Motivational Speaker Calvin Mackie to Speak at UC Irvine

Motivational speaker Calvin Mackie, Ph.D., will address students at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, in UC Irvine’s Calit2 Building Auditorium. A former engineering professor at Tulane University, Mackie will talk to current and prospective students about the need to increase the number of minorities entering the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields, and the strategies required for their success. The public is invited.

“Calvin Mackie is one of the most dynamic motivators of our time,” said Gregory Washington, dean of The Henry Samueli School of Engineering.  “After overcoming staggering odds to achieve his Ph.D., Calvin lost both parents and his job in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  He has motivated thousands to achieve success, especially through advanced degrees.“ 

Mackie draws from his own experience to mentor and inspire students. He graduated from high school with low SAT scores that required him to take remedial reading classes before he was admitted to Morehouse College. He earned dual undergraduate degrees, respectively, in mathematics from Morehouse and mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He went on to earn master and doctoral degrees from Georgia Tech.

Mackie was a tenured faculty member at Tulane University in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit. Tulane’s engineering school disbanded in the aftermath, leaving Mackie unemployed. Today, he is an author, speaker, mentor and technology entrepreneur. Among his numerous honors are the 2003 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, and the 2002 Black Engineer of the Year Award for College-level Education.

Following his talk, Mackie will join a panel discussion with industry representatives titled “Successful Strategies for Changing Demographics in STEM Educational and Working Environments.” The panel will be moderated by Regina Ragan, associate professor of chemical engineering and materials science.

Mackie’s talk is co-sponsored by the Samueli School and the UCI Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs. RSVP to

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