Dr. Jerrod A. Henderson, affectionately known by his students as “Dr. J” is originally from Kinston, NC. He began his education at Morehouse College and North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University where he earned degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering respectively. He completed his Masters and Ph.D. in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois. While in college he was a Ronald E. McNair Scholar which afforded him the opportunity to intern at NASA Langley. He also earned distinction as a Phi Beta Kappa member, American Chemical Society Scholar, and NASA Harriet G. Jenkins Graduate Fellow.
Dr. Henderson is currently a faculty member at the University of Houston after being a chemical engineering faculty member at the University of Illinois for six years. He has dedicated his career to increasing the number of students who are in the pipeline to pursue STEM careers. He believes that exposing students to STEM early will have a lasting impact on their lives and academic pursuits. He is a co-founder of the National Science Foundation, funded by the St. Elmo Brady STEM Academy (SEBA). SEBA is an educational intervention aimed at exposing underrepresented 4th and 5th-grade boys to hands-on, inquiry-based STEM activities. SEBA accomplishes its goals through an innovative educational curriculum and by engaging students’ fathers and/or male mentors who learn STEM alongside them. He has been recognized by community organizations, the University of Illinois as a recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Public Engagement, and most recently by INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine as an Inspiring STEM Leader Award recipient and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics with the Chancellor’s Award for Exemplary Service.
Henderson is currently an Instructional Assistant Professor in the Cullen College of Engineering where he is a part of the first-year engineering experience team. He was recently appointed by the Dean of the College as the Director of the Program for Mastery in Engineering Studies (PROMES), a program aimed at increasing engineering student achievement, engagement, and graduation rates. His research interests are in engineering identity formation and persistence among underrepresented students, especially African American males.