Title: Vice President for Academic Affairs
Company: Texas Southern University
Location: Pearland, Texas, United States
Bobby L. Wilson, PhD, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Texas Southern University, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in the fields of chemistry education and academic administration.
Dr. Wilson, exemplary chemistry educator and leader in the education community, began his higher education coursework at Alabama State College in Montgomery. He earned a Bachelor of Science in chemistry in 1966 and took a position as a science teacher at Booker T. Washington High School. Dr. Wilson went on to pursue a Master of Science in chemistry from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, during which he transitioned to a new role as a science teacher at Jefferson Davis High School in 1970. He became a graduate teaching assistant at Michigan State University in 1971, finishing his MS coursework in 1972. Afterward, he pursued a PhD in chemistry at Michigan State University (MSU), earning the degree in 1976. From 1974 to 1976, while concluding his coursework, Dr. Wilson served as the director of the Tutorial Assistance Program in chemistry at MSU.
Upon earning his doctorate, Dr. Wilson departed from MSU and began his extensive career at Texas Southern University (TSU) as an assistant professor of chemistry in 1976. He became an associate professor at the university in 1980, and in 1982, he spent a year away from TSU as a visiting research professor at Exxon Research and Engineering Company. In 1983, he returned to TSU, where he achieved success, rising to the rank of professor in 1985. Dr. Wilson continued his upward trajectory, becoming associate dean of the chemistry department in 1986 and dean in 1987. As dean, a position he held until 1989, he authored two general chemistry textbooks, published in 1988 and 1989.
In 1989, Dr. Wilson accepted a position as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at TSU, where he served for a year before becoming the vice president for Academic Affairs in 1990. In 1996, Dr. Wilson again took a year away from TSU, serving as the program director for the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C. until 1997. Returning to TSU, Dr. Wilson filled several administrative and professorial roles, including serving as the chair and provost of chemistry, until he was made an L. Lloyd Woods Distinguished Professor in 2001. Later, in 2004, he was also named a Shell Oil Endowed Chaired Professor of environmental toxicology. From 2006 to 2008 he served as acting president and provost at TSU, and in 2016 he was named interim provost. Dr. Wilson currently serves as both the vice president of Academic Affairs and as a professor of environmental toxicology, retaining his prior honors and endowments.
As a testament to his stature in the field of higher education, Dr. Wilson has been recognized with myriad awards throughout his career. In 2018, he was awarded the Percy L. Julian Award from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE), which also granted him a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. In 2017, he received a Distinguished Leadership Award from TSU and was the recipient of the Black Engineer Promotion of Education Award by the Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) in 2013. He maintains memberships to the American Chemical Society, NOBCChE, African Science Institute, Texas Academy of Science, American Institute of Chemists, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in addition to many others. He has held three patents, and won numerous research grants throughout his career, from organizations including NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Energy. Dr. Wilson was a featured listee in the first edition of Who’s Who in Science and Engineering.
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