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Distinguished Faculty Receive Awards

Norfolk State University recognized four distinguished faculty members at the Fall 2022 Opening Conference on Tuesday, Aug. 16.

President Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston presented the Distinguished Faculty Awards before the conference’s assembled faculty, staff, and administrators in the L. Douglas Wilder Performing Arts Center.


Dr. Doyle Temple, University Professor AwardDr. Doyle Temple, Department of Physics Chair, received the University Professor Award.

Dr. Temple received his B.S. in Physics from Southern University and his Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. After obtaining his Ph.D., he joined the faculty of Louisiana State University (LSU) in 1988, where he began a research program in quantum electronics, concentrating on ultrashort pulse laser spectroscopy and single crystal growth. As an Assistant Professor of Physics, he was LSU’s first African American professor in the College of Basic Sciences, which at that time had more than 800 faculty. The company he started, Applied Physics Inc., was the first business in the LSU Business and Technology Center founded by an LSU professor. It was also the first company in the Center to be awarded a Department of Defense Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract.

In 1994, he was appointed Chair of the Department of Physics at Hampton University, where he led the implementation of a new Ph.D. program in Physics.  This was also the first Ph.D. program at the University. One of his graduate students was among the first cohort of women to receive a Ph.D. from Hampton University. He also led a redesign of the undergraduate physics program. This redesigned curriculum was highlighted as a model program at the 2009 NSF/American Association of Physics Teachers workshop on Strategic Programs for Innovation in Undergraduate Physics (SPIN-UP).

In 2010, he received the Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). Also, in that year, he joined the faculty of Norfolk State University as Director of the Center for Materials Research with the goal of redirecting the center in the direction of quantum materials research. In 2012, he returned to full-time faculty status to pursue the establishment of the Quantum Electronics Group and the Crystal Physics and Quantum Electronics Laboratory. This work resulted in the award of more than $12 million in quantum-related research and education grants, including 1) “The Partnership for Education in Advanced Quantum and nanoScience,” which is an undergraduate research training program in partnership with the University of Colorado, Berkley, UCLA and Fort Lewis College; 2) the High Magnetic Field/Ultralow Temperature Laboratory, which when completed will be the third-ranking research facility of its kind in the nation; and 3) the “Center for Research and Education in Quantum-Leap Science and Technology,” which has the objective of establishing new graduate programs in quantum sciences at Norfolk State.

Throughout his 34 years as a professor, he has been known by local K-12 students as “The Rocket Man” because of his model rocket STEM outreach programs. These typically involved between 200-500 participants each year and ran continuously from 1988 through 2019 until the interruption of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Dr. Christina Pinkston, Distinguised Teaching AwardDr. Christina Pinkston, Associate Professor of English, received the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Dr. Pinkston earned her B.A. in English and French from Ohio Wesleyan University, her M.A. in English from The Ohio State University, and her Ph.D. in Sacred Literature from Trinity Theological Seminary. Additionally, she earned an academic certificate for completion of advanced studies in French at the University of Dijon (Dijon, France). Dr. Pinkston specializes in African American studies and British literature (Medieval Period - Twentieth Century). Her research interests include the social-political-cultural voice of African and African Americans, as well as the improvement of academic teaching initiatives both in and out of the classroom with a strong focus on student retention. Dr. Pinkston is the recipient of numerous national as well as international honors and special recognitions for her work as an outstanding educator and published writer.


Dr. Mikhail Noginov, Distinguished Scholarship AwardDr. Mikhail Noginov, Professor of Physics, received the Distinguished Scholarship Award.

Dr. Noginov graduated from Moscow Institute for Physics and Technology in Moscow, Russia, with a Master of Science degree in Electronics and Automatics in 1985. In 1990, he received a Ph.D. degree in Physical-Mathematical Sciences from the General Physics Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences in Moscow.

From 1985 through 1991, Dr. Noginov worked as an Engineer, Junior Staff Research Scientist, and then Staff Research Scientist in the General Physics Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences. From 1991 through 1993, he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Center for Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Between 1993 and 1997, Dr. Noginov was an Assistant Research Professor and then Associate Research Professor in the Department of Physics at Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, Ala. In 1997, Dr. Noginov joined Norfolk State University, where he started as a Research Associate Professor and then, as teaching faculty, advanced in ranks from Assistant Professor to Professor (Department of Physics and Center for Materials Research.)

Dr. Noginov has published three books, seven book chapters, over 180 papers in peer-reviewed journals, and over 200 publications in proceedings of professional societies and conference technical digests (many of them invited). His research interests include plasmonics, metamaterials, nanophotonics, and strong coupling.

Dr. Noginov says his top research accomplishment was his demonstration of the world’s smallest laser, which was published in the magazine Nature.

Dr. Noginov has been the principle investigator and co-principle investigator of over 30 grants totaling more than $30M. His honors include Norfolk State University Eminent Scholar 2010-2011, Virginia’s Outstanding Scientist 2015, Fellow of OSA (the Optical Society of America, now called Optica) and SPIE (the international society for optics and photonics), and General Chair of the CLEO Conference 2015 (Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics).

Dr. Noginov has served as the chair and committee member of several conferences of SPIE and OSA and an editorial board member of Scientific Reports. Dr. Noginov also serves on National Science Foundation panels and reviews papers for many professional journals.

Since 2003, Dr. Noginov has been the faculty advisor of the OSA student chapter at Norfolk State.


Mrs. Melody Armstrong, Distinguished Service AwardDr. Melody Armstrong, Instructor of Allied Health, received the Distinguished Service Award.

Mrs. Armstrong is a proud NSU military nurse alumna who served in the United States Navy and retired as a Navy Nurse Corp Officer with over 20 years of active-duty service both stateside and abroad.

During her current twelve-year career at NSU as a faculty instructor in the Department of Nursing & Allied Health, her scope of practice and teaching responsibilities have included but are not limited to Medical-Surgical, Community Health, Critical Care Nursing, Population Health, Long-Term Care Administration, and Current Trends in Healthcare. 

Notably, she has received numerous awards and honors, such as the “2014 Nurse of The Year Finalist” for the Commonwealth of Virginia, the “2018-2019 Outstanding Researcher of the Year Award” for the Department of Nursing & Allied, and she was appointed and currently serves as Chair Emeritus in her second term on the Advisory Council on Health Disparity and Health Equity (ACHDHE) by the Virginia State Health Commissioner since November 2020.  Similarly, she serves on the Virginia Health Equity Working Group, wherein she championed the development of the Scarce Resource Allocation Policy in response to the Covid-19 Health Pandemic, which was adopted and published by the Commonwealth of Virginia in December 2020. 

In addition, Mrs. Armstrong was named the “2021 Outstanding Community Service Award Recipient” from the Trusted Partners Group for the facilitation of COVID-19 Faith-Based Clinics across 30 churches in Norfolk, Va. This resulted in 27,000 clients from minority communities being vaccinated.

Mrs. Armstrong’s NSU Campus Community Service efforts include serving as a member of the NSU Center for Health Disparities Steering Committee, which spearheaded the “Champion for Heart Health Initiative” among vulnerable populations. As a member of the University Covid-19 Task Force Testing Sub-Committee, she employed her subject matter expertise relative to personal protective equipment proper utilization and communicable disease mitigation strategies toward assisting with the development of a draft proposal for university leadership regarding return to campus standards for faculty and staff in Fall 2021. She also served as a member of the NSU Public Health Collaborative Initiative and assisted with the development of the draft Program of Study Curriculum proposal for the NSU Public Health Collaborative Initiative.

Mrs. Armstrong’s motto is, “If I can help somebody as I pass along, then my living won’t be in vain!”