At NYIT, the term, “Doers, Makers, Innovators, and Healers” describes what we expect of our students traversing the halls of NYIT. And, in many cases it exemplifies who our alumni have become. During the month of February, designated to celebrate and reflect on black history, NYIT salutes African-American historical figures in science and technology who’ve inspired us and represent “Doers, Makers, Innovators, and Healers.” We also honor our own NYIT graduates who carry on their legacy.
Credit: Atomic Heritage Foundation
Lloyd Quarterman, Chemist
Lloyd Quarterman, Chemist Born May 31, 1918 in Philadelphia, Lloyd Quarterman, a chemist, was one of six African American scientists and technicians to work on the Manhattan Project, the top secret effort during World War II to design and build an atomic bomb. Quarterman developed an interest in chemistry from a young age, partly by using toy chemistry sets his parents gave him. He attended St. Augustine's College in Raleigh, N.C., where he developed a reputation as both a scholar and a star football player. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in 1943, he was recruited by the War Department to work on the Manhattan Project. As a junior chemist on the project, Quarterman had the opportunity to work closely with Enrico Fermi at the University of Chicago and with Albert Einstein at Columbia University. After the war, Quarterman returned to school and earned a master of science from Northwestern University in 1952. He also received an honorary doctorate from St. Augustine’s College in 1971 for a lifetime of achievement. (Source: blackpast.org)
Credit: The City University of New York
Colonel Terrance Holiday (M.B.A. ’82), Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, Retired
Colonel Terrance Holliday is a distinguished veteran of the U.S. armed forces, with 40 years of service in the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve, retiring with the rank of colonel. He entered the military in 1968 as an airman basic with the New Jersey Air National Guard at McGuire Air Force Base. He then served as a technical sergeant with the 170th Air Refueling Group. In 1977, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant, and he was later deployed to Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Shield in 1990. In 1993, Holliday left the Guard and joined the Air Force Reserve, working with its national media outreach office in New York.
Besides his military service, Holliday was a special investigator at Allstate Insurance. He also taught Aerospace History and National Security for the Air Force ROTC Detachment at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
After leaving the military, Holliday was the commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs, where he advised on issues and initiatives affecting the veteran and military community.
Granville T. Woods, Inventor
Granville T. Woods was an American inventor who held more than 50 patents. Born on April 23, 1826, he was the first American of African ancestry to be a mechanical and electrical engineer after the Civil War.
Woods registered 35 patents for electromechanical devices, including the multiplex telegraph. These led to significant improvements in telegraphy, telephones, and electric motor regulators.
Maureen Aladin (M.S. ’02), Creative Director and Producer
Maureen Aladin is the creative director and executive producer for TWELVE18 Media, Inc. The New York/Los Angeles-based full-service production company specializes in developing broadcast, digital, and exclusive branded content.
Aladin began her career as a writer for a television segment on a Spike Lee special on BET and transitioned into producing by creating the popular online music show, “The M-Spot.” An indie version of AOL Sessions, the show ended up expanding offline with a bimonthly live showcase at New York’s Bowery Poetry Club. Aladin also received recognition at CNN’s iReport Film Festival for producing and writing a commercial for the 2008 presidential election.
Aladin has served as creative director, producer, and writer for the #1 Nielsen-rated youth sports show, “Generation Nexxt” (CBS4/Fox Sports Sun); and for the Orange Bowl’s youth sports show, “Inside the Orange Bowl YFA” (Fox Sports Sun). She also produced and edited annual corporate videos for the Council of Urban Professionals featuring Misty Copeland, Dick Parsons, and other major figures. In support of victims of the earthquake that devastated Haiti, Aladin produced the music video “Better,” featuring Grammy Award winners Wyclef and Melky Jean. She took the lead in landing the video on VEVO, where it has been seen more than 1.4 million times. Aladin holds a B.A. in political science from Stony Brook University and an M.S. in computer science from NYIT.
Lewis H. Latimer, Electricity Pioneer
Born on September 4, 1848, Lewis H. Latimer was among the great pioneers in the development of electricity. In 1861, he and Joseph Nichols invented the first lightbulb with a carbon filament—a significant improvement on Thomas Edison’s original paper filament (which burned out quickly). Latimer supervised the installation of electric lighting on streets in New York, Philadelphia, London, and several other cities in the 1880s. In 1890, he published Incandescent Electric Lighting: A Practical Description of the Edison System.
Credit: Network Security Systems Plus
Felix A. Thomas (B.S. ’79), Technology Entrepreneur
Felix A. Thomas has more than 40 years of experience in technology-related disciplines. An entrepreneur since 1988, he has extensive technical, management, and consulting experience in the fields of health care, information technology, and cybersecurity. He founded Network Security Systems Plus, a multimillion-dollar IT/cybersecurity company.
Meta L. Christy, D.O.
Meta L. Christy, D.O., is recognized by the American Osteopathic Association as the first black osteopathic physician. She graduated in 1921 from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine as its first black graduate, and today the college gives an annual award in her name. Christy established her lifelong private practice in Las Vegas, New Mexico, at a time when black or female physicians were almost unknown in local hospitals. (Source: Historical Marker Database)
Credit: Fit Doc.
Michele C. Reed (D.O. ’97), Family Physician and Author
Michele C. Reed, D.O., is a Board Certified family medicine physician, public speaker, and best-selling author. She is the owner and medical director of MS Family Medicine Health Care, a holistic practice that serves diverse communities through two office locations in New York. Reed has been featured on the Rachael Ray Show with Ian Smith, M.D., and Sunny Anderson of the Food Network, as well as in Government Technology Today Magazine, Newsday, Verizon Fios News 1’s “Push Pause,” The New York Daily News, Ebony magazine, Essence magazine, Heart & Soul magazine, and BlackDoctors.org. Additionally, she has been a weekly contributor to Late Night Parents with Ted Hicks. Her debut book, Mentally Fit, Physically Strong: The Fit Doc’s Guide to Real Life, Real Fitness, Real Health was released in May 2017.
Reed received her undergraduate degree from Stony Brook University and her medical degree from NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine. In addition to her practice, she serves as the physician for the Malverne and Roosevelt School Districts in Nassau County, N.Y. She remains committed to serving her community and also serves as the community medical director for The Congregational Church of South Hempstead.
By Brian Harper