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Philadelphia AMP Project Director Stephen Cox is Honored with the Black Engineer of the Year Award in Washington D.C.

February 9, 2014

Stephen Cox accepting award 

The Philadelphia AMP is proud to congratulate its Project Director, Mr. Stephen Cox for being honored with the Black Engineer of the YearCollege-Level Promotion of Education Award for all his achievements in broadening the participation of underrepresented minority students in STEM for well over two decades.  He personally received the award from Dr. Mark Greenberg, Provost & Senior Vice President, Drexel University during the 28th BEYA STEM “Global Competiveness” Conference held from February 6-8, 2014 in Washington, DC.

During Mr. Cox’s acceptance speech, he noted the following:
“My dad began with little and rose to a stellar 45-year career as a judge. He exposed me to career possibilities, including the Navy’s Acrobatic Fighter Team-Blue Angels. This singular moment inspired my passion to fly, design and study aerodynamics. I ultimately completed graduate school at Drexel University in Bio-Physics and Bio-Medical Engineering. Thirty-five years ago, renowned research physicist, Clarence Harris encouraged me to join the development team of Harambee Institute of Science and Technology Charter School using a traditional African -Centered Perspective. Today the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation incorporates the treasures of mentors, knowledge and friendship.”

Award participants

Mr. Cox graduated from Drexel University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Atmospheric Sciences and a Master of Science degree in Biophysics and Biomedical Engineering.  He is the founder and developer of the Greater Philadelphia Region Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (Philadelphia AMP) program funded by the National Science Foundation. Philadelphia AMP is a tri-state alliance of nine higher education institutions: Drexel University, Temple University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Delaware, Cheyney University, Lincoln University, Delaware State University, Community College of Philadelphia, and New Jersey Institute of Technology.

As Co-PI, Project Director, Philadelphia AMP, Mr. Cox and the Alliance partners are dedicated to substantially increasing underrepresented minority baccalaureate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).  As of June 2012, the Philadelphia AMP initiative produced over 9,600 minority STEM B.S degrees, over 2,200 minority STEM MS degrees, and over 300 minority STEM Ph.D. degrees, and provided technical training and professional development services to over 13,000 minority STEM students to better prepare them for movement into industry and/or academia. As of August 2013, through the leveraging of Philadelphia AMP funding, 48 students have also participated in international laboratory research activities in seven countries: China (31), Jamaica (10), Serbia (2), Austria (2), Switzerland (1), Chile (1), and Madagascar (1) which has greatly enhanced their global competitiveness in the STEM enterprise.

Philadelphia AMP was the expansion of Mr. Cox’s work as the Principal Investigator and Project Director for the National Science Foundation’s Comprehensive Regional Center for Minorities (CRCM). As the Director of Operations for the Philadelphia Education Fund, formally known as PATHS/PRISM – the Philadelphia Partnership for Education, he was responsible for research, development and implementation of science, engineering, and mathematics programs that would significantly increase the number of African-American, Latino and Native American students in the STEM careers.

Mr. Cox began his professional career in 1973 at General Electric Company as a Re-Entry Physicist simultaneously conducting research in the graduate Bio-Medical Engineering program at Drexel University.  He published a number of research papers on the thermo chemistry of ballistic projectiles in the journal of Aero-physics and Astrophysics.  In 1978, he was appointed to the position of Assistant Director of Project Financing for the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation.  In this capacity, he coordinated the financing and development of large scale projects, both public and private, for the City of Philadelphia including: Wyndham Franklin Plaza Hotel, the Smith Kline Beecham Corporate Headquarters, the Market Street East Development and four of the Industrial Parks. 

In 1983, Mr. Cox became the Chief Executive Officer for the Unity Construction Corporation, a telecommunications research and construction firm, where he remained until securing his position with the Philadelphia Education Fund in 1990 where he began his career path to improve and increase the recruitment, retention and degree attainment of underrepresented students in STEM disciplines at all levels. Today, he continues to inform and reform STEM educational practices through his engagement with the STEM community and the dissemination of best practices as it relates to underrepresented STEM students and institutional policies and practices through publications, and the delivery of presentations at national conferences.

Among Mr. Cox’s affiliations also include memberships in numerous minority professional organizations, the American Physical Society, the Society of Cable Television Engineers, The Pennsylvania Governors' Excellence in Science Award Panel (TPAC), and the Mayor’s Commission on Telecommunication and Communication Technologies (Philadelphia).  In addition, he is also an elected member of the Drexel University Alumni Board of Governors, a member of the “Drexel 100” – a unique number of the graduates who exemplify the best of Drexel University in its first 100 years, the chairman of the board of the Harambee Institute of Science and Technology Charter School, Vice Chair of the Board for the Greater Philadelphia Health Alliance (GPHA), and Treasurer for the Wynnefield Overbrook Revitalization Corporation (WORC). He also serves as the institutional representative for Drexel University’s student chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the Graduate Degrees for Minorities (GEM) in Science and Engineering (GEM) fellowship program.