Kevin Williams, department head of Materials Science in Kodak Research Laboratories, was appointed the 2012–2013 Minett Professor at Rochester Institute of Technology. He joined the university on Oct. 1 and serves in the School of Chemistry and Materials Science in RIT’s College of Science.
The Minett Professorship is designed to bring distinguished Rochester-area multicultural professionals to the RIT campus to share their professional knowledge and experience with RIT’s students, faculty and staff for one academic year. Appointments are made by RIT President Bill Destler and Kevin McDonald, RIT’s vice president and associate provost for diversity and inclusion.
Williams will present a special topics graduate course in the college, work with a faculty team to redesign aspects of the materials science program and support the college’s efforts to increase enrollment and further current students’ academic careers in STEM disciplines.
“We are thrilled Dr. Williams has accepted the nomination as this year’s Minett professor,” McDonald says. “As a manager, an organic chemist, former Harvard fellow and holder of numerous patents, Dr. Williams brings a set of experiences to the position that we haven’t had before.”
Joining Kodak in 1992 as a chemist in the dye research laboratories, Williams rose in the company to lead its materials science department. He has 30 U.S. patents, including several in the company’s digital technology field. Williams, a West Irondequoit resident, has served as a member of the American Chemical Society, National Organization of Black Chemist and Chemical Engineers, and the Research Scientific Council. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Lincoln University, Pa., and a doctoral degree in organic chemistry degree from University of Pittsburgh.
Since 1991, the first year of the professorship, 22 community members have served as Minett professors, including Rochester City Court Judge Teresa Johnson; G. Peter Jemison, artist and site manager of Ganondagon State Historic Site; and James Norman, president and chief executive officer of Action for a Better Community.