Celebrating Black History Month 2024

The Maryland shell outline surrounded by pattern using green, yellow, white and red for Black History Month

Each year, we begin again the tradition of celebrating history and heritage months. Those months recognize the important contributions of diverse groups to society (and, for us, specifically to engineering), beginning with Black History Month in February.

History and heritage months are journeys: they allow us to revisit the past legacies and contributions that have shaped us, envision a more inclusive and supportive future, and travel together towards it. I hope you will join me as we continue that journey during Black History Month 2024.

We are fortunate that the history of our school and university is filled with African American trailblazers. Kevin C. Greenaugh Ph.D. ’98 was our school’s first Black doctoral graduate in nuclear engineering and served our nation at the Department of Energy, most recently leading Defense Programs in the National Nuclear Security Agency. John Brooks Slaughter was the first African American chancellor of the University of Maryland and an influential leader in the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), playing a critical role in helping to diversify the NAE. Jeanette Epps M.S. ’94, Ph.D. ’00, an aerospace engineering alum and NASA astronaut, is scheduled to fly on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon Endeavour spacecraft to the International Space Station. 

During Black History Month, the Clark School will celebrate our Black engineering trailblazers: past and present engineers whose greatness opens doors, provides inspiration, and improves society by innovating for people who need it the most. We begin today with this story and will debut more content throughout the month.

As a way of further acknowledging the contributions of African Americans, and the Clark School’s commitment to the state of Maryland, our graphics for Black History Month 2024 are inspired by Andrea Pippins, a Prince George’s County native. 

We encourage you to engage with the content you will find on our digital platforms. It is a meaningful opportunity to learn about and share with others the unique contributions of African American engineers to our school and society. We hope you enjoy the journey.

Samuel Graham, Jr. (he/him/his)

Dean and Nariman Farvardin Professor

Published February 1, 2024