Terrence Dashon Howard the award-winning actor whose many television and movie credits include “Empire,” “Red Tails,” and “Iron Man,” also has another major credit to his name – Inventor. The famous actor has quietly earned the title behind-the-scenes while starring in his blockbuster hits.   

   While Howard doesn’t have an engineering degree, he has applied for over 90 patents, including his unique Lynchpin Drone, which will be among the topics discussed during “A Day of Conversations w/ Terrence Dashon Howard.” 

   Hosted by Morgan State University’s Institute for Urban Research, the event will take place at the institution on Saturday, June 11, 2022 and will consist of three events. The first event will be a Youth Workshop from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., which will convene science-oriented students from across the city/state for a motivating conversation with Howard, during which time they will have the opportunity to engage with the actor about the geometry of subatomic particles while using models to build their own replicas.

   The second event will be a Panel of Experts from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The assembled panel will be a group of 10-20 invited scholars/professionals to engage Howard in a discussion focused on his developed and patented technologies, potential applications, as well as any criticism and or guidance they may be able to provide. 

   The third event will be a Community Conversation taking place from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. During this final session, Howard will engage attendees in conversation about his technology, theories, and the need for people to enter the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) fields.

   Dr. Jeffrey Menzise is an Associate Professor in the Institute for Urban Research (IUR), School of Graduate Studies at Morgan State University. Dr. Menzise played a key role in orchestrating Howard’s upcoming event at Morgan. 

Dr. Jeff Menzise, Associate Professor in the Institute for Urban Research, School of Graduate Studies at Morgan State University played a key role in orchestrating Howard’s upcoming event at Morgan. 

   “The overall purpose is to encourage our youth to seriously consider the STEAM fields for their professional and academic pursuits,” said Dr. Menzise, noting that the inaugural event is for a new center he is proposing at the IUR called The Center for STEAM Growth, Opportunity, and Development. “The main objective of this new center will be to build a pipeline for increasing the numbers of minority students interested in pursuing STEAM professions by way of exposure to fun and exciting STEAM related activities, professionals in the field, and to leverage the face and voice of celebrities like Terrence Howard.”

   Dr. Menzise received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Fisk University in Psychology and Clinical Psychology, respectively. He finished up his academic training at Howard University majoring in Clinical Psychology with a minor in Developmental Psychology. 

   Howard is a native of Chicago, Illinois, who gravitated to acting through summers he spent with his great-grandmother, Minnie Gentry, who was a New York stage actress. “Soul Food,” “Dead Presidents,” and “The Best Man,” are also among his long and impressive list of movies. Ironically, it was on the set of a film, that Howard and Dr. Menzise met, ‘creating’ what would eventually shape into “A Day of Conversations w/ Terrence Dashon Howard.”

   “I was working as a ‘stand-in’ in a movie,” recalled Dr. Menzise. “During a break, I walked over to where Mr. Howard was working. He had sketched out the periodic table, in spiral form from memory. I thought to myself, ‘Wow’, I’ve never seen it written like this, and he walks over and starts to explain it to me. He thought I was an aspiring actor.”

   Dr. Menzise added, “As Mr. Howard was walking away, my inner-voice told me to take a chance, and I formally introduced myself. I told him I was a Psychology professor at Morgan, and that I could bring his theoretical and scientific perspectives in front of academicians. He stopped in his tracks, and with a sincere look in his eyes said, ‘Man, this is the conversation I have been waiting years to have.’”

   Dr. Menzise said the upcoming event is the beginning of what he and other members of the Morgan State University administration and staff hope will blossom into an ongoing partnership. 

   “Mr. Howard is very excited and thankful to Morgan for providing him this opportunity. Based on our follow-up conversations, we both recognize the divine intervention in this process, to where we went from total strangers to talking and texting almost every day since that time.” 

   He added, “Mr. Howard says the science and technology he is producing is his life’s work. He’s very much interested in applying his existing technology, and developing more technology to help clean up environments, help to sustain economies and lift people out of poverty one nation at a time. Mr. Howard absolutely has the mind of an engineer. Although he doesn’t have a degree in engineering, he has a lot to offer the science world. He is an award-winning actor, who also has potentially Nobel Prize winning technology, and scientific theories. I am excited about what the future holds.”

   For more information about “A Day of Conversations w/ Terrence Dashon Howard,” including registration information, email Dr. Menzise at jeffery.menzise@morgan.edu.   

Ursula V. Battle
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