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South Carolina State University


Dr. James Payne

Biographical Information

Dr. Payne is a native of Virginia and a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College with a Bachelor's degree in physics. He came to South Carolina in 1966 to attend graduate school at Clemson University. After receiving a masters and a doctorate in physics, he taught for a year at Clemson before moving to Orangeburg to accept a position at South Carolina State University. While at South Carolina State University, he has served as a member of the physics faculty, Chairman of the Department of Physical Sciences, Associate Dean of the School of Engineering Technology and Sciences, and he is currently Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs. Dr. Payne is also an Adjunct Professor of Physics at Clemson University and a member of the Board of Directors of the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, known as PARI.


During his tenure at South Carolina State, he has been actively involved in teaching, funded research and outreach. In particular he has served as research mentor for high school students both from the Governors' School for Science and Mathematics and from other schools near SCSU. He has served as a judge at numerous local and regional science fairs and often can be found providing resources and demonstrations for teachers in and around Orangeburg. He has collaborated on the design and delivery of graduate courses for teachers in physics and in space science.


He recently received funding from the US Department of Energy for collaborative research with the Savannah River National Laboratory. This most recent research project, with applications to homeland security and site remediation, includes, as one component, summer internships for teachers. He continues to work with PARI in its effort to provide teachers and their students access to remotely controlled optical and radio telescopes.