Wednesday, October 19, 2016

An Esteemed Election to the Prestigious National Academy of Medicine

U.S. President Barack Obama visiting Dr. Paula Hammond

Dr. Paula Hammond, MIT Distinguished Professor elected to the National Academy of Medicine.

Paula Hammond, the David H. Koch Professor in Engineering and head of MIT’s Department of Chemical Engineering, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) in recognition of her distinguished contributions to medicine and health.

Hammond is one of 70 new members and nine international members announced on October 17, 2016 at the annual meeting of the NAM. Membership in the NAM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievements and commitment to service.

Barack Obama smiles at Paula Hammond every day. A framed photo of the president, standing next to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientist, hangs on the wall over her desk here at MIT. “That was from his 2009 visit,” she says with a grin. Hammond was one of only a few MIT faculty members selected to present their work to the president in what turned out to be like a grown-up version of a science fair. She presented work on virus-based batteries. “We had to explain our science in 5 minutes,” she says. “But then Obama asked so many questions that we went way over time.”

Like Obama, Hammond is an emblem of change. Her chemical engineering research has evolved rapidly over the 15 years since she got started, riding some of that field's big trends. It started with a fairly fundamental study of polymers, the long chains that certain organic molecules form. First it was their mechanochromic properties—how their colors shift in response to physical stress—then their thermochromic properties, and finally their electrochromic properties. “I find color fascinating,” Hammond says.

Dr. Hammond's laboratory basic research has since yielded a torrent of industrial applications, from medical diagnostic devices to flexible electronics—more than enough to keep most scientists busy. Starting in 2001, she added a sideline on military applications, helping found the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies at MIT, focusing on technology that protects soldiers from harm and heals their wounds. For example, her lab developed a material that can be sprayed onto wounds to accelerate blood clotting.

Hammond’s many awards and honors include the Alpha Chi Sigma Award for Chemical Engineering Research in 2014, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Charles M. A. Stine Award in Materials Engineering and Science in 2013, the Ovarian Cancer Research Program Teal Innovator Award in 2013, the Junior Bose Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2000, an National Science Foundation Career Award in 1997, and the MIT Karl Taylor Compton Prize in 1992 (in recognition of achievements in citizenship and devotion to the welfare of MIT).

She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow and former director of the Board of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and a fellow of the American Physical Society and American Institute of Biomedical and Biological Engineering, among other honors.

Professor Hammond received her S.B. in Chemical Engineering from MIT (1984), and her M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Tech (1988), and earned her Ph.D. (1993) in Chemical Engineering from MIT.

Excerpts from MIT News Office | Anne Trafton | October 17, 2016
Excerpts from Science Magazine | AAAS | John Bohannon | Dec. 3, 2014 

Image credit: Dr. Ben Wang - Pinterest

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Illustrious Entrepreneur par Excellence of the Highest Order

Dale LeFebvre

Dale LeFebvre is the founder and Chairman of, a holding company that creates value for technology driven companies through a proprietary methodology of Transformational Investing™.

LeFebvre began his career as an intern for Senator Edward Kennedy and as a Bell Laboratories fellow. He then went on to develop strategic management experience working at several Wall Street merger and acquisition firms and the global management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company.

After McKinsey, LeFebvre became the Managing Partner for Pharos Capital Group, one of the largest minority private equity firms and served as Managing Partner for AIC Caribbean Fund, the largest Caribbean-focused private equity firm.

LeFebvre holds a BS in Electrical & Electronic Engineering (1993) from MIT, an MBA from Harvard Business School (1999), a JD from Harvard Law School (1999), and a MFA in Literature and Poetry from American University (2016). LeFebvre is also the holder of a software patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Patent # 8321271.

Dale has managed and raised more than $1 billion in institutional capital. The current portfolio generates more than $300 million with operations in 11 states and territories, and now employs more than 1600. He is an alum of McKinsey and Company and is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including a Bell Labs Fellowship, a Harvard Law Traphagen, and the 2006 Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellowship. He also holds multiple patents.

An engaged participant in his community, Dale serves on several Boards, including the Abraham Lincoln National Council of Ford's Theater Society, the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the University of the Virgin Islands Foundation where he has endowed a fellowship. He is also an Emeritus Board Member of the National Urban League. In 2015, Dale was appointed Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee’s National Finance Committee and is a member of YPO.

A passionate foodie, Dale has cooked for various restaurateurs, oenophiles, celebrities and the President of the United States. He is a native of Beaumont, Texas and a resident of the U.S. Virgin Islands who currently splits his time between the Virgin Islands and Washington D.C. Dale is a 2006 Henry Crown Fellow and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Images courtesy of Black Enterprise and Dale LeFebvre

Saturday, September 17, 2016

An Enduring Legacy for Youth in STEM

Karl W. Reid, Ed.D. - Executive Director - NSBE

Dr. Karl Reid is the Executive Director of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), a 30,000 plus student-governed association in Alexandria, VA whose mission is to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the global community.

On June 2, 2014, Dr. Reid was named Executive Director of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), the world’s largest student-run engineering organization. Prior to joining NSBE, Dr. Reid was Senior Vice President of Research, Innovation and Member College Engagement at UNCF. In this capacity, he developed and implemented educational, research and capacity-building programs for UNCF’s 37 member historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Dr. Reid arrived at UNCF from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) after serving as Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education (DUE), Assistant to the Chancellor for Diversity and Director of the Office of Minority Education. He lectures on race, identity, and achievement and blogs about student success in college.

Prior to his previous appointments, Dr. Reid served as the Executive Director of Engineering Outreach Programs (OEOP) for MIT’s School of Engineering, where he directed the nationally recognized Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES) Program, a residential summer program for talented high school seniors.

During his tenure at MIT, he also founded the Saturday Engineering Enrichment and Discovery (SEED) Academy, and the Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Program, both of which are year-round academic and mentoring programs for local high school and middle school students.

Dr. Reid began his career in the computer industry in product management, marketing, sales and consulting for several companies, including six years with IBM. Dr Reid earned both his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Materials Science and Engineering from MIT and his Doctorate of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. From his dissertation research on African American male achievement in college, he conducted workshops and seminars to high school and university faculty audiences.  Reid is now supporting NSBE’s National Executive Board and the Society’s 31,000 members in reaching the main goal of NSBE’s 10-year Strategic Plan: to move black students and professionals from underrepresentation to overrepresentation in engineering within the U.S., by producing 10,000 Black Engineers annually in the country, by 2025.

Dr. Reid is a member of the DC STEM Network Advisory Council and the AmericanSociety of Civil Engineers’ “Dream Big” IMAX Movie Technical Advisory Council.

Image Credit and Excerpts from LinkedIn and NSBE

Harvard University Graduate School of Education
Ed.D., Racial Identity, Self-Efficacy, Achievement
2001 – 2007

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
M.S., Materials Science and Engineering
1984 – 1985

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
B.S., Materials Science and Engineering
1980 – 1984

Friday, September 9, 2016

Outstanding Dynamics and Creativity of a Visionary Couple

Diane J. Hoskins
Co-CEO, Gensler

Diane is one of two Gensler Co-CEOs, whose collaborative leadership model sets itself apart in the marketplace as a leading global design firm. For her innovative leadership, she and Co-CEO Andy Cohen rank on Business Insider’s elite “Creators” list, a who’s who of the world’s 100 top creative visionaries. 

A hands-on leader, Diane oversees Gensler’s global platform and its day-to-day operations, some 5,000+ people networked across 46 offices, serving clients in 120+ countries. Diane is focused on Gensler’s global talent strategies, performance and organizational development to ensure that we serve our clients with the world’s top talent. She is Vice Chair of Gensler’s Board of Directors and the catalyst for Gensler’s Research program, for which Diane is committed to delivering value to clients through strategies and innovations like Gensler’s Workplace Performance Index® (WPI). 

A Registered Architect, she graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (SB '79) Architecture + Planning and holds an MBA from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA (MBA '87). Diane received an Outstanding Impact Award from the Council of Real Estate Women and is both a Regent of the American Architectural Foundation and a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Her insights have appeared in the Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, The Washington Post and The Economist; and she was a featured speaker at Bloomberg Businessweek’s CEO Conference. In her role as Co-CEO, Diane is one of the key contributors to what is acknowledged, by its peers, to be the most admired and largest architecture firm in the world, pioneering project types and design innovation strategies for the next century.

As shared from

Victor Hoskins
Arlington County Economic Development (AED)

Victor was appointed director of economic development for Arlington County Virginia in January 2015. He brings more than 25 years of experience in economic development and executive leadership. Hoskins comes to Arlington after serving as Prince George’s County, MD.’s deputy chief administrative officer for Economic Development and Public Infrastructure (2014). Before working for Prince George’s, he was Washington, DC deputy mayor for planning and economic development since 2011. “Victor will bring a wealth of experience, creativity and dynamism to our team. He will be leading AED at a time of increased challenges and opportunities for Arlington,” County Manager Barbara Donnellan said in a press release. 

Hoskins has a long track record of working in DC and Maryland in both housing and economic development, serving as former Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich’s cabinet secretary of the Department of Housing and Community Development. From 2009-2011, he was the Vice President of Quadel Consulting, a District-based affordable housing consulting and training firm.

“I’m excited to join the Arlington team, and look forward to marketing a county known across the nation as a leader in transit-oriented, sustainable development,” Hoskins said in a statement. “I can’t wait to be a part of this innovative government that holds itself to the highest ethical standards and promotes a healthy work-life balance.”

During his tenure with Prince George's County he led efforts to bring a $123 million conference center and hotel at University of Maryland College Park, and attracted the first foreign directed investment from China to build a $63.5 million mixed use project in College Park for professors and graduate students.  As deputy mayor for Washington, DC his achievements included the creation of 52,600 jobs through public private partnership projects and the groundbreaking and/or completion of 87 commercial/retail/hotel/residential projects totaling $7.5 billion in 3 years, including the Southwest Waterfront project and City Center project. He also initiated the transformation of the city’s Tech Ecosystem with the attraction of accelerator Fortify VC, expansion of Tech Tax Credits, and the establishment of tech startup co-working space 1776. He also held leadership roles with Urban America LP, and the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

Mr. Hoskins holds a Master’s degree (MCP '81) in City Planning: Real Estate Finance/ Economic Development from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a Bachelor of Arts ('79), Cum Laude: Psychology/Urban Studies from Dartmouth College. He also studied Development Finance at Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government.

Images courtesy of Gensler and Arlington County respectively

Friday, July 8, 2016

Supreme Decisions and Sound Advisories

Dr. Sylvester James Gates
Image Credit: White House

A Distinguished University Professor, University System of Maryland Regents Professor and John S. Toll Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland. Also an affiliate mathematics professor, Gates is known for his pioneering work in supersymmetry and supergravity, areas closely related to string theory. Gates earned two Bachelor of Science degrees in physics and mathematics and his Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1984, Gates co-authored Superspace, or One Thousand and One Lessons in Supersymmetry, the first comprehensive book on supersymmetry, and joined the faculty at Maryland as an associate professor. Four years later, he became the first African American to hold an endowed chair in physics at a major U.S. research university.

The author of more than 200 research papers and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Gates has been featured in dozens of video documentaries, including five in 2015. For his contribution to science and research, he received the National Medal of Science from President Obama in 2013. Gates serves on the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the National Commission on Forensic Science, and the Maryland State Board of Education. He is a strong advocate for science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.

Dr. Gates contributed to an Amicus Brief respectfully submitted to the Supreme Court of the United States of America on October 15, 2015.

No. 14-981

In the
Supreme Court of the United States





Counsel of Record
Park Avenue Tower
65 East 55th Street
New York, New York 10022
(212) 451-2300

Counsel for Amici Curiae 

Amici respectfully submit that, for all of the foregoing reasons, this Court should affirm the Fifth Circuit’s judgment that the University of Texas’ holistic admissions policy satisfies the Court’s strict scrutiny requirements.

Dated: New York, NY
October 30, 2015

Dr. Gates is quoted in Section D, page 21, footnote 27 within the section entitled:

Private Universities Have A Compelling Interest In Diversity Throughout Their Academic Programs, Including Science And Technology Fields In Which Certain Minority Groups Are Particularly Underrepresented

The benefits of diversity extend to all disciplines, including the hard sciences and engineering. As a leading physicist noted, “[a]lthough there may be one answer to a physics, chemistry or mathematics problem (based on the current state of knowledge), there are often multiple paths for arriving at that answer. In a broadly diverse classroom, all students thus benefit from hearing the different questions posed in the educational arena.”

On June 23, 2016, the United States Supreme Court upheld the Affirmative Action program at the University of Texas handing supporters of Affirmative Action a major victory. The decision, by a 4 to 3 vote, was unexpected.

It is remarkable that Dr. Gates body of lifetime achievements and research work represents the best of what science can achieve, also in social spheres that positively contributes to the administering of the education process within all of our institutions of higher education.  We commend Dr. Gates for his lifetime commitment to science, engineering, and technology.

Prior to the landmark judicial decision, Dr. Gates had written an editorial for the magazine, Science, which was published on March 25, 2016.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Academic Bridge Building

Dr. Clarence G. Williams

Dr. Williams is the author of... Technology and the Dream: Reflections on the Black Experience at MIT, 1941–1999 along with Reflections of the Dream, 1975–1994: Twenty-One Years Celebrating the Life of Dr. Martin Jr. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Williams is Adjunct Professor Emeritus of Urban Studies and Planning at the MIT School of Architecture + Planning. The department is the longest-running continuous planning program in the United States, repeatedly ranked #1 in the nation, the Department of Urban Studies and Planning has the largest planning faculty in the United States, possibly in the world, with unparalleled breadth and depth of expertise. An article, written by Audrey Williams June, was published on March 18, 2016 by the Chronicle of Higher Education entitled "Finding Bridge Leaders for Minority Professors and Students".  Dr. Williams was interviewed and expounded upon the critical importance of cultivating an environment that proliferates proven success in higher education.  The published account is reproduced below as a courtesy to the great work the Chronicle is performing in recognition of outstanding work by committed faculty and administrators, past and present, in this specific academic arena. Please save locally or open the images in a new tab for further review.

Dr. Williams Image Credits: D.L. Anderson

Further published research by Dr. Williams on this topic can be found at the titled link below in an article published and posted by the "Trotter Review".

Trotter Review
Volume 8, Issue 2, 9-21-1994
Recruiting, Retaining, and Producing Future Leaders in Higher Education
Dr. Clarence G. Williams

Monday, May 23, 2016

President Obama Honors Top U.S. Scientists & Innovators

Image: Courtesy of the White House

Dr. Shirley A. Jackson and Dr. Cato Laurencin  (MIT Alumni) were among the 17 honorees to receive the prestigious National Medal of Science & National Medal of Technology and Innovation awards (respectively) at the White House in Washington, DC on May 19th.  These awards are the nation's highest honor for achievement bestowed by the President of the United States.

Aru Pande
Voice of America (VOA)
May 19, 2016 8:42 PM

For Pakistani-American Mark Humayun, his grandmother who went blind from diabetes inspired him to develop a computer chip that goes into the eye to restore sight - otherwise known as the "bionic eye."

"I am happy to report that that is an approved product in the U.S. and Europe in helping many people worldwide," the ophthalmologic surgeon told reporters at the White House Thursday.

For scientist Jonathan Rothberg, it was his newborn son who was rushed to the hospital with breathing problems nearly two decades ago that led him to become a pioneer in genetic sequencing technology.

"I am gratified today because not only did the president say my family was beautiful, but my (now) 16-year-old son had a smile on his face," Rothberg said.

Seventeen recipients of National Medals of Science & National Medals of Technology & Innovation speak to reporters at White House. (A. Pande/VOA)

The two are among 17 recipients of this year’s National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation, awarded annually for outstanding contributions to science and engineering.

"The amount of brain power in this room right now is astonishing," President Barack Obama said Thursday as he presented each of the men and women with their medals in the East Room of the White House.

Obama said bestowing the honor is particularly significant in inspiring the next generations to enter science and technology.

"We want those who have invented the products and lifesaving medicines and are engineering our future to be celebrated," Obama noted. "Immersing young people in science math engineering - that’s what’s going to carry the American spirit of innovation through the 21st century and beyond."

The president noted that many of the recipients came from humble or ordinary beginnings, but were inspired by something or someone along their life’s journey.

"Because they lived in an America that fosters curiosity and invests in education and values science as important to our progress, they were able to find their calling and do extraordinary things," Obama said.

Young Science Advisors

During the ceremony, the president announced the launch of a kids science advisers campaign aimed at soliciting ideas from young people on shaping the future of science and technology in the United States.

The cause is an important one for National Medal of Science recipient Shirley Ann Jackson.

The Washington D.C. native is the first African American to earn a doctorate in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the second woman to do so in the United States.

Standing alongside her fellow honorees after the ceremony, Jackson outlined the reasons young people should go into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), including the ability to make a positive impact on humanity.

"It is important to inspire and encourage and invite young people early. Because the people here who are being recognized have worked over decades, and they started early, but, with that, the sky’s the limit."

National Medal of Technology and Innovation recipient Chenming Hu, a pioneer in semiconductor technology for developing the first three-dimensional transistors, offered this encouragement to kids who might be discouraged by math.

As shared from VOA