Author Calvin Mackie to address new students during Fort Valley State’s Welcome Week

Dr. Calvin Mackie

August 11, 2015 – Dr. Calvin Mackie, an author, inventor and entrepreneur, will be the keynote speaker during Fort Valley State University’s new student convocation at 3 p.m. Friday, August 14 in the Health and Physical Education Complex.

Mackie, a lifelong resident of New Orleans, La., graduated from high school with low SAT scores, and was required to take remedial classes before enrolling at Morehouse College. Through his efforts, he became a Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society member, graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Later, he earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech University.

While pursuing his doctorate, Mackie was hired as a mathematics instructor at Morehouse College. Once he earned his Ph.D., the scholar joined Tulane University’s faculty, where he conducted heat transfer, fluid dynamics, energy efficiency and renewable energy research.

In 2002, Mackie, an associate professor at the time, earned tenure. His academic career at Tulane ended in June 2007 when the campus’ engineering school was disbanded due to financial hardships incurred by Hurricane Katrina.

Mackie has won numerous awards, including the White House’s 2003 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. In 2002, he received the Engineer of the Year Award for College Level Educator, the 2002 New Orleans Data News Weekly Trailblazer Award, and the Pi Tau Sigma/ASME Excellence in Teaching Award in Mechanical Engineering for 2000 and 2002. He has also been awarded a patent on a device to retrofit luggage storage bins on 737 and 757 commercial airliners.

Following hurricanes Katrina and Rita, former Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco appointed Dr. Mackie to the 33-member board of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, the primary agency that helped lead the state’s rebuilding efforts. Additionally, he appeared in Spike Lee’s HBO Katrina documentary: When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Parts (2006) and its sequel, If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise (2010). He has appeared on local and national news shows, including the PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer and The Tom Joyner Morning Show.

Mackie is currently a partner at Golden Leaf Energy, which promotes and distributes ethanol fuel blend E85 that is comprised of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent regular gasoline. He is also continuing his role as the managing partner of Channel Zer0 Group LLC, an educational and motivational consulting company he co-founded in 1992. He has presented before numerous civic and educational institutions.

Mackie is the author of several books that include “A View from the Roof: Lessons for Life and Business,” “Grandma’s Hands: Cherished Moments of Faith and Wisdom” (2011) and “When Oil and Water Mix: Leadership in the Wake of Catastrophe.”

Fort Valley State University’s convocation is open to the public. For more details, contact Wallace Keese, dean of students, (478) 825-6292.

New Student Convocation Details:
When: Friday, August 14, 2015, 3 p.m.
Where: FVSU Health and Physical Education Complex
1005 State University Drive, Fort Valley, Georgia 31030-4313
Contact: Wallace Keese,, (478) 825-6292




Christina  D. Milton, public relations specialist

Marketing and Communications

(478) 825-6319,