MIT Brings Distinguished Group of Scholars to Campus as Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Professors

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has announced a group of eight scholars who are serving as Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Professors during the current academic year. The program, which was established two decades ago, brings distinguished scholars of any race to campus for a period of one semester to two years. Here are brief biographies of the MLK scholars teaching at MIT this year who are African Americans:

Sylvester James Gates Jr. is the John S. Toll Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland at College Park. Professor Gates holds two bachelor’s degrees and a Ph.D. in physics from MIT.

Donal Fox is a pianist and jazz composer who will be at MIT for a second year. Fox was trained at the New England Conservatory of Music and Berklee College. He is teaching a course on musical improvisation.

Reuben A. Buford May is a professor of sociology at Texas A&M University. He is teaching courses on urban cultures and sports culture. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Juana Mendenhall is an assistant professor of chemistry at Morehouse College in Atlanta.  Her goal is to forge long-term collaborative efforts between the chemistry departments at MIT and Morehouse. A graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, she holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Clark Atlanta University.

Isaac M. Mbiti is an assistant professor of economics at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He will be conducting research on the impact of vocational education in Kenya. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin at River Falls, he holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in economics from Brown University.