WAMC Speakers Corner
12:56 am
Fri August 29, 2008

In Conversation with... Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson

Albany, NY –

Alan Chartock is joined by Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, President of R.P.I. to talk about energy security issues.

The Honorable Shirley Ann Jackson is the 18th President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y., and Hartford, Conn., the oldest technological research university in the United States.

Describing her as a national treasure, the National Science Board selected Dr. Jackson as its 2007 recipient of the prestigious Vannevar Bush Award for a lifetime of achievements in scientific research, education, and senior statesman-like contributions to public policy.

Described by Time Magazine (2005) as perhaps the ultimate role model for women in science, President Jackson has held senior leadership positions in government, industry, research, and academe.

Since her arrival in 1999, Dr. Jackson has fostered an extraordinary renaissance at Rensselaer through the vision, development and implementation of The Rensselaer Plan, the Institute's strategic blueprint. This institutional transformation has included the hiring of more than 180 new faculty and a corresponding reduction in class size and student/faculty ratios; initiating and/or completing $600 million in new construction and renovation of facilities for research, teaching, and student life; a doubling of research awards; and innovations in curriculum, undergraduate research, and student life initiatives. President Jackson secured a $360 million unrestricted gift to the university (2001), launched the $1 billion Renaissance at Rensselaer Campaign (2004), and expanded the goal of the campaign to $1.4 billion (2006) when the initial goal was met earlier than anticipated.

Dr. Jackson holds a Ph.D. in theoretical elementary particle physics from M.I.T. (1973) and a S.B. in physics from M.I.T. (1968). Her research specialty is in theoretical condensed matter physics, especially layered systems, and the physics of opto-electronic materials.

Prior to her leadership of Rensselaer, President Jackson was Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission; a theoretical physicist conducting basic research at the former AT&T Bell Laboratories; and a professor of theoretical physics at Rutgers University.

In addition to speaking with lawmakers, newsmakers, musicians, artists, and other people of note, Alan S. Chartock also serves WAMC Northeast Public Radio as President and CEO, fundraiser, and Executive Producer of National Productions, WAMC's in-house production arm. Alan also plays host to WAMC's Capitol Connection, and Medical Monday programs, as well as appearing as a weekly panelist on WAMC's The Media Project. Visit Alan on Myspace, or read his blog.

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Other notable conversations include:
Anthony Caprio
Ken Burns
Greg Palast