with their animals or whatever they want to test it on.$$Okay, what kinds of things did you work on--well, let me pause here for a second. And then we'll pick up after--.

Krishna Foster

Chemist and chemistry professor Krishna L. Foster was born on January 7, 1970 in Culver City, California to parents Warren Foster and Frances Smith Foster. Her father, a sales representative for International Business Machines (IBM), and her mother, a professor of English and women’s studies, encouraged Foster and her brother to excel in school. Foster graduated from Helix High School in La Mesa, California in 1988, and she received a NASA Fellowship through the Women in Science and Engineering Program. After earning her B.S. degree in chemistry from Spelman College in 1992, and graduating magna cum laude, Foster decided that she wanted to study environmental chemistry. She continued her education at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she earned her Ph.D. degree in physical chemistry in 1998. Her final dissertation was entitled, “Laboratory studies on the Interaction of Hydrogen Halides with Ice Films.”

Foster became a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Irvine in 1998. In this position, she used mass-spectrometry to examine to what extent sea-salt particles impact the oxidizing capacity of the lower-atmosphere. In 2000, she accepted a position as an assistant professor at California State University, Los Angeles. She received a promotion in 2006 to become an associate professor with tenure. Her work at California State University, Los Angeles, has focused on the effects of sunlight on pollutants at the air-water interface. Her lab has also worked to develop techniques in studying reduced phosphorous oxyanions in natural waters. This study might prove useful in determining how phosphorous, an essential element in all organisms, might have been initially incorporated into living cells in ancient earth.

Foster has served as a mentor to twenty-six high school, undergraduate, and graduate students in providing and guiding research opportunities. Alumni of her lab group have found success in both academia and industry. In 2007, she was honored with the Distinguished Women Award at California State University, Los Angeles.

Krishna L. Foster was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 28, 2011.

Accession Number

A2011.031

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/28/2011

Last Name

Foster

Marital Status

Married

Schools

Helix High School

Spelman College

University of Colorado Boulder

Maryland Avenue Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Krishna

Birth City, State, Country

Culver City

HM ID

FOS05

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Summer in Aspen Colorado

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

1/7/1970

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Greens

Short Description

Chemistry professor and chemist Krishna Foster (1970 - ) is known for her work in studying the effects of sunlight on pollutants at the air-water interface. She is currently an associate professor at the California State University, Los Angeles.

Employment

University of California, Irvine

California State University, Los Angeles

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Krishna Foster's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Krishna Foster shares her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Krishna Foster talks about her mother's ancestors

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Krishna Foster talks about her maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Krishna Foster discusses the career path of her mother, Frances Smith Foster

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Krishna Foster shares her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Krishna Foster talks about her father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Krishna Foster discusses how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Krishna Foster talks about her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Krishna Foster discusses her father's career at IBM

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Krishna Foster recalls her childhood neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Krishna Foster recalls the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Krishna Foster describes the United Church of Christ of La Mesa, California

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Krishna Foster remembers her first inclinations toward science

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Krishna Foster remembers trips to the beach with her Montessori School

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Krishna Foster shares her elementary school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Krishna Foster recalls racial bias in the educational system

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Krishna Foster recalls the child murders in Atlanta

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Krishna Foster talks about her elementary school in San Diego

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Krishna Foster talks about the meaning of her name

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Krishna Foster shares her junior high and high school experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Krishna Foster talks about running track in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Krishna Foster describes her favorite subjects in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Krishna Foster shares her high school aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Krishna Foster discusses her identification as an African American woman

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Krishna Foster describes the campus atmosphere of Spelman College

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Krishna Foster recalls her chemistry classes at Morehouse College

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Krishna Foster remembers events that happened during her college years

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Krishna Foster talks about her college advisor, Etta Falconer

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Krishna Foster describes her transition to the University of Colorado at Boulder

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Krishna Foster describes her graduate advisors, "Maggie" Tolbert and Steven George

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Krishna Foster talks about stratospheric ozone depletion

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Krishna Foster describes an analytical chemistry apparatus she developed

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Krishna Foster shares some of her experiences at University of Colorado at Boulder

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Krishna Foster recalls her postdoctoral mentor, Barbara Finlayon-Pitts

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Krishna Foster describes her studies in the Arctic, part 1

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Krishna Foster describes her studies in the Arctic, part 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Krishna Foster explains her research in ozone chemistry

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Krishna Foster recalls enjoying her research in the Arctic

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Krishna Foster discusses the practical applications of her research in the Arctic

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Krishna Foster talks about her decision to join the faculty of California State University, Los Angeles, part 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Krishna Foster talks about her decision to join the faculty of California State University, Los Angeles, part 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Krishna Foster talks about the history of research at California State University

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Krishna Foster talks about her mentors at California State University, Los Angeles

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Krishna Foster discusses her research in reduced phosphorous, part 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Krishna Foster discusses her research in reduced phosphorous, part 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Krishna Foster

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Krishna Foster talks about her hopes for her research

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Krishna Foster discusses NOBCChE

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Krishna Foster talks about her academic responsibilities

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Krishna Foster reflects on her accomplishments

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Krishna Foster offers advice to young people interested in science

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Krishna Foster shares her goals for her professional career

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Krishna Foster shares her concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Krishna Foster talks about her husband and children

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Krishna Foster talks about how she wants to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

3$2

DATitle
Krishna Foster remembers her first inclinations toward science
Krishna Foster recalls enjoying her research in the Arctic
Transcript
Okay, all right. Now when did you first start thinking about or can you remember a time when you first started thinking about becoming a scientist or did you at that age?$$I can look back and see traits where, you know, this fits me and my characteristics but I didn't commit myself to science at an early age. I can't say that at all. I enjoyed, like my mother [Frances Smith Foster] I enjoyed baking. I think I left that out and remember at like ten I was making lemon meringue pies with perky meringue and everything right. I would work on making that just right. So I had tendencies towards wet lab chemistry [a laboratory working with matter] and chemistry and curiosity. You ask for phrases earlier. One of my childhood phrases is why? Why? I always wanted to know why and so much so where I was in a kitchen at the Montessori school where they involved children in doing different types of activities. And the teacher very much wanted the children in the kitchen but when I would ask too many questions, she kicked me out and I was traumatized because I was too into it. I was too into the why and how and can I help you and, you know, I was a busy little child that way. And I went home crying to my mom, "I got kicked out of the kitchen." But this was quite scientific in that I believe it's all about observation, the power of observation and interpretation is what science is to me. I teach my students, as I've matured as a teacher I add more students that--add more assignments that reflect my values as a scientist. It's not that there is a basic skill set that you learn. Everyone has to learn the rules. This--these are tools that we use to solve problems but the ultimate is really solving problems and understanding that every one of us has a spark of genius. Everyone has the potential for genius. It's about being ready, being prepared and being creative, putting yourself in it. And these are things that I expressed as a child as far as creativity and drive and also very good at following the rules. You know I would always get a check plus for good behavior. I was very good at listening and following the rules. And no I didn't know I would end up as a scientist, but I can see that this is the profession for me. My first formal commitment to science didn't come until it was time to select a college. So that's when I picked engineering, mathematics, science.$$Okay. Well I don't want to get you there yet.$$Yeah.$$But so, now okay well, did you--were you the type of kid that watched the nature programs on television and when Walt Disney would have this nature segment or you know programs on public television and that sort of thing?$$I remember the Jacques Cousteau [Jacques-Yves Cousteau]. You know who didn't watch Jacques Cousteau at that age. And '[The] Electric Company' [PBS, 1971-1977] and '1-2-3 Contact' [sic, '3-2-1 Contact,' PBS, 1980-1988]. That's the name of it. That was--that show just sucked me right in. I was about ten years old at the time and I would watch it religiously. It was a science show and that was very exciting to me, again another early indicator that I enjoyed that show.$$Okay. Yeah that's, I remember that show now. I mean I didn't, I don't think I ever watched it but I remember just seeing it listed you know. I didn't know what kind of show it was but it's a science one.$Okay. So you're up there for a total of how long?$$I stayed for seven weeks. I stayed for seven--I think originally it was six and then we decided to extend it. So I committed to six and they kept me for seven. I would have stayed for twelve, fourteen because I was just into it.$$Okay. So your early dread of going was kind of overcome by the excitement of what you were doing?$$It was overcome by talking to Susan Solomon who actually proposed the mechanism for polar stratospheric ozone completion [winner of the 1999 National Medal of Science]. I had ran into her during my Boulder days. She actually critiqued my first poster. I ran into her at a conference. I said Susan, what have I done? How am I going to stay alive?, cause she's petite also. And so she's like, here's what you do. She wrote down some names about where to get the right boots, told me about the right parka, the right gloves and I was set. So I was comforted about the snow by talking to somebody who lived in more extreme conditions time and time again. She did this several times going to the Antarctic where I was only trying to go to the arctic. So to talk to a survivor made me feel better about going up there and I was more than prepared as far as clothing.$$Was there ever a time you were actually--had a little trepidation while you were there about--?$$I am fearless in a way and I'm cautious, I plan. But in other ways I'm absolutely fearless. And so there were very dangerous situations where--what were we doing? When we first landed there was a storm that came in. There was a storm so bad that they said if you go outside you will have permanent frostbite forever. You know this is it. If you have your skin exposed this could happen to you. So on that day you know I covered up real good and I walked to the gym. I left--I went outside. I mean I don't know. I don't know why I do what I do. Brilliantly stupid, I don't know. But then another day we were running an experiment and you have to make a decision every evening, are you going to stay in the lab or are you going to go back to base? We have better facilities, back up generators, all of this. We were running an experiment and we didn't want to leave so we decided to camp out at the base. A storm came in. I mean I have photographs of the weather just changing within twenty minutes from perfectly sunny to a vicious storm. And we're sitting there. No one could get us. I mean we couldn't get back to the base ourselves. If the power went out we would have been in a bad way. A couple of hours without power and you're just dead, you know. But we stayed up there and did the experiment and I didn't even think twice about it.

Lloyd N. Ferguson

Chemist and chemistry professor Lloyd Noel Ferguson was born on February 9, 1918 in Oakland, California to Noel Ferguson, a businessman, and Gwendolyn Ferguson, a house maid. Ferguson’s interest in chemistry began when he was a child. He built a shed in his backyard so that he could conduct experiments away from his house. Ferguson skipped two grades, and although an illness kept him out of school for a year, he was able to graduate from Oakland Tech High School in 1934, when he was just sixteen. After high school, Ferguson worked with the Works Progress Administration and soon thereafter, the Southern Pacific Railway Company as a porter to save money to attend college. In 1936, Ferguson became the first in his family to attend college, and he earned his B.S. degree with honors in chemistry from University of California, Berkeley in 1940. Ferguson then earned his Ph.D. degree in chemistry from University of California, Berkeley in 1943, making him the first African American to do so. While at Berkeley, Ferguson worked with Dr. Melvin Calvin on a national defense project, the purpose of which was to find a material that would release oxygen for use in a submarine if it was ever needed.

In 1945, after working at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College in Greensboro, North Carolina, Ferguson received an offer to join the faculty of Howard University in Washington D.C. He became a full professor of chemistry at Howard University in 1955, and in 1958 Ferguson became the head of the chemistry department. During his tenure, Ferguson was instrumental in building the first doctoral program in chemistry at any historically black college or university. In 1952 he was elected to the prestigious American Chemical Society. In 1965, Ferguson joined the faculty of California State University, Los Angeles, where he chaired the department of chemistry from 1968 to 1971. Throughout his academic career, Ferguson pursued many scientific interests including: the chemistry of carbon-based molecules, the organic nature of taste sensations, and cancer-causing agents. Ferguson received the California State University CSU Outstanding Professor Award in 1974 and in 1981. In 1976 Ferguson received the Distinguished American Medallion from the American Foundation for Negro Affairs. Ferguson was the only African American to receive an ACS award in chemical education in 1978. He has published seven textbooks and has written over fifty journal articles. He has also helped to develop programs such as Support of the Educationally and Economically Disadvantaged and the Minority Biomedical Research Program that encourage young minority students wishing to pursue higher education and careers in science. In 1972, Ferguson co-founded the National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers. He retired from California State University in Los Angeles in 1986.

Ferguson has a scholarship named after him at the California State University, Los Angeles. He received an honorary Ph.D. degree in chemistry from Howard University. Ferguson is married to Charlotte Welch, and they have raised three adult children, Lloyd, Jr., Stephen, and Lisa.

Lloyd N. Ferguson was interviewed by the HistoryMakerson April 25, 2011.

Lloyd N. Ferguson passed away on November 30, 2011.

Accession Number

A2011.030

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/25/2011 |and| 4/27/2011

Last Name

Ferguson

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

N.

Schools

University of California, Berkeley

Herbert Hoover Junior High School

Oakland Technical High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Lloyd

Birth City, State, Country

Oakland

HM ID

FER02

Favorite Season

All Seasons

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

2/9/1918

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

11/30/2011

Short Description

Chemistry professor and chemist Lloyd N. Ferguson (1918 - 2011 ) was instrumental in building the doctoral program in chemistry at Howard University, the first of its kind at any historically black college or university. He joined the faculty of California State University, Los Angeles in 1965 and co-founded the National Organization for Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE).

Employment

Howard University

California State University, Los Angeles

Works Progress Administration

Southern Pacific Railroad

North Carolina A&T State University

Carlsberg Laboratorium

University of Nairobi

Bennett College

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lloyd Ferguson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lloyd Ferguson shares his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about his mother and father's family histories

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about his mother's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about his father coming to California from Jamaica

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about how his parents met in California

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about living near his grandparents as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lloyd Ferguson describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about his interest in sports

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about selling cleaning products that he made in his backyard laboratory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about his early school experience

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Lloyd Ferguson explains how the depression affected his family

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about his experience at Oakland Technical High School, part 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about his experience at Oakland Technical High School, part 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about growing up and the influence of church

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about his interest in becoming a scientist

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about having fun despite the Depression

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about his job after high school at the Southern Pacific Railroad

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about going to the University of California, Berkeley for college

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about working as a red cap while attending school at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about his classes and professors at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about his submarine project at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about the chemistry department at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about working in the radiation laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about working with Melvin Calvin in the University of California, Berkeley radiation laboratory

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lloyd Ferguson describes his research advisor at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lloyd Ferguson recalls meeting his wife and teaching at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lloyd Ferguson recalls notable people at Howard University, part 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about his work in the chemistry department at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lloyd Ferguson recalls notable people at Howard University, part 2

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about chemistry textbooks

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about doing research in organic chemistry at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about the textbooks that he wrote

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about his research on the taste and color of organic compounds at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lloyd Ferguson recalls other African Americans at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lloyd Ferguson recalls his first textbook and his sabbatical in Copenhagen

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lloyd Ferguson describes the difference in resources between the University of California, Berkeley and Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about his sabbatical in Zurich and working with Nobel Prize Laureate Professor Prelog

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about joining the faculty of California State University, Los Angeles

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about his interest in golf

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lloyd Ferguson responds to questions about his involvement with the FDA and Project SEED

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about his 1971 sabbatical to Nairobi, Kenya

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lloyd Ferguson remembers talks about MBRS and NOBCChE

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lloyd Ferguson recalls his awards and accolades

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lloyd Ferguson reflects on his life's accomplishments and shares his hopes for the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about his wife, children, and how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lloyd Ferguson recalls working with Melvin Calvin

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about starting the graduate chemistry program at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lloyd Ferguson shares his memories of Sam Ashley, Percy Julian, and Herman Branson

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lloyd Ferguson remembers playing bridge at California State University, Los Angeles

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lloyd Ferguson responds to questions about his research

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lloyd Ferguson has trouble remembering his fellow colleagues at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Lloyd Ferguson reflects on his life's accomplishments

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about his wife and his personal life

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about his teaching and his textbooks

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Lloyd Ferguson talks about his early interest in science

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Lloyd Ferguson reflects on his career after leaving the University of California, Berkeley

DASession

1$2

DATape

1$6

DAStory

12$10

DATitle
Lloyd Ferguson explains how the depression affected his family
Lloyd Ferguson talks about his early interest in science
Transcript
Well tell us what happened, I guess, cause your family experienced an economic hit during the Depression [The Great Depression, 1930s], right?$$Yeah.$$Well, tell us what happened?$$Well, of course, I was little, didn't pay much attention, but my father [Noel Swithin Ferguson] lost his job, yes. And he couldn't afford, he couldn't afford keeping up the apartment building. The rent that came in, I mean a lot of the, a lot of people lost their jobs and they couldn't pay their rent and so forth, and he couldn't maintain the apartment building. And so he wanted to get rid of it and he tried to burn it. And that wasn't successful, so he had to go to jail for that, for arson, for a year or something.$$He was desperate trying to collect the insurance money?$$Yes, and get rid of it. I don't remember how many units it had. It was a big building there. But that's the only thing I remember at that time.$$That must have been devastating for your family, for your father to go to jail?$$Yes, right. I guess that's where he was when I graduated from college, I believe, yeah. He was still there when I graduated from college [1940]. So he spent some time.$$That's a long time to spend, it seems to me, a long time to spend for the crime.$$Yeah.$$Well, okay. So was your mother [Gwendolyn Louise Johnson Ferguson] still working?$$Yeah, she was working. As I say, she was an elevator operator, and sometimes she'd go out and serve meals for people who wanted a waitress, and you know, served meals.$$Okay, almost like a catering business or like a--$$Well, she didn't provide the food. She'd just come in and cook or not so much cooking even, just preparing it and serving it, making extra.$$Okay, she was part of the wait staff of catering?$$Yes.$$Okay. So did you participate in that too?$$No.$$So you had to live with your grandparents [maternal grandparents] after that?$$I spent, yeah, I lived with my grandparents. I'd sleep over their house too. We, they wasn't very far apart so I'm running back and forth and so forth, but most of the time I was spending with my grandparents. And then my cousins would come in and visit and other grandchildren would come in and visit and we'd play and so forth.$Were there any subjects you didn't do well in when you were in high school [Oakland Technical High School]?$$Well, I don't know. None that, maybe when I found out I wasn't gonna do well, maybe I got out of it. I don't remember.$$(Laughter). So the high school, did you go to high school in Oakland [California]?$$Yes. The teacher was very encouraging.$$You had good chemistry teachers?$$Yes.$$And so they encouraged you to go to Berkley [University of California, Berkeley]?$$I think so, probably so.$$Were you able to do lab work in the--$$high school?$$--in the high school? Did they have any labs?$$Yes, do some labs, and that's when I built a lab in the backyard and--$$Oh, you did. Did you blow up anything?$$Oh, once in a while I'd have an explosion and get a lot of fun out of it.$$(Laughter). Did you ever get in trouble with your parents?$$No, not with my parents and so forth. Sometimes teachers, the school didn't want me to fool with explosives, and that's where the fun was.$$(Laughter) How did you get interested in explosives and chemistry?$$Oh, I don't know, by a school teacher who was, let's see. I guess it was a high school teacher encouraged me to do experiments, and I learned about explosives and colors and so forth. And I just built a little lab out in the backyard and worked and played out there with the chemicals.$$By yourself or you had--$$Yeah.$$And so you were reading the books? This was in high school--$$Yes, right.$$--so you would read and figure out how to do some experiments and things?$$Yes, and explore a little bit.$$(Laughter). It was always fun.$$So that was, when you were in high school, was it close to being a senior or were you graduating or?$$No, let's see, it was probably junior and senior high years in high school, and I'd have fun with these chemicals. So I built this lab in the backyard and work out there.$$Where'd you get the chemicals? Do you remember?$$Oh, just buy them at stores.$$Oh, I see.$$Some drugstores or some--$$So you just used things that you could buy and then--$$Yes, oh, yes.$$And do you remember what made you apply to Berkley [University of California, Berkeley]?$$To do what?$$To, why did you want to go to school at Berkley?$$I don't know. It just seemed to be the only place to go.$$It was right there in town, huh?$$