MIT Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee

2000 MLK Leadership Award Recipients

Rafael Bras '72
Ticora Jones '00
Woodrow Whitlow '74


Professor Rafael Bras '72
Awarded for his inspirational and steadfast commitment to underrepresented students at MIT. During the past twenty-four years, his achievements at the Institute — as student, faculty member, department head, program director, and advisor — have motivated and encouraged countless young people from all backgrounds. While ceaselessly contributing to the fields of hydrology and hydroclima-tology, he has never lost sight of those who wish to follow in his footsteps. Whether serving as director of the MITES Program or successfully recruiting Hispanic faculty to MIT, he embodied Dr. King’s vision by generously and selflessly working to provide better opportunities for those who have been denied.


Ms. Ticora Jones '00
Ms. Jones is an exceptionally resourceful and natural leader who has demonstrated considerable strength as a contributor to the MIT community. Her ability to motivate others enabled a group of talented individuals to develop and successfully complete a project with multiple interrelated tasks. The efforts of her classmates resulted not only in an outstanding product but also in a deeper appreciation for what can be accomplished by a skillfully directed team. A commitment to achieving the best is evident in her work as Vice-Chair of the Undergraduate Association Finance Board and as co-founder of the Black Women’s Alliance at MIT. As the Office of Minority Education Tutor of the Year, she distinguished herself as one who is dedicated to the highest academic standards. The members of the MLK Committee believe that Ms. Jones embraced the essence of what Martin Luther King, Jr. demanded of himself and others, and her endeavors are a tribute to his dream.


Dr. Woodrow Whitlow '74
Woody's actions have remained consistent with Dr. King's model for excellence in ones profession and for personal involvement and commitment to enhance the brotherhood of human kind. He is currently Director of the Aeronautics Directorate, the NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH. In addition to being a strong advocate for aeronautics in the interest of the nation's ability to continue to produce wealth, Woody has developed unique research programs requiring a partnership between NASA Centers, US industry, and universities that involve Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Such a program is the NASA Advanced Concepts for Aeronautics Program that nurtured the development of the blended-wing body (BWB) concept for civil aviation.
While executing technical and managerial responsibilities and duties at NASA, Woody has directed the Doctoral theses of three graduate students and the Masters theses of five graduate students at majority academic institutions. He has also taught physics and mathematics undergraduate courses at Hampton University.

Dr. Whitlow has demonstrated his very firm belief in the principles of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through his many actions and contributions to technology and human kind. Dr. Whitlow has earned The Martin Luther Kind, Jr. Leadership Award, 1999-2000.