Benjamin Cuker
Professor, Marine and Environmental Science, Hampton University


Benjamin Cuker was one of six white kids in his graduating class at Detroit's Mumford High. "And Mumford was putting more kids into college than any other high school in the city," he says.

The reason? Dedicated teachers. That's a lesson Cuker, 52, took with him after earning his PhD in zoology from North Carolina State and through seven years of teaching biology at Shaw University, a historically black college in Raleigh, NC.

Cuker has been a driving force in getting more minority kids into aquatic science since joining Hampton University, also a historically black college, nearly 20 years ago. "The programs he's developed and is now running have been instrumental in creating a very vibrant, diverse community of students and scholars in aquatic science, one that just wasn't there before," says Abraham Parker, education and outreach...

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