Atlanta University Center Consortium

Four CAU Alumni Vie for Council Seats in New City of South Fulton

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ATLANTA (Feb. 27, 2017)   The crowded field of candidates for elected office in the new city of South Fulton includes three more Clark Atlanta University alumni.  Catherine Foster Rowell, Ph.D., Rochelle Lindsey and Darris Rollins are vying for seats on the South Fulton City Council in districts 1, 4 and 3 respectively.  They join CAU alumnus and current CAU graduate student Johnny Surry in bids to become the first elected leaders in the recently created city.

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Dual Degree Alumnus Offers Career Options

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Photo from 2014 Georgia State Law Alumni Magazine

Braxton K. Davis
Patent Attorney, Turocy & Watson, LLP

Although the Dual Degree Engineering Program provided me with the foundation to be a solid engineer, I ultimately decided to become a patent attorney, where I could balance my engineering degree with my interest in the law. An underrepresented fact about this industry is that you can actually practice patent prosecution by becoming a patent agent without going to law school. You just need a science or engineering degree and to successfully pass the patent bar. Neither of which require going to law school.

After graduating from Morehouse and the Georgia Institute of Technology, I worked as an engineer prior to taking the patent bar to become a patent agent and facilitate my goal of eventually becoming a patent attorney. Since then, my mission has been to educate others on how they can become a patent agent or patent attorney and provide them with the skill set to do so.

So, I founded the Patent Institute of Training to directly address the need for practical experience in this field. Because this area of law is so unique and the opportunities are boundless, my other mission is ensure that DDEP students know about this field so that they too can have alternative career options.

For instance, the average electrical engineering starting salary is $70,000, but the average electrical engineering patent agent starting salary is $90,000. The other benefit to practicing as a patent agent prior to going to law school is that you don’t have to invest three years of your life in a degree only to find out that the patent practice is really not what you thought it was.

Alternatively, those who practice as a patent agent and then make the informed decision to go to law school can nearly double their salary by investing the three years in law school.

AUC Alumni Make America Great

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They are both industry titans and company movers and shakers; entrepreneurs and executive professionals; artists and scientists, and all have called the Atlanta University Center their educational home. For more than 150 years, AUC institutions have produced some of the nation’s most talented individuals. From Martin Luther King Jr. to Marian Wright Edelman, the impact of AUC graduates is unparalleled. Below are just a few of the thousands who were educated in the AUC.

Deisha Barnett
Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce

Deisha Barnett is senior vice president of marketing and communications for MAC. A Clark Atlanta University graduate, Barnett is considered top talent in the marketing and communications industry.

Find out more about Deisha Barnett

 


Cynthia Bowman
Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Bank of America

Recently named as one of Ebony’s Power 100, Cynthia H. Bowman is Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Bank of America. A Dual Degree Engineering Program student who received a bachelor’s in computer science from Spelman as well as one in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech.

Find out more about Cynthia Bowman.

 


Kevin Y. Brown
Author, Entrepreneur, Clothing Designer

Life has not always been kind to Kevin Brown. Growing up in the California foster care system, Brown has lived a life of overcoming obstacles. A Clark Atlanta University alumnus, Brown has parlayed himself into a successful business man.

“The love and support I received … at CAU made me believe in myself and my goals. … A lot of people expected me to be kicked out of college in the first two weeks. But my experiences at CAU, from playing on the men’s basketball team to a semester in London, turned out to be some of the best years of my life.”

Find out more about Kevin Brown.


Alexander B. Cummings Jr.
Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, The Coca-Cola Co.

Receiving his MBA in finance from Atlanta University in 1982,  Alexander B. Cummings is now executive vice president and chief administrative officer of The Coca-Cola Co. The CAO structure consolidates key global corporate functions in a purposeful approach to effectively support the business operations of The Coca-Cola Co.

Learn more about Alexander Cummings.

 


Braxton K. Davis
CEO, Patent Attorney, Turocy & Watson, LLP

Braxton Davis was a Morehouse College to Georgia Institute of Technology dual degree engineering major. Always interested in becoming a lawyer, Davis decided to take the patent bar to become a patent agent after working as an electrical engineer. Today, Davis is a patent attorney for Turocy & Watson, LLP.

“While the Dual Degree Engineering Program provided me with the foundation to be a solid engineer, I ultimately decided to become a patent attorney, so I could balance my engineering degree with my interest in the law,” said Davis, who received his juris doctorate from Georgia State University. To encourage other would-be patent attorneys, Davis launched the Patent Institute of Training.

Learn more about Braxton K. Davis.


Tomika DePriest
Senior Director of Communications, Campus Life, Emory University

As senior director of Emory Campus Life Communications, Tomika DePriest develops and guides strategy to ensure the brand consistency of Emory’s Campus Life communications. With a bachelor’s in English from Spelman, and a master’s in humanities from Clark Atlanta University, DePriest says of her alma maters, “Spelman armed me with a strong academic foundation rooted in the liberal arts and activism …, and Clark Atlanta University is where I became both a scholar and communications professional.”

Learn more about Tomika DePriest.

 


Jerri DeVard
Board of Directors, ServiceMaster

With more than 25 years of building diverse global brands and working on corporate boards, Jerri DeVard is an accomplished chief marketing officer and business executive and serves on the board of directors for ServiceMaster. Holding an economics degree from Spelman and an MBA from Clark Atlanta University, DeVard says, “being a double HBCU graduate prepared me both academically and socially for the challenges I would face as a double minority in a majority corporate world.”

Learn more about Jerri DeVard.

 


Kenny Leon
Actor, Director, Producer

From the Mr. Abbott to a Tony Award, Kenny Leon is an award-winning Broadway and film actor  who has worked with the industry’s greatest actors, including Denzel Washington, Diahann Caroll, Samuel L. Jackson, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Anika Noni Rose and Angela Bassett. A graduate of Clark Atlanta and an honorary Ph.D. recipient of Clark Atlanta and Roosevelt Universities, he is currently serving as the Denzel Washington Chair at Fordham University.

Find out more about Kenny Leon.

 


Joshua Packwood
Managing Partner, Lucus Advisors LLC

Joshua Packwood made history in 2008 when he became the first white valedictorian to graduate from Morehouse. A Rhodes Scholar finalist with a degree in economics, today he is a managing partner for Lucus Advisors, an SEC-registered investment adviser.

Find out more about Joshua Packwood.

 


Helen Smith Price
Vice President of Global Community Affairs and President of the Coca-Cola Foundation, The Coca-Cola Co.

A dual Atlanta University Center graduate, Helen Smith Price holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Spelman and an MBA from CAU.  Joining The Coca-Cola Co. in 1993, Price has successfully charted her career path at the world’s No. 1 beverage refreshment company.

Find out more about Helen Smith Price.

 


John David Washington
Actor, Former Professional Football Player

He’s both charming and annoying as the character Ricky Jerret on “Ballers,” an HBO series dealing with the everyday life of a professional football player. Washington was a Morehouse Tigers running back standout who set a school record with 1,198 yards.

Find out more about John David Washington.

Loretta Parham named 2017 ACRL Academic/ Research Librarian of the Year

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For Immediate Release
Jan. 25, 2017

Contact:

Chase Ollis
Program Coordinator
ACRL
collis@ala.org

CHICAGO — Loretta Parham, CEO and director of the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library is the 2017 Association of College and Research Libraries’ Academic/Research Librarian of the Year. The award, sponsored by GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO, recognizes an outstanding member of the library profession who has made a significant national or international contribution to academic/research librarianship and library development.

Parham will receive a $5,000 award during the Middle Keynote session on Thursday, March 23, at the ACRL 2017 Conference in Baltimore.

“Loretta Parham’s drive, activism, and innovative approaches to library transformation have had a broad and sustained impact well beyond our field and she is the absolute embodiment of the ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year Award,” said Michael Courtney, chair of the ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year Award Committee and outreach and engagement librarian at the Indiana University Libraries. “Parham’s dedication to diversity and inclusion, her role as a passionate advocate for libraries and librarians, and her seemingly endless list of accomplishments exemplifies the spirit of this award. As one reviewer noted, ‘few, if any, possess the panorama of skills that are embodied in Ms. Parham’.”

“This award is such an honor and I am tremendously grateful for this acknowledgment of my passion and career commitment to service, libraries, and learning,” Parham said. “The credit for these successes should be shared by many others with whom I have worked, and to each of them and ACRL I say thank you.”

Highly respected by the library and higher education communities, Parham tirelessly worked to transform the Robert W. Woodruff Library, shared by Clark Atlanta University, the Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College, and Spelman College, into a modern 21st century research facility known for its distinctive spaces and service. Under her leadership, the library has become widely recognized for its outreach to students, faculty, AUC alumni, and the wider Atlanta community.

In addition to the transformation of physical space, Parham expanded the library’s stewardship of historically significant special collections. Among these is the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection, acquired by Morehouse in 2006 and housed in the Woodruff Library. With oversight for all aspects of conservation and preservation of the collection, Parham successfully steered a smooth and secure transition of the papers from Sotheby’s auction house in New York to Atlanta and provided strategic direction for processing and digitization of the collection, making it accessible for public use within an impressive two-year timeframe.

The library extends this commitment to public service by acting as a cultural hub, offering symposia, art exhibits, civic discussions, voter registration seminars, distinguished speakers, and historical presentations to the AUC community and Atlanta residents. As the result of her vision and leadership, the Robert W. Woodruff Library received both the 2012 IIDA/ ALA Award for the transformation of library space and the 2016 ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award.

“Loretta Parham epitomizes the innovative, visionary spirit of today’s academic and research librarians,” noted ACRL Executive Director Mary Ellen K. Davis. “Widely recognized as passionate advocate for libraries and librarians, her commitment to a transformational vision of the academic library as a center for research, learning, and outreach has earned her the respect of the institutions she serves, the library and higher education communities, and indeed, the general public.”

In addition to her work transforming the Woodruff Library, Parham is known as a champion for librarianship and higher education, advocating with passion and clarity for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), their significant special collections, and their value regionally, nationally, and globally. She has personally served as a mentor to hundreds of librarians and is the co-founding director and founding Board Chair of the HBCU Library Alliance. Established in 2002, the Alliance is a consortium of White House-designated HBCUs with a mission to transform its membership by developing leaders, preserving collections, and planning for future. Due to Parham’s leadership, the Alliance has been the recipient of or project partner in several Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grants awards strengthening library services related to leadership development, photographic preservation, digitization services, and library support of faculty services.

An active member of ALA and ACRL, Parham served as a member of the ACRL Board of Directors as director-at-large  (2011-15), member of the College & Research Libraries Editorial Board (2002-08), and as a member of the ALA Committee on Accreditation (2016-20). Parham additionally served as a member of the OCLC Board of Trustees and chair of the OCLC Membership Committee (2012-17), treasurer of the Oberlin Group Consortium (2011-15), and as chair of the Board of Directors and past finance chair of the SOLINET Library Network (2000-04).

Her publications include “Achieving Diversity: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians” (with B. Dewey, 2006), “Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Custodian of the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection: ‘Until Further Notice.’” in RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage (2007), and “Redesigning Services at The Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc.” in Library Workflow Redesign: Six Case Studies (with C. Hart, 2007).

Prior to joining the Robert W. Woodruff Library in 2004, Parham served as director of the Hampton University Harvey Library (1998-2004), director/ administrator of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (1997-98), deputy director of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (1991-97), and in a variety of positions at the Chicago Public Library (1977-91).

Parham received her B.S. in Communications-Broadcasting from Southern Illinois University and M.L.S. from the University of Michigan, which honored her with the Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Information in 2016 in recognition of her service to the profession.

The ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year award dates back to 1978, and recent award winners include Susan K. Nutter (2016); Robert A. Seal (2015); Tim Bucknall (2014); Patricia Iannuzzi (2013); Paula T. Kaufman (2012); Janice Welburn (2011); Maureen Sullivan (2010); Gloriana St. Clair (2009); Peter Hernon (2008); Lizabeth (Betsy) Wilson (2007); Ray English (2006); Ravindra Nath (R. N.) Sharma (2005); Tom Kirk (2004); Ross Atkinson, (2003); and Shelley Phipps (2002).

For more information regarding the award, or a complete list of past recipients, please visit the awards section of the ACRL website.

About ACRL

The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing nearly 11,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the web at acrl.org, Facebook at facebook.com/ala.acrl and Twitter at @ala_acrl.

About GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO

GOBI® Library Solutions from EBSCO, formerly YBP Library Services, offers over 13 million print and ebooks to academic, research and special libraries worldwide. From streamlining workflows to partnering with library staff, GOBI Library Solutions is committed to providing the best solution for libraries’ acquisition, collection development and technical service needs. For more than 40 years, the mission has remained same—to partner with libraries in providing access to the broadest selection of scholarly content available.

AUCC Institutions and City of Atlanta Launch Video Camera Surveillance Program

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Campus Presidents with Mayor Reed’s office, the Atlanta Police Department, City Council and other partners work together to install 35 cameras and five license plate readers throughout the AUC neighborhood.

ATLANTA (Jan. 24, 2017) – Today, the Atlanta University Center Consortium Council of Presidents and Mayor Kasim Reed announced the completion of a collaborative surveillance program that strategically places video cameras and license plate readers around the campus community to create a safer environment.

Working through the University Community Development Corp., a community development arm of the AUC, Presidents Dr. John Wilson, Dr. Ronald Johnson, Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, and Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell have forged a partnership with the Atlanta Police Foundation and the Atlanta Police Department to install 35 cameras and five license plate readers around the AUC community. The cameras are monitored by AUC police at their respective schools and APD’s video integration center. The VIC’s state-of-the-art system provides a cohesive unit of 24/7 video feeds from the cameras to serve as an additional layer of security to increase the scope and reach of existing campus police departments.

There are 35 AXIS Q60-E PTZ Dome Network Cameras around the Atlanta University Center.

“The city of Atlanta under the leadership of Mayor Kasim Reed continues to be a model partner with our community.  This effort is an example of how government and community can work together for the good of all,” said Dr. John Silvanus Wilson, president of Morehouse College and chair of the Council of Presidents. “Our partnership positions the Atlanta University Center as a safer environment not only for our students but for those who work and live on our campuses and in our neighboring communities.”

Each institution – Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Spelman College – paying equal amounts, and the mayor’s office contributing the remaining balance, funded the $700,000 project. The effort highlights the priority the AUCC institutions and the city have to combat crime in the community.

“The installation of the cameras is a collaborative effort between the AUC schools and the city of Atlanta to improve the safety and security for all students, faculty, staff, and neighbors who reside in the AUC community,” said Rita B. Gibson, interim executive director for UCDC. “The joint efforts of these institutions and the city are a shining example of a successful public-private partnership.”

There are five license plate recognition cameras around the Atlanta University Center.

The system’s cameras stream to a server at the data center in the AUC Woodruff Library. “It makes sense for this library, which is shared by these institutions, to be the aggregation point for the video feeds,” noted Loretta Parham, CEO and director of the AUC Woodruff Library. “We already have an efficient infrastructure in place to support the camera surveillance program.”

Map of all 35 surveillance cameras and five license plate readers.

 

AUC’s Phenomenal Women Presidents

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Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell

A leader in education, the arts, and the public sector for nearly 40 years, Dr. Campbell became Spelman College’s 10th president Aug. 1, 2015. Since then, she has captured the hearts of students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as the Atlanta community.

She was recently named to the High Museum of Art’s 77-member board of directors. A leading museum in the southeastern United States, the High holds more than 15,000 works of art in its permanent collection and hosts an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African-American art; and collections of modern and contemporary art, photography, folk art and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists.

Read more about Dr. Campbell being named to the High Museum’s board of directors.

Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice

As the sixth president of Morehouse School of Medicine and the first woman to lead the free-standing medical institution, Dr. Montgomery Rice serves as both the president and dean.  She is a renowned infertility specialist and researcher.

Dr. Montgomery Rice has received numerous accolades; however, her most recent accolade is of significant note. Dr. Montgomery Rice was recently named to receive the 2017 Horatio Alger Award, an award that symbolizes the organizations’ values, including personal initiative and perseverance, leadership and commitment to excellence, belief in the free-enterprise system, and the importance of higher education, community service, and the vision and determination to achieve a better future.

Read more about Dr. Montgomery Rice being a Horatio Alger Award recipient.

 

Atlanta Area High School Students Surprised With Nearly $200k in Clark Atlanta University Scholarships

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Admissions Officers Hand-Delivered Acceptance Letters to 15 Local Students

ATLANTA (Dec. 15, 2016) 15 Atlanta-area high school students got a huge surprise Dec. 14, when admission officers from Clark Atlanta University hand- delivered to them acceptance letters to join the CAU Class of 2021. Nine of the students were offered academic scholarships to CAU for 2017-2018 totaling approximately $180,000.

The exciting news was given to three students at KIPP Academy, two at Washington High and 10 at Westlake High. They all were part of CAU’s early action plan, which guaranteed a response from Admissions before January to high school students who applied to CAU by Nov. 1. At each school the announcement was met with a thunderous applause by classmates, teachers, counselors and administrators.

“At the end of the day, our mission is to transform students’ lives one student at a time,” said Dr. Michael Marshall, associate vice president of Enrollment Services at CAU. “By extending acceptance offers to these young scholars, we are setting them on a transformative path to success,” Marshall finished.

The Office of Student Recruitment and Admissions, led by Lorri Saddler Rice, plans to expand in January 2017 this new tradition of surprising local high school students with a hand-delivered CAU acceptance letter. “It was an absolutely amazing day,” Rice said. “It underscores why we do what we do,” she continued.

In the fall semester of 2016, CAU enrolled its largest freshman class since 2007. We hope to continue this trajectory of smart growth by enrolling more students like the 15 who were surprised with acceptance letters and scholarships.

For more information on applying to CAU contact Student Recruitment and Admissions at 404-880-6605 or email admissions@cau.edu.

— By Mario Boone, CAU media relations manager.

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CAU Alumnus Directs ‘Hairspray Live!’

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Kenny Leon is a theatrical wunderkind. The Clark Atlanta University graduate is the recipient of the 2016-2017 “Mr Abbott Award.” Named in honor of director George Abbott, the award is presented to a director or choreographer in recognition of lifetime achievement.  A Tony Award-winning Broadway and film director, Leon has worked with Hollywood and Broadway’s most luminous talent, including Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Samuel Jackson and Angela Bassett.

Dec. 7, 2016, marked his second “live-theater-on-TV” presentation — the first being “The Wiz” — with “Hairspray Live” on NBC.

For more on CAU alum, Kenny Leon, visit kennyleon.com.

 

Bridel F. Jackson III: An Honest, Ethical and Smart Engineer

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Birdel Jackson III pictured with Melvin Hill, the 2016 DDEP recipient of the Jackson-Davis Foundation award.

Birdel F. Jackson III’s lifelong commitment has been to make the engineering profession more diverse and inclusive. A crusader for helping minority students become civil engineers, Jackson, a civil engineer himself, passed away Oct. 20, 2016.

Since he established the Jackson-Davis Foundation in 2002 to award scholarships in honor of his grandparents Gladys Davis and Birdel F. Jackson who attended Spelman, Rust and Knoxville Colleges, 37 AUC Dual Degree Engineering program students have received $50,000 from his foundation. Awarded to civil engineering students interested in pursuing careers in consulting engineering, obtaining their professional engineering license, or becoming a leader in the field, Jackson’s philanthropic spirit has greatly benefitted DDEP.

Jackson began his professional career in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with the American Bridge Division of U.S. Steel. His next job took him to Washington D.C. and the Bridge Division of the District of Columbia Highway Department. He moved to Atlanta where he was employed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. After which he served as General Electric Project Engineer responsible for construction of a Caustic Soda Plant in Indiana and miscellaneous manufacturing facility construction. He later returned to Atlanta where he served as a regional manager, division director and vice president for a national black owned consulting engineering firm and later a major black-owned architecture and engineering firm. In 1988, he purchased the Atlanta office of the architecture firm and began his entrepreneurial effort, B&E Jackson Engineers, and the firm’s staff grew from three to 47 professionals.

“Birdel and I both worked and marketed projects together. Birdel is an ‘old-time engineer’ in the best sense of the phrase – honest, ethical and smart,” wrote Robert Bielek, district engineer at Texas Department of Transportation, on Jackson’s LinkedIn page. “ You can’t go wrong with Birdel on your team.”

He was a registered professional engineer in Georgia and 13 other states; a member of the Society of American Military Engineers, Consulting Engineers Council of Georgia – named 1997 Engineer of the Year, American Society of Civil Engineers, National Organization of Minority Architects, National Technical Association and National Society of Black Engineers. Birdel’s professional experience included Engineering Design and Surveying for several municipal governments, design and construction of highways, bridges, wastewater facilities, military buildings and housing projects. He has supervised and scheduled more than $1 billion in projects.

Initiated into the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity in November 1964, at the Xi Tau Chapter at Toledo University, he has remained an active and ardent Life Member and participated in the establishment of Delta Kappa Chapter at Georgia Tech; reactivating Tau Chapter at Atlanta University; charter member of Beta Xi in Evansville, Indiana and Chi Gamma Gamma in Marietta. His community service work involves mentoring programs with CHI GAMMA GAMMA Chapter of Omega Psi Phi; 100 Black Men of Atlanta; Aviation Career Enrichment (a program to encourage black youths in Aviation) and Engineering Rap Session Counselor at Douglass High School. He was selected as the 1997 Engineer of the Year and awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Council of Engineering Companies and Georgia Society of Professional Engineers. Mr. Jackson was selected by the University of Toledo, College of Engineering as the 2001 Civil Engineer of the year. He was elected to the Academy of Distinguished Engineering Graduates at Georgia Tech in 2002. Mr. Jackson was chosen as a 2004 Diversity Champion for the American Society of Civil Engineers in recognition of voluntary services to make the profession more inclusive. 

He was a civil engineering graduate of the University of Toledo with a master’s degree in civil engineering from Georgia Tech. Jackson served on the Industrial Advisory Board of the University of Toledo’s College of Engineering, and the Civil Engineering Advisory Board. He served as national alumni president of the University of Toledo Alumni Association and is an emeritus member of Georgia Tech’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering’s external advisory board.

Jackson was a registered professional engineer in 14 states; a Fellow of the Society of American Military Engineers; member of the Consulting Engineers Council of Georgia, American Society of Civil Engineers, National Organization of Minority Architects, National Technical Association and National Society of Black Engineers.

The Atlanta University Center Consortium is forever grateful and honored for the path Mr. Jackson has paved in the engineering profession.

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