This year’s keynote speaker is Wille S. Rockward, PH.D.



Dr. Willie Rockward received a B.S. degree in Physics, cum laude, from Grambling State University. While completing a M.S. degree in Physics from State University of New York at Albany, he transferred into the doctoral program in the School of Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). After completing his doctoral studies at Georgia Tech, he served as a civilian Research Physicist for the Advanced Guidance Division of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory located at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.


Currently, Dr. Rockward is an Associate Professor of Physics at Morehouse College. Also, he serves as the Chair of the Department of Physics & Dual Degree Engineering Program and the Research Director of the Materials and Optics Research & Engineering (MORE) Laboratory. His current research interests include crossed phase optics, micro/nano optics fabrication, metamaterials, extreme ultraviolet lithography, terahertz imaging, and nanostructure characterization.


Among his professional and social organizations, he is a member of the American Association of Physics Teachers, the Society of Physics Students, the Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honor Society (National President 2014-18), the National Society of Black Physicists, the National Technical Association, the Optical Society of America, and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Among his community involvement, he actively serves as an Associate Minister at the Antioch Baptist Church North in Atlanta, GA and as the Director of Science and the Coordinator of Special STEM Projects for the Miller’s Military Academy in Lithonia, GA.


Description of Keynote Address

Building STEM Majors: We C.A.R.E. – An emphasis on Recruitment/Retention/Research of 1st & 2nd year students

Building STEM majors at any undergraduate institution, especially Perimeter College – a public,diverse, two-year institution, can be very challenging. To address this challenge, several STEM
departments at various institutions are applying a modified version of a pedagogical approach called “We C.A.R.E.” which stands for Curriculum, Advisement, Recruitment/Retention/Research, and Extras. This approach utilizes an integrated strategy of cultural (family-orientated), collaborative (shared-governance), and career (personalized pathways) modalities to provide the framework and momentum of building STEM majors. Thus, a detailed overview of the “We C.A.R.E.” approach will be presented along with an emphasis on recruitment, retention and research of 1st and 2nd year students.