Saaret Yoseph is a writer and Assistant Editor at She manages and blogs for \"Their Eyes Were Watching …\"

Fred Humphries

Mr. Microsoft goes to Washington, D.C. Fred Humphries, a graduate of Morehouse College, assumed the post of the Microsoft Corporation’s top lobbyist, and the title of managing director of U.S. government affairs. Humphries previously led the Redmond, Wash., company’s state government affairs team.

Wanda Austin

The 4,000 employees that work for Wanda Austin develop America’s eyes in the sky. Austin, a math prodigy, was presented with the 2009 Black Engineer of the Year Award by Career Communications Group. As president & CEOof the Aerospace Corporation, she has a Ph.D. in systems engineering and leads the nonprofit organization “that provides technical guidance and advice” to the nation’s space security programs.

Tebello Nyokong

There is always something new from Africa. The recipient of the L’Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science Award for Africa and the Arab states is Tebello Nyokong. She is a professor of medicinal chemistry and nanotechnology at South Africa’s Rhodes University and has focused on natural chemicals that “can be used as photosensitive drugs for cancer treatment.”

Kennedy Reed

Kennedy Reed was named the recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. Reed is a theoretical physicist in the Theory Group in the Physics & Advanced Technologies Directorate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Adrienne Stiff-Roberts

Adrienne Stiff-Roberts was awarded a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. The Spelman College and University of Michigan graduate is an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke University, and she researches various components of opto-electronic/photonic devices.

Monica Cox

Monica Cox was awarded a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Cox, a Spelman College math major, also earned a master’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Alabama and a doctorate in leadership and policy studies from Vanderbilt University. She is an assistant professor of engineering education at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.

Naa Oyo Kwate

Naa Oyo A. Kwate, an assistant professor at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, received a National Institute of Health New Innovator Award. Her winning paper was on Immunologic Effects and a Structural “Countermarketing” Intervention: Racism, the HPA Axis, and African American Health.

Norma B. Clayton

Meet the Boeing Company’s lead mentor, Norma B. Clayton, the winner of the 2009 Women of Color Technologist of the Year Award from Career Communications Group. She is a vice president leading a worldwide team that works to keep Boeing on the cutting edge. Clayton holds a degree in industrial administration from NJIT: New Jersey’s Science & Technology University.

Freeman Hrabowski

Time magazine lists Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, as one of America’s 10 Best College Presidents. At UMBC, Hrabowski’s innovative programs have nurtured so many undergraduate minority scholars in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines that black excellence in those areas is the norm. Hrabowski set the standard. He graduated from Hampton University with highest honors in mathematics, at age 19, and received his doctorate at 24.

Reggie Smith III

Reggie Smith III was named president of the nonprofit U.S. Distance Learning Association which combines “communication technologies with learning in broad multidiscipline applications.” In his daytime job, the Lincoln University graduate is manager of Advanced Distributed Learning & Training Transformation at the strategy and technology consulting firm Booz Allen.

Nick Clark

Who said jocks aren’t smart? Nick Clark, a 2009 magna cum laude graduate in mathematics from Texas State University-San Marcos with a 3.77 grade point average, was presented a National Scholar-Athlete award by the National Football Foundation. He was one of 15 national awardees and was captain of his football team as well as starting defensive end. Clark is now a grad student in physics at his alma mater.

Les Lyles

Four-star generals don’t fade away; they keep contributing. Les Lyles, a retired U.S. Air Force general who directed that service’s Star Wars missile defense program, was appointed to President Obama’s Intelligence Advisory Board. The mechanical and nuclear engineer, with degrees from Howard and New Mexico State Universities, is also vice chairman of the Defense Science Board and is a member of the NASA Advisory Council.

Herman B. White, Jr.

Herman B. White Jr. will be the recipient of the 2010 Edward A. Bouchet Award from the American Physical Society. White, a scientist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory with a Ph.D. in elementary particle physics, is honored "for his contributions to KTeV experiments and the establishment of a new kind of interaction distinguishing matter from antimatter, as well as his outstanding public service and mentorship roles." You got that right.

James E. West

If you own or use a cell phone, digital camera or recorder, James E. West played a key role in its development. West is co-winner of the 2010 Benjamin Franklin Medal in electrical engineering from the Franklin Institute. The electrical and computer engineering professor at Johns Hopkins University invented the first practical electret microphone. The device is found in billions of portable devices worldwide.