Black History Maker Dr. Michael Curry, Inspiring STEM Diversity
Dr. Michael L. Curry
92.9 WTUG, Praise 93.3, and 105.1 The Block in partnership with Robinson Automotive, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, Delta Phi Lambda Chapter, the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Eta Xi Omega Chapter, along with Lanier Automotive, Bryant Bank, and Dixie Motors in Northport, we are proud to salute, Dr. Michael L. Curry.
Dr. Michael L. Curry currently serves as an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Tuskegee University. As a university professor and researcher focused on building a more sustainable future, Dr. Curry, President, founder and CEO of Eco-friendly Plastic Materials and The Color of STEM Foundation, dedicates his lifework to creating the next wave of minority innovators. His goal is to increase the number of highly trained minority professionals within the STEM and entrepreneurship pipelines, strategically move the needle forward on minority-inspired innovation, and powerfully influence the movement of STEM diversity.
Dr. Curry has made significant contributions to HBCU inspired innovations and STEM diversity through his research and student mentoring. Dr. Curry has secured more than $50 million in grant funding to help develop programs to educate underrepresented students in the STEM disciplines. He has mentored more than 100 African American STEM students at the high school, undergraduate and advanced degree levels. Of this group, greater than 50% are females, which significantly contributes to closing the gender gap of African American females pursuing STEM degrees. He received the Outstanding Service by a Faculty Member award from Tuskegee University in 2013.
His research has led him to national recognition for his discoveries of bio-inspired, eco-friendly plastics made from natural products such as plants and for their unique applications. These innovative materials are not only sustainable but are designed to help in the elimination of atmospheric carbon dioxide, reducing the negative impact of climate change. His research has appeared in many scientific journals. It is highlighted on various media platforms such as Business Alabama, Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, and US Black Engineering and IT Magazine, just to name a few. Dr. Curry currently holds more than 50 scientific publications and four patent-pending STEM technologies.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry with a minor in Mathematics from the University of West Alabama, Livingston, Alabama. While at the university, Dr. Curry would find his love for mentoring students through service as a math tutor.
He earned his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. His research focused on the application of materials science to develop new coating technology that could be applied to the magnetic hard drive industry. During his tenure at Alabama, Dr. Curry excelled as a researcher and was awarded the Outstanding Chemistry Graduate Student Award in 2004.
Dr. Curry is a veteran. He served four years in the United States Navy as an enlisted service member, where he gained his first real-world exposure to STEM technology as a crew member aboard a nuclear-powered submarine.
He is married to Dr. Alicia L. Curry, who currently serves as the Dean of the School of Education at Stillman College. They are known as the Dynamic Duo of Education because of their team efforts to build program pathways to increase the number of African Americans pursuing college degrees.
LOOK: 28 Modern Black History Makers & Moments