Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Three Questions For

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Three Questions For

Article excerpt

Dr. Kenneth D. Lewis, dean of the College of Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology at South Carolina State University and the first African-American recipient of the Arthur Holly Compton Award, which recognizes contributions to education in nuclear science and engineering.

DI: South Carolina State's nuclear program received accreditation in just three years. How did you manage that?

First, we got an outstanding faculty. Then we were able to start recruiting outstanding students. Concurrently, I was writing grants for a laboratory of nuclear science and engineering and to get scholarship money to bring top students in here. We built one of the finest teaching laboratories in the Southeast for nuclear science and engineering. So it was a multipronged approach.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

DI: What can we do to get more minorities involved in the sciences?

At South Carolina State, we started a program about four years ago called the Summer Nuclear Science Institute for high school students. We bring kids on campus for one week and teach them the basics of nuclear science and engineering. What we've found is that, even those who initially said they wanted to major in business administration, psychology, after that one-week exposure, about 70 percent of the kids are in science right now. …

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