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Roy Clarke started the Applied Physics Program at the University of Michigan in 1987 with the recognition that the existing Physics Program was not equipped to address the needs of students who wanted to pursue research in areas outside of the traditional physics boundaries, including many students from groups underrepresented in science, engineering and mathematics. The Applied Physics Program soon became a transformative model for other graduate programs that are committed to enhancing the diversity of their cohorts and for more effectively utilizing the benefits of the interdisciplinary environment that is the hallmark of large research universities in the 21st century. The program has graduated a significant fraction of all physics Ph.D.s awarded in the past ten years to students from underrepresented groups. Dr. Clarke was awarded the first Imes and Moore Faculty Award for excellence in mentoring in 2006 and was recognized by the Sloan Foundation as an Outstanding Mentor in 2008.