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PhD Dale Emeagwali. Microbiologist
"1996 Scientist of the Year"
When Dale Brown Emeagwali was a child, she had dreams of becoming a scientist.
But she did not anticipate the depth of her ambition. She was studious - always at the top of her class. She had the support of her parents who, though not academicians, encouraged her pursuits, even helping her at home with simple experiments.
Today, this renowned microbiologist is celebrating her achievements, the latest - the National Technical Association's "1996 Scientist of the Year" award. The citation was presented to Dr. Emeagwali, Oct. 18, at the annual National Technical Achiever-of-the-year Awards Banquet at the Marriott Airport Hotel in Cleveland. Congressman Louis Stokes, (D-Ohio) presented the award.
Dr. Emeagwali was one of six African Americans honored at the convention. She was honored for her contributions to the field of microbiology, molecular biology and biochemistry.
The award recognizes researches regarded as role models and inspirations to other scientists whose discoveries have benefited mankind.
Dr. Emeagwali gives the most credit for her success as a scientist to her parents, Leon and Doris Brown.
Mr. Brown retired from the AFRO-American in 1988 after serving the paper for 42 years, primarily as superintendent of the production department. Her mother is a retired Baltimore city public school teacher.
Dr. Emeagwali was born in the Poplar Grove-Lafayette Avenue section of the city. She attended Alexander Hamilton Elementary School # 145, and went on to Northwestern High School, graduation in 1972.
She entered Coppin State College and graduate in 1976. In the Fall of that year, Dr. Emeagwali enrolled at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington. She was awarded the Doctor of Philosophy in microbiology, in 1981.
She credits her success at Georgetown to "good teachers as good training" at Coppin State, we well as a summer internship at Meharry Medical School.
The move to Georgetown and away from her family was a "cultural shock, " she said.
Of coping with the challenges she says: "I was always ahead in my class and I held on to that ambition. I felt I had the ability to easily assimilate, regardless of race of class."
While a research fellow at the University of Minnesota, Mrs. Emeagwali and her husband, Philip, a Nigerian-born scientists, spearheaded, among other things, the annual African American Science Day, organized by staff members at the Science Museum of Minnesota.
The project was designed to provide role models for African-American kids.
While keeping kids interested in science is a problem that - crosses racial lines, she said it is particularly acute in the Black culture.
Dr. Emeagwali, encountered more than a few obstacles growing up, which she said made her even more determined to become a scientist. She grew up at a time when Black people were told, "You can't do math. We were taught inadvertently, and sometimes directly, that we couldn' t do that," she said. "When a Black child said he wanted to be a doctor, he was slapped upside the head and told to stop being simple."
Drawing from her childhood experiences. Dr. Emeagwali has always maintained that the success of children depends on the character of their parents.
"Parents must always stress the importance of education and achievement to their children. When kids know there are low expectations, they won't rise," she says.
She said she also held strongly to the belief that learning should be broadly focused to include math, literature and engineering. "It' s important not awards and honors including listings in Who's Who in the World, the World Who's Who of Women, Who's Who in American Education, International Who's Who in Medicine.
She has been awarded a number of prestigious fellowship-from the Uniformed Services University Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Damon Runyon Walter Winchell Cancer Fund, American Cancer Society, and the National Science Foundation.
She also received doctoral fellowship Fund, ad a national scholarship from the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
Additionally, other accomplishments include the discovery of the existence of isozymes of kynurenine formamidase in the basterium Streptomyces parvulus which, prior to her findings, were known only to exist in higher organisms.
Dr. Emeagwali also proved that cancer gene expression could be inhibited by antisense methodoloy, which she says can led to better treatment for cancer.
Early this year, Dr. Emeagwali happily returned to her native Baltimore- her family and friends-and joined the biology faculty at Morgan State University.
Dr. Emeagwali enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise with students, promoting academic excellence, attracting students to science and conducting science workshops for inner city youths.
Her hobbies include karate, painting and publishing poems, one of which appeared in the "Atla
Long Beach: City Of Tomorrows (Story Inside)
LONG BEACH: The City Of Tomorrow…Well, Maybe Not Tomorrow, But Soon. We Promise.
Long Beach is a city unlike any I have ever experienced. It celebrates that which it destroys. It remembers fondly that which it forced out of existence. The original Pike is long gone having been replaced by a movie theater and shops that seldom receive visitors. Many of its storefronts are vacant or look to be that way soon.
There are markers within this New Pike-remembrances of what once occupied this barren space. Photographs of a place that people actually did visit and where people actually did spend their money. These pictures of the Pike surround a fountain outside a vacant building, which for the last couple years has advertised that a comedy club will be coming soon.
The brand new West Ocean luxury condominium project across the street from the courthouse on Ocean Blvd has photographs embedded in its exterior wall of the majestic Virginia Hotel that once resided at this location. Follow the nostalgic pictures down the stairs that once led directly to the surf that once attracted throngs of tourists and locals alike, but now leads to a parking structure on the edge of our City’s vision of progress, the aforementioned new improved Pike.
Our beach we killed a long time ago and at times you can still smell its slow rotting corpse. Occasionally there is talk of reviving her, but that’s all it is and most likely all it will ever be. Volunteers who refuse to give up the ghost regularly come to clean her--removing the trash that lay like scabs on her body while gentle brown waves weakly expire on the shore with a last audible gasp.
Until recently our city logo had waves in its design. Our tourist industry gives money to magazines and televised sporting events to (falsely) advertise a pristine shoreline and the surfers who enjoy it. Our daily paper, without a hint of irony, run large, colorful front-page photographs of surfers full of grace riding beautifully curling waves.
Our City is broke. The Aquarium, the New Pike and Wal-Mart didn’t keep their promises. And the Coming Soon Comedy Club isn’t providing any laughs these days either.
Welcome to the City of Long Beach where tragedy plus time equals business as usual.
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