February 10, 2020
The National Society of Black Physicists honors Dr. Carl Spight.
Carl Spight was born on September 8, 1944, in Indianapolis, Indiana. As a youth, he attended Frances W. Parker School 56 and Arsenal High School where he graduated in 1962. He enrolled at Purdue University and received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering with honors in 1966. He would go on to complete his M.A. and PhD at Princeton in plasma physics in 1971.
Dr. Spight went on to have an extensive resume in academia and the private sector. He has taught at Southern University (1971); served as professor and department chair at Morehouse College (1972-1980); served as a visiting professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1977), worked and served as director of research at AMAF (1980-1983); served as chief of advanced technology programs, director of engineering, and chief scientist at Sonicraft, Incorporated in Chicago, Illinois (1986-1989); assisted with the consolidation of Clark College and Atlanta University into Clark Atlanta University (1989); served as dean of the college of arts and sciences and executive assistant to the president at Clark Atlanta University (1989); served as chief scientist and regional manager of information systems for Jackson and Tull, Incorporation (early 1990s); and served as manager of academic services for the Office of Information Technology at the City Colleges of Chicago (1994 through 2000). Dr. Spight has also taught at and assisted academic programs at Chicago State University, Olive-Harvey College, Providence St. Mel High School, North Lawndale College Preparatory Center, and the Betty Shabazz Charter School, and worked as a statistical consultant and vice president for Forté Development Corporation.
Legacy - Civic Activist
During his professional endeavors, Dr. Spight continued to be a community leader and civic activist. During his time at Princeton University, he co-founded the Committee on Black Awareness. Along with the collaboration efforts of Drs. Jim Davenport, Warren Henry, Walter Massey, Harry Morrison, and James Young, he helped to organize and plan the fourth annual Day of Scientific Lectures and Seminars (DOSLAS) meeting that was held at Morehouse College in 1976, which was also an instrumental part in the development of the National Society of Black Physicists as an organization. In Oak Park, Illinois, Spight co-authored the research study about the performance gap between black and white achievement at Oak Park and River Forest High School. His activism led him to be a featured presenter at the Olive-Harvey Black Studies Conference for over seventeen years. He has received the William F. Thornton Award for Professional Achievement from the National Technical Association in 1989 and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Princeton University. Dr. Spight is a former president of the National Society of Black Physicists.