Paul Charles

US Naval Research Laboratory | Washington, DC | 2020

Paul Charles Portrait Photo

The Presidential Award is one of the greatest highlights of my career for it is formal recognition of my commitment to be a servant leader and role model to our youth. Throughout my career, I have tried to inspire students (especially minorities) to strive for excellence. Knowledge and wisdom are among the gifts bestowed by a mentor. Being able to provide a learning platform to instill confidence and empower youth to succeed can have a positive impact on the life of a student and mine as well.

The official biography below was current at the time of the award. Awardees may choose to provide their latest biographical information on their profile page.

Paul Charles has over 25 years of experience as a Research Chemist in the Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). Paul has conducted research in the design of novel sensors for the detection of explosives and environmental contaminants and sensors for unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). For 15 years, Paul has served as the Director of the Office of Naval Research-sponsored NRL summer internship program for underrepresented minority undergraduate, graduate, and Postdoctoral students who attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Minority Institutions (HBCU/MI). This multi-component, comprehensive program encourages talented students to pursue graduate degrees in STEM by providing a 10-week hands-on research and mentoring experience with NRL scientists. Paul has implemented scientific seminars/workshops, professional development activities, and team building events to enhance their NRL summer experience. Under Paul’s leadership, over 400 students have matriculated through the program with >95% minority participation and >58% women, with many having received advanced degrees. Paul earned a B.A. in biological sciences from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and a master’s degree from the University of Maryland, University College (emphasis in Health Care Administration). His honors include the Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely, Jr. STEM Education and Diversity Champion of the Year award, and the Commanding Officers Award for Achievement in Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) for STEM mentoring.