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Mark Smith

Professor of electrical and computer engineering and competitive fencer Mark J. T. Smith was born on May 17, 1956 in Jamaica, Queens, New York. After receiving his B.S. degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1978, Smith enrolled at the Georgia Institute of Technology and went on to graduate from there with his M.S. degree in 1979 and his Ph.D. degree in 1984. While at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Smith helped found the coalition Empowering Minority Engineering Scientists to Reach for Graduate Education (EMERGE).

In 1984, Smith joined the faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology as a professor of electrical and computer engineering. His research focused on communications, digital filters, and the processing of images and signals. In addition to teaching and research, Smith’s trained and competed in the sport of fencing. He was the National Champion of the United States in 1981 and 1983 and a two-time member of the U.S. Olympic Team in 1980 and 1984. Smith was one of the final runners carrying the Olympic Torch to the Opening Ceremonies in the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. In 2003, Smith was promoted to head Purdue’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and was the first African American to hold the position. In 2009, Smith was named the Michael J. & Katherine R. Birck Endowed Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Dean of the Purdue University Graduate School.

At Georgia Institute of Technology, Smith received two teaching awards including the Georgia Tech Outstanding Teacher Award. He also authored over forty journal articles and is the co-author of four textbooks. Smith is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He was also awarded its Processing Society Senior Award in 1992. Smith has also received the IEEE’s Distinguished Lecturer Award and has sat on their Signal Processing Society Board of Governors. In 2005, Smith received the International Society of Optical Engineers’ Wavelet Pioneer Award; and in 2007, he served as president of the National Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association.

Mark J. T. Smith was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 8, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.127

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/8/2013

Last Name

Smith

Maker Category
Middle Name

J.T.

Schools

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology

First Name

Mark

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

SMI28

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Fiji, Kauai, Hawaii

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Indiana

Birth Date

5/17/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

West Lafayette

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lobster, Sea Bass (Chilean)

Short Description

Electrical engineer and competitive fencer Mark Smith (1956 - ) 1981 and 1983 U.S. National Fencing Champion and 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic fencing team member, is the Michael J. & Katherine R. Birck Endowed Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Dean of the Purdue University Graduate School

Employment

General Electric Company

Atlantic Richfield R&D

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology, Lorraine

Purdue University

Favorite Color

Blue, Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Mark Smith's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Mark Smith lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Mark Smith describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Mark Smith talks about his mother's education in New York City, her love of travel, and her employment as a social worker

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Mark Smith describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Mark Smith talks about his father's experience in World War II

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Mark Smith talks about his father's high school education and his employment in the New York City Transit Authority

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Mark Smith talks about how his parents met, and their fifty years of marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Mark Smith describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Mark Smith talks about growing up in a close-knit household, and staying busy as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Mark Smith describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Mark Smith talks about the neighborhood where he spent his childhood in Queens, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Mark Smith describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Queens, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Mark Smith talks about spending time at the YMCA as a child, in Queens, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Mark Smith describes his childhood interests and activities, while growing up in New York

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Mark Smith talks about transferring from PS-123 to PS-90 in Queens, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Mark Smith talks about his early interest in science, and the influence of his cousin, Roy

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Mark Smith talks about his academic performance and mischievousness in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Mark Smith describes his experience at The Henley School in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Mark Smith talks about his childhood interest in television and action films

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Mark Smith describes his early resolve to pursue engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Mark Smith describes his experience in high school at The Henley School

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Mark Smith talks about his decision to transfer to John Bowne High School

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Mark Smith describes his interest in swimming and fencing at John Bowne High School

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Mark Smith describes how fencing as a modern-day sport differs from the traditional fighting duel

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Mark Smith talks about strategies in fencing and the fencing community in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Mark Smith describes his academic performance and extracurricular activities in high school, and his interest in pursuing a career in engineering

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Mark Smith describes his experience at John Bowne High School

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Mark Smith describes his first visit to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Mark Smith describes the high quality of his education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Mark Smith talks about being involved with fencing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Mark Smith describes his undergraduate thesis on the building of a stroboscope

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Mark Smith describes his decision to pursue graduate studies in digital signal processing, at the Georgia Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Mark Smith describes his experience in competing for a place on the 1980 U.S. Olympic fencing team

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Mark Smith talks about the U.S. boycott of the Moscow Olympics in 1980

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Mark Smith talks about his doctoral research on 'filter banks', in the field of digital signal processing for applications in speech compression

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Mark Smith talks about the advancements in sound technology, in transitioning from analog to digital systems

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Mark Smith describes his Ph.D. dissertation on signal decomposition

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Mark Smith talks about winning the U.S. Fencing National Championships in the early 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Mark Smith describes his experience in the 1984 Olympics, and talks about the expenses involved in maintaining fencing equipment

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Mark Smith talks about his decision to retire from Olympic-level fencing

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Mark Smith talks about his experience as an assistant professor at Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Mark Smith describes the development and applications of the 'Analysis by Synthesis Overlapping Ad' algorithm

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Mark Smith describes his work in the area of image enhancement

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Mark Smith describes the applications of his work on image morphing

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Mark Smith talks about the EMERGE program at Georgia Institute of Technology

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Mark Smith describes his involvement with the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the National Science Foundation (NSF)

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Mark Smith talks about his most significant research in the area of digital signal processing

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Mark Smith describes his experience of carrying the Olympic torch at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Mark Smith describes his experience at Georgia Tech's campus in France, and his service as the executive assistant to the university's president

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Mark Smith describes his decision to accept the position as head of the electrical and computer engineering department at Purdue University

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Mark Smith describes his early experience as the head of the electrical and computer engineering department at Purdue University

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Mark Smith describes his experience as the dean of the graduate school at Purdue University

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Mark Smith talks about his continuing involvement with research

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Mark Smith talks about his satisfaction with his current role in University administration

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Mark Smith talks about minority students pursuing the STEM fields at Purdue University

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Mark Smith describes the African American and minority community at Purdue University

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Mark Smith describes a social science experiment on cultural bias during employee hiring and selection

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Mark Smith reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Mark Smith reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Mark Smith talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Mark Smith talks about his parents attending his graduation, and watching fencing with him

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Mark Smith talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Mark Smith describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

1$7

DATitle
Mark Smith talks about strategies in fencing and the fencing community in New York City
Mark Smith describes his undergraduate thesis on the building of a stroboscope
Transcript
Okay, so we were just talking about the difference between real fencing and theatrical fencing--$$Right.$$And so, but real fencing is a strategic, you know, is strategy more important than say, speed?$$Everything is important 'cause it all comes together, right. What you're trying to do is you recognize that if you do some action, you have to anticipate what your opponent is going to do to counter that action. And you also learn from past experience. You know, the last time you tried faint disengage, and you were parried. So now you're going to go to the other side or attack a different target. So it's all this, you know, strategy building, faking people out. There's a lot of similarity with boxing. You know, there're faints that you make to draw a reaction. The same thing with fencing. You also study people, off strip, to find out what their natural reactions might be and then try to exploit that.$$Okay, now, when you started fencing, did you know of any African American fencers?$$No, not at all. As a matter of fact, I didn't even know that black people fenced. What I found out is that a lot of them fence. I mean there were a lot of black fencers in the New York City community. And many of them were very, very good fencers, national champions.$$All right. I think there's even a, historically, you know, the greatest swordsman in France at one time was Chevalier St. George [Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-George] and, you know, Dumas' son was supposed to be really good, you know, yeah--his father, rather, yeah.$$So I had no idea, I mean starting out, right, I had no idea what the community looked like at all. As a matter of fact, I didn't even know that there was a community of fencers in New York City. But, you know, many of the good clubs, fencing clubs, were in New York City, and they produced the national champs. So it was a great place to learn fencing.$$Okay.$$Moreover, just in the high school system, all the high schools had fencing programs, had fencing teams. So there was lots of competition and lots of inter--what would you call it? Well, we had division championships and then borough championships and citywide championships so it was very well organized.$$There are a lot of fencing programs around the county on the high school level. I know even when I was in high school, all the schools in Dayton, Ohio had a fencing program.$$Yeah.$$But it's something that kind of flies under the radar. You don't hear a lot about who the champions of fencing are, overshadowed by, you know, basketball and football and track, and that sort of thing.$$And now soccer.$$Yeah, so how did you do as a fencer in high school?$$So in swimming, right, I was a big fish in a, the smallest, very, very small pond here. Fencing, there was only one pond. And so I did well in high school. When I went to college, I'm reminded by a buddy of mine, he tells me how terrible I was when I came in. But, you know, the level of high school fencing, all right, was not that high. But I did do well. I mean we had competitions. I remember the best, I took second in a citywide event. So I was, you know, very happy with that. More important is I just had a lot of fun fencing.$Did you have a undergraduate project that you worked on for graduation, like a capstone project or something?$$So I, at MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts], you had to do an undergraduate thesis. And so that's what I had to do my thesis year. But one of the things that I did do, there's a period called IAP, Independent Activities Period, which is the month of January. And so they have hundreds of different activities that you can do, sky diving, you can do different types of projects. So I'd like doing an electronic, I tried to do some kind of an electronics project. And so the first project I did was to make a stroboscope. And I remember going to Doc Edgerton. He's this legendary professor, the one who invented and pioneered the stroboscope, strobe light, and he has some of these classic pictures that he's taken with a strobe light, that are in museums and on display and so forth, like a bullet going through an apple, where it's just frozen in motion, just crystal clear, captured through, with the stroboscope. So--$$Right, yeah, that's--$$And you probably have seen those kind--(simultaneous)--$$Yeah, I have, I have, and Edgerton, right, yeah. I remember the name now.$$So I remember going up to his lab and I met him, and I was just awestruck. Wow, this is Professor Edgerton, and he's talking to me. And he's nice. And so he was explaining about the strobes. So I said, gee, I would love to figure out how this worked and to build it. And so he gave me a schematic. Now, I didn't know what to do with the schematic. And I didn't have any of the equipment, but he helped me. And he gave me some of the parts and got me started, and I was able to work with another guy in the dormitory who was, I think, a senior. He may have been a first-year graduate student. And together we made this stroboscope. It was really quite a satisfying project. My soldering improved a whole lot since my Heathkit days.$$Okay, so how do you make a stroboscope? I mean what is the, what goes into making a stroboscope?$$Well, you need a transformer. You need to have the strobe light. Those are perhaps the two most important things. So this one used transistors. It wasn't a vacuum-tube based thing. But basically, there's an oscillator circuit that kicks the stroboscope on. And you have to generate sufficient voltage in order to, to kick the light. And so you wanna have that oscillating at a very fast frequency. The strobe light is one that can charge and discharge very quickly. So you can get that bright flash.$$Okay, so you need a bright enough, fast enough flash to catch that action with a camera, with a--$$So I, yeah, so the one that I did, I mean I wasn't trying to do photography with this. This one just blink and, so one of the demonstrations, for example, that he had, he had pulsating water that would just be dropping. And then you could shine the stroboscope on it at a certain frequency, and you would see the beads of water that appeared to stop, to just freeze. And then you could adjust the frequency and get them to go backwards, or you'd get them to go forward. You could create these kinds of effects with the strobe light.$$Okay.$$So what I had essentially was a frequency variable strobe light, that could be adjusted.$$So you'd pick up the action at a certain point and that's what you would see, even though the water is consistently dripping, you'd see the, you know--$$The little beads.$$Yeah, right, beads--$$Yeah, yeah.$$--at one point in time. Okay. All right, so this was your undergraduate thesis?$$Another one was a music synthesizer. That was another one that was fun to make.$$Okay.

Billy Joe Evans

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

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2012.177

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/22/2012

Last Name

Evans

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Joe

Schools

George Washington Carver Elementary

Ballard Hudson High School

Morehouse College

University of California, Berkeley

Macalester College

University of Chicago

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Billy

Birth City, State, Country

Macon

HM ID

EVA06

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Europe, Austria, Germany

Favorite Quote

Who Told You That?

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

8/18/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Ann Arbor

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Banana Pudding

Short Description

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

Employment

University of Michigan

Atlanta University

Howard University

University of Chicago

University of Manitoba

National Bureau of Standards (NBS)

Morehouse College

Favorite Color

Light Blue, Gray

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$7

DAStory

1$4

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

John H. Hall, Jr.

Chemist and academic administrator John H. Hall, Jr. was born on September 24, 1946 to Mary Emma Hall and John H. Hall, Sr. He attended Morehouse College to receive his B.S. degree in chemistry with honors in 1969. With a scholarship for continued studies in chemistry, Hall then began his graduate studies at Harvard University. Hall worked with his research advisor, William N. Lipscomb, to better understand the nature of chemical bonds in boranes through electron orbital calculations. Lipscomb’s work in borane structure earned him the 1976 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Hall graduated from Harvard University with his Ph.D. degree in theoretical computational chemistry in 1974.

Pursuing post-doctoral research work, Hall worked with Dr. William Guillory to develop models of mechanisms of the photolytic reactions occurring to deplete the ozone in the atmosphere during the 1970s. In 1979, Hall became an associate professor of chemistry at Morehouse College and senior research scientist at the School of Geophysical Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he continued his research in atmospheric chemistry. Hall continued to study the chemical compounds and reactions of the stratosphere, including the chlorine and fluorine nitrate series, and the vibrational spectra of nitrate geometric isomers. His later work also focused on the effect that high concentrations of these highly-reactive compounds on human health, particularly low-income populations.

Hall served as a consultant for Innovations International, Inc., a company started by William Guillory that specialized in organizational development. He also served as the associate vice president for research at The Ohio State University for seven years before returning to Morehouse College in 2001 as chair of the department of chemistry. Hall was later named the Bruce Raneur Professor of Natural Sciences at Morehouse College, where he has published numerous academic papers on physical and atmospheric chemistry. Hall and his wife, Susan Hall, also started Transformational Consultants International, Inc., where they specialized in improving workplace productivity and diversity. Hall's wife, Susan, passed away in 2008.

John Hall was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 14, 2011.

Accession Number

A2011.015

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/14/2011

Last Name

Hall

Marital Status

Widower

Schools

Anderson Park Elementary School

Henry McNeal Turner High School

Morehouse College

Harvard University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

HAL14

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Barcelona, Spain

Favorite Quote

I Am The Master Of My Fate. I Am The Captain Of My Soul.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

9/24/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Paella

Short Description

Academic administrator and chemist John H. Hall, Jr. (1946 - ) was a leading researcher in atmospheric chemistry, particularly the reactions occurring to deplete the ozone layer. Hall is the chair of the chemistry department at Morehouse College.

Employment

Morehouse College

Georgia Institute of Technology

Innovations International

Ohio State University

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Transformational Consultants International, Inc.

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of John Hall's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John Hall shares his favorites

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

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John Hall talks about his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John Hall talks about his father's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John Hall talks about his father as the bread winner

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John Hall discusses his parents' mixed-race marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - John Hall shares memories from his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - John Hall talks about his father in the meatpacking industry

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John Hall describes his childhood in Atlanta

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John Hall describes his family life

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John Hall talks about his involvement in music during the early days of rock and roll

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John Hall describes his elementary school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John Hall talks about his lack of interest and in his formal schooling

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John Hall talks about his interest in science

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John Hall talks about finishing high school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - John Hall reflects on his decision to major in chemistry at Morehouse College

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John Hall explains his decision to go to Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John Hall explains how Henry McBay influenced his decision to study chemistry

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John Hall talks about Morehouse College's approach to teaching chemistry

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John Hall talks about playing semi-pro baseball while at Morehouse College

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - John Hall talks about his professors at Morehouse College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - John Hall discusses civil rights activity in Atlanta

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - John Hall talks about he and his family's involvement in civil rights activities

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - John Hall talks about his transition from Morehouse College to Harvard University for graduate school

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - John Hall talks about his study group at Harvard University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - John Hall talks about the scientists he met at Harvard University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - John Hall talks about his enzymology course at Harvard University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - John Hall talks about his research focus in theoretical chemistry at Harvard University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - John Hall talks about his publications

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - John Hall describes the formation of the National Organization for Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - John Hall explains his joint work with William Lipscomb in chemical bonding

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - John Hall talks about his Ph.D. dissertation

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - John Hall recalls William Lipscomb's 1976 Nobel Prize

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - John Hall explains his post Ph.D. path

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - John Hall talks about his studies of the ozone layer

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - John Hall talks about his work at the University of Utah and Georgia Tech

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - John Hall talks about his experience as a part-time professor at Morehouse College

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - John Hall recalls his summer fellowship at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Cal Tech

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - John Hall talks about his marriages

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - John Hall describes his 1982 trip to China

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - John Hall describes his role in establishing a research computing facility at the University of Atlanta Center

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - John Hall discusses Atlanta's golden age

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - John Hall describes his 1984 paper on chlorine nitrate

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - John Hall talks about his NSF report on the development of research at minority institutions

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - John Hall discusses the development of research at minority institutions

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - John Hall talks about being director of academic and research computing for the Atlanta University Center

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - John Hall discusses the development of computer technology

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - John Hall talks about his promotion at Georgia Institute of Technology and his summer at Rice University

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - John Hall talks about his work as a consultant at Innovations International

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - John Hall responds to a question about his time at Ohio State University

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - John Hall explains his 2001 return to Morehouse College and the city of Atlanta

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - John Hall talks about his shift in research at Morehouse College

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - John Hall discusses his research on the behavior and expression of individual people

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - John Hall talks about the future of his research at Morehouse College

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - John Hall discusses his hopes and concerns for the African American community today

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - John Hall reflects on his life's accomplishments

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - John Hall talks about his family members and how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$7

DAStory

6$1

DATitle
John Hall talks about his interest in science
John Hall discusses his research on the behavior and expression of individual people
Transcript
Did your parents, did your parents, can you credit your parents with exposing you to materials of scientific...?$$No, actually they didn't. My father [John Henry Hall, Sr.] actually exposed me to the world, like travel and going around. And my mother [Mary Emma Watson] was pretty good with numbers, but she didn't--she did more playing the numbers than she did in calculus, mathematics, you know (laughter). But I just don't know how. I loved comic books and I read a lot of comic books.$$Did you have a favorite comic book?$$I did. It was like 'Superman' and 'Batman' and then there were these science fiction comics, I can't remember. But they would have these things in them about the international geophysical year and about astronomy and about the universe, and I would read that, and that would be the most interesting part. And then I'd go to the library and I'd check these books out. I remember that one time I went to the library and I had these books on electricity and magnetism and chemistry and stuff. I was like eleven years old. And I went to check them out, and the librarian said, "Can you read these books, are you sure?" And I said, "I think, yeah, I check them out every week." And so, that was what I did.$$So, do you think maybe you were bored with curriculum and really wanted something else?$$I was pretty bored with school. I just wanted to play baseball. I played baseball a lot, and that's all I really wanted to do. And then I'd go home and read my books at night because there wasn't a lot, much else to do. Or, I'd watch TV. There were a lot of exciting things to watch on TV back then, you know. The things, it's interesting, the shows I most watched were like the 'Today Show' and I remember looking at that the morning they were talking about the polio vaccine. They were tracking whether people had contracted polio from taking the vaccine, the map back then, and I remember you know, different things like that. But it all had to do somehow with some science.$$Okay, did you watch 'Mr. Wizard' with Don Herbert?$$It was okay, I thought it was kind of boring (laughter), but I would watch it, you know. There was a whole lot of watching TV.$$Did you ever watch, they had the Walt Disney science specials. They were all on sometimes...$$Yeah, I would do that. My mother, my parents bought me a chemistry set, and microscope sets and stuff like that. They bought me a telescope when I was really young, and so they would do things like that, because that's what I wanted. But you know, I didn't even know that there was a profession called scientist that I could have access to. You know, I didn't know how these people got to be at the North Pole doing whatever they were doing.$$(unclear) Thomas used to go to those places on television...$$Yeah.$$Did you know any of the doctors or the professors over here at the Atlanta Morehouse [College] complex?$$Not when I was in elementary school. In high school I knew Samuel Williams, who was a professor of religion. In fact, his son was my best friend, and I started to spend a lot of time--they lived across the street from the school, and I was spending a lot of my time over here at his house, you know, on the Morehouse campus, but he was mainly the only one that I knew.$$Okay. Now, in high school, did you become popular after you started making good grades?$$I don't think so (laughter). I don't know, I think I was most popular for my music. I think that's what really made me popular. I don't think the grades did anything (laughter). People-- Well more people talked to me because they wanted to know if I could help them with stuff, with their mathematics or with their chemistry.$$So your grades went up. Did they go up high enough for you to be part of the National Honor Society?$$Yeah, I made the National Honor Society. I was accepted at Morehouse [College, Atlanta, Georgia]. I got a scholarship to come to Morehouse.$We were talking off camera, and this seems interesting because you said part of your research is, has to do with, I guess, the expression of the individuals and, just elaborate on that for a minute, because we were talking about conciseness on language and...$$Yeah, people have particular ways that they need to behave in order to be non-stressed. And, of course, in addition to that, there's a group of socialized behaviors that we learn to do because that's what's acceptable in society, right? And in many cases, the socialized behaviors and the way we need to behave overlap. Because if they didn't they would probably end up in jail somewhere or something (laughter). So, what we were talking about off camera is that people have a certain need to be able to communicate in a particular way. Like some people are very direct, and some people are not direct at all. And people who are very direct have a need to be direct. Then there are some people that have a need for other people to be direct with them. And then some people have a need for people to be indirect with them. Now the problem arises is when you have a person who is very direct talking to a person who has a need for you to be indirect. Then that causes a problem. Or, a person who is very direct, and somebody is talking to that person who has a need to be very indirect with that person. What they don't understand is that if I have a need for you to be direct with me, and you're not, I literally cannot understand what you're saying. I literally cannot read between the lines. I have no idea what you're talking about. And you'll just think that I'm not being cooperative. So, we do that kind of research and we help people to match up and understand not only how they are--because most of us don't know how we are. See, you actually don't know sitting over there in that chair whether you have a need for people to be direct with you or not. You actually don't know that, because you can't see your needs. Now you might feel that you get irritated by people who are indirect with you. That would be a clue (laughter). So, we do that for organizations or for people. And my wife used to call what we do is that we build working relationships that work. Because our view of another person is a perception of that person, it's not actually who that person is, and we build that perception by how that person interacts with us.$$Is scientific research and interaction and projects, are scientific projects dependent on that kind of information?$$Well, what's dependent--no, no, not really. Scientific projects are not. I mean, you have people who are direct and people who are indirect, it doesn't matter, they can do science just as well. It doesn't affect your performance, it only affects your ability to have relationships with other people.$$Okay.$$Because if I'm direct, and you don't want--and you have a need for me to be indirect, then right there we have a cause for conflict. And we don't even know why we're having conflict, we just know, I just know, that every time I talk to you and you don't like it because I'm so--but I don't even know that I'm indirect--I'm just saying what I have to say to get my point over.$$Okay, okay.$$Then after I finish talking, five minutes later you still don't understand what I said (laughter).$$For instance, we're all working on a project, say you and Dr. J.K. Haynes. Both of you seem to be sort of gregarious and outgoing men, and there are people who are going to be scientists who are not, they are used to being alone, and they say this. So, your work, is it to bridge the gap between these two kinds of personalities?$$Yes. Because, you know, they have all kinds of personalities working in the workplace, right, working together? And when people have conflicts, it's usually because a need is not getting met that somebody has. Now, they don't know it's not getting met because they don't know they have it, but once they know that they have it, and they can see it in this assessment, it makes perfect sense to them why they've been acting the way they've been acting, and why other people have been setting them off the way they've been setting them off.$$So, do you have like assessment tools?$$Yes, we do, we have assessment tools that we use to do that.$$Okay. Well, this helps individuals realize where they are on the spectrum and...?$$See, with the assessment tool, I can tell things like, okay, does the person eat lunch at the same place everyday? Or better yet, does the person order the same thing everyday when they go to eat? Because all I have to do is look at their thought score. If it takes them a long time to make decisions, then they order the same thing all the time because it keeps them from having to make hard decisions. Or, they'll lay their clothes out for the entire week because they don't, they get up in the morning and it would take them too long to make a decision about what they're going to wear, so they lay them out. With me, I don't lay anything out, I just put whatever's there on, because I have a low thought score (laughter). So it's a very great instrument. We use it to coach the students, too, and to mentor them. And it gives them a better understanding of who they are, what they're needs are, and how they can interact successfully with other people.$$Okay. Well, part of what you're saying is that if we understand who we are, we actually can be more successful.$$Oh, yeah. Exactly, exactly. So part of what makes a person, you know, that "empowered individual" is a firm understanding and inquiry into who they are, and what are their needs.

Ella Mizzell Kelly

Ella Mizzell Kelly was born on March 17, 1939 in Columbia, North Carolina. Her father was a barber and her mother, a factory worker. During her early childhood, the family migrated to New York in search of better jobs. Shortly thereafter, her parents divorced and Kelly and her sister were raised by their mother. Identified as a gifted student during grade school, Kelly excelled academically. In 1955, she earned her high school diploma from Julia Richmond High School where she was active in the chorus, Latin Club and Student Government Association.

From 1955 until 1957, Kelly attended New York State Teachers College in Albany. She transferred to Howard University in 1957, where she earned her B.A. degree in history in 1960. During her senior year, she was selected to study abroad at Oxford in England.

From 1960 until 1968, Kelly taught history in the Washington, D.C. public school system, giving her students their first introduction to African American history. In 1963, Kelly earned her master’s degree in philosophy from Howard University. Between 1969 and 1977, Kelly worked for the Department of Education as a speechwriter and senior program officer. From 1983 until 1985, Kelly attended the University of California at Los Angeles. Leaving there, she worked until 1990 as a research assistant at UCLA and served on a task force examining the under-representation of African American students in California. From 1990 until 1994, Kelly worked as a teacher and administrator at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science in the departments of family medicine and nursing education. In 1995, she earned her Ph.D. in social research methodology from UCLA. From 1994 until 1998, Kelly served as a consultant on women’s health issues for the California Public Institute and the UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research. From 1998 until 2003, Kelly was a senior research scientist at UCLA’s Center for Community Health where she was responsible for developing initiatives to reduce health risks associated with HIV/AIDS and African American women.

In 2003, Kelly became the deputy director at Howard University College of Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, where she focuses on the impact of violence and substance abuse on low-income families and children.

Accession Number

A2004.262

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/14/2004

Last Name

Kelly

Maker Category
Middle Name

Mizzell

Schools

Julia Richman High School

P.S. 194 Countee Cullen School

Junior High School 136

State University of New York at Albany

University of Oxford

University of California, Los Angeles

Howard University

First Name

Ella

Birth City, State, Country

Columbia

HM ID

KEL01

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

3/17/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Academic administrator Ella Mizzell Kelly (1939 - ) served as a speechwriter and senior program officer for the U.S. Department of Education, and later worked as a teacher and administrator at the Charles Drew University of Medicine. She was also a senior research scientist at UCLA’s Center for Community Health, and later became the Deputy Director of Child Health at the Howard University College of Medicine.

Employment

Delete

Boys Clubs

Department of Pediatrics and Child Health Howard University’s College of Medicine

District of Columbia Public Schools

Department of Education

National Institute of Education

Dr. Ed Keller

Charles Drew University of Science and Medicine

Diane Littlefield and Connie Chan-Robinson

University of California, Los Angeles Neuro-Psychiatric Institute in the Center for Community Health

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ella Mizzell Kelly's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ella Mizzell Kelly lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ella Mizzell Kelly describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ella Mizzell Kelly describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ella Mizzell Kelly talks about her family's move from Norfolk, Virginia to New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ella Mizzell Kelly remembers her relationship with her maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ella Mizzell Kelly recalls her paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ella Mizzell Kelly describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ella Mizzell Kelly talks about her sister

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ella Mizzell Kelly recalls her childhood aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Ella Mizzell Kelly describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood in New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Ella Mizzell Kelly remembers special days during her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Ella Mizzell Kelly describes her childhood neighborhood in New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Ella Mizzell Kelly recalls her childhood religious life

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Ella Mizzell Kelly describes her distant relationship with her mother

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ella Mizzell Kelly remembers the aftermath of her parents' divorce

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ella Mizzell Kelly describes her elementary school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ella Mizzell Kelly remembers her early interest in attending college

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ella Mizzell Kelly describes her childhood aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ella Mizzell Kelly remembers difficulties stemming from her academic success as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ella Mizzell Kelly recalls working at her maternal aunt and uncle's insurance agency as a child in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ella Mizzell Kelly remembers her experiences at Julia Richman High School in New York, New York in the 1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ella Mizzell Kelly talks about her decision to attend college

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ella Mizzell Kelly recalls transferring to Howard University after experiencing racial discrimination at New York State College for Teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ella Mizzell Kelly remembers her mentors at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ella Mizzell Kelly recalls her mentor Eugene C. Holmes at Howard University, Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ella Mizzell Kelly talks about studying at Oxford University in England in 1959 on a Lucy E. Moten Travel Fellowship from Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ella Mizzell Kelly remembers student life at Oxford University in Oxford, England

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ella Mizzell Kelly recalls student life at Howard University in Washington D.C.in the late 1950s and early 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ella Mizzell Kelly recalls teaching history in Washington, D.C. public schools

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ella Mizzell Kelly talks about the impact of learning about African history on her students and herself

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ella Mizzell Kelly describes coming to understand the systemic nature of racism while working in the federal Office of Education

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ella Mizzell Kelly remembers her decision to leave teaching and work for the federal Office of Education in 1969

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ella Mizzell Kelly explains why she decided to obtain a Ph.D. in 1982

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ella Mizzell Kelly recalls working at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles, California while completing her Ph.D. requirements

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ella Mizzell Kelly explains how she focused her research on HIV/AIDS risk in low-income adolescent girls

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ella Mizzell Kelly talks about her current work on HIV/AIDS and women's health at Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ella Mizzell Kelly explains potential research into sexual orientation and gender identity factors of HIV/AIDS risk

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ella Mizzell Kelly gives advice to women about mitigating HIV/AIDS risk

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ella Mizzell Kelly describes her concerns for low-income African American girls

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ella Mizzell Kelly reflects upon her life

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ella Mizzell Kelly talks about her son

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ella Mizzell Kelly describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Ella Mizzell Kelly concludes her interview by recalling an oral history assignment from her career as a young public school teacher

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

1$2

DATitle
Ella Mizzell Kelly recalls her mentor Eugene C. Holmes at Howard University, Washington, D.C.
Ella Mizzell Kelly explains how she focused her research on HIV/AIDS risk in low-income adolescent girls
Transcript
So, you were talking about one of your professors [at Howard University, Washington, D.C.] who had, your introduction to the term feminist.$$Yes, yes, it was [Dr.] Eugene [C.] Holmes who was a protege of Alain Locke and--who was the first African American to become a Rhodes Scholar. So, he was telling me about being, and of course, I didn't understand what it was. Oh, I know what it was. We were talking about a paper I should write, and he was recommending that I write a paper on Margaret Fuller. And he said she was a feminist and he considered himself to be feminist too. And, you know, I said, "Okay," (laughter), left the class and ran to the library and looked up feminist, someone who believes women as equals. And I thought, "Okay, that's nice." And then I would try to figure out, you know, why was he making this point? And I never quite figured it out except that what I do remember, and aside from the fact that he was absolutely brilliant, and was challenging, and his classes that he taught, he taught classes on Marxist theory, Marxism and a couple of other classes as I recall. I can't remember right now. But the particular class on Marxism I do remember because I wrote a paper that he thought was the best he'd had in a long time which, coming from him, was a real, you know. But the thing that I do remember was that he was married to a woman [Margaret Cardozo Holmes] who was a businesswoman, and she--her family was quite wealthy. And it was the first example in my life in which this was obviously a very, very accomplished man who was very, very proud of his wife's accomplishments. It made an indelible impression on me. And I always stayed in touch with him. And it turns out that I have a relative--they all used to be up on the Cape [Cod, Massachusetts]. I have a relative who's well-to-do who taught at Harvard [University, Cambridge, Massachusetts] whom I'm very close to, and in the course of mentioning things, it turns out that he and his wife and Eugene and his wife were very, very close friends. And he told me that Eugene had died. And so I wrote a letter to the wife to tell her what he had meant to me. And she wrote a very, very nice letter back, and said, "Oh, yeah, I remember you. My husband always talked about--" and I'm crying, blah, blah, blah. And I thought, you know, it meant a lot to me. He was a very, he was the one who whenever thought I could sort of slip and slide, (laughter) he would just say, you know, "Do it over," (laughter).$And one year--it must have been '94 [1994], that's right, '94 [1994]--there was a conference going on in California, I mean in San Francisco [California]. A colleague of mine in the department couldn't go and said, she said, "I think you'll enjoy this. I can't go. Why don't you go for me?" And it turned out that it was a conference plan that was run by The [James] Irvine Foundation. The Irvine Foundation is the not-for-profit people who use the money from the--Orange County [California] used to be owned by one family. When the family, the Irvine family, started selling off the property, they created a foundation for the State of California called The Irvine Foundation. It has so much money, you can't begin to imagine what it's like. And they were interested in a major initiative in women's health. So they were putting 50 million dollars into a five-year effort to look at issues around women's health. So I went as an observer. And while I was there, a--two young women, Connie Chan Robison and Diane Littlefield, were talking about this idea that they had for training women, grassroots women, to be leaders in the area of women's health. And they had this proposal that they, they were in the--they were finalists, but they had to get this final proposal written. And the idea attracted me. It seems like a natural--and I, during lunch, I talked to them, and said, "Let me look at what you put together." It was horrible, but the idea was great, and I said, "No, no, no," (laughter) you know, "you've got forty-four objectives. There's no way you're gonna do this. Let me tell you what you need." And I suggested some things to them, and they liked it. And they said, "Look, we don't have any money." And I said, "That's all right. It's a great idea." So I worked with them, and they got something like over 5 million dollars. So when they got the money, they hired me as a consultant. And it was the best experience I'd had in a long time because it was, you know, first of all, their idea was that they were gonna, they were going to, in a five-year period of time, they were gonna train 250 women from every major ethnic group in the State of California to take on a leadership role in the area of women's health, as they defined it, meaning the women themselves defined it.$$Were they successful?$$Oh, absolutely, yeah. They've been written up a lot. They've gotten all kinds of awards. It was, and at that point, I decided that I really wanted to work in the areas of women's health, but I narrowed it down to HIV/AIDS [human immunodeficiency virus/autoimmune deficiency syndrome].$$Because what was the AIDS issue like among women, more particularly African American women in the--$$This would have been in the '90s [1990s]. In the '90s [1990s], it was a gay disease. In the beginning of the '90s [1990s], it was a gay disease. By the end of the '90s [1990], it was an African American disease. By the beginning of the 21st century, it was a women's disease which, and essentially, it's really a human rights issue. It's a universal human rights issue.$$Would you say it was more of an African American women's disease than just a women's disease?$$In the United States, it is, but globally, it's a women's disease. And it's low-income, uneducated women. I mean it's very, very clear that the population most at risk are those who are pov--mainly, it's by gender, race and class. And I've written several articles that have been published. Some of them don't show up there because they've, within the past few years, they've just been published. But I've written several articles as well as a couple of chapters in books around this. I focus mainly on adolescent girls, and why they're at risks, and the fact that for young adolescent, low-income girls, you literally have a time bomb that's waiting to explode, because you have issues having to do with poverty. You have issues having to do with sexism, and you have the issues having to do with racism and discrimination all coming together. And that's, it's the combination of what I--what we refer to in the social sciences as multiple social violences that place them at risk.

James Cheek

James Edward Cheek, president emeritus of Howard University, was born in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, on December 4, 1932. Despite severe eye cataracts, Cheek was an honor student at Washington Street Grammar School. He graduated from Immanuel Lutheran College with a secondary diploma in 1950 and served as a member of the United States Air Force in Korea in 1951. Earning a B.A. in sociology and history from Shaw University in 1955, Cheek received a master's of divinity from Colgate Rochester University in 1958 and a Ph.D. from Drew University in 1962. During this period he was honored with a Colgate Rochester Fellowship, a Rockefeller Doctoral Fellowship and a Lily Foundation Fellowship.

Cheek was a professor of New Testament Theology at Virginia Union University when he was named president of Shaw University in 1963, at the age of thirty. In 1968, he was appointed president of Howard University. During Cheek's twenty-year tenure at Howard, the student population increased by 3,500 and the number of schools, colleges, research programs, full-time faculty and Ph.D. programs increased dramatically. Howard's budget increased from $43 million to $417 million as the federal appropriation went from $29 million to $178 million. He was named Washingtonian of the Year in 1980 and in 1983, while still serving as president of Howard, Cheek was awarded the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The recipient of hundreds of awards and nineteen honorary degrees, Cheek served as a board member of several colleges and universities including the University of Miami, Drew University, Colgate Rochester University, New York Institute of Technology, Benedict College, Florida Memorial College, Fisk University and Howard University. His presidential appointments included the Board of Foreign Scholarships, National Advisory Council to the Peace Corps, UNESCO, Commission on Selection of White House Fellows and the President's Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Cheek and his wife, Celestine, were parents of a son and a daughter and had two grandchildren.

Cheek passed away on January 8, 2010 at age 77.

Accession Number

A2003.222

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/16/2003 |and| 11/6/2003

Last Name

Cheek

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Edward

Organizations
Schools

Shaw University

Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School

Drew University

First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Roanoke Rapids

HM ID

CHE01

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

I would rather fail in a cause that will ultimately succeed than succeed in a cause that will ultimately fail.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

12/4/1932

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ham, Potato Salad

Death Date

1/12/2010

Short Description

University president James Cheek (1932 - 2010 ) served as the president of Howard University for more than twenty years.

Employment

Shaw University

Howard University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James Cheek interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James Cheek's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James Cheek gives his family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James Cheek describes his mother and his father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James Cheek shares a family legend about his grandfather's old farm

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James Cheek talks about where he grew up

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James Cheek describes living with cataracts as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James Cheek's doctor prescribes surgery to fix his cataracts

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James Cheek describes undergoing surgeries to fix his cataracts

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James Cheek describes his dating experience during college

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James Cheek explains why he chose the U.S. Air Force over the U.S. Army

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James Cheek talks about being expelled from his high school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James Cheek describes his experience at a private high school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James Cheek discusses his interest in theology during high school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James Cheek briefly describes his experience in the military

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James Cheek describes his experience at a U.S. Air Force base in Minnesota

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James Cheek tells of being transferred to Alaska instead of combat duty in Korea

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James Cheek explains how he was discharged from the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James Cheek talks about resuming college after leaving the Air Force

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James Cheek talks about leading a student strike as an undergraduate at Shaw University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James Cheek tells of how he met his wife, Celestine

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James Cheek talks about his two children

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James Cheek talks about his daughter's poor health during her childhood

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James Cheek explains how the Mayo Clinic saved his daughter's life

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James Cheek talks about attending divinity school

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James Cheek explains how he became a graduate student at Drew University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of James Cheek (Second interview)

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James Cheek describes his experience in graduate school at Drew University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James Cheek tells why he turned down his first job offer

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James Cheek talks about the poor condition of Shaw University at the start of his presidency

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James Cheek describes his disputes with Jesse Helms while fundraising for Shaw University

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James Cheek talks about his relationship with Jesse Helms

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James Cheek talks about presiding over Shaw University's rebirth

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James Cheek discusses the expansion of Shaw University during his presidency

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James Cheek mentions the Mid-Eastern Studies program at Shaw University

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James Cheek explains how his success at Shaw University led to interest from Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James Cheek talks about Howard University's efforts to hire him as president

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James Cheek explains why he accepted the offer to be president of Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James Cheek talks about previous presidents of Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - James Cheek describes civil rights activism on black college campuses during the 1960s

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James Cheek talks about the end of the Congress for the Unity of Black Students

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James Cheek talks about his reputation preceding him at Howard University

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James Cheek talks about instilling a sense of respect and pride at Howard University

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - James Cheek explains how he won increased federal funding for Howard University

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - James Cheek describes his disillusionment with other presidents of historically black colleges

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - James Cheek talks about turning Howard University into a top research institution

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - James Cheek talks about the establishment of Howard University's radio and television stations

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Photo - James Cheek's father, King Virgil Cheek [ca. 1954]

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Photo - James Cheek's mother, Lee Ella Williams Cheek [ca. 1950]

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Photo - James Cheek and his wife, Celestine [ca. 1950s]

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Photo - James Cheek and his family [ca. 1967]

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Photo - James Cheek as the president of Shaw University [1964]

Tape: 7 Story: 13 - Photo - James Cheek with his wife Celestine at a reception

Tape: 7 Story: 14 - Photo - James Cheek observes construction at Shaw University [1960s]

Tape: 7 Story: 15 - Photo - James Cheek with two former presidents of Howard University [ca. 1970s]

Tape: 7 Story: 16 - Photo - James Cheek returns to his alma mater, Shaw University [2000]

Tape: 7 Story: 17 - Photo - James Cheek and his wife, Celestine [ca. 2000s]

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - James Cheek voices his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - James Cheek discusses his regrets from his career as an educator

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - James Cheek recalls his past ambitions to be a writer

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - James Cheek discusses his legacy

DASession

2$2

DATape

7$7

DAStory

4$7

DATitle
James Cheek explains how he won increased federal funding for Howard University
James Cheek talks about the establishment of Howard University's radio and television stations
Transcript
But tthe other thing that struck me about Howard [University, Washington, D.C.] was that the Howard University that I had heard so much about wasn't anything. It was the puniest university that I had ever seen. You know, it--landlocked. They had only, you know, seventy-some acres, couldn't expand anywhere. And I told the Board [of Trustees] at the first or second meeting that it was going to be necessary for us to develop a multi-campus institution. And we started that program, and then we also started buying up property, bit by bit around the campus that we could. But it was clear to me that if Howard was going to be the Howard that I thought it was, then we were gonna have to undertake major revolution. I conducted in 1971 a study that--I selected eleven white universities, private, that were identical with Howard in every respect, in terms of student body population, the--they had to have medical schools that had curriculum just like Howard's. And I developed about thirty different areas of comparison of resources. And in every single category, Howard turned out to be last, including the receipt of federal money. And Howard was the only school that was authorized--that it was in that group--it was authorized by legislation to receive support from the federal government, but Howard was dead last in the amount of federal money that it got. The first school was Johns Hopkins [University, Baltimore, Maryland], the second was [University of] Chicago [Chicago, Illinois]. And I published this study--I didn't publish the study, I circulated the study. I sent a copy to McGeorge Bundy [educator, political advisor] at the Ford Foundation [charity organization]. I sent a copy to the Chairman of our [U.S.] House [of Representatives] Committee and [U.S.] Senate Committee on Appropriations. McGeorge Bundy, you know, he had me up there and he read the report. I called it--the name of it is 'The Lingering Legacy of Neglect and Deprivation.'$$McGeorge Bundy, what was his title?$$He was the President of the Ford Foundation.$$Thank you.$$He had been, you know, [President] John [F.] Kennedy's National Security Advisor, but he was President of the Ford Foundation. And he sat on his sofa with his legs, you know, up on his sofa as he read the report. And when he finished he laid it down on his coffee table, and he said, "Jim, the only explanation for this is race." I got the same response from the Chairman of our House Committee, [Rep.] Daniel Flood and the Chairman of our Senate Committee on Appropriations, [U.S. Senator Warren G.] Magnuson. Both of them realized that the only way you could interpret that report or that study was in racial terms, because the only thing that was different between Howard and those eleven institutions, was that we had primarily black students and they had primarily white ones. And that became the turning point, in '72 [1972] when I distributed that report, that led to the tremendous outpouring of federal money and, you know, the general support that we got.$Well, I created the first radio station in a black college at Shaw [University, Raleigh, North Carolina]. And the [Board of] Trustees [of Howard University, Washington, D.C.] and I had an agreement that everything that we had at Shaw that, you know, that I had, that I was envisioning at Shaw, we would do here [Howard University]. And one of my fields, one of my grave concerns was that black people were being misrepresented and misinterpreted in the media. And one of the ways to correct that was to produce a School of Communications--was to have a School of Communications--that would graduate students, that would be professional in every respect, but would have a totally different perspective from what the, their white counterparts had, and that we needed to have, as I called them, laboratories, for the training of these students. And so we got the 'Washington Post' [newspaper] to give us WHUR [radio station, Washington, D.C.]. Now, they didn't know at the time, they gave--Katherine Graham [newspaper publisher] thought she was giving me a toy--$$Which was?$$Hmm?$$Which was?$$Katherine Graham was the Publisher of the 'Washington Post.'$$No, what was the toy?$$Their FM radio station, which for them was simply a, it was a bank of tapes in a closet. That was what their FM station was, but they had the license. And they gave us the license. And we went on the air and WHUR just took off. I mean it became the, you know, the station to listen to in Washington [D.C.]. And I went through the process of getting television license at several times. I, you know, I missed the deadline, you know, and I got the FCC [Federal Communications Commission] to--I, well, I petitioned them to, you know, reconsider the deadline and all of that. Well, we finally, you know, got an opening for a public, a second public educational station in D.C. And that's how we got this license for what we then called WHMM [Howard University's television station], which meant Howard Mass Media--and because we tried other call letters and everything had been taken, except WHMM.