SciWorks The HistoryMakers NSF CERSER ECSU

HoustonOn Friday, February 24 SciWorks Science Center and Environmental Park in Winston-Salem, NC hosted a program titled Blazing Trails: African Americans in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The program, part of a national series of ScienceMakers events funded by a $2.3 million National Science Foundation grant and overseen by The HistoryMakers Institution, featured four prominent African American scientists along with guests from the Winston–Salem community and displays illustrating many of the inventions by African Americans. Denise Franklin, Station Manager for WFDD Public Radio, moderated the event. Dr. Johnny Houston represented Elizabeth City State University at this event.

The featured ScienceMakers included Hunter College theoretical physicist Godfrey Gumbs, Duke University nuclear physicist Calvin Howell, Duke University neurobiologist Erich Jarvis, and Spelman College computer scientist Andrea Lawrence.  The Friday evening Blazing Trails program was part of a two-day ScienceMakers Education Festival.  On Saturday, February 25, regional student groups had the opportunity to meet with and learn from these leading scientists as the scientists lead demonstrations and hands-on activities at the museum. 


Howell Howell
Calvin Howell was born on December 7, 1955, in Warrenton, North Carolina.  After graduating from high school, Howell earned his B.S. degree in physics from Davidson College in 1978.  He then went to Duke University where he received his Ph.D. degree in 1984 with a specialty in experimental nuclear physics.  Howell conducted postdoctoral research at the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory (TUNL) for one year, serving as an instructor and research associate.  In 1985, he joined the faculty at Duke University as an assistant professor of physics.  Since 2006, he has been the director on TUNL.
Lawrence Lawrence
Andrea Lawrence was born on October 6, 1946, in Ashville, North Carolina and received her B.S. degree in mathematics from Perdue University in 1970. She then received her M.S. degree in Computer Science from Atlanta University in 1985.  Lawrence began her long career at Spelman College as a lecturer and computer literacy coordinator.  She then became chair of the computer science department in 1996 after receiving her Ph.D. Her research focuses on human-computer interaction.  Lawrence was the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in computer science from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Gumbs Gumbs
Godfrey Gumbs was born on September 7, 1948, in Georgetown Guyana.  After graduating from high school, he received a scholarship to attend Trinity College, Cambridge University in 1968.  He earned his B.A. degree in applied mathematics in 1971.  Gumbs went on to earn his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in theoretical condensed matter physics from the University of Toronto in 1973 and 1978, respectively.  In 1992, he was hired by Hunter College, City University of New York and appointed the Chianta-Stoll Chair and distinguished professor.  Gumbs’ research focuses on theoretical condensed matter physics.
Jarvis Jarvis
Erich Jarvis was born on May 6, 1965 in Harlem, New York to musician parents.  While Jarvis has an offer to audition with the African American dance company, Alvin Ailey, he instead pursued studies at Hunter College in New York City where he double majored in biology and mathematics.  He obtained his B.A. degree in 1988 and received Ph.D. degree in molecular neurobiology and animal behavior in 1995 at the Rockefeller University in New York City.  He joined Duke University’s faculty as an assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology in 1998 and became tenured in 2008.  His research studies songbird neurology.
Franklin Franklin
Denise Franklin is the General Manager of 88.5 WFDD where, in her words, she has “the privilege of guiding a staff of talented employees who are dedicated to the mission of public radio in the Piedmont Triad.”  She is also host of the Voices and Viewpoints, a distinctive interview program featuring Piedmont area residents whose work or action have put them on the national or international stage.  Denise’s journalism career began more than twenty year ago in Wichita, Kansas.  She earned her B.A. in Radio-TV-Film from Wichita State University, and in 2006, her MBA from the Babcock School of Management from Wake Forest University.  She is an active member of her community by addressing dozens of organizations as a keynote speaker or moderator.  
Blazing Trails: African Americans in STEM
Blazing Trails: African Americans in STEM
Blazing Trails: African Americans in STEM

CERSERCenter of Excellence in Remote Sensing Education and Research

CB 672, 1704 Weeksville Road, Elizabeth City State University
Elizabeth City, North Carolina 27909

(252) 335-3696, fax (252) 335-3790

SciWorks HistoryMakers