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Center for Diversity Affairs Welcomes Nationally Known Physicist

Dec. 9, 2011 | The UAMS Center for Diversity Affairs hosted nationally known physicist Kennedy Reed, Ph.D., at a Nov. 18 reception where he talked of his work to bring more advanced engineering technology to underdeveloped countries in Africa.

Reed, a theoretical physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, spoke that day at the second annual Arkansas Mentoring and Networking Association Distinguished Lecture Series at Philander Smith College in Little Rock. The association is a community partner for the Center for Diversity Affairs, which along with Philander Smith College assisted in bringing together more than 300 central Arkansas high school students interested in science, engineering, technology and math careers.

“Having Dr. Reed speak to the students drives home the impact one can have in the science and technology fields, which include health care,” said Billy Thomas, M.D., UAMS vice chancellor for diversity. “Underrepresented minorities and those from disadvantaged backgrounds are underrepresented in the sciences”, so this lecture series may spark an interest in a high school student toward college and ultimately a career path that may include the biomedical sciences.”

Reed talked about his work in Africa to promote scientific collaborations as well as improvements in the scientific and engineering infrastructure of several underdeveloped countries.

Reed’s research interest is atomic collisions in high temperature plasmas.

Reed is a recipient of a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and a charter fellow in the National Society of Black Physicists.

Earlier this year, Reed was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in recognition of his work in atomic physics, and his successful efforts to increase minority participation in the physical sciences in the United States and Africa.