Dr. Stephen R. Cox, Ph.D. Director
Mr. Stephen R. Cox graduated from Drexel University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Atmospheric Sciences in 1974 and a Master of Science degree in Biophysics and Biomedical Engineering in 1976. He is the founder and developer of the Greater Philadelphia Region Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (Philadelphia AMP) funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Philadelphia AMP that is a tri-state (Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware) alliance of nine higher education institutions whose mission is to substantially increase the quantity and quality of underrepresented minority students, in particular, African American, Hispanic and Native American students receiving baccalaureate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and subsequently, entering graduate school to attain doctoral degrees. Participating institutions include: Drexel University (Lead Institution), Cheyney University, Community College of Philadelphia, Delaware State University, Lincoln University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Temple University, University of Delaware, and the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Cox has served as the Project Director of Philadelphia AMP since its inception in November 1994, and its subsequent movement to Drexel University in 2000 where it has remained to the present.
Philadelphia AMP, now in its nineteen year of operation, was the expansion of Mr. Cox’s work as the Principal Investigator and Project Director for the NSF’s Comprehensive Regional Center for Minorities (CRCM). As the Director of Science and Technology at the Philadelphia Education Fund, formally known as PATH/PRISM – the Philadelphia Partnership for Education, he was responsible for research, development and implementation of science, engineering, and mathematics programs that would significantly increase the number of African-American, Hispanic and Native American students in pursing STEM careers.
In support of the National Science Foundation’s present agenda to broaden the participation of underrepresented groups in STEM which is necessary for U.S. economic stability and national security, under his leadership as Project Director, Philadelphia AMP, Mr. Cox has raised over $23 million and fostered inter-institutional relationships across the nine participating institutions. Through the Educational Advancement Alliance (EAA) with support from the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), and funds secured through the NSF LSAMP Bridge to the Doctorate program, Mr. Cox has helped the Alliance to substantially increase its capacity to recruit, develop, and support underrepresented minority STEM graduate students with full tuition and stipend assistance.
Mr. Cox has personally mentored Drexel students as undergraduates through their doctoral completion, and included recipients of the prestigious J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Program Fellowship (GRPF) awards.
To date, the Philadelphia AMP initiative has produced over 9,600 minority STEM B.S degrees, over 2,200 minority STEM MS degrees, and over 300 minority STEM Ph.D. degrees, and provided technical training and professional development services to over 13,000 minority STEM students to better prepare them for movement into industry and/or academia. Through the leveraging of Philadelphia AMP funding, 48 students have also participated in international laboratory research activities in seven countries: China (31), Jamaica (10), Serbia (2), Austria (2), Switzerland (1), Chile (1), and Madagascar (1) as of August 2013 which has also greatly enhanced their global competitiveness in the STEM enterprise.
Mr. Cox began his professional career in 1973 at General Electric Company as a Re-Entry Physicist. He published a number of research papers on the thermo chemistry of ballistic projectiles in the journal of Aero-physics and Astrophysics. In 1978, he was appointed to the position of Assistant Director of Project Financing for the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation coordinating the financing and development of large scale projects, both public and private, for the City of Philadelphia. Later he became the President of Unity Construction Corporation a telecommunications engineering and design firm.