APL Colloquium

February 6, 2004

Colloquium Topic: E3 = Egypt, Engineering, and Education

Exploring excellence in engineering from Egypt from the perspective of African Engineering aptitude and achievement can spark the enthusiasm of today's African American youth - especially males of African descent. Recognizing the historical link between themselves and past engineers can contribute to a higher self-esteem and self-confidence in their ability to successfully engage in engineering and scientific studies. This presentation will challenge what most people commonly know about ancient Egypt's origin, focusing on the Pyramids, Metu Neter and Maatian Ethics to show that there are key lessons to be learned from the past. In light of the importance of technical education in the 21st Century and beyond, it is imperative that all people, especially African-American youth, be exposed to African History in its fullest so that they will be able to maximize their contribution to the future positive development of the world.

Colloquium Speaker: Ellis Barksdale

Mr. Ellis Barksdale is owner and founder of Ellis H. Barksdale Solutions. He has long been an advocate for the advancement and education of people of African descent. To that end, Ellis has been active in areas wherever he has resided. Currently his focus is both Maryland and Africa. Ellis is recognized in Baltimore County as a leader in the movement to improve schools for students in the area. He is an active member of multiple PTA's. His emphasis has been on building membership; and educating parents and teachers on their power. In 2003, he was key to Randallstown Elementary School receiving awards for 100% PTA membership at the county and state levels. He received the Distinguished Service award from the Baltimore County PTA Council as a result of his relentless efforts. Additionally he organizes across traditional boundaries to increase unity for education. One example is his membership in the Children 1st Movement of Baltimore City where he challenges community and city leaders to resolve the issues that confront schools and educational programs. Additionally, Ellis is solution oriented and very hands-on with his strategies. He has been a key person in the development and institution of "An All Male Classroom", "Tie-Day" (male mentoring program) and "State of Emergency" meetings and forums. The "Tie-Day" program is now beginning to be replicated in select Baltimore City Public Schools. In addition to his local activities, Ellis has traveled to Africa numerous times where he works to create and increase economic and educational opportunities by linking people there with citizens here. He continually calls upon engineers of African descent here to consider applying their skills to the needs in Africa because he believes that is a historical legacy that must be fulfilled. Ellis has been active in organizations ranging from Africa Seed Inc., International Society of African Scientists (ISAS) to the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and was the keynote speaker at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's celebration of their 20th anniversary in NSBE. Ellis received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His expertise is in manufacturing Statistical Engineering problem solving and process improvement.