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ScienceMakers have made advances in scientific research and include chemists, engineers, and physicists, as well as science education administrators.

Isaiah Blankson

Aerospace scientist Isaiah Blankson was born on September 28, 1944 in Cape Coast, Ghana. He received his B.S. degree in 1969, M.S. degree in 1970, and Ph.D. degree in 1973, each in aeronautics and astronautics, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In 1982, Blankson joined General Electric Corporate Research Center (GRC), in Schenectady, New York, where he conducted research on hypervelocity plasma-armature projectile launchers, and gas-dynamic circuit breakers. He went on to NASA as program director of the Generic Hypersonics program, in 1988, and was named deputy director of Hypersonics Research Division, at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., in 1991. He was promoted to senior technologist in the Hypersonics division at NASA Glenn Research Center, in Cleveland, Ohio in 1997. Blankson’s pioneering work advanced the state of the art air breathing hypersonic wave riders, and aircraft-engine concepts. Blankson conducted research on non-equilibrium weakly-ionized plasmas and magneto hydrodynamics (MHD), plasma discharges in dielectric liquids, and magnetic suspension systems.

In 1998, Blankson, an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, served as the U.S. national delegate to the NATO Research and Technology Organization’s Working Group on Hypersonic Vehicle Technology. During his career, he as worked to prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers, especially underrepresented minorities, by aiding the building of research programs. He led the formation of the NASA-sponsored Center for Aero propulsion at Hampton University, and the NASA Center of Excellence at North Carolina A&T State University, serving as technical monitor and advisor.

At NASA, his contributions to the development of concepts for high-speed air breathing propulsion resulted in many awards and patents. Included on the list of patents: the Exoskeletal Gas-Turbine Engine (U.S. patent 6,393,831-B1, 2002), and the Magneto-Hydrodynamic Power (MHD) Controlled Gas Turbine (U.S. patent 6,696,774-B1, 2004). In addition, he co-developed a Method for Weakening Shockwave Strength on Vehicles in Supersonic Atmospheric Flight (2015, US Patent 9,016,632 B1).

Blankson has received numerous awards, including the 1969 Luis de Florez Award for excellence in engineering from MIT, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal in 2002, National Emerald Honors Scientist of the Year Award in 2006, two Presidential Rank Awards: The 2012 Distinguished Senior Professional Award, and the 2006 Meritorious Senior Professional Award. In 2018, he was awarded the NASA Exceptional Technology Achievement Medal in recognition of his development of Nonequilibrium Plasma technology for aerospace and terrestrial applications.

Isaiah Blankson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 26, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.193

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/26/2018

Last Name

Blankson

Maker Category
Middle Name

M

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Isaiah

Birth City, State, Country

Cape Coast

HM ID

BLA19

Favorite Season

September

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cape Cod

Favorite Quote

Nobody Is Your Friend When They Demand Your Silence.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

9/28/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

Ghana

Favorite Food

Angel Hair Spaghetti

Short Description

Aerospace scientist Isaiah Blankson (1944- ) became senior technologist in the Hypersonics division at NASA Glenn Research Center in 1997. Blankson received the NASA Medal for Exceptional Services for outstanding contributions to the development of technologies for high-speed flight, in 2002.

Favorite Color

Beige

Raye Jean Montague

Engineer Raye Jean Montague was born on January 21, 1935 in Little Rock, Arkansas to Rayford Jordan and Flossie Graves Jordan. Montague graduated from Merrill High School in Pine Bluff, Arkansas in 1952, and enrolled at Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical & Normal College (now called The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff). Initially, Montague aspired to study engineering, but received her B.S. degree in business because the engineering program did not accept African American students.

In 1956, Montague joined the U.S. Navy in Carderock, Maryland, and was stationed at David Taylor Model Basin (now the Naval Surface Warfare Center). Montague worked as a clerk typist for several years, before becoming a digital computer systems operator and a computer systems analyst at the Naval Ship Engineering Center in Washington D.C. Montague was promoted to program director of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) integrated design, manufacturing, and maintenance program; and she also served as the division head of the Navy’s computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing program. In 1971 Montague became the first person to design a naval ship using a computer, producing the first draft for the FFG-7 Frigate in under nineteen hours. Montague was the U.S. Navy’s first female program manager of ships and the first program manager of the information systems improvement program. Over the course of her career, Montague worked on the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower as well as the Navy’s first landing craft helicopter-assault ship. She retired from the U.S. Navy in 1990.

In 1972, Montague received the U.S. Meritorious Civilian Service Award, and was also nominated for the Federal Woman of the Year Award by the secretary of the Navy. In 1982, Montague became the first female engineer to receive the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Achievement Award. She also received the National Computer Graphics Association Award for Advancement of Computer Graphics in 1988. Montague was the first woman to serve on the board of directors for the Numerical Control Society; and she also held memberships with LifeQuest of Arkansas, The Links Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the Arkansas Association of University Women, and the American Contract Bridge League. Montague was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2013, and Arkansas Women's Hall of Fame in 2018. In May of 2018, she was conferred an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Montague passed away on October 10, 2018.

Raye Jean Montague was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 20, 2017.

Accession Number

A2018.041

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/12/2018

Last Name

Montague

Maker Category
Middle Name

Jean Jordan

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Raye

Birth City, State, Country

Little Rock

HM ID

MON12

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Karaca Island

Favorite Quote

The Best Is Yet To Come

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Arkansas

Birth Date

1/21/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Little Rock

Favorite Food

Chili

Death Date

10/10/2018

Short Description

Engineer Raye Jean Montague (1935 - 2018) was the first person to design a naval ship using a computer, and the first female program director in the history of the U.S. Navy.

Favorite Color

Blue

William Guillory

Professor William Guillory was born on December 4, 1938 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Merix and Agatha Guillory. He attended Joseph A. Craig Elementary School and graduated from Joseph A. Clark High School. Guillory received his B.A. degree in chemistry and physics and graduated magna cum laude from Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1960. He received his Ph.D degree in chemical physics from University of California, Berkeley, and a National Science Foundation Fellowship to complete postgraduate studies at the University of Paris, The Sorbonne in 1964.

In 1965, Guillory served as assistant professor of chemistry at Howard University until 1969 and became associate professor of chemistry at Drexel University. In 1974, he joined the faculty at the University of Utah and served as chair of the chemistry department from 1980 to 1984. He also co-founded the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) in 1972. Guillory also held lecturer and visiting professor positions at Atlanta University, the University of Bielefield in Germany and was awarded the Ralph Metcalfe Chair at Marquette University in 1982, and received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Lectureship at University of California, Berkeley and was selected Ad Honorem professor of chemistry at the University of Puerto Rico, San Juan in 1983. Guillory also received an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and an Alexander von Humbolt Senior Scientist appointment at the University of Frankfurt.

He served as an advisor and worked in association with the United States Bureau of Standards, United States Naval Ordnance Laboratory, Environmental Protection Agency, National Science Foundation, and Eastman Kodak Company. In 1983, Guillory established Innovations International to provide broad initiatives incorporating seminars and training on organizational issues such as diversity, high performance, and quantum-thinking.

Guillory has conducted seminars around the world including Creating Culturally Compatible Living and Working Environments; The New Leadership for the 21st Century—The FuturePerfect Organization; The Age of Human Potential—Creating Human Capital; Diversity–The Unifying Force of the 21st Century. His published books include Realizations; It’s All An Illusion; The Roadmap to Diversity, Inclusion, and High Performance; The Guides; Empowerment for High-Performing Organizations; The Business of Diversity; and The Living Organization—Spirituality in the Workplace. His most recent publications include The FuturePerfect Organization—Driven by Quantum Leadership; Tick Tock… Who Broke the Clock—Solving the Work-Life Balance Equation; Animal Kingdom—A Diversity Fable; and How to Become a Total Failure—The Ten Rules of Highly Unsuccessful People. He recently published four fiction books focused on global compatibility titled The Pleiadian Series: The Pleiadians; The Hunt for the Billionaire Club; The Consortium, and; The Aftermath.

Guillory has facilitated seminars for organizations, including Microsoft, Toyota Financial Services, NASA, Lockheed Martin, Dow Chemical, US Department of Health and Human Services, US Department of Agriculture, ChevronTexaco, Kodak, and many other Fortune 500 organizations.

Guillory has one adult son, Daniel, and two adult daughters Lea and Kayla.

William Guillory was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 16, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.009

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/16/2018

Last Name

Guillory

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Joseph A. Craig School

Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School

Dillard University

University of California, Berkeley

First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

GUI05

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris

Favorite Quote

That Which I Dislike In Others Is a Mirror Reflection of Myself

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Utah

Birth Date

12/4/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Salt Lake City

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Professor William Guillory (1938 - ) was professor of chemistry and department chair at the University of Utah from 1974 to 1984. He also established Innovations International to provide training on organizational issues such as empowerment and diversity.

Employment

Innovations Consulting

University of Utah

Drexel University

Howard University

Favorite Color

Gray & Black

Emery N. Brown

Statistician, anesthesiologist and neuroscientist Emery N. Brown was born in Ocala, Florida to Benjamin Brown and Alberta Brown. After graduating from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1974, Brown enrolled at Harvard College and went on to earn his B.A. degree in applied mathematics in 1978 before spending one year as an International Rotary fellow at the Institut Fourier des Mathèmatiques Pures in Grenoble, France. Brown returned to Harvard University and graduated in 1984 with his A.M. degree in statistics, his M.D. degree in anesthesiology from Harvard Medical School (HMS) in 1987 and his Ph.D. degree in statistics in 1988.

Brown completed his internship in internal medicine in 1988 at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and his residency in anesthesiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in 1992. Following completion of his residency he joined the anesthesiology staff in the Department of Anesthesia at MGH and the faculty at Harvard Medical School as an instructor. In 1999, he joined the faculty of the Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Division of Health Sciences and Technology at HMS. In 2005, Brown was named a professor of computational neuroscience and professor of health and sciences technology at MIT. In 2006, he became the Massachusetts General Hospital Professor of Anesthesia at HMS; and, in 2008, he was named the Warren M. Zapol Professor of Anesthesia at HMS. Brown was internationally recognized for using statistics in the development of signal processing algorithms in order to study how systems in the brain represent and transmit information and for his use of functional neuroimaging to study in humans how anesthetic drugs act in the brain to create the state of general anesthesia. He has developed statistical methods to: study learning and memory formation; design algorithms for neural prosthetic control; improve signal extraction from fMRI imaging time-series; localize dynamically sources of neural activity in the brain from electroencephalography (EEG) and magneto-encephalography (MEG) recordings; measure the period of the circadian pacemaker (human biological clock) and its sensitivity to light; characterize the dynamics of human heart beats in physiological and pathological states; and de-noise two-photon in vivo imaging data.

Brown has been recognized for his work throughout his career. In addition to being one of the most cited African American mathematicians, in 2000, Brown won the National Science Foundation (NSF) Minority Career Advancement Award, a National Institute of Mental Health Independent Scientist Award, and in 2007, an National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s Pioneer Award. He has been named a fellow of several prominent professional organizations including the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, the American Statistical Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Brown is also a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

Emery N. Brown was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 22, 2013.

Accession Number

A2017.125

Sex

Male

Interview Date
08/10/2017
Last Name

Brown

Maker Category
Middle Name

N.

Organizations
First Name

Emery

Birth City, State, Country

Ocala

HM ID

BRO64

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martinique

Favorite Quote

Nothing is supposed to work.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

12/20/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cambridge

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salad

Short Description

Statistician, anesthesiologist and neuroscientist Emery N. Brown the Warren M. Zapol Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard University Medical School, and is one of the most cited African American mathematicians in academic journals.

Favorite Color

Blue, to wear, black

Ivan Yaeger

Inventor and nonprofit executive Ivan Yaeger was born on June 7, 1967 in Miami, Florida to Elliott Yaegar, Jr. and Ollie Yaegar. He attended Miami Shores Elementary School and North Miami Junior High School before he graduated from Miami Central Senior High School in 1984. Yaeger went on to earn his B.B.A. degree in business management and organization from the University of Miami in 1988.

While at the University of Miami, Yaeger filed his first patent for the Yaeger Prosthetic Arm, a prosthetic arm controlled through activating sensors on the human body. He also began the Yaeger Innovative Products Corporation in 1996 and became its chief executive officer. In 1991, Yaeger began working as a pupil advocate for AESOP, a mentoring program for minorities within Miami Dade Public Schools. Yaeger then founded the Yaeger Foundation, Inc. in 1995 which in 1997 started the Technology Leaders Initiative, a workshop program for students of all ages. During the same year, Yaegar became the corporate relations manager for INROADS, Inc. In 2000, Yaeger founded Yaeger Companies, which combined all of his previous endeavors under the name of one company. He gained national attention when he created prosthetic arms for an eleven-year-old named Diamond Excell, who was born without arms. Yaeger filed another patent in 2006, for a mechanical hand kit that was used in the Technology Leaders Initiative.

In addition to his work with the Yaeger Foundation, Yaeger also served his community through service on a variety of boards that included the Wellness Committee for Miami Dade Public Schools and the Miami Children’s Initiative.

Ivan and The Yaeger Arm have appeared in over one hundred broadcasts and publications such as The Today Show, National Medical Association Journal, M.I.T Inventor of the Week Archive, The Johns Hopkins Newsletter, Jet magazine, People magazine and the United States Patent & Trademark Office’s website and Minority Inventors: America’s Tapestry of Innovation video.

Yaeger has been recognized and honored for his innovations and community involvement many times. In 1992, he received the Father Surrogate of the Year Award from the Urban League. In 2002, the U.S. Patent Office named him as a distinguished innovator. He was also the recipient of the ICON Award in 2006 and the Distinguished Achievement Award in 2011. Yaeger was inducted into the Miami Dade Public Schools Hall of Fame in 2017.

Ivan Yaeger was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 10, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.063

Sex

Male

Interview Date

03/10/2017

Last Name

Yaeger

Maker Category
Schools

Miami Shores Elementary School

North Miami Middle School

Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School

Miami Central Senior High School

University of Miami

First Name

Ivan

Birth City, State, Country

Miami

HM ID

YAE01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Palm Beach, Florida

Favorite Quote

If Your Mind Can Conceive It And Your Heart Believe It Then You Can Achieve It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

6/7/1967

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Miami

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lobster

Short Description

Inventor and nonprofit executive Ivan Yaeger (1967 - ) invented the Yaeger Prosthetic Arm, and served as founder and CEO of Yaeger Companies and the Yaeger Foundation.

Employment

Y.I.P. Corporation

Miami Dade Public Schools

The Yaeger Foundation, Inc.

INROADS S. Florida, Inc.

The Yaeger Companies

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:875,21:1445,28:3155,54:5815,113:6480,132:14519,423:28618,537:29257,549:40016,706:43729,754:48357,905:68471,1442:69005,1450:69450,1470:78420,1513$0,0:1173,21:2277,62:2553,68:2829,74:3105,79:3657,88:4761,112:5175,119:6210,140:9724,267:18652,378:33342,667:37962,734:42847,982:69500,1263
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ivan Yaeger's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ivan Yaeger lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ivan Yaeger describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ivan Yaeger describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ivan Yaeger talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ivan Yaeger describes his likeness to his father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ivan Yaeger lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ivan Yaeger describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ivan Yaeger describes the sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ivan Yaeger talks about his early awareness of race

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Ivan Yaeger recalls his early interest in engineering

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Ivan Yaeger remembers moving to Miami Shores, Florida

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Ivan Yaeger describes his early academic interests

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Ivan Yaeger remembers learning about science from his father

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Ivan Yaeger recalls the start of his interest in prosthetics

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Ivan Yaeger remembers his favorite children's television shows

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Ivan Yaeger recalls building his first prosthetic device

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ivan Yaeger describes his first prosthetic arm invention

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ivan Yaeger recalls his activities at Miami Central Senior High School in Miami, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ivan Yaeger remembers graduating from Miami Central Senior High School

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ivan Yaeger remembers securing his first patent for a prosthetic device

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ivan Yaeger remembers founding the Yaeger Innovative Products Corporations

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ivan Yaeger describes his education at the University of Miami

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ivan Yaeger recalls his early success with the Yaeger Innovative Products Corporation

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ivan Yaeger describes the Afrocentric Enhancement, Self-Esteem Opportunity Program

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ivan Yaeger talks about The Yaeger Foundation

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ivan Yaeger remembers working for INROADS, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ivan Yaeger remembers his mentees at INROADS, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ivan Yaeger describes his inventing process

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ivan Yaeger remembers creating the Technology Leaders Initiative

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ivan Yaeger talks about his corporate and academic partners

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ivan Yaeger recalls founding The Yaeger Companies

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ivan Yaeger remembers the Y2K scare

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ivan Yaeger remembers creating prosthetic arms for Diamond Excell

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ivan Yaeger describes the advancements in prosthetic technology

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ivan Yaeger remembers the celebration for Diamond Excell's prosthetic arms

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Ivan Yaeger describes his Bionic/Robotic Hand Kit competition

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Ivan Yaeger talks about building Yeager Plaza in Miami, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Ivan Yaeger describes his medical partnerships

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Ivan Yaeger describes his plans for the future

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ivan Yaeger talks about the future of prosthetic technology

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ivan Yaeger describes his family's role in The Yaeger Companies

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ivan Yaeger reflects upon his life

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ivan Yaeger describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ivan Yaeger describes about his family

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ivan Yaeger talks about the importance of defying stereotypes

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ivan Yaeger describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ivan Yaeger narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ivan Yaeger narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

17$9

DATitle
Ivan Yaeger recalls building his first prosthetic device
Ivan Yaeger remembers the celebration for Diamond Excell's prosthetic arms
Transcript
Here you are, you're eleven years old when you decide that you're going to build a prosthetic arm. Now, how--so what was your--was your plan to make an arm that actually moved--$$Yes.$$--on its own?$$Absolutely.$$Okay.$$And, and I had so many remote control cars and other electronic toys and things that I figured I could take parts out of. So, I thought I was, you know, pretty well set to start experimenting and make this arm actually have articulated joints and operate electrically.$$Okay. So, what did you come up with? What, what was it like?$$This was an arm that had an electric elbow and hand, powered by batteries. And it had the grasping motion and the elbow flexion. And so, it was the basic movements of the, of the human arm, built with a lot of erector set parts, remote control car parts, and some things that were taken out of household appliances, and things that are around the house that I could get my hands on.$$All right. Did you have to replace those things at some point?$$There was that time of them coming over and finding out that something was taken apart. It was actually working before they left the room. So, I had, I had some moments of being in trouble, but after a while, they said, "We'll make a deal. We'll give you all the things that have broken. When they break, we'll give them to you, and you get some tools and you can, you can experiment." So, I, I was fortunate to end up with a box full of parts after a while that I was able to play around with.$$Okay.$Okay. Well, tell us about the, Diamond [Diamond Excell], you know, what, what actually happened and how did it really change her, her pro- prospects?$$It, it, to kind of--to give a little background of what happened to--when she received her arms, one of the things that she said when I asked her, "Well, what's the first thing you're going to do when you get your arms?" She said, "I'm going to hug my mom [Dalia Excell] for the first time with my own arms." And that was something that really drove us and inspired us, so we had a big celebration. It was her birthday, and the arms were her birthday present. She was going to go to seventh grade the following year. And so, reporters from around the world were there to watch this moment of what was considered impossible become possible. And over a hundred news outlets covered it. And whether she walked out and went to the, front of the, the room to the stage, and hugged her mom with her arms the first time. And so, that was an exciting moment. It was inspiration for both of us who worked on the project. It was seeing her face when that dream became reality. And, and for her to have a chance to know what it would be like to have upper limbs, which is something that we all take for granted.

Robert Bragg

Physicist and engineer Robert Henry “Pete” Bragg, Jr. was born on August 11, 1919 in Jacksonville, Florida to Robert Henry Bragg and Lily Camille MacFarland. He had one older sister, Alberta, a younger sister, Nadine, and a younger brother, Johnny. After his parents separated, Bragg lived with his mother and grandmother in Memphis, Tennessee, but he was encouraged by his family to move to Chicago, Illinois, to live with his Aunt Edna and Uncle Teddy where he attended Tilden Technical High School. Bragg pursued higher education at Woodrow Wilson Junior College, a community college in Chicago, Illinois, for a couple of years before enlisting in the military during World War II. Using the money allotted to him from the G.I. Bill to attend Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Bragg pursued a career in physics following the war. He received his B.S. degree in physics in 1949 and continued his graduate studies under the tutelage of Frances L. Yost, graduating from IIT in 1951 with his M.S. degree and his thesis on quantum mechanical scattering theories.

Following his graduation, Bragg was hired at the Dover Electroplating Company on the North Side of Chicago, and then the Portland Cement Association Research Laboratory. While working with the latter of these companies, Bragg became an expert in x-ray crystallography and xray diffraction. He was then hired by the Armour Research Foundation at IIT, where he worked for another five years while continuing his graduate studies working under his mentor, Dr. Leonid V. Azaroff. Bragg completed his studies at IIT in 1960 and earned his Ph.D. degree in physics.

Bragg was then hired by Lockheed Martin Missile and Space, where he worked for nine years before joining the faculty of the materials science and engineering department at the University of California, Berkeley in June of 1969. Bragg served as chair of the materials science and engineering department from 1978 to 1981, the only African American to do so at that time. Bragg’s research interests included x-ray diffraction and its application to such topics as the structure and electronic properties of carbon materials. There materials were used in aircraft and aerospace vehicles as well as in everyday items such as golf clubs and tennis rackets. He taught at the university and conducted research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) until 1986. After his retirement, Bragg was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 1992 to conduct research for one year at the University of Ife in Nigeria. He also performed research at the Advanced Photon Source at the Argonne National Laboratory in 1999.

Bragg’s investigations in chemistry and physics earned him numerous honors and awards throughout his career. He was named a fellow of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) in 1995 and a professor emeritus of the University of California, Berkeley upon his retirement in 1987.

Bragg passed away on October 3, 2017 at age 98.

Accession Number

A2011.003

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

3/11/2011

Last Name

Bragg

Middle Name

Henry

Organizations
Schools

Carnes Elementary School

St. Anthony School

Woodstock Middle School

Edward Tilden Career Community Academy High School

Illinois Institute of Technology

Search Occupation Category
Archival Photo 2
First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Jacksonville

HM ID

BRA12

Favorite Season

Spring, Early Fall

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

N/A

Favorite Quote

Be Cool.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

8/11/1919

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/Oakland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Greens

Death Date

10/3/2017

Short Description

Physics professor and physicist Robert Bragg (1919 - 2017 ) was a leader in the techniques of x-ray diffraction and the study of carbon-based materials, and served as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley from 1969 to 1987.

Employment

Cadney's Tea Room

Beat Plumming and Heating

Palmer House

D.S. Signet Elementary Training

Research Lab Portland Cement Association

ITT Research Institute

Lockheed Martin

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Black, Dark Blue, Beige, Brown

Timing Pairs
0,0:5118,39:15000,97:19466,131:22952,207:23699,218:24197,225:24861,234:25442,248:31676,280:38330,372:45178,431:45506,436:47064,459:47556,467:67280,636:68344,648:70244,678:76770,744:78860,756:86260,817:91020,905:91510,917:95858,960:102930,1083:106390,1129:107065,1148:107365,1153:112960,1171:113376,1180:117998,1259:125683,1342:126442,1358:131310,1425:139740,1536:140760,1554:142790,1559:143178,1564:143566,1569:144342,1602:157748,1734:159380,1768:159652,1773:159924,1778:160400,1787:160944,1797:161284,1803:170414,1871:184150,1983:184630,1990:206597,2205:210869,2281:221263,2399:222073,2456:237010,2635$0,0:1302,13:2442,31:3810,63:4722,77:7260,92:10529,127:10757,132:11156,141:12011,161:12467,172:13607,200:14006,209:14291,216:14576,222:20082,251:20690,260:21602,275:24783,289:25351,298:26132,311:26487,317:27836,350:28546,362:29114,380:29469,386:32073,401:32535,411:32843,416:38257,493:38562,499:39416,517:39660,522:44160,563:48152,589:48880,597:53114,635:53402,640:53906,648:57642,658:58279,667:58643,672:59371,681:59735,686:60463,696:61009,704:65536,743:65996,749:67870,757:69286,781:69699,789:71420,803:73590,854:74080,863:75550,902:78560,960:78910,966:83864,1005:84088,1010:84536,1020:85096,1036:85376,1042:86440,1057:86832,1065:87392,1077:88232,1096:90470,1103:91019,1118:91812,1133:92239,1141:92788,1152:93337,1163:93764,1172:94069,1178:96126,1187:96416,1193:97228,1217:97692,1228:99374,1258:99780,1263:104538,1326:105168,1338:107208,1347:107588,1353:110324,1403:111312,1417:113212,1446:113896,1460:114200,1466:114504,1471:115036,1480:115796,1492:119490,1519:125180,1599:125380,1606:126080,1628:126380,1636:126780,1646:128700,1652:135696,1811:136224,1825:136488,1830:137148,1842:137478,1848:141635,1874:144086,1932:145340,1959:146366,1985:147563,2023:147791,2028:148247,2038:148817,2051:149216,2060:150014,2082:150584,2094:151040,2105:152180,2133:153263,2153:153662,2161:154004,2169:158940,2188:159252,2193:159954,2205:160578,2218:161592,2234:162918,2252:171050,2292:171425,2298:171725,2303:176130,2343:180460,2364:181825,2393:182475,2405:184812,2421:186348,2438:186860,2447:191905,2502:192307,2509:195730,2533:196990,2548:197242,2553:198061,2569:201420,2590:202780,2622:203664,2638:204140,2647:205228,2661:205704,2669:206452,2685:206792,2692:207064,2697:207472,2705:207744,2710:208152,2718:208492,2724:211620,2782:211960,2788:212436,2806:212912,2814:213524,2825:217648,2838:220256,2875:222536,2883:223119,2897:223490,2906:223702,2911:226276,2934:227910,2964:228360,2974:228560,2979:229360,3003:229560,3008:230160,3027:230960,3045:231260,3052:233750,3079:240198,3200:241002,3215:243858,3226:244290,3235:244668,3244:245478,3263:245694,3268:245910,3273:249032,3321:249604,3334:251987,3358:252724,3366:253796,3385:254064,3390:254801,3412:255538,3424:264850,3552:265340,3561:267510,3599:268350,3613:268770,3620:269050,3625:275493,3680:275919,3688:276842,3705:277126,3710:278130,3717
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert Bragg's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg shares his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg talks about his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg talks about his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg talks about his father

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg explains how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg talks about his mother's half-sister who was in show business

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg discusses his parents' marriage and their separation

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg talks about his mother's second marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg talks about his resemblance to certain family members

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg shares his early childhood memories, part 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg shares his early childhood memories, part 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert Bragg describes his upbringing in Memphis, Tennessee, part 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg recalls growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, part 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg talks about his elementary school experience, part 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg talks about his elementary experience, part 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg discusses his awareness of African American organizations

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg recalls his family's move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg describes himself as a teenager

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg talks about living in Chicago, Illinois with his uncle

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg describes his uncle's work for Oscar DePriest as a plumber

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg describes his experience at Tilden Technical High School in Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg talks about is experience at Wilson Junior College

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg talks about his service in the Army Air Corps, part 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg talks about his service in the Army Air Corps, part 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg recalls taking aptitude tests and joining the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg recounts his experience in his U.S. Army laundry unit

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg describes his direct commission to officer in the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg describes his army experience in the Philippines

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg describes his army experience in Japan

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg talks about a murder that occurred while he served in the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg talks about going to college after his return from the U.S. Army

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg talks about earning his master's degree at the Illinois Institute of Technology

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg tells how he met his wife

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg remembers looking for a job after earning his master's degree

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg recalls his experience of integrating the cafeteria at Portland Cement Association

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg describes his work at the Portland Cement Association

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg remembers looking for a new job after the Portland Cement Association

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg remembers doing well on a test at North Carolina A&T College

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg talks about his work at the Armour Research Foundation

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg describes his PhD dissertation, part 1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg describes his PhD dissertation, part 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg talks about his job at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg describes his involvement in the Palo Alto community

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg details his laboratory work on the properties of carbon

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Robert Bragg talks about his travels while working at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg recalls discussions of race relations in Argentina and the U.S.

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg talks about his position at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg discusses the role of African Americans in science

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg continues discussing the role of African Americans in science

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg talks about his accomplishments at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg discusses his research at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg talks about his most significant scientific achievements, part 1

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg talks about his most significant scientific achievements, part 2

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg talks about his work as a detailee with the U.S. Department of Energy, part 1

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg talks about his work as a detailee with the U.S. Department of Energy, part 2

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg talks about his other professional positions

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg responds to a question about black student preparedness

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg discusses African American organizations

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg talks about his family and reflects on his decisions

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg recalls being a busboy at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg discusses his involvement in University of California, Berkeley committees

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg talks about his appointment as faculty assistant to the chancellor

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Robert Bragg talks about his best students at University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Robert Bragg reflects on his life's accomplishments

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Robert Bragg shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Robert Bragg talks about his scientific legacy

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Robert Bragg talks about his immediate family

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Robert Bragg explains the origins of his nickname "Pete" and reflects on his life's accomplishments

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Robert Bragg describes his photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$7

DAStory

6$7

DATitle
Robert Bragg shares his early childhood memories, part 1
Robert Bragg details his laboratory work on the properties of carbon
Transcript
You have good stories. Do you have an earliest childhood memory?$$Yes and no. I don't, I can't really put my finger on it, but I almost think I can remember when my sister [Nadine Maryann] was born. Now, that's not really possible because I was only two years old. But I have this dim recollection of some people coming and going in the house and I'm associating that with the birth of my younger sister, two years later. The next recollection I have is when we were on this homestead where--now, how we got there, I don't know. But sugarcane was grown there. And what they would do would be to harvest this sugarcane and make a preliminary extraction of the sweet juice from the sugarcane. And the way it was done was, they had a mill which was a couple of stones, large stones that are juxtaposed. So, and they're rolled, and the power for rolling these mills--these stones was a mule who went around in a circle. And he just sort of kept plodding around and rolling these stones and they would feed the stalks of cane into the stone and the drippings would collect in a barrel. And that was eventually fermented or distilled and made into sugar. And I can remember that you could chew this cane. It was rather sweet, and to this day, I'm sure people do that, but not the way the sugarcane was extracted. But apparently, they would boil this material, and there was a scum that collected off of it. And they would put that scum in a barrel, and it would ferment and would change into alcohol and rather potent. So the term sugar barrel high came from people who would, n'er-do-wells, would sit next to this barrel and dip this cane (laughter), this fermenting liquor to get high (laughter). So I don't know whether that comes later or not, but I do have this image of this mule going around, powering the stones. And the next one is when we moved to, from the lumber camp to Chicago [Illinois]--to Memphis [Tennessee] because then, just before that we're in this lumber camp, I had a pet alligator. Apparently, out in the woods, they had killed this alligator and brought home this, his little, you know, babies. So I had this pet alligator, have nothing, no further, nothing beyond that, but I do remember I had a pet alligator.$$He was a little one.$$Yeah, about so long, hang onto your finger you know.$$(Laughter).$$And I remember there was a guitar player who hung out at this juke who would come by the house. And sometimes he would play. And then one time, he showed up, there had been a big fight, and they'd broken his (laughter) guitar. So, beyond that, these are my earliest childhood recollections.$Okay, so now meanwhile, in the laboratory, you're studying the properties of carbon?$$Yeah, that was very interesting. And it came about in this way. When we, when I got there, the big program--and that was what I liked about it. I didn't like the military aspects of the missiles, but Lockheed Missiles and Space Company [California]. So it was involved in both, you see. I could always absolve myself of some blame by just thinking of, about space (laughter). To tell you the truth, I never really sweated it that much. But when I arrived there, the big program was the ballistic missile program. And one of the big programs with that is reentry. When you fire missiles into space and when it comes, when it reenters, ordinarily it would burn up because the aerodynamic heating would be such that it's going so fast, you know, faster than the speed of sound. And once it enters the earth's atmosphere, it just catches--you know, ordinary materials would burn up. And to this day, perhaps you read about the shuttle and the tiles coming off and burning through and burning up and all that. Well, a lot of work went into finding materials, hopefully, passive, which meant it would just do--they would not burn up so badly. And the material that does that better than any other is carbon. So that led to a lot of research on carbon. Union Carbide [Corporation], carbon producing companies which produce electrodes for manufacturing steel and all that, they also had projects to manufacture carbon for the space program, you know, the program. But the government was paying for all of that. They didn't do any of that on their own money because it wasn't that big a market. Once you built something, it wasn't--you didn't do hundreds of tons. You'd just do a few, you know. But a whole lot of manpower went into research on these materials. And so we had people around there who were studying the thermo-physical properties and the reentry properties and the tinsel properties and all that. And I loved that because I could do all kinds of physics, you know, in addition to what I was doing in characterizing the material. All that relates back to structure. So not long after I got there, I got involved in the reentry materials program. And there was a conference in Japan that occurred in '62 [1962], I guess it was, that they sent me to because some of it had to do with carbon materials. And also there was a chemical company in--I forget which town it was, but off of the beaten path of the conference, that (unclear) that made a material called glassy carbon which seemed to have very novel properties that might be useful in our reentry vehicles. So I made a side trip to this town in Japan where they, you know, put on the big dog and gave me this sales pitch (laughter), brought some of it back, little pieces, you know. And it turned out that it really was no good for that purpose at all, thermo shock, you know. If you heat something very quickly, and it expands very quickly, it'll fly apart unless it's strong enough. So it didn't have that thermo-shock resistance.$$So it wouldn't burn, but it would fly apart?$$Yeah, just fly apart. But in the meantime, because it was secret, we couldn't tell the Japanese, couldn't tell them what we wanted to do, and so it meant we had to reinvent the wheel. So we had a big program reinventing how to make glassy carbon. And I have a lamp back there in my room that's, the bowl of it is glassy carbon. But we never did get a patent on it because--well, I don't know what the reason was except that somehow we had licenses, let people have licenses to produce it, but we never patented it. But anyway, that's how I got into carbon.

Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr.

Orthopaedic surgeon, chemical engineer and astronaut Robert Lee Satcher, Jr. was born on September 22, 1965 in Hampton, Virginia to Robert and Marian Satcher. Satcher graduated from Denmark-Olar High School in Denmark, South Carolina, in 1982. He received his B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1986; his Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering from MIT in 1993; and his M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School in 1994. Satcher completed his postdoctoral research fellowships at MIT in 1994 and University of California, Berkeley in 1998; internship and residency in orthopaedic surgery at the University of California, San Francisco in 2000; and a fellowship in musculoskeletal oncology at the University of Florida in 2001.

From 2001 to 2008, Satcher served as an assistant professor at The Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He was also an assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at the Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois from 2001 to 2008, and served as a professor at the Institute for Bionanotechnology in Medicine at Northwestern University Medical Center. In addition, Satcher was an attending physician of orthopaedic oncology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center from 2001 to 2008; and served as an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Northwestern University from 2002 to 2008.

Satcher joined NASA in 2004. In 2009, he became the first orthopaedic surgeon in space during NASA’s STS-129 mission, where he was a mission specialist and performed two spacewalks. Satcher left NASA in September 2011, and serves as a surgical oncologist and assistant professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Satcher’s professional organizations include the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Musculoskeletal Tumor Society, American Academy of Cancer Research, Connective Tissue Oncology Society, National Medical Association, Society of Black Academic Surgeons, Doctors United in Medical Missions, National Comprehensive Cancer Network, American Telemedicine Association, Orthopaedic Research Society, MIT Alumni Association, Black Alumni at MIT and Harvard Alumni Association. In addition, he co-founded the eHealth Research Institute, is a user panel member of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, and serves on the boards of CSTEM and Teach for America.

Satcher has been active in numerous community organizations, including Big Brother for Youth at Risk Counseling Program, Department of Corrections, San Francisco, California; Tutor for Black Student’s Union Tutorial Program, MIT; National Society of Black Engineers; American Institute of Chemical Engineering; Supervising Adult for Cub Scout Camp for Boys, Nashville, Tennessee; Open Airways Tutor (asthma awareness); Proctor for Freshman Dormitory at Harvard University; Lay Episcopal Minister at St. Edmund’s Episcopal Church, Chicago, Illinois and at St. James Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas. Satcher has also completed medical missions for outreach care to underserved areas in Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Gabon.

Satcher was a National Merit Scholar, and received the Monsanto Award and the Albert G. Hill Award from MIT, fellowships from both the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and UNCF/Merck Research department, and is a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. He has been awarded two honorary doctorates of science, and was selected as a finalist in Tuskegee University’s presidency search in 2010.

Robert Satcher, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 3, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.047

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/3/2014 |and| 5/7/2014

Last Name

Satcher

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Lee

Schools

Denmark-Olar High School

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Harvard Medical School

Harvard

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Hampton

HM ID

SAT03

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

9/22/1965

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Unsalted Peanuts

Short Description

Orthopedic surgeon, chemical engineer, and astronaut Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. (1965 - ) was a surgical oncologist and assistant professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He became the first orthopedic surgeon in space during NASA’s STS-129 mission.

Employment

UT MD Anderson Cancer Center

Northwestern University

NASA Johnson Space Center

Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:625,88:12015,252:12440,258:19848,331:25180,438:25524,443:26900,468:27760,479:28104,484:28448,489:31372,545:31716,550:34124,587:35070,603:35672,611:38510,675:46061,731:46385,736:47114,746:48491,774:52217,852:56348,912:57158,925:58859,949:59183,954:60074,968:60803,978:61370,986:66992,1012:67356,1017:68539,1032:70268,1067:72998,1123:74090,1157:74545,1163:75182,1171:100792,1478:101380,1486:108320,1557:108824,1565:109400,1574:114478,1646:116590,1683:117206,1692:123975,1751:125685,1784:133736,1863:134204,1871:135686,1892:137246,1927:137636,1933:143178,1959:150259,2073:150744,2079:151326,2086:153930,2095:156424,2155:156940,2162:158144,2182:158488,2187:163090,2218:163834,2227:167450,2311:176330,2457:176650,2462:177370,2472:183269,2488:184846,2508:185427,2517:186091,2527:187004,2540:187336,2545:192644,2597:201444,2700:201884,2706:202588,2716:202940,2721:207340,2835:207780,2846:208748,2860:209188,2892:218874,2964:219746,2973:220509,2981:228935,3046:229592,3058:236440,3181:237610,3200:238510,3211:239950,3230:240760,3240:243460,3282:244180,3291:245170,3304:245800,3312:249880,3333:250510,3343:251680,3357:258770,3419:261350,3448:262070,3464:263590,3487:265590,3514:270390,3615:271670,3647:271990,3652:272390,3663:275300,3668:276147,3680:277687,3717:279920,3770:287040,3863:288210,3893:293300,3941$0,0:8514,130:12270,171:12760,180:13320,189:15788,215:16444,225:16772,230:17428,239:21780,285:22640,324:29348,396:30122,407:38985,501:39538,509:44278,603:44673,609:49650,704:49966,709:55284,720:57363,757:58287,771:58826,785:59134,790:61059,819:61829,830:63754,868:64293,876:72701,981:74794,1019:77797,1081:82702,1126:97435,1361:99560,1393:99985,1399:109505,1579:110015,1586:114884,1608:129768,1787:141174,1892:141462,1897:142038,1906:144414,1955:155112,2110:164834,2224:170450,2307:171074,2320:171854,2331:178360,2383:187828,2476:194592,2618:195732,2643:201440,2695:208520,2783:208840,2788:209320,2795:216506,2877:216874,2882:218438,2892:236225,3016:236525,3021:240200,3098:264436,3434:267988,3487:271688,3563:276390,3570:280090,3638:280460,3644:280756,3649:286572,3697:298230,3855:304100,3912:304496,3920:304958,3928:308900,3961:312350,4011:315510,4032:315888,4039:324426,4132:324882,4139:329892,4197:330854,4211:345960,4459
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr.'s interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his parent's civil rights activism

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his father and when his parents first started dating

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. lists his siblings, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. lists his siblings, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers developing an interest in science

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his early influences

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his aspiration to become a pilot

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers moving to Denmark, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers Denmark-Olar High School in Denmark, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his start at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his first year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his experiences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about the MIT Black Students' Union

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his transition from the South to Boston, Massachusetts, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his transition from the South to Boston, Massachusetts, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers the black faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about the influence of black astronauts

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his decision to study chemical engineering

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his decision to study medicine

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his dual graduate degree program

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his black peers and professors at Harvard Medical School

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his curriculum track at Harvard Medical School

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers Mae Jemison

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his decision to attend Harvard Medical School

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his Ph.D. degree program

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. reflects upon his decision to complete a dual degree graduate program

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his interest in orthopedic surgery

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his residency at the University of California, San Francisco

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr.'s interview, session 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers the influence of Emily Morey Holton

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls applying to become an astronaut

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about his work as a bone cancer surgeon

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his selection as an astronaut candidate

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his acceptance into the NASA Astronaut Corps

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his decision to join the NASA Astronaut Corps

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about the history of African American astronauts

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes basic training at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes basic training at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about Extravehicular Activity training

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about Extravehicular Activity training

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his family's perspective on his work as an astronaut

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers his flight assignment

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. remembers launch day on Space Shuttle Atlantis

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes his crewmates on the Space Shuttle Atlantis

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his experience of space shuttle takeoff, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his experience of space shuttle takeoff, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about the flight crew for Space Transport System 129 on Space Shuttle Atlantis

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes the process of acclimating to zero gravity

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about eating and sleeping in space

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes life on the International Space Station

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. talks about the mission schedule for Space Transport System 129

DASession

2$2

DATape

7$8

DAStory

1$2

DATitle
Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. describes basic training at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, pt. 1
Dr. Robert Satcher, Jr. recalls his experience of space shuttle takeoff, pt. 2
Transcript
Now I imagine--and correct me if I'm wrong--but you had a, there was a general training that everybody got and then a training around your specialty as a mission specialty--specialist, right?$$Um-hm.$$Okay.$$Yeah, when you start it now, you go through basic training which can be a year and a half or so on average and that's just because you've got all these people from different walks of life and you basically want them to be able to work together and you need to understand what that means too, just to be an astronaut, because you have no clue outside of pretty much what you have seen on TV in a popular culture like everybody else, so yeah. You go through a year of basic, a year and a half of basic training. One of the most important aspects of that training is learning how to fly and the jet trainers and T-38s [Northrop T-38 Talon], and that's a tool that they use for what's called crew resource management. Basically, it's how you work together as a crew in a dynamic environment; you know, in this case a jet but that simulates in a lot of ways of being in a spaceship.$$Now, had you ever flown before?$$Just a little bit. I mean, I had taken private lessons when--towards the end of my residency and fellowship and I was working towards getting my private license, but I hadn't gotten it yet, so I had flown some.$$Okay.$$But never in a supersonic jet, you know, in terms of piloting it, so that was all new. The other thing was we do a lot of training as mission specialists during spacewalk training in this gigantic pool called the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory and you go in spacesuits that have been made to be neutrally buoyant under water, so it simulates being in space, and, but you need to be scuba trained. You need to also train, do a lot of training specifically for being able to actually train in that facility, and so, that's part of your basic astronaut training, putting you through that whole process. For some of the water survival and land survival stuff, they sent us to different places. We went to Pensacola [Florida], to the naval flight training school [Naval Air Station Pensacola] there. There was some flight training there. We also went up to Maine to the Acadia national forest [Acadia National Park] to do some of our land survival training.$$This is in case it comes down place that it's not supposed to.$$Right, right. And then, we had training, like in geology; being able to explore landscapes, find important features. In a landscape that will tell you about the evolution of that particular environment. And so, we went out to New Mexico in order to do a lot of that training. Part of it, too, is the astronauts, of course, were the focal point for what NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration] does in human exploration. So, whenever they bring in a new class, you need to learn about NASA as an organization. NASA has, I believe, don't quote me on this, if I remember I think it's fourteen centers nationwide, and you go around and visit every center so that the people, the personnel that are at each of these centers have an opportunity to meet you and you have an opportunity to meet them. The spacecraft and the spaceships that we fly on are assembled collectively by all of the centers. It's directed primarily in certain areas, but there are parts and contributions from all of the centers that are brought together and so it's important to go and meet the people that are doing that because you really are entrusting them with your lives when you're flying on a spaceship, and so it's closing that loop so that they have a face, you know. They know that this isn't just some theoretical exercise. It's, you know, these are people that are depending on them, so it establishes that bond and, you know, so it's--its, that's part of your basic training. That's you know, what you do. You continue it also, once you, you know, finish basic training.$And, when you get to the eight and a half minutes you're going, you're traveling at 17,500 miles an hour, which is, if you do the calculation, it's five miles per second, which is actually faster than a bullet, but you're in this gigantic spaceship travelling that fast and, you know, it's as I said, by the time you get to that eight minute mark and you know you're almost getting ready for the engines to stop, you're ready for the engines to stop (laughter) because you know it's really, and I was sitting there and I was having to think about every breath, you know. I was like, man, I gotta think about breathing because my muscles are actually starting to get a little bit tired from having to do this work. So, when the engines cut off and we were officially in space, it was very nice. They cut off and then everything starts exploding and that's kind of a magical moment, you know. It cuts off and I was just anticipating it and I was like, oh man, everything's gonna start floating now. This is gonna be spectacular. And it was. You know. I didn't have one of my gloves. I didn't have it strapped on me the right way, so when I took it off it started floating off, you know, and I'm getting out of the seat and, you know, when you're under your buckle and then all of a sudden you're just floating, you know, and just floating around, it's a spectacular feeling and the one thing that we all do right when it happens is, you know, you go to the window and stare out, just like a bunch of kids, you know, because you want to look out and just take in you know, seeing Earth. It's like you need to mentally verify. I am in space because, again, this is just kind of unique once in a lifetime for many, kind of things, and I just immediately started thinking I want to just remember as much of this as I possibly can. What competes with that, of course, is you have a very busy schedule that you have to adhere to and you have a lot of duties, so--$$Can you remember the first thing you saw when you looked out the window?$$Uh, well, I looked out and I saw the Earth and we were, I think we were over Europe at the time.$$Could you make it out?$$Oh yeah, yeah. I mean, it looks like, yeah, that's what's incredible. It looks just like the globe that you have on your desk, but in vivid colors; just incredibly spectacular, vivid colors. More vivid than you can imagine. It just kind of blows you away, and it just exceeds what you think it's gonna look like, 'cause I had, I was thinking it was gonna look this way but then you see it and just the colors are so brilliant. That hasn't had, the reason is when you're in space you're outside the atmosphere and you're in a vacuum of space and so you have this unfiltered light, and the colors, like I said, are just really spectacular and brilliant and you know there's something that's, in certain ways, very spiritual about how it looks and how it grabs you and affects you. So, at any rate. The other thing that really you notice when you look down on the earth you know, you can see, you actually can see the atmosphere when you look, you know, kind of on a tangent on the earth. Let's say that's the earth and you look right on the side, you actually see the atmosphere, this layer, you know, of gas, oxygen and nitrogen, whatever, adherent to the Earth.$$Does it look like a lot of protection for the Earth?$$Well, no. (Laughter) It looks like a thin, delicate layer. You know, and you realize that it's like this fluid, just like, you know, a gas is basically a fluid, just like water; water much more dense of course, but that's what it looks like. It looks like this fluid that's adherent to the Earth and you realize that's what we breathe and that's, you know, and what it really made me realize is that it's not an infinite entity. It's quantifiable. You can see that and you can see its layer. It's like, well there's only so much of that that's there, you know, and that really kind of brings home the point that it really is a delicate system that we have here and, you know, it's obviously it's coming into focus now with a lot of the global climate changes and everything that are going on, but you really gain a very visceral appreciation for it when you can actually see it like that.$$It becomes more real then--$$It becomes very real (simultaneous).$$--(Simultaneous) that human beings could actually destroy this.$$Right. Yeah, we could definitely do that.

Victor McCrary

Chemist and education administrator Victor R. McCrary was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland and graduated from DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland in 1973. After receiving his B.A. degree in chemistry from The Catholic University of America in 1978, McCrary enrolled in Howard University and graduated with his Ph.D. degree in physical chemistry in 1985. He also earned his M.S. degree in engineering and technology management from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995.

In 1985, McCrary was hired as a member of the technical staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories where he conducted research on crystal growth of semiconductor lasers. From 1995 to 2003, he served as chief of the Convergent Information Systems Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). While there, McCrary headed the research & development program as well as the development of technical standards in areas such as biometrics, digital preservation, DVD reliability, digital TV, quantum communications, and electronic books. McCrary was employed at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) from 2003 to 2012. He was then appointed as vice president for Research and Economic Development at Morgan State University. In this position, McCrary was responsible for developing a comprehensive research strategy for Morgan State University and undertook such initiatives as encouraging cross disciplinary research, expanding the current base of external research programs, and developing opportunities to increase the University’s intellectual property portfolio.

McCrary has served as the chair and past-president for the Open Electronic Book Forum, an industry group dedicated to the development and promotion of standards for electronic books. He served on the advisory boards for several technology centers, including the Center for Advanced Nanoscale Materials at the University of Puerto Rico and the Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing at the University of Massachusetts. McCrary organized the world’s first conference on electronic books in October 1998, and was elected national president of NOBCChE in 2007.

McCrary has received numerous awards, including the Gold Medal from the Department of Commerce, the Percy E. Julian Award from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE). In 2005, he was featured in Science Spectrum magazine as one of the Top 50 Minorities in Science; and, in 2007, McCrary was elected to the 2007 DVD Hall of Fame by the DVD Association. U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine selected McCrary as the “Scientist of the Year” in the Black Engineer of the Year Awards in 2011. McCrary is a member of the Library of Congress’ National Digital Strategy Advisory Board He is a Fellow of the African Science Institute and a lecturer in the University of Pennsylvania's Executive Masters of Technology Management program. Victor has authored or co-authored over 60 technical papers in refereed journals and co-edited two books.

Victor R. McCrary was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 5, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.218

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/5/2013 |and| 8/10/2013

Last Name

McCrary

Maker Category
Middle Name

Rex

Organizations
Schools

University of Pennsylvania

Catholic University of America

First Name

Victor

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

MCC15

Favorite Season

Fall

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Birth Date

5/16/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sushi

Short Description

Technology executive Victor McCrary (1955 - ) served as vice president for Research and Economic Development at Morgan State University. In 1998, McCrary organized the world’s first conference on electronic books. He was elected national president of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) in 2007.

Employment

Morgan State University

Johns Hopkins University

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Bell Laboratories

Favorite Color

Green

Anthony Johnson

Physicist Anthony M. Johnson was born on May 23, 1954 in Brooklyn, New York to James W. Johnson and Helen Y. Johnson. He initially wanted to study math or chemistry in college until a teacher at Samuel J. Tilden High School in Brooklyn, New York introduced him to physics. Johnson attended the Polytechnic Institute of New York where he graduated magna cum laude with his B.S. degree in physics in 1975. He went on to earn his Ph.D. degree in physics from the City College of New York in 1981. Johnson conducted his thesis research at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey with support from the Bell Labs Cooperative Research Fellowship Program.

Upon graduation, Johnson was hired at Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey as a member of the technical staff in the Quantum Physics and Electronics Research Department. In 1988, Johnson was promoted as a distinguished member of Bell Labs technical staff; and, in 1990, he became part of the Photonic Circuits Research Department. Johnson joined the faculty of the New Jersey Institute of Technology in 1995 where he served as chairperson, distinguished professor of applied physics, and professor of electrical and computer engineering. In 2003, Johnson was named as Director of the Center for Advanced Studies in Photonics Research (CASPR). He was then appointed as professor of physics, computer science, and electrical engineering at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC) where his research focused on ultrafast optics and optoelectronics.

Johnson has authored two book chapters, over seventy scholarly articles, and he has been credited with four U.S. Patents. In addition, he served as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Optics Letters from 1995 to 2001. Between 1991 and 2000, Johnson was elected as a Fellow into several academic and professional organizations, including the Optical Society of America (OSA), the American Physical Society (APS), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He was a 1992 Charter Fellow of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP). In 1993, Johnson received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Polytechnic University; and, in 1994, he was honored with the Black Engineer of the Year Special Recognition Award. The American Physical Society presented Johnson with the Edward A. Bouchet Award in 1996. In 2002, Johnson became the first African American to serve as president of the Optical Society of America.

Johnson is married to Dr. Adrienne S. Johnson. They have three adult children, Kimberly, Justin, and Brandon.

Anthony M. Johnson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 24, 201

Accession Number

A2013.167

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/25/2013

Last Name

Johnson

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

City College of New York

Polytechnic Institute of New York University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Anthony

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

JOH44

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Brisbane, Australia

Favorite Quote

Work hard, play hard.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Birth Date

5/23/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Country

United States

Favorite Food

seafood, Chitterlings

Short Description

Physicist Anthony Johnson (1954 - ) , a 1992 Charter Fellow of the National Society of Black Physicists, became the first African American elected as president of the Optical Society of American in 2002.

Employment

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)

Bell Laboratories

Favorite Color

Electric Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Anthony Johnson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Anthony Johnson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Anthony Johnson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Anthony Johnson describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Anthony Johnson talks about his parents

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

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Anthony Johnson talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Anthony Johnson describes his childhood household

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Anthony Johnson describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Anthony Johnson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Anthony Johnson talks about his interests as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Anthony Johnson describes becoming interested in physics

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Anthony Johnson talks about his elementary and junior high schools

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Anthony Johnson talks about his junior high and high schools

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Anthony Johnson remembers when the first astronaut was put on the moon

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Anthony Johnson describes his high school interest in science and science fiction

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Anthony Johnson talks about his high school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Anthony Johnson describes his decision to pursue his doctoral degree in physics

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Anthony Johnson describes being encouraged go to college

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Anthony Johnson describes his time at the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Anthony Johnson talks about his summer at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Anthony Johnson talks about his undergraduate research at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Anthony Johnson describes his undergraduate research at Bell Laboratories and bachelor's thesis pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Anthony Johnson describes his undergraduate research at Bell Laboratories and bachelor's thesis pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Anthony Johnson describes how he met his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Anthony Johnson describes his graduate education at Bell Laboratories and the City University of New York

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Anthony Johnson describes his doctoral dissertation

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Anthony Johnson describes being hired by Bell Laboratories

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Anthony Johnson talks about his first experience with the Optical Society of America

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Anthony Johnson describes his research at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Anthony Johnson talks about the affirmative action program at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Anthony Johnson reflects on his career at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Anthony Johnson describes his involvement in his professional organizations

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Anthony Johnson talks about his patents at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Anthony Johnson talks about the low numbers of African American physics doctorates

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Anthony Johnson describes his transition from Bell Laboratories to the New Jersey Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Anthony Johnson talks about African American graduate students in physics

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Anthony Johnson describes his transition from the New Jersey Institute of Technology to the University of Maryland Baltimore County pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Anthony Johnson describes his transition from the New Jersey Institute of Technology to the University of Maryland Baltimore County pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Anthony Johnson talks about the Mid-InfraRed Technologies for Health and the Environment Center

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Anthony Johnson talks about measuring light and the non-linearity of fibers

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Anthony Johnson describes the quantum cascade laser

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Anthony Johnson talks about the future of laser technology

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Anthony Johnson talks about the limitations of short pulses

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Anthony Johnson talks about the minority programs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Anthony Johnson talks about the physics department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Anthony Johnson talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Anthony Johnson describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Anthony Johnson reflects on his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Anthony Johnson talks about the encouragement of his parents

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Anthony Johnson talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

9$6

DATitle
Anthony Johnson talks about his summer at Bell Laboratories
Anthony Johnson talks about his patents at Bell Laboratories
Transcript
So, tell us about the Bell Labs [Bell Laboratories] experience in detail, since this is a big deal.$$This was a big deal. So, and it was, you know, it was different, because I had never really left Brooklyn [New York]. So, so I got, I applied to the program. The professor got me the application and I applied, and I got in. And so we had two locations in New Jersey--Murray Hill, New Jersey and Holmdel, New Jersey. Those were the two big research labs. And so, this was called the Bell Labs Summer Research Program for minorities and women. We call it SRP, Summer Research Program. It started in 1974. And so, I was given a choice of working with two physicists who went on to become, you know, very world famous. One was David Austin. And he was doing lasers and opto-electronics. He, after he left Bell Labs he went, he became dean of engineering at Columbia [University, New York, New York]. Then he went on to become provost at Rice University [Houston, Texas], and president of Case Western Reserve [University, Cleveland, Ohio]. And then he finally ended up at--well, he was president of the Covey Institute in Santa Barbara [California]. And they are a philanthropic organization, and does a lot of work in physics. And now he's at UC Santa Barbara [University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California]. And I still keep close ties with him, because he became one of my Ph.D. thesis advisors, eventually. So, my connection with him was very, very strong. And then the other person I had the opportunity to--because I had a choice that first year. His name was Robert Dynes, D-Y-N-E-S. And he was a big name in superconductivity, low temperature physics. But I picked, I think I was more interested in lasers. And I picked Dave Austin, and that was my choice. And how I got into the field altogether was working with him.$Before we leave Bell [Laboratories], I want to ask you about your patents. You've been a part of a number of patents.$$Right. So, I have patents. I have four patents, and they all have to do with high speed optoelectronic devices. And that was, again, quite interesting. And working the patent attorneys and working with my colleagues. I mean they were all, they were not solo, they were collaborations with other researchers at Bell Labs. And I think I have four of those patents. And again, all high speed opto-electronics nature--high speed laser, a device--and we wrote a patent on that. And one of them, I remember has to do with trying to come up with a measurement capability to look at high speed integrated circuits. So you have these, this metallization on the optoelectronic device. And I came up with, with my colleague, we came up with a measurement that where we could actually image the electrical pulse traveling down the transmission line. And we did it by a process called photoemission. We would shine light on the electrode, and the electrons would come off, alright, by the process of photoemission. So, we would, we would do that and then by looking at the timing of when the electrical pulse went in--and when we would use a focus, an optical beam--we could actually get an image of this pulse traveling down the transmission line. And we could measure its speed, whether there were dispersion issues on it, what was slowing it down. And if we could improve that, we might be able to improve the performance of the device. So this was an imaging, a very high speed imaging process, to look at integrated circuits.

Donnell Walton

Physicist Donnell Thaddeus Walton was born on November 8, 1966 in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. He was one of three children born to Antoinette Williams. Walton attended North Carolina State University and graduated with his B.S. degree in physics and electrical engineering in 1989. Donnell went on to enroll in the University of Michigan where he studied under Dr. Walter Lowe and graduated with his Ph.D. degree in applied physics in 1996. He was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship with AT & T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey under its Creative Research Fellowship Program (CRFP).

In 1996, Walton was hired as an assistant professor at Howard University where he taught in the physics department until 1999. Walton was then recruited by Corning, Inc. and assigned to the research and development department where he performed and led research in fiber amplifiers and lasers. After serving as project manager of science and technology from 2004 to 2008, he joined Corning, Inc.’s Gorilla Glass team where he was named senior applications engineer. While there, Walton developed products for the burgeoning information and technology sector and worked to extend the applicability of Gorilla Glass. In 2010, Walton was named manager of the Worldwide Applications Program at Corning, Inc. In addition, he has authored fifteen patents and over sixty technical papers in scholarly, peer review journals including Optics Express and Optics Letters.

Walton’s professional affiliations include memberships in the Society of Information Display, the Optical Society of America, and the American Physical Society. In 2013, Walton received the “Outstanding Technical Contribution to Industry Award” from U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology.

Walton lives in Painted Post, New York with his wife, Robin Walton. They have two children: Nina Walton and Donnell Walton, Jr.

Donnell Thaddeus Walton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 10, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.174

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/11/2013

Last Name

Walton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Thaddeus

Occupation
Schools

University of Michigan

North Carolina State University

Frank Lemon Elementary School

South Mecklenburg High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Donnell

Birth City, State, Country

Mt. Clemens

HM ID

WAL19

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Sedona, Arizona

Favorite Quote

if I can't change the people I'm around, then I'll change the people I'm around.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/8/1966

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Painted Post

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Physicist Donnell Walton (1966 - ) serves as manager of Worldwide Applications Program at Corning, Inc. where he authored fifteen patents and over sixty technical papers.

Employment

Corning Incorporated

Howard University

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Donnell Walton's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Donnell Walton lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Donnell Walton describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Donnell Walton talks about his grandparents' long marriage and his grandmother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Donnell Walton talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Donnell Walton describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Donnell Walton talks about his relationship with his biological father

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Donnell Walton talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Donnell Walton talks about the strong influence of his grandparents, and the impact of his first conversation with his biological father

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Donnell Walton talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Donnell Walton describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Donnell Walton talks about his childhood neighborhood in New Haven, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Donnell Walton describes the sights and sounds and smells of growing up in New Haven, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Donnell Walton talks about his memories of Detroit, Michigan in the 1960s and 1970s

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Donnell Walton describes his experience in elementary school

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Donnell Walton talks about attending Greater New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in New Haven, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Donnell Walton talks about his childhood interest in sports and reading

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Donnell Walton talks about his interest in books

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Donnell Walton talks about the schools he attended, and his interest in sports

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Donnell Walton talks about his interest in boxing and reading, and his boxing heroes

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Donnell Walton describes his experience in school in New Haven, Michigan and Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Donnell Walton talks about his motivation to study hard in school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Donnell Walton talks about his grandparents' deaths

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Donnell Walton talks about his grandmother's buying him his first computer in 1981

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Donnell Walton talks about spending a lot of time alone as a child, and his early interest in science

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Donnell Walton talks about his family's pets in New Haven, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Donnell Walton talks about his grandmother's death, and moving to Charlotte, North Carolina to live with his great-aunt

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Donnell Walton describes his experience in high school in Charlotte, North Carolina and the influence of his guidance counselor, Ms. Dorothy Floyd

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Donnell Walton talks about playing football in high school, and receiving an academic and track scholarship to attend North Carolina State University

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Donnell Walton talks about how he was influenced by the Minority Introduction to Engineering (MITE) summer program at MIT

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Donnell Walton describes his experience at North Carolina State University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Donnell Walton talks about majoring in electrical engineering and physics at North Carolina State University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Donnell Walton talks about receiving an AT&T Cooperative Research Fellowship Program and his experience at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Donnell Walton talks about his experience at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Donnell Walton describes his decision to attend the University of Michigan to pursue his Ph.D. degree in physics, with support from Bell Laboratories

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Donnell Walton describes his Ph.D. dissertation research on optical fiber lasers and the applications of these lasers

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Donnell Walton talks about his mentors at Bell Laboratories and at the University of Michigan, and his research at Argonne National Laboratory

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Donnell Walton describes his experience at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Donnell Walton talks about research infrastructure at Howard University, and the important place of scientists in African American history

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Donnell Walton talks about his contributions at Howard University and reflects upon the research programs and funding at HBCUs

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Donnell Walton describes how he was recruited to Corning, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Donnell Walton talks about the diversity in the workforce at Corning, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Donnell Walton describes his work on high-powered fiber lasers at Corning, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Donnell Walton talks about the development and applications of Gorilla glass

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Donnell Walton talks about his involvement with the marketing of Gorilla Glass at Corning, Incorporated, and the importance of communicating science

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Donnell Walton talks about his involvement with the marketing of Gorilla Glass, and about the different types of glass used in different products

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Donnell Walton describes how glass breaks

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Donnell Walton talks about his team of engineers and about how patents work

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Donnell Walton talks about the various markets for Gorilla glass and his re-deployment at Corning, Incorporated

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Donnell Walton describes native damage resistance in Gorilla glass

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Donnell Walton talks about Corning's competitors and its market base

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Donnell Walton talks about returning to research and development at Corning, Incorporated, and the company's investment in R&D

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Donnell Walton shares his advice for scientists and engineers contemplating careers in industry

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Donnell Walton reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Donnell Walton describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Donnell Walton talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Donnell Walton talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Donnell Walton talks about Corning's involvement in educational and mentoring programs for minorities

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

1$3

DATitle
Donnell Walton describes his experience at North Carolina State University
Donnell Walton talks about the diversity in the workforce at Corning, Incorporated
Transcript
Okay, North Carolina State University [Raleigh, North Carolina]. This is 1984?$$Yeah.$$Okay, 1984. This is a big--the year of "Run Jesse Run." And you know, so what was North Carolina--was that the year North Carolina State [University] won the basketball--$$No, it was one or two years before, I think. It was '82 [1982], maybe?$$Yeah, '82 [1982], or '83 [1983]. Yeah, I think you're right. With Dereck Whittenburg [college basketball player] and all those guys, yeah.$$Yeah.$$Alright.$$I don't know if you've seen it, but that--what was it--"30 for 30"--the thing they--the sports thing. They did this special on that. That was amazingly well done, very well done. Yeah, yeah. That was--so, I came there--similar to when I came to North Carolina--my high school [South Mecklenburg High School, Charlotte, North Carolina] was right off this huge championship. So, people were very full of NC [North Carolina] State when I got there.$$Okay.$$I wasn't a basketball fan, so I didn't really know that, until I got there.$$Alright. So, what was North Carolina State like? Was it a welcoming environment? What was it like for African American students?$$Yeah, so there was a lot of--like you mentioned--we had several African American coordinators there, to make sure--So, I was an electrical engineering major at that time. And we had an orientation only for, you know, a black freshman orientation, where you get to meet other, you know, people that would be your peers. So, it was--they worked hard. There were some key people there that worked hard to make it as welcoming as it could be. So, you end up making some very lifelong friends. [North Carolina] State [University] was a good place. It was different. It was big, but I felt prepared. Again, you know, I didn't want to lose again like I had done a couple summers before--or the summer before. So it turns out I was pretty well prepared, it turned out. My high school in Charlotte was--you know, prepared me pretty well. I made some really good friends in classes and on campus.$$Okay. I mean--were you involved in other campus activities other than your science courses?$$As a freshman? I was just running track, which was almost year round then. And just doing, yeah, just doing courses, not much as a freshman then. As a sophomore I ended up, you know, getting more involved in the Black Student Union, the Peer Mentor Program, becoming a mentor, pledging a fraternity, and stuff like that. So--$$Okay. What fraternity did you pledge?$$Omega.$$Okay, Omega Psi Phi, alright. So, were there any key teachers or counselors at--$$Yeah, so we had a guy in engineering. His name was Bobby Pettis. He was a minority coordinator, and he was instrumental--I still talk with friends about him.$$Is that P-E-T-T-U-S, or--$$I-S.$$Okay, I-S. Alright.$$Yeah. He was, he had intimate relationships with the students. He knew us well. He kept them honest. He, you know, made sure things--He did as much as he could to be almost like a family there, you know, in this huge environment. So, yeah. And then there was a woman--and then later I ended up adding physics as a major. And then that's another college. That's the College of Physical [and] Mathematical Sciences. So, his counterpart there is Wandra Hill, same thing. She's very--did as much as they could to make things welcoming and connect people.$$Wandra. W-A-N-D-R-A?$$Uh huh.$$Okay. So, are either one of them still there?$$Wandra Hill may have retired. And Mr. Pettis passed, I would say maybe in the--he must have passed in the eighties. I think she retired since I've been here [Corning, Inc., New York State]. So the last five or ten years, she must have retired.$Now, are you aware of something called, was it the Awareness Quality Improvement Team [at Corning, Incorporated, Elmira, New York]?$$At that time, the AQIT. Yes, absolutely.$$Okay. Now, tell us what that is, and what--$$Yeah. So like it's, it was an African American, what we call affinity groups. You know, it was, like what we were talking about earlier with the people at NC [North Carolina] State [University, Raleigh, North Carolina] who were trying to work to make it an inclusive environment. AQIT was started to make it a more inclusive--or the awareness--was to, to increase awareness of the presence of non--you know, underrepresented groups, particularly African Americans at that time. So, it was started, I guess, right around 198--, in the eighties. I think I want to say it was like '84 [1984], '85 [1985].$$Okay.$$And now, it's called the Black Technical Network. It got re-branded, but still doing the same things--trying to make a better environment, a more inclusive environment for everyone, starting with African Americans.$$Okay, okay. Now, so, so there was a community of African Americans here at--$$Small, it's grown. But it was--so it was, yeah, but absolutely, yeah. And it's a very--both inside the company and in the outside, external community. Most of us, since we all work for the same company, we all know each other. Our kids are the same age. So, actually, one of the ironies is that my wife and I moved here from Silver Spring, Maryland. And our neighborhood here is more diverse than our neighborhood was in Silver Spring, you know. I mean, not black. We have about six black families--it's a small neighborhood, six black families; many Asian families; Indian, Chinese, Korean. But whites may be, maybe 50 percent white. So, it's pretty interesting. But almost everyone in the neighborhood works for Corning.$$Okay. So, what would you say the percentage of black employees are?$$In the company, in the corporation?$$Uh huh.$$I'd put it at about maybe 7 percent.$$Okay, alright. That would be--that makes sense on some level, because it wouldn't reflect the blacks at 11 percent of the population of the country. But college graduates aside, those are, you know--technical people are much smaller.$$Right.$$So, Corning may be doing better than--$$Yeah, it's one of those best kept secrets. I think also--and of those 7 [percent]--most, the vast majority of us, I'd say somewhere around 80 percent of us are technical. I mean science and engineering, you know. And the other 20 [percent] is HR [human resources] and finance, but most of us are engineers.$$Okay, okay. That's interesting.