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EducationMakers include teachers, professors, education administrators, and education consultants, as well as museum and library professionals and historians. These HistoryMakers have each spent a significant portion of their careers advancing educational philosophies, teaching, advising, and mentoring students, breaking new ground in developing curricula, or sharing information through programming and exhibits.

Johnnetta B. Cole

College president and civic leader Johnnetta B. Cole was born on October 19, 1936 in Jacksonville, Florida to John and Mary Francis. She was admitted to Fisk University at the age of fifteen, and later transferred to Oberlin College where she received her B.A. degree in sociology in 1957. Cole subsequently earned her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in anthropology from Northwestern University in 1959 and 1967.

In 1970, Cole accepted a faculty position at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she served as a professor of anthropology and Afro-American studies. Her first book, Free and Equal: the End of Racial Discrimination in Cuba, was published in 1978. In 1982, Cole became the director of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies program at Hunter College in New York City. She was then named the first black female president of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia in 1987. During her tenure as president, she increased Spelman’s endowment to over $113 million, attracted higher student enrollment, and improved Spelman’s overall ranking. In 1992, Cole served on President Bill Clinton’s transition team as cluster coordinator for Education, Labor, and the Arts. After leaving Spelman in 1997, Cole was hired as a professor of anthropology, women’s studies, and African American Studies at Emory University; and, in 2002, she became the sixth president of Bennett College. There, she increased endowment, raised funds for an on-campus art museum, and initiated the women’s studies and global studies programs. She stepped down as president of Bennett College in 2007 and was named director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington D.C. in 2009.

Cole authored numerous books including All American Women: Lines That Divide,Ties That Bind (ed.) in 1986, Anthropology for the Ninties (ed.) in 1988, Conversations: Straight Talk with America’s Sister President in 1994, Dream the Boldest Dream and Other Lessons of Life in 2001, and Gender Talk – the Struggle for Women’s Equality in African American’s Communities in 2003.

Cole has served on the board of directors of the Coca-Cola Company, the Rockefeller Foundation, Merck & Co., United Way of America, and Home Depot. She also served as chair of the Johnnetta B. Cole Global Diversity and Inclusion Institute at Bennett College, and has worked with the Ford and the Andrew W. Mellon foundations to encourage greater diversity and inclusive practices in American art museums.

She has received numerous awards for her work, including the 1988 Candace Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, the 2013 Alston-Jones International Civil and Human Rights Award, an Alumnae Award from Northwestern, the Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award from the American Council on Education, and the BET Honors Award for Education in 2015. Cole has also been awarded sixty-eight honorary degrees and is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

Cole has three sons, one step-son, and three grandchildren.

Johnnetta B. Cole was interviewed by TheHistoryMakers on February 11, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.016

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/11/2019

Last Name

Cole

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Betsch

Schools

Fisk University

Oberlin College

Northwestern University

Boylan-Haven School

First Name

Johnnetta

Birth City, State, Country

Jacksonville

HM ID

COL37

Favorite Season

Autumn

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

American Beach near Amelia Island

Favorite Quote

When Women Lead, Streams Run Uphill

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

10/19/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Favorite Food

Seafood, Peanut Butter

Short Description

College president and civic leader Johnnetta B. Cole (1936 - ) became the first African American female president of Spelman College in 1987 and was named director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in 2009.

Employment

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Hunter College

Spelman College

Emory University

Bennett College

National Museum of African Art

Washington State University

Bill Clinton Administration

Favorite Color

Red and Black

Dr. Jeanne Craig Sinkford

Academic administrator and educator Jeanne Craig Sinkford was born on January 30, 1933 in Washington, D.C. to Richard and Geneva Craig. She graduated from Dunbar High School in 1949, and earned her B.S. degree in psychology and chemistry from Howard University in 1953. In 1958, Sinkford graduated at the top of her class with a D.D.S. degree in dental surgery from the Howard University College of Dentistry. She then taught prosthodontics at Howard’s College of Dentistry before graduating from Northwestern University School of Dentistry with her M.S. degree in 1962, and her Ph.D. in physiology in 1963, making her the first female prosthodontist with a Ph.D.

Sinkford remained at the Northwestern University School of Dentistry to teach for a year before returning to the Howard University College of Dentistry in 1964 to chair the prosthodontics department, which was the largest department at the college. She was the first woman head of such a department in the nation. Sinkford was made associate dean of the College of Dentistry in 1967. In 1972, she was appointed to a nine-member ad hoc advisory panel examining the ethics of the 1932 Tuskegee Syphilis Study. Sinkford became the first female dean of any dental school in the nation in 1975 upon being appointed dean of Howard University’s College of Dentistry. In 1979, she coauthored Profile of the Negro in American Dentistry with Foster Kidd, D.D.S. Sinkford retired as dean in 1991 after sixteen years. That same year, she became professor and dean emeritus, and was appointed director of the Office of Women and Minority Affairs at the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) in Washington, D.C. In 2015, Sinkford became a senior scholar-in-residence with ADEA, her work focusing on recruitment and promoting growth of minority and women students and faculty. She also founded international women's leadership programming for women's health and oral health of the world population.

Sinkford holds memberships in the American Prosthodontic Society, the International Association of Dental Research, the National Dental Association, the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences, Phi Beta Kappa, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She also serves as an American College of Dentists and International College of Dentists fellow.

Sinkford’s numerous awards include Alumni Achievement Awards from Northwestern University and Howard University in 1970 and 1976, one of the first Candace Awards from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women in 1982, the 1984 Award of Merit from the American Fund for Dental Health, the 2007 Trailblazer Award from the National Dental Association, and the 2010 Fauchard Gold Medal. She also earned honorary doctorate degrees from Georgetown University School of Dentistry in 1978, the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey in 1992, Meharry Medical College in 2008, the University of Michigan in 2018, and Howard University in 2019.

Sinkford resides in Maryland and has three children with her late husband, Dr. Stanley M. Sinkford, Jr.: Dianne Sylvia, Janet Lynn, and Stanley M. Sinkford, III.

Jeanne Craig Sinkford was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 26, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.105

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/26/2019

Last Name

Craig Sinkford

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Schools

Howard University

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Howard University College of Dentistry

Northwestern University

First Name

Jeanne

Birth City, State, Country

Washington, D.C.

HM ID

SIN03

Favorite Season

Summer

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bethany Beach, DE

Favorite Quote

Don't Sweat The Small Stuff

Birth Date

1/30/1933

Birth Place Term
Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Academic administrator and educator Jeanne Craig Sinkford (1933 - ) was the country’s first woman prosthodontist with a Ph.D. and first woman to head a major department at a dental school before becoming the country’s first woman dean of a dental school in 1975.

Employment

Howard University College of Dentistry

Northwestern University School of Dentistry

American Association of Dental Schools

Favorite Color

Blue

Gretchen Tucker-Underwood

Academic administrator Gretchen Tucker Underwood was born on October 11, 1943 in Roxbury, Massachusetts to Judge Herbert Tucker and Mary Tucker. After graduating from Jamaica Plain High School in 1961, Tucker Underwood attended Howard University before transferring to Southern Connecticut State University, where she received her B.S. degree in education in 1968. In 1972, Tucker Underwood went on to receive her M.A. degree in educational administration and a certificate of advance graduate study from Boston State College.

After teaching social studies for three years at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven, Connecticut, Tucker Underwood was hired as a teacher at Brookline High School in Brookline, Massachusetts in 1970. She later became the school’s Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) coordinator. By 1996, Tucker Underwood was promoted to dean of students of Brookline High School. In the 1990s, she was also the first African American elected as a town meeting member while living in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Tucker Underwood served Brookline High School as the dean of students until her retirement in 2007, after thirty-seven years with the school. In 2008, Tucker Underwood moved to Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts; and, in 2014, she ran for Dukes County Commissioner as a democratic write-in candidate, and was elected to one of the seven seats. Tucker Underwood was re-elected to the seat in both 2016 and 2018. In 2019, she was appointed chair of the commission.

Tucker Underwood chairs the annual celebration commemorating an artist, educator, and writer from Martha’s Vineyard, Della Hardman. She was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, an advisory council member for Martha’s Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative, and has served on the boards of the Big Sister Association and Martha’s Vineyard chapter of the NAACP. From 1996 to 2000, Tucker Underwood served as president of the Boston Coalition of 100 Black Women. In 2019, she was honored by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women at the sixteenth annual Unsung Heroines of Massachusetts program, held in the Massachusetts State House.

Tucker Underwood resides with her mother in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. She has one adult daughter, Gretchen Mercer, and two grandsons, Brandon and Jason Mercer.

Gretchen Tucker Underwood was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 19, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.078

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/19/2019

Last Name

Tucker-Underwood

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Schools

Boston Latin Academy

The Cambridge School of Weston

Southern Connecticut State University

Boston State College

Jamaica Plain High School

William Lloyd Garrison Elementary School

First Name

Gretchen

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

UND03

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Any place warm and sandy.

Favorite Quote

Every shut eye ain't sleep.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

10/11/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Food

Anything anybody else cooks.

Short Description

Academic administrator Gretchen Tucker Underwood (1943- ) worked at Brookline High School in Massachusetts for thirty-seven years as a teacher and dean of students before serving Dukes County, Massachusetts as county commissioner for three terms.

Employment

Wilbur Cross High School

Brookline High School

Dukes' County

Favorite Color

It changes by the season.

Charlena Seymour

Academic administrator Charlena Seymour was born on December 3, 1943 in Washington, D.C. to Elizabeth Moten and Elmore Moten. At a young age, Seymour and her family, including sister Vera and brother Rahim, moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where she attended Girls’ Latin School and Jeremiah E. Burke High School for Girls. In 1965, Seymour received her B.F.A. degree in drama and theater arts from Howard University. She went on to receive her M.A. degree in speech and hearing science in 1967, and her Ph.D. degree in speech and hearing science in 1971, both from The Ohio State University.

In 1971, Seymour joined the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Department of Communication Disorders as an assistant professor. She served as the director of Communication Disorders Clinic at the University of Massachusetts in 1974, and was awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor in 1978. In 1983, Seymour served as the Graduate Program Director in the Department of Communication Disorders for one year. The next year, she was appointed chair of the department. She was promoted to full professor in 1989, and was appointed dean of the Graduate School in 1994. In 2001, Seymour assumed the position of interim provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs; and in 2004 she was appointed provost. In 2009, Seymour retired from the University of Massachusetts Amherst to serve as provost of Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. She retired from Simmons in 2013.

From 1990 to 1992, Seymour served as the vice president for quality of service of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). In 1996, she was elected president of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, a position she held in 1997. A Fellow of ASHA, she received the organization's highest award, the Honors award in 2007 for a distinguished career. From 2002 to 2003, Seymour served as president of the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools. During her career, she has served on many non-profit boards, including the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, the Hello Friend/Ennis William Cosby Foundation, the Western Massachusetts Women's Foundation, the Amherst Ballet Theatre Company, the Amherst Chapter of A Better Chance, the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, the Yard Inc., of Martha’s Vineyard, and Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard.

Seymour has received many awards for her work in academia. In 1964 and 1965, she was included in Howard University’s “Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities.” Seymour also received the Harvard Foundation Medal of Recognition for Intercultural and Race Relations in 1997 and the Will Solimene Award of Excellence in Medical Communication in 1998 for her textbook. Seymour was invited as the Cecil and Ida Green Honors Professor, Texas Christian University, and has received Distinguished Alumni Awards from both the Howard University School of Communications and The Ohio State University Department of Speech and Hearing Science.

Seymour and her husband, Harry Seymour, have two children: Harry Alexander and Shayna.

Charlena Seymour was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 24, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.091

Interview Date

8/24/2019

Last Name

Seymour

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Charlena

HM ID

SEY02

Favorite Season

Fall and Spring

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard and Boston

Favorite Quote

This Above All To Thine Own Self Be True, Then Thou Cannot Be False To Any Person

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Speakers Bureau Region City

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Food

Pasta, Fried Food, Cookies, Chocolate, Soul Food

Short Description

Academic administrator Charlena Seymour (1943- ) served as a professor, dean, and provost at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Favorite Color

Blue

John Silvanus Wilson, Jr.

College president and academic administrator John Silvanus Wilson, Jr. was born on August 16, 1957 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Genester Millicent Nix and John Silvanus Wilson, Sr. He received his B.A. degree in business administration and management from Morehouse College in 1979. In 1981, Wilson earned his M.T.S. degree from Harvard Divinity School. He then attended the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he earned his Ed.M. degree in education in 1982, and his Ed.D. degree in education in 1985.

Wilson began his career in 1985 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he served as an associate in the analytical studies and planning group in the office of the president. In that role, he conducted research for a report on the experiences of African American students at MIT. He then shifted to financial management and fundraising, serving first in corporate development and, ultimately, as director of foundation relations by 1994. He was an officer in two major capital campaigns at MIT, with goals of $700 million and $2 billion. In 2001, he moved from MIT to The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. During his eight-year career there, Wilson served as senior assistant vice president from September to December 2001, executive dean of the Virginia campus from 2002 to 2006, and associate professor at the Graduate School of Education and Human Development from 2007 to 2009. He was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities in 2009, where he remained until 2013. From January 2013 to April 2017, Wilson served as the eleventh president of Morehouse College. He moved to Harvard University as a president in residence at the School of Education, where he began research for a book about the future of American higher education, with an emphasis on HBCUs. In April 2018, Wilson was appointed as senior advisor and strategist to the president of Harvard University.

Wilson has served on multiple boards, including Spelman College and Harvard University. He has received various awards for his work in higher education, including the 1998 Bennie Leadership Award presented by Morehouse College, Ebony magazine’s Power 100 Award in 2014, and the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 100 Most Influential Atlantans Award in 2015.

Wilson and his wife, Carol Espy-Wilson, have three adult children: twin daughters, Ayana and Ashia, and son, John Silvanus Wilson, III.

John Silvanus Wilson, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 27, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.096

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/27/2019

Last Name

Wilson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Silvanus

Schools

Morehouse College

Harvard Divinity School

Harvard Graduate School of Education

First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

WIL93

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

Perspective Is Worth A Hundred Points of IQ and Signal To Noise Ratio Is Everything

Bio Photo
Birth Date

8/16/1957

Birth Place Term
Favorite Food

Mushroom Risotto

Short Description

College president and academic administrator John Silvanus Wilson, Jr. (1957- ) was an academic administrator for twenty eight years before becoming the eleventh president of Morehouse College.

Employment

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The George Washington University

White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Morehouse College

Harvard University School of Education

Harvard University

Kellogg National Fellowship Program

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Program

Educational Testing Service

Rockefeller Foundation

Favorite Color

Black

Matthew Holden, Jr.

Political scientist Matthew Holden, Jr. was born on September 12, 1931 in Mound Bayou, Mississippi to Estell Holden and Matthew Holden, Sr. He received his B.A. degree in political science from Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois in 1954 and served in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1957. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois in 1956 and 1961.

Holden joined the faculty at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan in 1961. In 1963, he was hired at the University of Pittsburgh. During this period, Holden also worked at Resources for the Future, Inc. in Washington, D.C. He returned to the faculty at Wayne State University in 1966, where he remained until 1969. Holden was then hired by the Washington, D.C. based independent think tank, the Urban Institute, and later became professor of political science and public policy administration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, serving in that capacity until 1981. In 1973, Holden published The Politics of the Black Nation, followed by The White Man’s Burden in 1974. From 1975 to 1977, Holden was appointed by Wisconsin governor Pat Lucey to serve on the Wisconsin Public Service Commission. Holden later became the first African American appointee of President Jimmy Carter’s, where he served on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from 1977 to 1981. In 1981, Holden was named the Henry L. and Grace M. Doherty Professor Emeritus of Politics at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, and served there until 2002. He later became the Wepner Distinguished Professor in political science at the University of Illinois, Springfield in 2009.

From 1969 to 1972, Holden served on the Social Science Research Council board and held a part-time position on the President’s Air Quality Advisory board in 1972. In 1974, Holden served as chairman of the Elections Committee for the American Political Science Association; and, from 1998 to 1999, he served as president of the American Political Science Association.

Holden also received an honorary L.L.D. degree from Tuskegee University in 1985, and the Otto Wirth Award from the Roosevelt University Alumni Association in 1998. Two years later, he was awarded an honorary L.H.D. degree from the Virginia Theological Seminary. In 2012, Holden’s biography was entered into the U.S. Congressional Record.

Matthew Holden was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 24, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.031

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/24/2019

Last Name

Holden

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Northwestern University

Roosevelt University

Wendell Phillips Academy High School

University of Chicago

First Name

Matthew

Birth City, State, Country

Mound Bayou

HM ID

HOL24

Favorite Season

None

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Mississippi

Birth Date

9/12/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Jackson

Favorite Food

Corn

Short Description

Political scientist Matthew Holden, Jr. (1931 - ) was the professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1969 to 1981, and the Henry L. and Grace M. Doherty Professor Emeritus of Politics at the University of Virginia from 1981 to 2002.

Employment

University of Virginia

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Wayne State University

University of Pittsburgh

University of Illinois at Springfield

Cornell University

Jackson State University

Favorite Color

Blue

Jeh V. Johnson

Professor and architect Jeh Vincent Johnson was born on July 8, 1931 in Nashville, Tennessee to Marie Antionette Burgette and Charles Spurgeon Johnson. He graduated from Pearl High School in Nashville, Tennessee in 1949. Johnson received his A.B. degree from Columbia University in New York in 1953 before being drafted to serve in the Counter Intelligence Corps of the U.S. Army until 1954. He then earned his M.A. degree in architecture in 1958 from Columbia University.

In 1956, Johnson was hired by Paul R. Williams as a designer. After graduate school, he received the William Kinne Fellows Fellowship and traveled throughout Europe studying architecture. He later joined the architectural firm of Adams and Woodbridge Architects in 1958. In 1962, Johnson co-founded Gindele and Johnson, along with William Gindele, where the focus of their work was on single and multi-family housing, community centers, churches, and schools. Two years later, Johnson accepted a faculty position in architecture and design at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. In 1967, he was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to serve on the National Commission on Urban Problems. He also served as chair of the National Committee on Housing for the American Institute of Architects (AIA). In Detroit in 1971, Johnson co-founded the National Organization of Minority Architects along with several fellow members of AIA. In 1977, he was elected to the AIA’s college of fellows. Johnson later served as partner at the architectural and design firm of LeGendre, Johnson, McNeil Architects from 1980 to 1990. Johnson’s many architectural projects include the former Poughkeepsie Day School building, the Susan Stein Shiva Theater, the Poughkeepsie Catharine Street Center and Library, and the ALANA Center on the Vassar College campus. He retired from Vassar College in 2001 after thirty-seven years of teaching.

In 1997, Johnson was awarded a special citation from the New York chapter of the AIA for his advocacy on behalf of equal opportunity and housing issues.

Johnson and his wife, Norma Edelin Johnson, have two adult children, Jeh Charles Johnson and Marguerite Marie Johnson.

Jeh Vincent Johnson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 8, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.028

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/8/2019

Last Name

Johnson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Vincent

Occupation
Schools

Columbia University

Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School

St. Vincent School

First Name

Jeh

Birth City, State, Country

Nashville

HM ID

JOH56

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

Goodness Gracious

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

7/8/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Favorite Food

Fresh Fruit

Short Description

Professor and architect Jeh Vincent Johnson (1931 - ) served as a professor of architecture at Vassar College for thirty-nine years and co-founded the National Organization of Minority Architects in 1971.

Employment

Vassar College

LeGendre, Johnson, McNeil Architects

Gindele and Johnson

Adams and Woodbridge, Architects

Paul R. Williams

Favorite Color

Dark Blue

David L. Evans

Academic administrator and electrical engineer David L. Evans was born on December 27, 1939 in Wabash, Arkansas to Letha Canada and William Evans. Evans received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State College in 1962, and his M.S.E. degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University in 1966.

In 1962, Evans joined the Boeing Company as an electrical engineer in Seattle, Washington. For six months, Evans served as an electrical engineer for Lockheed Missiles and Space Company in Huntsville, Alabama in 1964, and as a researcher in electrical engineering at RCA Sarnoff Laboratories in Princeton, New Jersey during the summer of 1965. From December 1967 to June 1968, he was part of a team of engineers sent from the Federal Systems Division of IBM to work on the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) at The Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation in Bethpage, New York. Grumman was the prime contractor for building the LEM, and IBM built the Launch Vehicle Digital Computer and the Launch Vehicle Data Adapter, all a part of the Apollo 11 vehicle that landed on the moon in July 1969. Also during his time at IBM, Evans started a college recruiting and placement service for young African American students which gained the attention of college administrators. In 1970, Harvard invited him to join the Harvard College Admissions Office, where he served as the assistant director of admissions and freshman proctor. Two years later, became associate director of admissions and senior advisor of freshmen. Evans was promoted to senior admissions officer at Harvard in 1975. In 1981, Evans joined the board of advisors of the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations.

From 1979 to 1981, Evans was on the five person Human Relations Committee of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors. He joined the advisory committee for the Dorothy Danforth Compton Fellowships in International Affairs in 1981, and the advisory committee for the Frances Emily Hunt Trust Fund in 1983. Evans has also been a trustee of St. George’s School and Roxbury Latin School, on the community advisory board of WGBH in Boston, Massachusetts, and on the board of directors of Harvard Student Agencies.

In 1970, Evans was nominated as the Outstanding Young Electrical Engineer in the United States. He was chosen as the Outstanding Alumnus of the Year of Tennessee State University in 1972, and received the Distinguished Alumni Award given by the Association of Black Princeton Alumni in 1987. In 1990, he was named the 311th of President George H.W. Bush’s “Thousand Points of Light” for his community service work in Boston. Evans also received Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ top prize for Administrative Service in 2002. A year later, the Harvard Black alumni endowed the David L. Evans Scholarship Fund, which has raised over one million dollars. Evans was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2005.

David L. Evans was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 28, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.097

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/28/2019

Last Name

Evans

Maker Category
Middle Name

L.

Organizations
First Name

David

HM ID

EVA11

Favorite Season

Spring

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

The Optimist Sees The Doughnut, The Pessimist Sees The Hole, The Hungry Person Observing Only Wants To Eat The Roll

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Favorite Food

Fish or Fowl

Short Description

Academic administrator and electrical engineer David L. Evans (1939 - ) joined the Harvard College admissions office in 1970 and was promoted to senior admissions officer in 1975.

Favorite Color

Blue

Robert Stepto

Professor Robert Stepto was born October 28, 1945 in Chicago, Illinois to Dr. Robert and Anna Stepto. He attended the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, graduating in 1962. He then attended Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where he earned his B.A. degree in English in 1966. Stepto went on to attend Stanford University, where he received his M.A. degree in English literature in 1968, and his Ph.D. degree in English and American literature in 1974.

From 1971 to 1974, Stepto was an assistant professor of English and American civilization at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. He was hired by Yale University in 1974 as an assistant professor of English, American studies, and African American studies. Stepto served as the first director of graduate studies in the African American studies department from 1978 until 1981. In 1984, he became a tenured professor in the English, American studies, and African American studies departments. His focus areas were American and African American autobiography, fiction, poetry and visual arts since 1840. Stepto also began teaching summer classes at Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College in Ripton, Vermont in 1990. He released his first book, From Behind the Veil: A Study of Afro-American Narrative in 1979. In 1998, he published his memoir, Blue as the Lake: A Personal Geography. From 2005 to 2008, Stepto chaired the African American studies department at Yale University. He later published a series of essays in 2010 that analyze works ranging from Frederick Douglass to W. E. B. Du Bois and Toni Morrison, which he titled A Home Elsewhere: Reading African American Classics in the Age of Obama. Stepto retired from Yale University after forty-five years.

Over the years, Stepto received numerous awards for his writings, which included: Notable American Essay of 2001 and Pushcart Prize nomination for “Greyhound Kind of Mood,” published by the New England Review; Notable American Essay of 1997 for "Hyde Park," published by Callaloo; Notable American Essay of 1996 for "Black Piano," published by Callaloo; and Notable American Essay of 1995 for "Woodlawn," published by the New England Review. Other awards included the Bread Loaf School of English’s Frank and Eleanor Griffiths Chair Professor of English in 2007 and 2017, as well as its Robert Frost Chair Professor of English in 1995. In 2018, Yale University named Stepto its John M. Schiff Professor of English. Trinity College also presented Stepto with its 175th Anniversary Alumni Award in 1999, and the Alumni Medal for Excellence in 1986.

Stepto resides in Connecticut with his wife, Michele L. Stepto. They had two children: Rafael Stepto and the late Gabriel Stepto.

Robert Stepto was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 24, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.095

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/24/2019

8/24/2019 |and| 10/25/2019

Last Name

Stepto

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Burns

Occupation
Schools

University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

Trinity College

Stanford University

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

STE24

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

You Won't Believe This

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Connecticut

Birth Date

10/28/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Haven

Favorite Food

Corn

Short Description

Professor Robert Stepto (1945- ) served as an English and African American studies professor at Yale University since 1974.

Employment

Yale University

Williams College

Favorite Color

Blue

Cecilia A. Conrad

Foundation executive and academic administrator Cecilia Conrad was born on January 4, 1955 in St. Louis, Missouri to Dr. Emmett James Conrad and Eleanor Nelson Conrad. She moved with her family to Dallas, Texas after her father was hired at St. Paul’s Hospital. Conrad went on to receive her B.A. degree in economics from Wellesley College in 1976 and her Ph.D. degree in economics from Stanford University in 1982.

Conrad began her career in academia in 1981 when she was hired as an assistant professor of economics at Duke University. From there, she taught at Barnard College and then Pomona College as a Stedman-Sumner professor of economics. In 2002, Conrad was named California’s Carnegie Professor of the Year. Two years later, she became associate dean of Pomona College. During her time as a college administrator, Conrad continued to publish on the issue of race and gender on economic status. After taking a two year hiatus to serve as interim vice president and dean of the faculty at Scripps College, Conrad returned to Pomona College as vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college. In 2013, Conrad left Pomona to join the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as the vice president of the MacArthur Fellows Program. After two years at the foundation, Conrad became the managing director of both the MacArthur Fellows Program and 100&Change. In 2019, Conrad became chief executive officer of Lever for Change, an affiliate of the MacArthur Foundation focused on high impact philanthropic opportunities.

Conrad served as editor of The Review of Black Political Economy and an associate editor of Feminist Economics. She has published articles on economics, liberal arts education, and philanthropy in peer-reviewed journals and popular media. While working at Pomona College, Conrad also directed the American Economic Association’s “Pipeline Mentoring Program,” matching students enrolled in a Ph.D. program in economics with mentors in the field. In 2007, Conrad became the president of the International Association for Feminist Economics. She is on the board of trustees at Muhlenberg College, Bryn Mawr College, the Poetry Foundation, and the National Academy of Social Insurance.

Conrad has received numerous awards for her work. Her co-edited collection of essays, African Americans in the US Economy, was named a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title of 2005. Three years later, she received the National Urban League’s 2008 Woman of Power Award. She has also received honorary doctorates from Claremont Graduate University and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Conrad and her husband, Llewellyn Miller, have one child: Conrad Miller.

Cecilia Conrad was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 12, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.049

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/12/2019

Last Name

Conrad

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A

Schools

Wellesley College

Stanford Graduate School of Business

First Name

Cecilia

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

CON08

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

1/4/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Foundation executive and academic administrator Cecilia Conrad (1955 - ) served as managing director of the MacArthur Fellows Program and 100&Change before becoming chief executive officer of Lever for Change.

Employment

Pomona College

Scripps College

American Economic Association

Barnard College, Columbia University

Duke University

The Review of Black Political Economy

Feminist Economics

MacArthur Foundation

Favorite Color

Red