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Jackson, Shirley Ann

Born: 1946 AD
Currently alive, at 75 years of age.
Nationality: American
Categories: Physicists

1946 – She was born on the 5th day of August this year in Washington, D.C. She an African-American physicist, and 18th president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


1964 – At Roosevelt High School, Jackson attended accelerated programs in both math and science, and she graduated in this year as valedictorian. Her sister Alicia was also interested in science. She began classes at MIT in this year, one of fewer than twenty African American students and the only one studying theoretical physics.


1968 – She earned her bachelor’s degree in this year, writing her thesis on solid-state physics, a subject then in the forefront of theoretical physics.


1973 – She received her Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in this year, merely the second African-American woman to get a Ph.D. in physics in the United States.


1976 – In this year and 1977, she both lectured in physics at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center and became a visiting scientist at the Aspen Center for Physics.


1978 – In this year, Dr. Jackson became part of the Scattering and Low Energy Physics Research Department.


1985 – Governor Thomas Kean appointed her to the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology.


1988 – She moved to the Solid State and Quantum Physics Research Department.


1991 – Jackson was faculty at Rutgers University in Piscataway and New Brunswick, New Jersey from this year to 1995, in addition to continuing to consult with Bell Labs on semiconductor theory.


1999 – On the 1st day of July of this year, she became the 18th president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the position she presently holds. She was the first woman and first African-American in this position as well.


2004 – It was reported that Dr. Jackson made $891,400 for her services as president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the highest among all American college and university presidents.


2007 – In spring of this year, she was awarded the Vannevar Bush Award for "a lifetime of achievements in scientific research, education and senior statesman-like contributions to public policy.