For Immediate Release




Dr. Beverly Clark, III

DANVILLE, VA, June 11, 2009 – Dr. Beverly A. Clark III is looking to make a difference as he returns to his hometown to serve as Director of Nanotechnology Education at Danville Community College. The former Java resident and Chatham High School graduate had been working at North Carolina State University while completing his doctoral studies when he was presented with the opportunity to start a new program on the community college campus.

“Nanotechnology is a fast growing technology and is finding its way into a number of professions,” Clark says. “Bringing the program to this region is a good idea and I commend DCC President Dr. Carlyle Ramsey for taking the initiative. It also gives me a great opportunity to work in my hometown and give something back to this community."

Clark is the son of Beverly Clark, Jr. of Lynchburg and Althera Clark of Danville. After graduation from Chatham High School in 1994, he attended Emory and Henry College, graduating in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science degree in physics. In 2003, he earned his master’s degree, also in physics, from NC State University. He completed his studies for a PhD in Physics on June 10, 2009. For the past five years, he has worked as a research assistant under Dr. Hans D. Hallen, with the Near-field Optics Lab, where he developed a new microscopy tool called Split tip Scanning Capacitance Microscopy (SSCM), used for characterization of nanoscale materials and molecular electronics.

He says he has always been interested in science and math and actually planned to become a mechanical engineer until he began studying physics. After being introduced to nanotechnology in a big way in 1999, he changed his focus, although he says his goal is to make science and math – through nanotechnology education - interesting to young people and adults.

Clark explains that nanotechnology is defined as the control and understanding of matter on an atomic and molecular scale and its application to science and technology. A nanometer equals one billionth of a meter. Examples of nanotechnology can be found in many sectors, such as academia, business, health care, chemistry, engineering and industries including biotechnology, pharmaceutical, microelectronics, medical and materials science.

“The National Science Foundation predicts that there will be over 1 million new nanotechnology jobs created by the year 2025,” Clark notes. “A focus in this area could be one way of providing sustainability in the area’s workforce.

“Every time you walk through the airport, safety and screening protocols involve the use of some forms of nanotechnology,” Clark continues. “People would be surprised to find out how much of our lives everyday are impacted by nanotechnology.”

In addition, he says clothing manufacturers are experimenting with nanotechnology to create stain-resistant, bug resistant, and fire retardant apparel. Also, color screens used in car stereos and cell phones may just get brighter, lighter, thinner and consume less power with applications of nano materials.

Clark kicks off DCC’s new program in the fall semester by offering several general education-related courses and by spring semester to begin a program cohort. The two-year nanotechnology education program will offer an Associate in Applied Science Degree and prepare graduates for careers such as lab technicians or technical scientists. For students desiring to continue their education, they can transfer to a university and pursue studies in research.

“One thing that I like about this degree is there are not limiting factors. The nano applications can be made on many levels. DCC students can be among the first in the nation to hit the job market with this associate degree,” Clark adds. He will be spending the summer working on course development and setting up the lab.

Clark explains that the program will be of interest to both young adults and those looking for career changes. However, he says prospective students should have an interest in and/or curiosity about science and math.

Clark proves that science and math are interesting and that you can certainly be a well-rounded individual. In addition to research, Clark has also been an adjunct physics instructor at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, and an English as a Second Language instructor in San Paulo, Brazil. In fact, he is fluent in Portuguese and is a musician with expertise on the bass guitar and saxophone. He is also the author and/or co-author of several scholarly research articles dealing with new techniques in microscopy. He has been published in the Applied Physics Letters and the Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology. He ihas received numerous awards and honors, including a General Electric Fellow, member of the Optical Society of America and the American Physical Society, and the GAANN Fellowship Electronic Materials Grant for Research.

DCC’s nanotechnology program is a partnership with the University of Virginia, Pennsylvania State University, Averett University and the University of North Carolina in addition to various local businesses. DCC is currently registering students for the fall semester. Fully-paid National Science Foundation scholarships are available through DCC.

A Nanotechnology Program information session will be held on Thursday, July 16 at 5:30 p.m., at the Regional Center for Advanced Technology and Training (RCATT), 121 Slayton Avenue, in Danville.

For more information, contact DCC’s Workforce Services Office at 434.797.6437; toll free: 800.560.4291, ext. 6437; or click here.

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