North Carolina A&T State University Establishes Three New Centers of Excellence

As an outgrowth of its recently updated strategic plan and commitment to outstanding quality in research, teaching, and community engagement, North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro has created three new Centers of Excellence. The three centers will conduct research in cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing, and entrepreneurship and innovation. Interim directors have been named for the three new centers and they are set to begin developing strategic plans and building the initial infrastructure for each center. Two of the three interim directors are African Americans.

Tonya Smith-Jackson has been appointed as interim director of the Center of Excellence in Cybersecurity. She is a professor and chair of the department of industrial systems engineering at the university and director of the Human Factors Analytics Lab. She is the former director of the Center for Advanced Studies in Identity Sciences, and co-director of the laboratory for Cyber-Human Analytics Research for the Internet of Things. Additionally, she is a fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and a member of several other professional societies. Her current research focuses on cyber-human systems, fairness and equity in intelligent systems, cognitive ergonomics, and mixed data modeling to design systems that advance inclusion and equity in socio-technical systems and cyber-ecosystems.

Dr. Smith-Jackson is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she majored in psychology. She holds a master’s degree in interdisciplinary psychology/ergonomics and industrial engineering and a doctorate in psychology/ergonomics both from North Carolina State University.

Thaddeus McEwen has been appointed as interim director of the Center of Excellence in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He is a professor in the department of management in the College of Business and Economics. Under his leadership, the entrepreneurship program has grown from one course, educating 12 students per year, to the current program that includes an entrepreneurship concentration for management majors, as well as a certificate and a minor in entrepreneurship, available to all majors on campus. He also developed various initiatives, including the Aggie Venture Accelerator, the Faculty Fellows in Entrepreneurship program, and the Aggie Student Incubator. Additionally, he is the former vice president of the Women and Minority Entrepreneurship Division of the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship. His research has focused on environmental and STEM entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship teaching and learning.

Dr. McEwen is a graduate of University of Technology in Jamaica, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in education. He holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. both from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

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