Five Black scholars were recently recognized for their academic achievements and awards.

Clement A Price, a former professor at Rutgers University-Newark (RU-N) was recently commemorated when a new chair was named in his honor, according to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation donated $2 million dollars to create the Clement A Price Endowed Chair in Public History and Humanities. Price, a longtime Newark, N.J. resident, died Nov. 5, 2014. He is remembered as being an accomplished historian, teacher, mentor and patron of the arts and humanities. Price started teaching history at RU-N in 1969. According to Rutgers University’s website, the institution appointed him Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor in 2002, which is considered a high honor. Price was co-editor of the three volume collection, Slave Culture: A Documentary Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers Project.

Thomas H. Epps III is the Thomas and Kipp Gutshall Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware. He was awarded the 2016 John H. Dillon medal from the American Physical Society. He received the award for achievements in polymer physics, according to the JBHE. “He has, in a relatively short time, established a world-recognized and highly collaborative research program at Delaware by distinguishing himself as one of the rising stars in polymer and soft matter physics,” wrote University of Delaware professors Darrin J. Pochan and Abraham Lenhoff in their nomination letter. Epps has been a faculty member at the University of Delaware since 2006. He has a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from MIT and a doctorate from the University of Minnesota.

James E. Coleman Jr. is the John S. Bradway Professor of Law at Duke University. The Criminal Justice Section of the American Bar Association awarded him the Raeder-Taslitz award. Coleman is a native of Charlotte, N.C.  Coleman has a wealth of legal experience, including: a judicial clerkship for the U.S District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, and 16 years in private practice in New York and Washington, D.C.  He has represented criminal defendants in death penalty cases, including Ted Bundy, a serial killer who made headlines in the 1970s after confessing to over 30 homicides. Coleman has been on Duke’s faculty since 1996. Coleman attended Harvard University and Columbia Law School.

Ngondi Kamatuka is the director of the Center for Educational Opportunity Programs in the Achievement and Assessment Institute at the University of Kansas. He received the Walter O. Mason Award from the Council for Opportunity in Education. Kamatuka has been at the University of Kansas since 1987 and has been an educator for 15 years. He has received numerous awards, including the KU School of Education Achievement Award For Professional Staff, KU Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa Kappa Outstanding Educator and the KU Unclassified Employee of the Year. Kamatuka has a bachelor’s degree in education from Tabor College and master’s and doctorate degrees in higher education from KU.

Sheila Jackson was the first female African-American graduate from the School of Architecture at Mississippi State University. The 1984 graduate went on to have a career with the city of Atlanta and the Georgia Institute of Technology Research Institute. Jackson’s siblings recently established the Sheila Rene Jackson Memorial Fund in the university’s college of Architecture, Art and Design in her honor. On Mississippi State University’s website school director Michael Berk commented on how significant she was to the institution. “The School of Architecture is honored to be the recipient of this generous memorial scholarship,” said Berk. “She was a pioneer in helping to break gender and racial barriers in the architectural profession, and remains an incredible role model for us all.”


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