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CEOSE - Member Biography

Joseph Whittaker

Dr. Joseph A. Whittaker
Dean and Professor
School of Computer, Mathematical & Natural Sciences
Morgan State University
1700 East Cold Spring Lane,
Baltimore, MD 21251
Term: 09/09/2011-09/08/2014

Dr. Joseph A. Whittaker is Dean of the School of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences (SCMNS) and Professor at Morgan State University (MSU). In this leadership role, he has actively led several scientific and programmatic initiatives that broadly reflect his vision for interdisciplinary collaboration, international outreach, and high academic standards. He oversees more than 150 faculty members in five academic departments; professional programs in Medical Technology and Actuarial Science; and research programs at the Estuarine Research Center and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Dr. Whittaker's professional experience includes more than 20 years of research as well as undergraduate, graduate and medical education, with numerous contributions to each of these fields. He is an active member of several professional organizations, including the Society of Neuroscience, the International Brain Research Organization and Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society.

Dr. Whittaker's service to his profession and the community has been extensive. At the national level, he has been a member of numerous scientific review panels and committees at the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Institutes of Health. He also serves on the Board of Directors of several professional and service organizations, which include Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society, the Minority Serving Institutions Research Partnership Consortium (MSIRPC), the National Professional Science Master's Association (NPSMA), and the Central Maryland Chapter of the March of Dimes, to name a few. In 2009, Dr. Whittaker was elected as the 73rd President of Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society. This is a noteworthy, since he is only the second African American to hold this post in the international Society's 125-year history. As an international organization, Sigma Xi (SX) boasts more than 200 Nobel laureates as members. Dr. Whittaker also has been the recipient of many honors for his extraordinary professional leadership and service. He was the 2008 recipient of the National Role Model Faculty/Administrator Award from Minority Access, Inc. In addition, he was selected by People to People Citizen Ambassador Programs to lead the 2010 Science and Engineering Delegation to South Africa. Most recently, Dr. Whittaker was awarded the 2011 Baltimore Times Positive People Award by The Baltimore Times Publications and the prestigious 2011 Marcus Garvey UNIA Award for his outstanding and dedicated service to education by the Jamaican Association of Maryland.

Dr. Whittaker earned his doctorate in Physiology and Biophysics from Howard University and his undergraduate degree in Biology from MSU. He subsequently held post-doctoral fellowships in Neurobiology and Cellular Electrophysiology at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, and faculty positions at Howard University and Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM). Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Whittaker spearheaded an initiative to establish the MSM Developmental Neuroscience Program, which drove the design and construction of the current Neuroscience Institute; the first of its kind in a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the United States. Through strategic partnerships and funding from private and public entities, Dr. Whittaker has significantly enhanced the SCMNS research funding base and facilitated the development of several new academic and outreach programs. These include a doctoral program in Industrial and Computational Mathematics; and, a baccalaureate degree program in Actuarial Science, the first at a HBCU in the U.S. His three-year appointment to CEOSE membership began on September 9, 2011.

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