A collaboration between Berkeley County and Jefferson County Schools, the virtual lecture series focused on African American / Black individuals in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics) who are experts or authority figures in the respective fields. The series was outlined as follows:
- February 3 - Science with Dr. Joseph L. Graves, Sr., Professor of Biological Sciences
- February 10 - Technology with Professor Phill Branch of Art and Media Technology
- February 17 - Engineering with Dr. Lauren Augustine of the Gulf Research Program
- February 24 - The Arts with Dr. Pimienta-Bey, Professor of African and African American Studies
- March 3 - Mathematics with Dr. Robert Q. Berry III, Professor of Mathematics Education
Dr. Joseph L. Graves, Sr "Science" (WED. FEB. 3RD)
Dr. Joseph Graves, Sr. received his Ph.D. in Environmental, Evolutionary and Systematic Biology from Wayne State University in 1988. In 1994 he was elected a Fellow of the Council of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS.) In 2012, he was chosen as one of the “Sensational Sixty” commemorating 60 years of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Award. In 2017, he was listed as an “Outstanding Graduates” in Biology at Oberlin College; and was an “Innovator of the Year” in US Black Engineer Magazine.
His research in the evolutionary genomics of adaptation shapes our understanding of biological aging and bacterial responses to nanomaterials. His book on nanomaterials is entitled: Antimicrobial Nanomaterials: Principles and Applications, (Amsterdam NE: Elsevier), publication fall 2021. His books on the biology of race are entitled: The Emperor's New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium, Rutgers University Press, 2005 and The Race Myth: Why We Pretend Race Exists in America, Dutton Press, 2005; with Alan Goodman, Race and Racism: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, Columbia University Press, 2021.
He leads programs addressing underrepresentation of minorities in science. He aids underserved youth in Greensboro via the YMCA chess program. He has also served on the Racial Reconciliation and Justice Commission, and COVID Vaccination Task Fore of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina.
Professor Phil Branch: "Technology" Focus (Storytelling and Media) (WED. FEB. 10TH)
Phill Branch is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Communication and Media Studies program at Goucher College. He completed his MFA in Screenwriting at the American Film Institute. Previously, he has taught film at Hampton and Howard Universities. Branch was the 2019 recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council’s "Solo Performance Award" and a 2019 Rubys Artist Award grantee for storytelling and performance. Branch directed Searching for Shaniqua; his documentary about the impact names have on our lives. The film won the HBO Best Documentary award at the 2016 Martha's Vineyard African-American Film Festival. At Goucher, he teaches courses focused on writing for the media and studying race and ethnicity in film and television. His courses touch on how communication functions for both writers and audiences. Branch’s current writing work focuses on creative nonfiction essay writing for both print and stage performance, including the acclaimed series The Moth.
Dr. Lauren Alexander Augustine: Engineering (WED. FEB. 17TH)
Dr. Lauren Alexander Augustine earned her B.S. in applied mathematics and systems engineering and her M.S. in environmental planning and policy from the University of Virginia, and her Ph.D. in an interdisciplinary program that combined physical hydrology, geomorphology, and ecology from Harvard University. She is the Executive Director for the Gulf Research Program. Prior to joining the Gulf Research Program in 2018, she served as Director of the Resilient America Program, which supports communities’ efforts to build resilience to extreme events using science and diverse stakeholder engagement. In addition, she has formerly served as Country Director for the African Science Academy Development Initiative (ASADI), a decadal program that built scientific capacity in national academies across Africa; as Director of the Disasters Roundtable; and as a study director for the Water Science and Technology Board. Outside of her work at the National Academies, Lauren has served on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Risk and Resilience; was a member of the Advisory Board for the American Geophysical Union’s Thriving Earth Exchange program; and was a juror for two resilience competitions, Rebuild by Design for recovery after Hurricane Sandy and Resilience by Design in San Francisco. She is also a NATO Expert for the Civil Protection Group.
Dr. José V. Pimienta-Bey: the Arts (WED. FEB. 24TH)
Dr. José Vittorio Pimienta-Bey was born and raised on Long Island, New York. He holds a B.A. in History from Gettysburg College (Pa.), an M.A. in History from Shippensburg University (Pa.), and a PhD in African American Studies from Temple University (Pa.). From 1991-2001, he served as an Assistant Professor of History at West Virginia University (WVU), where he taught courses within the History department as well as in the Africana Studies Program. At WVU he also served as a consultant to the Center For Black Culture & Research's "Saturday School Academy," which mentored secondary school students while also introducing them to the history of African peoples.
Dr. Robert Berry: Mathematics (WED. MAR. 6TH)
Robert Q. Berry III Ph.D. is the Samuel Braley Gray Professor of Mathematics Education, the Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia, and the immediate Past President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).