Summary of Accomplishments
Milton Dean Slaughter received a Ph. D. in Theoretical Physics in 1974 and a B. S. in Physics in 1971 both at Louisiana State University in New Orleans (now known as the University of New Orleans). From 1974 to 1976, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Theoretical Physics of the University of Maryland, College Park and from 1976-1977, a postdoctoral fellow in the Elementary Particles and Field Theory Group (T-8) at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). From November of 1977 to July of 1981, Slaughter was a Staff Physicist in the Detonation Theory and Applications Group (T-14) at LANL, where he prepared numerical and theoretical reports and memoranda (most are classified) on various topics concerning detonation and weapon physics. In 1978, Dr. Slaughter was appointed Affirmative Action Representative for the Theoretical Division at LANL (a position held until the summer of 1984) and in 1980 was appointed a member of the LANL Task Force on Black Recruitment, a position held for one year. In July of 1981, Slaughter accepted a position as Assistant Theoretical Division Leader (Portfolio in Administration) and was subsequently recommended by LANL as eligible and qualified to hold a temporary rotating position as Budget Examiner for Magnetic Fusion, High Energy and Nuclear Physics, and Basic Energy Science Programs in the Office of Management and Budget of the Federal Government.
In July of 1983, Slaughter was asked by LANL to organize and lead its effort in carrying out Presidential Executive Order 12320 establishing the national Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) program. He accepted the challenge and in the position of LANL HBCU Project Manager reporting directly to the LANL Associate Director for Physics and Mathematics, successfully created a strong, vigorous, and visible program that ultimately led to a nomination for the LANL Distinguished Performance Award in 1984. Dr. Slaughter organized the first national laboratory conference that brought representatives of over 30 HBCU schools to Los Alamos to confer with Laboratory scientific personnel on research initiatives in all areas of physics, chemistry, and mathematics. This conference led to direct Department of Energy funding via subcontract for equipment and personnel at several HBCUs (Alabama A&M University, Howard University, and Southern University, Baton Rouge), the establishment of a summer internship program for HBCU students first conducted at Los Alamos in 1985, and the inception of several very fruitful collaborations between Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists and HBCU professors. In February of 1983, Dr. Slaughter was selected by the LANL management to be a participant in the First Laboratory Management Training Program from which he graduated in September of that same year. In June of 1983, he was appointed by the Director of LANL to serve for one year on the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee and from 1984 to 1985, while on sabbatical leave from LANL, Dr. Slaughter was Visiting Associate Professor of Physics at the Center for Theoretical Physics of the University of Maryland, College Park, where successful research was conducted by him on glueballs in quantum chromodynamics (QCD).
After returning to LANL in 1985, Dr. Slaughter resumed his duties as Assistant Theoretical Division Leader until 1987, when he joined the Nuclear and Particle Physics Group of the Medium Energy Physics Division and continued theoretical and phenomenological research on the properties of glueballs and hadron spectroscopy involving the hadronic weak and neutral currents, hyperon magnetic moments, hadronic helicity couplings, and single pion photo-production and electro-production processes. In June of 1989, Dr. Slaughter joined the Department of Physics of the University of New Orleans (UNO) as Professor of Physics and Chairman. He later was promoted to the rank of University Research Professor of Physics in 1996. As the leader of his Department from 1989 to the 1999, Dr. Milton D. Slaughter was extremely gratified by the progress it achieved: (1) In-force external funding increased more than ten-fold; (2) The number of undergraduate and graduate degree recipients and the number of undergraduate and graduate majors remained stable in spite of a nation-wide decline in the number of students who choose to study physics; (3) The Department became one of the top masters-granting departments in the nation and fared well in comparison with many doctorate-granting departments in the country. At the close of his tenure as Department Head and Chairman in May of 1999, it was arguable that in Louisiana, the Department was ranked second only to Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge's physics department. It should also be noted that as Chairman, the Department maintained participation in an interdisciplinary doctoral program in engineering and applied science and received high "marks" in an external review conducted by the Louisiana Board of Regents.
In conjunction with a colleague at Xavier University of New Orleans, Dr. Slaughter obtained a grant in 1992 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) which established a Research Careers for Minority Scholars (RCMS) program. The nationally unique program provided the structural framework for the recruitment of promising high school graduates and enrolled current students to pursue graduate study in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and the development of a Graduate Dual Degree arrangement between Xavier University (for STEM undergraduate degrees) and the University of New Orleans (for STEM graduate master’s degrees). The RCMS program identified selected students and provided them with undergraduate and graduate teaching and research challenges, with experienced undergraduate and graduate faculty members as mentors and research advisors, with help in obtaining summer research internships, and with financial aid in sufficient quantity to facilitate student success. Program unique features were the immersion of students in a quality academic environment conducive to their rapid development as future researchers and providing students with an opportunity to obtain a STEM undergraduate and a graduate degree approximately one year earlier than extant traditional approach time-frames through cooperative scheduling of required courses between the participating universities. Ultimately, the RCMS projected programmatic goal was the increase of the minority pool of STEM doctoral candidates by approximately 20% on a nation-wide basis.
The Department of Physics ranked first at UNO with regard to minority and female graduate student recruitment. Indeed, Slaughter obtained numerous Louisiana Board of Regents Support Fund Fellowships supporting physics graduate students, including female and African-American Fellows and also obtained an NSF grant (as Co-Principal Investigator) co-sponsored by the Louisiana Board of Regents that established a statewide program (twelve colleges and universities) called the Louis Stokes Louisiana Alliance for Minority Participation (LSLAMP) for which he also served as Associate Director. At UNO, Slaughter designed the Next Step component of this program—which had great success—and in support of the Next Step activity, created two UNO courses in mathematical physics for STEM undergraduates, which were very successful in providing fundamental technical skills to Next Step students. Next Step was a comprehensive program with the mission of increasing significantly the number of bachelor degrees in science, engineering, or mathematics earned by minorities by addressing recruitment, retention needs, research experiences, and career guidance of targeted minorities.
Dr. Milton Dean Slaughter was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). His citation reads as follows:"For creating effective programs that attract and educate minority and female physics students and involve historically black colleges and universities in forefront research." He was also elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) with citation that reads: "For contributions to non-perturbative elementary particle and nuclear physics, and for the creation of effective educational programs involving minority and female STEM students.” Other achievements include: Election as a General Member-at-Large and Executive Committee Member of the APS Forum on Education; Chairmanship of the APS Committee on Minorities; Appointment as a Senior Guest Research Physicist and Founding Council Member of the Edward A. Bouchet Institute (EBASI) of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) located in Trieste, Italy. The ICTP––a world-class research facility and meeting place for scientists from around the world––is funded by the Italian Government, the United Nations, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and was founded by the late Nobel Laureate and Director, Professor Abdus Salam. In 2005-2006, after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, Dr. Slaughter became University Research Professor Emeritus and Department Head and Chairman Emeritus of the University of New Orleans. Currently, he is Professor of Physics (Visiting) of the Florida International University in Miami, Florida.
A paper entitled "Reflections in Diversity: Increasing Minority Participation in University STEM Programs", Optics & Photonics News, 05 December 2014. was published by Dr. Slaughter. It is a much shortened and edited version of a “White Paper” document entitled Status of Underrepresented Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)” (126 pages, November 15, 2015), including a number of graduation rate and other charts) which suggest solutions addressing the chronic and acute problem of identifying, attracting, motivating, retaining, and then preparing talented underrepresented minority undergraduate students for graduation with STEM baccalaureate degrees, for further STEM graduate studies—especially at the doctorate level, and for productive careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In January of 2015, I received an appointment as a STEM Founding Faculty Fellow of Florida International University (FIU) with the goal of creating and promoting infrastructural research and educational changes. These changes are designed to increase the number of STEM professionals (including teachers) graduating from FIU via multidisciplinary collaborations involving the Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Education, and Engineering & Computing by engaging students, faculty, administrators, local K12 systems, local colleges, business and industry, foundations, and national education organizations.
In summary, my creative and scholarly achievements in elementary particle and nuclear physics, intense field quantum optics, and administration, my work with Federal, State, and Local agencies to increase the number of successful female and underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, andmathematics, and my efforts at the international level to foster increased scientific cooperation among American and European and "Developing World" scientists have been substantial and enjoyable over my entire career.