"If you never forget where you come from, you'll be sure to get where you're going"
- Moses General Miles
Back in 1986, as high school classmates and friends in Tallahassee, Florida, Clayton Clark II, PhD (Environmental Engineering)., Jason Black, PhD (Computer Science), and Tiffany Wilson-Ardley, PhD (Medicinal Chemistry), took classes during a STEM summer program for high school students at Florida A&M University. While there, they were constantly challenged to be creative, strive for excellence and to pay it forward. It was primarily their exposure to STEM in this program that led them to pursue college degrees in the STEM areas mentioned above, and eventually PhDs. Now, more than 25 years later, the trio is working to answer that call, having collectively been awarded more than $1 Million dollars in grant and research funding for programs designed to recruit and motivate high school students, particularly underrepresented and at-risk students, to pursue and excel in college majors and potential careers in STEM disciplines.
Through the successes of their various programs, the professors were moved to form their own company, ABC's STEM Consulting, LLC, which has constructed several models of effective learning and academic and professional development for educators, researchers, administrators, and others interested in improving the STEM preparation of today's youth. “We agreed that we must to do something to improve the downward trends of students pursuing STEM degrees in the U.S.", said Ardley. “We want to reach back and assist other kids, just like us, in realizing their dreams of being scientists and researchers, just like we were able to do.”, said Clark. Said Black, "We had no choice but to pay it forward; we LOVE what we do!"
Tiffany Ardley, PhD
Co-Founder, Science Specialist
Jason Black, PhD
Co-Founder, Technology Specialist
Clayton Clark, II, PhD
Co-Founder, Engineering Specialist
Dr. Tiffany Ardley, Assistant Professor of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences, became the 1st African-American and first female to earn the Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry from Florida A&M University. Her research focuses on designand development of agents for the treatment of cancer and uterine fibroids. She has 18 publications and 42 research abstracts research presented at national and inter-national meetings. Current honors include: Association of American Colleges and Universities STEM Women of Color Faculty at HBCUs Travel Award Winner, FAMU Teacher of the Year (2013), and American Association for Cancer Research Minority-Serving Institution Faculty Scholar in Cancer Research Award. She has mentored high school, undergraduate and graduate students.
Dr. Jason T. Black, Associate Professor in Business Information Systems, holds a MS degree in Computer Science from Georgia Tech, and a PhD in Computer Science from Florida State University. Dr. Black has a research background in mobile computing, collaborative learning and educational technology; and also extensive experience in mentoring minority students. Dr. Black has directed several federal programs designed to increase underrepresented students in computing disciplines. He was founder and director of the NSF-funded African-American Women in Computer Science Scholarship program, and a founding partner in the NSF Broadening Participation in Computing STARS Alliance for Diversity in Computing. Dr. Black also is working in areas such as Big Data, Social Computing, Social Media, and Entrepreneurship.
Dr. Clayton J. Clark II, P.E., Associate Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering earned his PhD in Environmental Engineering from the University of Florida. Dr. Clark has research interests in remediation of hazardous wastes, environmental sustainability, water resources and chemistry, and groundwater hydrology. Having more than 20 peer-reviewed publications and numerous presentations at national and inter-national conferences, he has also been involved in mentoring minority engineering students, including the National Society of Black Engineers; Hispanic Scholarship Fund; Gator Launch Minority Engineering Mentoring Program; and Engineers Without Borders. He has mentored students from middle and high schools in Trenton,Gainesville, and Tallahassee, Florida, including providing them summer internships in his lab.