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ORAU Webinar Series

ORAU Webinar Series

For more than 70 years, ORAU has helped our customers advance their mission by providing science, health and workforce solutions. Through our specialized teams of experts and a consortium of more than 120 universities, we connect the right people and resources to help our customers solve our nation’s most challenging issues.

Our 2020 Webinar Series features world-class subject matter experts presenting novel and emerging research in their respective fields. Our goal is to stimulate conversation and collaboration around some of the important research needs facing our country.

HBCUs/MSIs – Strengthening Communities through Data Science

April 14, 2021, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. EDT

The purpose of this webinar is to promote more in-depth dialog on the current and future evolution of data science; strategies to strengthen the pipeline of diverse data science professionals; and discuss how the combination of being a data educator, a data scientist, and a data policy maker are critical to advance data science.

Register now

Welcoming Remarks:


Larry Robinson, Ph.D.
President, Florida A&M University

Dr. Larry Robinson is Florida A&M University's 12th president and a distinguished professor and researcher in the School of the Environment at FAMU. Dr. Robinson's recent honors include an appointment in July 2018 to serve on the national STEM Education Advisory Panel. Dr. Robinson is actively engaged in research with students and faculty as the director and principal investigator of the Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems. FAMU is leading the partnership and collaborating with five universities to make a major impact on coastal and marine ecosystems education, science and policy.

Kenneth TobinKen Tobin, Ph.D.
Vice President & Senior Research Officer, Research & University Partnerships Office, ORAU

Dr. Kenneth W. Tobin serves as vice president of Research and University Partnerships. In this role, he enhances ORAU’s scientific research opportunities and expands partnerships with universities, national laboratories and private industry. Under his direction, the University Partnerships office provides awards to ORAU member universities, identifies and promotes funding opportunities by facilitating inter-institutional relationships, and leverages relationships with other organizations to support increased funding for scientific research and education. Prior to joining ORAU, Tobin served as director of the office of institutional planning at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.



Charles Weatherford, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research, Florida A&M University

Dr. Charles Weatherford, a physicist who shepherded Florida A&M University’s venture into industrial hemp production and research, is a professor of physics and vice president of the Division of Research. Weatherford has taught at FAMU since 1978.



Steven Morey, Ph.D.

Dr. Steven Morey is a professor in the FAMU School of the Environment and serves as the Distinguished Research Scientist for the NOAA Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems (NOAA CCME). He is a physical oceanographer with expertise in hydrodynamic modeling, satellite remote sensing, coastal processes, and impacts of circulation and environmental variability on marine ecosystems. Dr. Morey earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in physical oceanography from Florida State University after earning B.S. degrees in mathematics and computer science from the University of Missouri. As Distinguished Research Scientist for NOAA CCME he works with students across the six institutional partners led by FAMU to facilitate research opportunities and mentoring within NOAA, including alignment with the NOAA Data, Cloud, and Artificial Intelligence Science and Technology Strategies. Dr. Morey has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters related to his research funded by entities such as NOAA, NASA, the National Academy of Sciences, and industry.


Tarik Dickens, Ph.D.

Dr. Tarik J. Dickens is an associate professor at the Florida A&M University-Florida State University College of Engineering. His current research interests are in the areas of composite structure design, intelligent processing, additive and automated processing, and mechanical testing with a focus on failure prognosis (with interconnected sensors). He is also conducting research on hybrid electrochemical solar cell production and with advances in additive manufacturing. Read more.


Jason T. Black, Ph.D.

Dr. Jason T. Black is an associate professor in Information Systems and Operations Management in the School of Business and Industry at FAMU. Dr. Black has taught in both the Computer and Information Sciences department and the School of Business and Industry for more than 20 years. His research interests include business analytics/Big Data, mobile computing, and educational technology. Additionally, Dr. Black is currently the Chairman and Co-Lead for the HBCU Data Science Consortium, an initiative funded by a grant from the NSF South Big Data Hub, of which he is an active member. Dr. Black is also a participant in the NSF DataUp Initiative, as well as an instructor for the Software Carpentry program, which teaches data science-related tools to researchers using interactive teaching strategies. Read more.

The Future of Data Science: Its Role, Impact and Responsibility to the Advancement of Scientific Research and Public Understanding

In case you missed it, watch the first webinar in a series below that was originally presented on Dec. 2, 2020.

The demand for data science in making business, research and policy decisions continues to explode, as does the need for data scientists. ORAU is hosting this webinar, along with the University of Virginia, to drive more dialog on key factors that shape the current and future evolution of data science, promote more in-depth discussions on current trends; and what it means to be a data educator, a data scientist, and a data policy maker and why all three are critical to advance data science.


  • Philip E. Bourne, Ph.D., FACMI (bio)
    University of Virginia


  • Renée Cummings (bio)
    Data activist and criminologist at the University of Virginia School of Data Science
  • Dr. Sallie Ann Keller (bio)
    Distinguished Professor in Biocomplexity, Director of the Social and Decision Analytics Division within the Biocomplexity Institute and Initiative at University of Virginia and Professor of Public Health Sciences

Opening Remarks:

  • Ken Tobin, Ph.D.
  • Dean Evasius, Ph.D.
    University of Virginia