Sep 09, 2019
Dr. Richard Watkins, University of North Carolina
CSS: Building tomorrow's leaders today

Richard Watkins earned his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2014 in Microbiology and Immunology with a specialty in Virology. His research focused on the factors that influence disease progression towards AIDS in HIV-infected patients. Prior to attending UNC, Dr. Watkins earned a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Fayetteville State University in 2007. He played varsity football for Fayetteville State University throughout his entire undergraduate experience. (

Richard is the founder and CEO of The Science Policy Action Network, Inc. (SPAN), which focuses on enhancing science education, advocacy and outreach for the benefit of North Carolinians. He also helps lead the Chancellor’s Science Scholars Program at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he develops STEM diversity initiatives to directly impact the next generation of leaders in science and technology.

Richard is also a member of Sigma Xi. Members of Sigma Xi elect other members on the basis of their research achievements or potential. More than 200 winners of the Nobel Prize have been Sigma Xi members, including Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, Linus Pauling, Francis Crick and James Watson. (