Augsburg News

News Archives - 2004

Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson 2004 commencement speaker

Apr. 25, 2004

Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselear Polytechnic InstituteThe Honorable Shirley Ann Jackson, president of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, will be the speaker at the 2004 Augsburg College Commencement ceremony Saturday, May 1. It is said that Jackson has a "career distinguished by many historic firsts."

Jackson, a theoretical physicist, holds a Ph.D. in theoretical elementary particle physics from M.I.T. and a S.B. in physics from M.I.T. She is the first African-American woman to receive a doctorate from M.I.T., and is one of the first two African-American women to receive a doctorate in physics in the United States. Jackson is also the first African-American to become a commissioner of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and is now the first woman to lead a national research university.
Jackson has held senior positions in government, as chairperson of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC); in industry and research, as a theoretical physicist at the former AT&T Bell Laboratories; and in academe as a professor at Rutgers University. While at the NRC, Jackson represented the United States as a delegate to the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria.

Among the number of professional organizations Jackson belongs to, she is president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. She is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Physical Society.