"Passion is not friendly. It is arrogant, superbly contemptuous of all that is not itself, and, as the very definition of passion implies the impulse to freedom, it has a might intimidating power. It contains a challenge. It contains an unspeakable hope."
― James Baldwin
About Dr. Calvin Mackie
Dr. Calvin Mackie is an award winning mentor, an internationally renowned motivational speaker, and a successful entrepreneur. Emerging from New Orleans public schools to get four STEM degrees and become the first Black professor at the Tulane’s University former School of Engineering, his message as a mentor, speaker, and entrepreneur continues to transcend race, gender, ethnicity, religion, and time.
Mackie was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and graduated from McDonogh 35 High School, New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1985. McDonogh 35 was the first high school for African Americans in New Orleans, Louisiana. After starting college in remedial reading because of weak SAT scores, Calvin Mackie earned a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech and a B.S. in Mathematics from Morehouse College in 1990, a M.S. in 1992 and a Ph.D. in 1996 in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech. He served on the Tulane University faculty from 1996-2007, where he received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2002.
Mackie's eleven year academic career ended in June 2007, when Tulane University disbanded the engineering school in response to financial hardship induced by Hurricane Katrina. Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco appointed Mackie to the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA), the guiding agency to lead the state's rebuilding efforts following the catastrophic 2005 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. As an ambassador of the LRA and a guest of the U.S. Embassy, he traveled to the country of Kuwait and appeared on Good Morning Kuwait and in international Arab newspapers. As a resident of pre- and post-Katrina New Orleans, Mackie has also been featured on HBO as a commentator on Spike Lee's documentary on the Katrina disaster When The Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Parts. He has also appeared on national and local news shows talking about Katrina, including the PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer, and the Tom Joyner Morning Show.
Mackie also founded the personal development and educational consulting firm, Channel ZerO Group, in 1992 and co-founded an alternative energy company, Golden Leaf Energy, in 2009. Mackie speaks to Fortune 500 Corporations and Institutions across the globe. He is the author of the books: best-selling “A View from the Roof: Lessons for Life and Business” and “Grandma’s Hands: Cherished Moments of Faith and Wisdom”,
In 2013, Mackie founded a non-profit organization, STEM NOLA, to expose, inspire and engage communities about the opportunities in STEM. Since its inception, STEM NOLA has engaged over 40,000 low-resourced, K-12 students in hands-on project based STEM activities in New Orleans communities, impacting over 10,000 families thanks to the hard work of 6,500 college students, 3,500 community volunteers and a generous network of sponsors.
Mackie is building a $100 million community technology hub in New Orleans East, in a building donated by Ochsner Health System. The center will provide courses like predictive analytics and cell biology that are not available in local schools, as well as hands-on learning and experimenting opportunities.