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Administrative Profiles

The Graduate School administration is committed to scholarship and student success.

Gary Harris

Gary L. Harris, PH.D., P.E. 

Dean, Graduate School

Gary L. Harris, Ph.D., P.E. received his doctorate, master’s, and BSEE degrees from Cornell University in Electrical Engineering-Electro-Physics in 1980, 1976, and 1975, respectively. Currently, he is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and the Director of the Howard Nanoscale Science and Engineering Facility in the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Computer Science at Howard University. Dr. Harris also serves as Director of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN) at Howard and had previously held the position of Associate Vice President for Research from March 1995 to October 2000.

His primary research interests are the growth and characterization of electronic and optical materials, the fabrication of semiconductor devices with special attention on wide band gap and compound semiconductor materials, and applications of nanotechnology. These materials include GaAs, SiC, graphene, diamond, and other III-V and IV-IV compounds. During the last seven years, Dr. Harris has focused on the growth and characterization of SiC and has designed and fabricated some novel devices in SiC (SiC inverters, photoconductors, FET’s, QCM, blood pressure sensors, etc.). He has also grown and characterized GaN, GaInN, InN, etc. nanowires and tubes for photonic and high-speed applications.

While at Howard, Dr. Harris has published well over 100 peer reviewed scientific articles; edited five books and presented more than 200 papers at scientific conferences. In addition, he was conference chairman of the International Conference on Silicon Carbide and Related Materials, chairman of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) - Washington Section Electron Devices Group 1984-85 and a participant and lecturer in the International School of Solid-State Device Research in Erice, Trapani in Sicily. Dr. Harris has received numerous awards that include the 1987 Electrical Engineering Outstanding Teaching Award and the National Society of Black Engineers 1985-86 Scientist of the Year Award. He has worked on several multimedia productions, “Chips are for Kids” and “Safety First,” and was featured in the PBS Special, “Stuff of Dreams,” on Channel WNET. Dr. Harris has mentored and advised the research theses and dissertations of more than 150 master’s and Ph.D. graduates.

Dr. Harris’s professional experience includes three years with the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) where he designed prototype circuits and evaluated new magnetic recording systems and techniques.  In addition to serving as a review panelist for the National Science Foundation, Dr. Harris has served as a consultant to a number of companies that include the American Educational Council, Lawrence-Livermore National Laboratories, the Naval Research Laboratory, McDonnell Aircraft Company and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Previously, Dr. Harris was heard weekly on “Homepage,” the one-hour technical news-talk show on 1450 AM (Washington, DC), 1010 AM in Baltimore, and nationally on 169, the XM satellite radio band. Seeking to promote science, engineering, and technology to a wider audience, in December 2011, Dr. Harris launched a technical news-talk show, Nano Talk, on HUR Voices on Channel 141 through Sirius XM.

Further stimulating tactile learning in the community, Dr. Harris, along with his colleagues at HNF, created and built the NanoExpress. The NanoExpress is a mobile “state of the art” laboratory exhibiting some of the latest science and technology at the nano dimension in a variety of disciplines. With the mantra, “People can’t do what they can’t imagine,” the mobile center is about expanding the scientific imagination of people from “K (kindergarten) to Grey.”  Each year, the NanoExpress has more than 10,000 visitors.


Constance EllisonConstance Ellison, Ph.D. 

Senior Associate Dean, Graduate School

Dr. Constance M. Ellison earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Boston University and a Master’s of Science and Doctorate of Philosophy degrees in Development Psychology from Howard University. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the Applied Developmental Psychology program at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Dr. Ellison is Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in the Graduate School and Professor of Educational Psychology.  She has served the University in the capacities of Interim Vice President for Student Affairs; Associate Dean for Educational and Research Affairs in the Graduate School; Executive Director for the Office of Grants Management in the Office of the Provost and Chief Academic Officer; and as Interim Associate Vice President for Regulatory and Research Compliance. In addition, Dr. Ellison served for a number of years as Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Human Development and Psychoeducational Studies and Assistant Dean in the School of Education. She also was a Project Director at the Center for the Education of Students Placed at Risk (CRESPAR) at Howard University. She has published numerous refereed articles and book chapters on educational issues pertaining to African-American children.

Currently as Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, Dr. Ellison provides leadership on graduate education matters across campus for graduate programs administered by the Graduate School. She provides leadership, as well as guidance and oversight of all graduate programs in the Graduate School She manages the overall quality of student life at Howard University for graduate students. Dr. Ellison participates in developing policies and procedures that guide graduate student life and activities and support services that assist students to reach their educational and professional goals.

As a Professor of Educational Psychology, Dr. Ellison continues to teach courses in the areas of cognition and learning. Her research interest is examines the association between reflective teacher practice and collective teacher efficacy in enhancing school climate and student achievement outcomes.  

From radio technology to quantum materials

Dr. Gary Harris at TEDx 2015.