Fellows and Scholars

Claudia Rankins

AAC&U Senior Fellow

Dr. Claudia Rankins is the co-founder of the Society of STEM Women of Color, Inc. She recently retired as a program officer in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources at the National Science Foundation, where she managed the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HMCU-UP) and the Centers for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST). In these programs, she oversaw more that 200 active awards with annual budgets of $34 million (HBCU-UP) and $24 million (CREST).

Prior to her appointment at NSF, Dr. Rankins was on the faculty at Hampton University for 22 years, serving in multiple capacities including endowed university professor, chair of the department of physics, assistant dean for research, and dean of the School of Science. She secured over $10 million in external grants that supported pre-college activities as well as undergraduate education and research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Her formal education includes military training, certification as translator and interpreter for German, French and English, a BS in Mathematics from Christopher Newport University, an MS in Statistics from Old Dominion University, and an MS and a PhD in physics from Hampton University. Dr. Rankins’ research in theoretical particle physics focused on the development of a model to describe distribution amplitudes and form factors of pseudoscalar mesons.