Digital Transactions In Our Global Village

220px-Reggie_Middleton_head_shot  From Howard University alum Reggie Middleton’s UltraCoin to Bill Gates big bet on Nigeria and India, innovations in blockchain technologies are transforming the planet. This is much bigger than the price of Bitcoin today. It’s a hot topic worth following in 2015


Einstein on Race and Racism


EinsteinAtLincolnAlbert Einstein teaching a physics class at Lincoln University (HBCU in Pennsylvania) in 1946. The Nobel prize winning scientist said: “The separation of the races is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of white people. I do not intend to be quiet about it.”

via Afropunk

Here’s a site for the book written in 2006.

Crystallography Pioneer Mentored Other History Makers

Physicist Donald Anderson Edwards not only made significant contributions to his field, he mentored others who did likewise:

  • Joseph McNeill – a engineering physics major was one of the Greensboro Four . It should be noted that Franklin McCain, another member of the Greensboro Four, was also a STEM major(dual degrees in chemisty and biology).
  • Dwight Davis – is a distinguished cardiologist “who has played a leading role in medical education at Pennsylvania State University for almost 25 years.”
  • Ronald McNair became the second African-American astronaut to fly on the Space Shuttle. His plan to be the first human to record an original piece of music in space was cut short by the Challenger explosion.

Interconnected Inventions

When you are texting or using Twitter, Jesse Russell is one of many who deserve a tip of the hat. While he did not invent either texting or Twitter or even 2G communications as many mistakenly believe, Jesse was

a pioneer in the field of cellular and wireless communications. In 1988, Russell led the first team from Bell Laboratories to introduce digital cellular technology in the United States.


History Makers

The spread of texting would not have been possible without Jesse’s invention and Twitter’s 140 character model was based on texting. Non-obvious interconnections between inventions happen all the time. The Connections TV Series and book

demonstrated how various discoveries, scientific achievements, and historical world events were built from one another successively in an interconnected way to bring about particular aspects of modern technology.


Biologically we have many ancestors. Sometimes it’s clear where a particular trait came from but often it’s not. Still we can tip our hat.

Black Greek STEM Leadership

In 1911, The Black Apollo Hero Heru of Science Ernest Everett Just, two science majors(who went on to get advanced degrees) along with another Howard student founded the first black greek fraternity at an HBCU – Omega Psi Phi.


That was a great start for STEM leadership and it made me wonder which black greek organizations produce the most STEM graduates? @OMEGAPSIPHI @NPHC1930

The Power of the Village

In her MIT MLK Legacy speech by Physics and Nuclear Science & Engineering major Margo Batie

illustrates what the village can accomplish. In the last post it was mentioned STEM is hard, that you have to be prepared and that it takes a village. This young lady shows what it takes to prepare and excel in a demanding, competitive environment. Her success is rooted in an exceptionally strong STEM village(the subject of a future post). However they get it, young people need a strong village to excel in STEM.

The Reason Why HBCUs Dominate In STEM At All Levels

In one sentence.

It takes a village.

STEM fields are challenging regardless of ethnicity. Working in groups is common. People who have parents, uncles, siblings, cousins and friends available to talk shop, mentor or employ have advantages. They get comfortable with their ability to ask questions and learn. They know when they get stuck, there’s someone who understands and cares to turn to. These things are important when you’re 17, 18, or 19 trying to not just meet the challenges of a demanding curricula, but excel. People of  color have less than half the expected resources to draw upon so it is the rare exception that we matriculate on a level playing field.  HBCU’s serve as the village. Upon arrival, the village includes upperclassmen, grad students, professors and other support resources.  Well prepared undergraduates will get the opportunity to develop closer relationships with faculty and learn about mentoring. In this light, the numbers in the following articles aren’t surprising.

If you or someone you mentor is trying to choose a school for a STEM education, please consider the benefits of the village. These days no matter where you go, students are supplementing their  coursework with online courses such as MIT’s Open Courseware. Not everyone needs to go to an HBCU for STEM, but if we moved the number from 20%  to say 30% it could have a  huge impact on the village!