Willie S. Rockward

Task Force Member (2016-2022)

Morgan State University

Dr. Rockward has a unique combination of leadership from academic, professional, and community experiences. Since August 2018, he serves as the Chair of the Department of Physics & Engineering Physics at Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland. Prior to his transition to Morgan State, he served 7 years as the Chair of the Department of Physics & Dual Degree Engineering Program (Physics & DDEP) and 20 years as the Research Director of the Materials and Optics Research & Engineering (MORE) Laboratory at Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia. Among his professional leadership experiences, he is the immediate Past President of both the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) and the Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honor Society (ΣΠΣ). Also, he has served a combination of 29 years as Pastor of the Divine Unity Missionary Baptist Church, East Point, Georgia; Associate Minister of Antioch Baptist Church North, Atlanta, Georgia; and Associate Minister of New Shiloh Baptist Church, Baltimore, Maryland.

As Chair of Physics & DDEP at Morehouse College, his vision and leadership resulted in the department being the US #1 producer for underrepresented minorities with Bachelor of Science degrees in Physics according to the American Institute of Physics in conjunction to boasting the Nation’s most productive Dual Degree Engineering Program. He is a strong proponent of STEM mentorship using methodologies of faculty-to-student, peer-to-peer, professional shadowing, life-skills coaching, and research apprenticeship. His current research interests include micro/nano optics lithography, extreme ultraviolet interferometry, metamaterials, terahertz imaging, nanostructure characterization, and crossed phase optics.

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 1738311, 1747563, and 1821372. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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