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Physics colloquium-“Building Physics Majors: We C.A.R.E.–An Emphasis on Recruitment/Retention/Research of 1st & 2nd Year Students”

September 21 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Willie Rockward

Morgan State University, Physics & Engineering Physics

Abstract: Building physics majors at any institution, especially Morgan State University – a public, urban, HBCU institution, can be very challenging. To address this challenge, I am applying a modified version of my pedagogical approach called “We C.A.R.E.” which stands for Curriculum, Advisement, Recruitment/Retention/Research, and Extras. This approach utilizes an integrated strategy of cultural (family-orientated), collaborative (shared-governance), and career (personalized-pathways) modalities to provide the framework and momentum of building physics majors. Also, I expanded department research interests, projects, and collaborations to (1) provide a variety of meaningful, year-around research experiences for undergraduates at Morgan and (2) prepare students for graduate studies in physics and related STEM disciplines. Thus, a detailed overview of the “We C.A.R.E.” approach will be presented along with an emphasis on recruitment, retention and research of 1st and 2nd year students.

Biography: Dr. Rockward has a unique combination of leadership from academic, professional, and community experiences. Since August 2018, he serves as the Chair of the Department of Physics & Engineering Physics at Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland.  Prior to his transition to Morgan State, he served 7 years as the Chair of the Department of Physics & Dual Degree Engineering Program (Physics & DDEP) and 20 years as the Research Director of the Materials and Optics Research & Engineering (MORE) Laboratory at Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia.  Among his professional leadership experiences, he is the immediate Past President of both the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) and the Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honor Society (SPS).  Also, he has served a combination of 30 years as (1) Pastor of the Divine Unity Missionary Baptist Church, East Point, Georgia; (2) Associate Minister of Antioch Baptist Church North, Atlanta, Georgia; and (3) Associate Minister of New Shiloh Baptist Church, Baltimore, Maryland. As Chair of Physics & DDEP at Morehouse College, his vision and leadership resulted in 7 consecutive years of the department being the US #1 producer for underrepresented minorities with Bachelor of Science degrees in Physics according to the American Institute of Physics in conjunction to boasting the Nation’s most productive Dual Degree Engineering Program. He is a strong proponent of STEM mentorship using methodologies of faculty-to-student, peer-to-peer, professional shadowing, life-skills coaching, and research apprenticeship. His current research interests include micro/nanolithography, extreme ultraviolet interferometry, metamaterials, terahertz imaging, nanostructure characterization, and crossed phase optics.

Unless otherwise specified, all lectures will take place in CoorsTek 140/150, located at 1523 Illinois Street, Golden, CO


September 21
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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CoorsTek Center for Applied Science and Engineering
1523 Illinois St.
Golden, CO 80401 United States
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