Director of the Science Center
Gelonia L. Dent, Ph.D. '99 is Director of the Science Center and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Applied Mathematics. She is the second African-American woman to earn a Doctor of Philosophy in the Division of Applied Mathematics, and she is the first African-American woman to earn a Master of Science in the School (previously Division) of Engineering. Dr. Dent also holds a Master of Science in Mathematics from Clark Atlanta University and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Georgia. She is a proud southerner, born in New Orleans, LA and raised in Atlanta, GA.
Dr. Dent’s research expertise is in computational fluid dynamics, and the foundation of her research work is on investigating the small-scale dynamics of particulate flows. Her career path has been a journey from industrial research to academia. She previously held positions research at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center at Yorktown as a research staff member, at The American Museum of Natural History managing the high-performance computing facility, and served on the faculty at historic North Carolina A&T State University School of Engineering, and at Medgar Evers College, City University of New York in the Department of Mathematics.
The Science Center was established in 2010 as ‘as a hub for science’ on campus. In January 2016, Dr. Dent returned to Brown to lead the Center, and her new vision calls for it to evolve into ‘a hub for scientific knowledge exchange' for both students and faculty to engage in critical discourse about science, creative exploration, and to promote science to the broader community through strategic outreach. She is responsible for the creation and implementation of programming that supports the Science Center Strategic Plan, and oversees the Center’s daily operations and finances.
Dr. Dent is also responsible for advising students, particularly in the sciences. She created the Seeing Myself in Science lecture series to highlight diversity and excellence in science. She is exploring how students' social behavior, based on their identity and other factors, may impact their academic success, particularly, in the sciences. “I was thrilled to return to Brown and join the efforts to enrich the academic, cultural, and social lives of those who are engaging in the exploration of science and scientific knowledge. I received a tremendous amount of support from my department and the Graduate School when I was a doctoral student, so I’m committed to paying it forward.”