Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

CLaSP Special Seminar - Dr. Gerceida Jones

Date: April 13, 2018
Time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Location: SRB Auditorium, room 2246

Our guest for this week's CLaSP Special Seminar will be CLaSP (then AOSS) alumna Dr. Gerceida Jones of the New York University Liberal Studies Department. Please join us! 

Title: St. Albans Under the Stars: Connecting the Community to the Universe

Abstract: St. Albans Under the Stars (SUTS) is a community-based program organized in 2006 for the purpose of promoting fun science projects in underserved communities, and to assist in college readiness initiatives. The public outreach program has three components: 1) Solar observing with a PST telescope, 2) Engaging hands-on activities for all ages, and 3) Night observing with an 8” Celestron telescope and a host of other amateur astronomers participating in the program with their telescopes, all aimed at different objects visible in the night sky. There is a mobile unit part that has traveled in the past to minority communities in four states; Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, & Illinois using the same methods as used in New York to excite students about science. It is our aim to go national sharing astronomical knowledge while emphasizing the ancient, cultural, and inspirational value of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). We believe strongly in the need for more minority involvement in science fields. Thus, we encourage higher education as part of our effort to engage members of the community, young and “the young at heart” to participate in various introductory aspects of the project.

Biography: Born in Denver, Colorado, I was raised in Caruthersville, Missouri in the 1960’s. I remember the significant influence of my parents and grandparents who molded my sense of moral and civic responsibility. My grandmother owned a local restaurant that also served as a meeting place for community members. There, issues affecting the community where discussed and strategies planned. My grandfather and uncles were Pullman Porters who worked side by side with A. Phillip Randolph in the formation of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. As far back as I can recall, my life has been filled with the understanding that in serving others, one may achieve a personal level of excellence and satisfaction.

In admiration for my fore-parents and in truly believing in the power of service, I have served as Lead Teacher for the Community of Caring Program for the John F. Kennedy Foundation; Co-founder to the Rites of Passage Program for Females; Advisor to the annual Science Fair & Westinghouse Competitions; Chairperson for Majority Whip of the New York City Council, Leroy Comrie; instructor and mentor for the United Black Men of Queens, Inc. and the You Can Go To College committee; Special Events Chair & Logistics Coordinator of the Association of Black Faculty Administrators and Staff at New York University (NYU). 

In 2004, I was nominated for inclusion in Who’s Who in America as one of the outstanding professionals in the field of Education. I was featured in NYU’s General Studies program bulletin in both 2003 and 2005. The bulletin serves as a recruitment tool for the University. I am a member of the American Geophysical Union and the American Association of Physics Teachers.

In 1981 I received a B.S. degree in Physical Oceanography from the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan graduating with M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from NYU’s Department of Applied Science in 1986 and 1997, respectively; in each year graduating with honors. My dissertation entitled, Influences of Increased Recycling Rate on Incinerator Design in the Emerging Millennium was a statewide analysis of municipal solid waste management practices. 

My interests are diverse. First among them is a sincere love of music and having studied for many years, I am considered an accomplished clarinet player & baritone saxophonist. Whenever possible, I try not to miss an opportunity to attend the theatre and I have been fortunate enough to have traveled abroad and throughout the United States and run through parts of it as a cross-country runner. I am a master quilter, and serve as the advisor to the Quilt Club at NYU. A telescope enthusiast, I often invite neighbors and community groups to my house for an introductory class in astronomy. The AstroTeam and myself run free astronomy workshops in the summer called “St. Albans Under the Star” at various parks around NYC. August 2017, Kendall Hunt published the first edition of my textbook, “The Science Behind Technology” used in both course that I teach at NYU.


Upcoming Events

January 24th
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
CLaSP Seminar Series - Prof. David Southwood
January 31st
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
CLaSP Seminar Series - Prof. Anantha Aiyyer
February 7th
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
CLaSP Seminar Series - Prof. Dustin Schroeder
February 14th
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
CLaSP Seminar Series - Prof. James Kasting
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