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CCC hosts fiber optics genius Dr. Thomas Mensah
CLARKSDALE – While it would perhaps be possible to take pictures and “selfies” on our cellphones, we wouldn’t have the ability to text them to our family and friends, post them to Facebook or Instagram or send them out in an e-mail had it not been for one man—renowned chemical engineer and inventor Dr. Thomas Mensah.

CCC hosts fiber optics genius Dr. Thomas Mensah

Press Release from Coahoma Community College Public Relations; (662) 621-4061 - Brittany Davis-Green - bdavis@coahomacc.edu

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Mon Oct 12, 2015

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CLARKSDALE – While it would perhaps be possible to take pictures and “selfies” on our cellphones, we wouldn’t have the ability to text them to our family and friends, post them to Facebook or Instagram or send them out in an e-mail had it not been for one man—renowned chemical engineer and inventor Dr. Thomas Mensah.

Mensah is the brain behind fiber optics— the technology that can carry telephone calls and emails around the world in a fraction of a second.

For his work, Mensah has been awarded 14 patents in Fiber Optics —seven of them within six years. Known as “The Genius Behind Fiber Optics in Innovations”, his many honors and distinctions includes being one of only three African American men chosen out of 167 inventors to be honored by National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

And for all his glory, Mensah chose to start a 15-state tour visiting the Mississippi Delta Oct. 7-9. Mensah’s visit was centered around his plans to create a fiber optic and nanotechnology program in Coahoma County and surrounding cities. His appearances kicked off with a stop at Coahoma Community College, Wednesday.

“This is very important. I chose to begin in the Delta first because the need is here,” said Mensah. “My goal here is to talk to leadership in this state to see not only what can we do to bring broadband technology here, but to create the Strategic Economic Development Coalition to make sure that there till be jobs and manufacturing facilities right here in the Delta region.

The Mississippi Delta Council, in partnership with Coahoma Community College and Delta State University, sponsored Mensah’s visit.

 

“He has done for the world with his inventions in the last century than anyone else,” said organizer Donald Green, executive director of the MS Delta Council for Farm Workers. “In order for us to talk on our mobile devices from here to Italy, without Dr. Mensah, that would not be possible. This is a historical occasion for Coahoma Community College and the Mississippi Delta.”

Wednesday, Mensah met with CCC President Dr. Valmadge Towner and other college, city and state officials to discuss the importance of fiber optic technology and what it could mean economically for the Mississippi Delta. 

Thursday, Mensah’s visit continued with a round-table discussion with political, community and agriculture leaders on the role fiber optics can play in agriculture, business development and job creation here in the Mississippi Delta. From that meeting, the Strategic Economic Development Coalition was formed.

Mensah’s visit concluded Friday morning at CCC where he spoke with area high school and college students during a special presentation entitled “Broadband, Fiber Optics and Nanotechnology in the 21st Century with Dr. Thomas Mensah”.

During the program that included greetings from CCC President Dr. Valmadge Towner and Federal Co-chairman of the Delta Regional Authority Christopher Masingill, Mensah was presented with resolutions from Senator Robert Jackson and the office of the MS State Representative Bennie Thompson.

“We have here today a person who could be likened to an Alexander Graham Bell,” said CCC President Dr. Valmadge Towner as introduced Mensah to the students. “ We now enjoy Snapchat, Twitter and the ability to send pictures from our cellphone because of this gentlemen. …We’re so happy to have someone who is an example, who came from very humble beginnings, but has done something very momentous.”

Mensah also used the opportunity to share with students his personal testimony of rising from humble beginnings in Ghana to becoming a renowned chemical engineer and inventor.

“I want you to believe that you are geniuses and that you are capable to do what somebody else has done,” said Mensah to the students. “The key is you can do a lot of firsts, but you have to have confidence in yourself. …If you say you’re going to do it, do it and do it better.”

CLICK HERE to view more photos from Mensah's visit on CCC's Facebook page!