SC State's Honors and Awards Convocation 2008

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

 South Carolina State University will formally recognize approximately than 900 student scholars who have achieved academic excellence at its annual spring Honors and Awards Convocation on Tuesday, April 1, 2008, at 3:00 pm in the Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center. The theme of this year’s convocation is: “SC State: A University With A New STATE of Mind.” The convocation keynote speaker will be Dr. Calvin Mackie.


The annual Honors and Awards Convocation is designed as an appropriate time to honor students who have distinguished themselves in scholarship and service. These distinctions are manifested through the attainment of Presidential Medallions, academic scholarships and induction into academic honors societies.

The Presidential Scholar Awards were initiated in 1977 by Dr. M. Maceo Nance, Jr., the fifth President of South Carolina State University. The underlying objectives for establishing the awards were: 1) to recognize students who demonstrate academic excellence; 2) to encourage those who demonstrate academic excellence to maintain and achieve higher levels of academic pursuits; 3) to provide symbolic recognition via the Presidential Pin; and 4) to provide an incentive to all students to achieve academic excellence.

A recipient of the Presidential Scholar Award must be a full-time, regularly enrolled, degree-seeking undergraduate at the University. To qualify for a gold pin, freshmen and transfer students must have averages of 3.94 to 4.00. Pins are awarded based upon the following criteria for cumulative grade point averages: Bronze Pin (3.00-3.49); Silver Pin (3.50-3.74); Gold Pin (3.5-4.00).

Dr. Calvin Mackie is an award winning mentor, an international renowned motivational speaker, and a successful entrepreneur. His message as a mentor, speaker, and entrepreneur continues to transcend race, gender, ethnicity, religion, and time. After starting college in remedial reading because of weak SAT scores, Mackie earned a bachelor of science in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech and a bachelor of science in Mathematics from Morehouse College in 1990, a M.S. in 1992 and the Ph.D. in 1996 in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech. Following graduation he joined the faculty at Tulane University where he pursued research related to heat transfer, fluid dynamics, energy efficiency and renewable energy. In 2002, he was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. Mackie’s eleven year academic career ended in June 2007, when Tulane University disbanded the engineering school in response to financial hardship induced by Hurricane Katrina. A professional speaker, in 1992 he co-founded Channel ZerO, an educational and motivational consulting company and has presented to numerous civic, educational institutions and Fortune 500 corporations.

A member of the Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Tau Sigma and Tau Beta Pi National Honor Societies, his passion for scholarship is well established. While pursuing his doctorate degree, he served as an instructor of mathematics at Morehouse College. Committed to community service, Mackie is an active member of the National Speaker Association and the 100 Black Men of Metro New Orleans.

Mackie has won numerous awards including the 2003 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring in a White House Ceremony, the 2003 National Title One Distinguished Graduate for Louisiana, 2002 Black Engineer of the Year Award for College Level Educator, 2002 New Orleans Data News Weekly Trailblazer Award, and the Pi Tau Sigma/ASME Excellence in Teaching Award in Mechanical Engineering for 2000 and 2002. In November 1999, he received a patent on a device to retrofit luggage stowbins on 737 and 757 Boeing commercial airliners.

Most recently, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco appointed Dr. Mackie to the 33 member board, the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA), the guiding agency to lead the state’s rebuilding efforts following the catastrophic Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Possessing instant social, political, cultural, and technical credibility, Mackie was featured prominently on the HBO world premier of Spike Lee’s Katrina documentary entitled “When The Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Parts,” and has appeared on numerous national and local news shows including the PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer, and the Tom Joyner Morning Show. Mackie received international acclaim during and after a recent visit to the country of Kuwait as an ambassador of the LRA and the guest of the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, appearing on Good Morning Kuwait and in numerous international Arab newspapers.

He is the author of the book: “A View from the Roof: Lessons for Life and Business.” Dr. Mackie is a devoted husband to his wife, Tracy, and father to his two sons, Myles Ahmad and Mason Amir.

This program is open to the general public. For more information, please contact the SC State Office of University Relations and Marketing at 516-4791.