WASHINGTON – The Howard University Graduate School is pleased to announce the 2019 recipients of the Edward Bouchet Legacy Award: James M. Turner, Ph.D., former director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Joyce Ladner, Ph.D., a renowned sociologist and former interim president of Howard University.

This year’s theme for the two-day 2019 Annual Edward Bouchet National Graduate Forum, is titled “Disciplines-in-Dialogue in the Public Sphere.” The two-day forum will take place on Wednesday, September 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Interdisciplinary Research Building at 2201 Georgia Ave, NW, Washington, D.C. and on Thursday, September 12, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at WHUT-TV Studios at 2222 Fourth Street, NW, Washington, DC. The schedule can be viewed online. Lunch will be provided.

The legacy awards will be presented on Thursday, September 12, 2019, at 4 p.m.  A reception will follow to celebrate the awardees. Henry T. Frierson, Ph.D., associate vice president and dean of the Graduate School at the University of Florida will offer the awards keynote lecture. This forum is free and open to the public, but attendees must RSVP. To RSVP email 

“The legacy award is given to those who champion excellence in higher education, who have demonstrated dedicated leadership and who have cultivated a new generation of scholars who uphold Dr. Bouchet’s groundbreaking achievements and contributions to the academy and beyond. Dr. Ladner and Dr. Turner are ideal candidates for the award,” said Dana A. Williams, Ph.D., interim dean of the Graduate School at Howard University. She will be offering the statements at the Opening Plenary Session on Thursday at 2 p.m.

Turner is currently director of the Daniel Alexander Payne Community Development Corporation Percy Julian Institute. The mission of the institute is to encourage minority students to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. Ladner’s work spans the roles of civil rights activist, sociologist, university president, presidential appointee, and national public policy analyst.

He retired from the Federal Senior Executive Service in 2013 after building an exceptional career serving as the director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the Office of International Affairs. He was also a senior advisor to the NOAA Administrator, deputy and acting director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and assistant deputy administrator for the Nuclear Risk Reduction in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

Turner earned his Ph.D. in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and taught at Morehouse College as an associate professor of physics and engineering. Other accolades include receiving the U.S. Government Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service, the DOE Exceptional Service Award, the Secretary of Energy Gold Award, and the NNSA Administrator’s Gold Medal.

Growing up in Mississippi and witnessing the aftermath of Emmett Till’s murder, Joyce Ladner resolved to use her life to fight for the rights of others. “For my generation, Emmett Till’s face became the personification of evil. His case was the rallying cry to wage a movement against racism and its affects,” said Ladner during her lecture titled “My Life in the Civil Rights Movement” at Penn State University this past March.

Throughout her career as a sociologist focusing on children’s issues, Ladner also built a strong foundation in academia as a professor and administrator. She has taught at colleges and universities in Illinois, Connecticut, District of Columbia and Tanzania. During her time at Howard University, she served as vice president of academic affairs from 1990-1994. She went on to become the first woman to sit as interim president of the University from 1994-1995. After her time as university president, former United States President Bill Clinton appointed her to the District of Columbia Financial Control Board where she provided oversight of the financial and budgetary restructuring of the D.C. public school system.

The 2019 Annual Edward Bouchet National Graduate Forum will explore how disciplines share intellectual processes and concepts with other disciplines and how the intrusion or inclusion of a second or third discipline enhances accumulated “specialist” knowledge.

“Part of what we hope to achieve with these sessions,” Williams noted, “is to recover and discover the joy of thinking beyond the narrowness of disciplines to construct new knowledge and to create the conditions that make possible the kinds of intellectual inquiry that will help us interpret the world differently and create a new one.”

Other highlights of this year’s forum include:

Information Session

Wednesday, September 11 at 3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Where: Interdisciplinary Research Building

About: Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Information Session with SSRC President, Alondra Nelson, Ph.D.

Welcome Reception and Network Event

Wednesday, September 11 at 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Where: Interdisciplinary Research Building

Disciplines-in-Dialogue I

Thursday, September 12 at 10 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

WhereWHUT-TV Studios

About:This will be hosted and recorded live at WHUT-TV Studios. This event will feature a discussion with Jules Harrell, Ph.D., and Lakshmi Krishnan, Ph.D.

Disciplines-in-Dialogue II

Thursday, September 12 at 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

WhereWHUT-TV Studios

About: This event will feature a discussion with Mario Beatty, Ph.D., and Thomas Searles, Ph.D.

Graduate School’s Inaugural 3 Minute Thesis © Workshop and Mock Competition

Thursday, September 12 at 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Location: WHUT-TV Studios

AboutHoward University graduate students will present their highly-concentrated research proposals.