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Dowe, Jessica
Birth Year : 1956
From 2003-2005, Dr. Dowe practiced medicine in Munfordville, KY, the first African American to do so; she practiced with Dr. James Middleton at the Family Medicine Clinic of Hart County. Dr. Dowe is also one of the original board members of the Munfordville YMCA. She is also a speaker with the American Medical Association (AMA) Minority Affairs Consortium, "Doctors Back to School," a program that encourages elementary children to consider medicine as a career. Dr. Dowe has a number of publications and many years experience as a pharmaceutical and toxicology researcher, and she serves as an investigator in clinical pharmacology research for a number of companies. She has also served as Medical Services Director at the Jefferson County Department of Corrections. Dr. Dowe presently practices medicine in Elizabethtown, KY, and is a clinical instructor in Family and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Louisville. She is also a charter member for the first Faith-based Recovery Program for Addiction in Elizabethtown; the program is associated with the First Baptist Church, which is led by Reverend B. T. Bishop. Dr. Dowe was born in Alabama and is the daughter of Jessie and Janie Dowe. She graduated in 1978 from Dillard University with a degree in chemistry, earned a Ph.D. in pharmacology at Howard University, and attended the University of Louisville, where she earned her MD in 1996. This information is taken from, with permission, the curriculum vita of Dr. Jessica Dowe. Contact Dr. Dowe at Xavier Healthcare in Elizabethtown, KY, for more information.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Researchers, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Munfordville, Hart County, Kentucky / Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Kentucky / Alabama

Dyer, Deborah L. and Jacqueline Smith (1956-2005)
In 1991 Deborah Dyer and Jacqueline Smith started Central Kentucky Research Associates, Inc. (CKRA) with a $500 investment. The first independent medical research company in Kentucky, CKRA today has offices in Lexington, Richmond, and Mt. Sterling, Kentucky. The company, which conducts drug studies for pharmaceutical companies, is one of the few owned by women (or African American women) who are not doctors. In 1999 the company was named a Small Business of the Year Finalist, and the owners were named finalists for Working Woman Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards in 2000. Smith was awarded an Outstanding Alumna Award in 2002 from Eastern Kentucky University. She died in 2005 from a massive stroke while attending a meeting in Florida. Smith was a graduate of Madison Central High School and Eastern Kentucky University, both in Richmond, Kentucky. In 2008, the Jacqueline Yvonne Miller Smith Visiting Professorship was established in the Center for Advancement of Women's Health at the University of Kentucky. For more see V. H. Spears, "A Rock for all those who knew her, Jacqueline Smith: 1956-2005," Lexington Herald Leader, 11/15/2005, City&Region section, p. B1; and "Spotlight on philanthropy" in Advancing Women's Health, issue 6, fall 2008.

See photo image of Deborah Dyer and Jacqueline Smith at the CKRA website.
Subjects: Businesses, Medical Field, Health Care, Researchers, Nurses
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky

Lawson, James Raymond
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 1996
Born in Louisville, KY, James R. Lawson was the first student to receive a degree in physics from Fisk University. He developed a research program in infrared spectroscopy, which was the beginning of the Fisk Infrared Research Laboratory. Lawson served as president of Fisk from 1967 to 1977 and later became director of the Office of University Affairs, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, in Washington D.C. For more see N. Fuson, "Brief History of The Physics Department at Fisk University Including Its Infrared Spectroscopy And Other Research Programs", an article from the Tennessee Tribune, 02/18/97; and The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan.

See photo with James R. Lawson on p.66 in Ebony, April 1974.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Physicists, Researchers, Migration South
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee

Letton, James Carey
Birth Year : 1933
Death Year : 2013
Born in Paris, KY, James C. Letton, a retired chemist, was a 1955 graduate of Kentucky State University who served as president of the Alumni Association from 1979-1984. He earned his Ph. D. from the University of Illinois in 1970 and returned to Kentucky State University to chair the Chemistry Department. After five years, Letton was hired at Proctor & Gamble Company as an organic chemist. Letton has a number of patents and was featured in Black Enterprise in 1990 when he was working on the fat substitute, Olestra. His research and publications have been in the areas of medicinal chemistry. Letton has received a number of awards, including being named the recipient of the 1989 Percy L. Julian Award "for significant contributions in pure and/or applied research in science or engineering." That same year he was awarded the distinguished alumni citation from the National Association for Equal Opportunities in Education. For more see Who's Who in the South and Southwest, 1975-1977; "Changing America's Diet," Black Enterprise, vol. 20, issue 7 (Feb. 1990), p. 106; and James Carey Letton in American Men & Women of Science, 1971-2007. 

See also "In Memoriam: James Carey Letton, 1933-2013," a Journal of Blacks in Higher Education website.
Subjects: Chemists, Education and Educators, Migration North, Researchers
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Livisay, Stacy A.
Birth Year : 1968
Livisay, born in Lexington, KY, is the daughter of Shirley and Charles H. Livisay, Jr., and the grand-daughter of Evelyn and Charles H. Livisay, Sr. She is a graduate of Bryan Station High School in Lexington, Berea College (B.S. in agriculture), the University of Kentucky (M.A. in animal Science), and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (Ph. D. in food science). In 1999, Livisay was lead author of the patented method of adding calcium to grape products - patent #7033630 - and employed as a researcher and project developer at Welch's. She was later employed at The Campbell Soup Company, where she was responsible for adding vitamin E to V-8 Splash. Livisay is co-author of a number of articles in science journals and a book chapter. She lives in New Jersey. For more see M. Davis, "Learning fortifies character and juice," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/06/2003, City&Region section, p. B1; and Calcium-fortified, grape based products and methods for making them at freepatentsonline.com.
Subjects: Migration North, Researchers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / New Jersey

Neal, Homer Alfred, Sr.
Birth Year : 1942
Homer Alfred Neal, Sr. was born in Frankfort, KY. He is a graduate of Indiana University and a two time graduate of the University of Michigan, earning his Ph.D. in physics in 1966. He was the 2003 recipient of the the Edward A. Bouchet Award for his contributions to experimental high energy physics. Neal is a professor at the University of Michigan and has served as chair of the Physics Department and as Interim President of the University. He has also served on a number of other organization boards. A joint resolution appointed Neal a Citizen Regent on the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institute. In 2007, it was announced that Michigan University physicists, including Homer Neal, had made a significant contribution toward the discovery of a new particle, Cascade b (Xi-b) baryon. For more see T. Davis, "Physics: U-M physicists contribute to new particle discovery," Ann Arbor News, 07/02/2007, p. C1; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1977-2006.

See photo image of Homer Alfred Neal, Sr., about mid-way down the webpage of the NMAAHC.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Physicists, Researchers
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Flint, Michigan

Rogers, Lydia Jetton
Birth Year : 1899
Death Year : 1998
Lydia Jetton Rogers was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of Henrietta Jetton and John Jetton who was a post office clerk in Louisville [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. In 1930, Lydia Jetton was a divorcee living in Chicago on South Parkway; she was a roommate with Kentuckians Ethel Hill, a department store stenographer, and Frankie V. Adams, then a secretary at the YWCA [source: U.S. Federal Census]. In 1939, Lydia Jetton returned to Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C. as director of student services, and she would become a home economics instructor; she had earned her bachelor's degree in home economics from Bennett College, her master's degree in home economics from the University of Wisconsin, and was studying for her doctorate during the summers at Columbia University [sources: Hill's Greensboro (Guilford County, N.C.) City Directory, volumes 1936-1942; "In it's program...," The Crisis, December 1939, p.357, bottom of column 3; and "3 members of Bennett faculty get awards," The Afro American, 04/27/1940, p.9]. By 1949, Lydia Jetton had married Otis Rogers, the marriage would end in divorce. The couple lived in Washington, D.C. at 341 Bryant St. N.W. Lydia Rogers' work with the military allowed her to traveled abroad during WWII, arriving back in the U.S. on the Samaria (ship), September 18, 1949 [source: U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service, List of In-bound Passengers, List No. 31, p.141]. Rogers was a researcher in clothing and textiles at the Bureau of Standards and studied synthetic fibers for the military. She was also acting head of the Home Economics Department at Howard University. In 1951, she took a two year leave to establish a home economics department at Osmund College in Nigeria, Africa. Lydia Jetton Rogers retired from Howard University in the 1960s. She was 100 years old when she died, October 7, 1998 in Washington, D.C. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and "Lydia Rogers dies; professor at Howard U., The Washington Post, Obituaries section, p.B06.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Researchers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Greensboro, North Carolina / Washington, D.C. / Nigeria, Africa

 

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