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Southern alumni, leaders in STEM to be honored as ‘Louisiana Legends’ tonight

Southern University alumni and married couple Stephen McGuire and Saundra Yancy McGuire, both award-winning leaders in the sciences, were honored during Louisiana Legends Awards Gala and Auction, an annual event hosted by Friends of Louisiana Public Broadcasting. The event honors “the best and brightest of Louisiana’s sons and daughters who have distinguished themselves in various disciplines and have brought honor to the state.”

Stephen McGuire, currently the James and Ruth Smith Endowed Emeritus Professor of Physics at Southern, is a past professor and chair in the Department of Physics. He has also worked in positions at Alabama A&M University and Cornell University, where he became the first Black faculty member in the endowed College of Engineering. While at Southern, McGuire led the establishment of the partnership between the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and the university and served as the LIGO Scientific Collaboration Principal Investigator. The team was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2017.

McGuire, who has been honored by NASA, is a charter member of the National Society of Black Physicists. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Southern, a master’s degree in nuclear physics from the University of Rochester, and a Ph.D. in nuclear science from Cornell.

Saundra Yancy McGuire is the director emerita of the Center for Academic Success and retired assistant vice chancellor and professor of chemistry at Louisiana State University. Before joining LSU, she spent 11 years at Cornell University, receiving the coveted Clark Distinguished Teaching Award. Her book, “Teach Students How to Learn: Strategies You Can Incorporate into Any Course to Improve Student Metacognition, Study Skills, and Motivation,” was released in October 2015 and is a Stylus Publishing bestseller. The student version of this book, “Teach Yourself How to Learn: Strategies You Can Use to Ace Any Course at Any Level,” was released in January 2018.

In November 2007, the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring was presented to her at a White House Oval Office Ceremony. Additionally, she has achieved Level Four Lifetime Learning Center Leadership Certification through the National College Learning Center Association.

McGuire received her bachelor’s degree from Southern, master’s degree from Cornell, and Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Stephen McGuire and Saundra Yancey McGuire are the parents of Carla McGuire Davis and Stephanie McGuire. They are the grandparents of Joshua, Ruth, Daniel, and Joseph Davis.

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