Robert Louis Shepard, PhD
Robert Louis Shepard, PhD is a mentor, motivational writer, and speaker. He help people identify their enthusiasm, then use their capabilities to add value to their personal lives, to the organizations they serve, and ultimately to the global community. Shepard is described as a lightning rod of inspiration and a true pioneer based on how he forged new paths in his chosen profession and opened doors for others. His motto is, ”It’s more productive to focus on your capabilities than on your limitations.”
In 2013 Shepard published his first book, his autobiography “Fulfilling My Destiny, Step By Step.” Breaking down barrier after barrier and stereotype after stereotype, Dr. Shepard has been referred to as a cultural icon that has lived a memorable life and now cheerfully relates his well-learned lessons and experiences in his book and through his speeches. He not only demonstrates an impressive industriousness and work ethic from an early age but also displays unyielding moral fiber, ensuring to the best of his ability that God and family guides his decision making process.
Some readers have commented that his book is a definite must-read for America’s children, for those caught in a web of absolute despair, and for individuals who seek to make a difference in their communities. Others agree that the book contains humor, sorrow, stress, and joy any reader
will appreciate. Shepard believes every person dreaming of a productive life must learn that hard work, strong values, love of family and friends, and courage and faith in God are the ingredients for them achieving their dream. He holds firmly to the position that when all of these qualities are working together in a person's life, they are worth more than silver and fine gold. One reader wrote: "Dr. Shepard’s autobiography is a tool box from which all young people can draw, regardless of race or ethnicity. All readers will learn that with faith and belief in God there are no barriers that cannot be overcome." Young readers in the County where Shepard grew up has commented on his life's journey.
In 2016, Shepard's voice was added to the TED Talk global community of speakers.
Readers who enjoyed Dr. Shepard's autobiography now have a compelling resource to help them activate the lessons taught by the author, with the release of a companion workbook. In 2017 he wrote his second book which is a companion to his first book but presented in a workbook format. The Workbook titled "Fulfilling Your Destiny, Step by Step: A Self-Help Guide" is a powerful tool written to encourage, empower, motivate and inspire users to discover their purpose and their passion. The author uses a discussion point format that delivers thought-provoking questions aimed at setting readers on a path that will help them avoid one of life’s great tragedies – hopes and dreams left unfulfilled.
At the continued request from his audience that he put his book in audiobook format, that task was completed in 2018.
In 1985 Dr. Shepard brought a student named Michael Ologunde from Nigeria on a collaborative research grant to conduct his Master's research in his laboratory at Howard University. In February 2019, Shepard was invited to Africa to lead the Induction Ceremony and deliver the Inaugural Address for Dr. Michael O. Ologunde who was appointed the first Indigenous President of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) in Ogbomoso, Nigeria.
Shepard earned degrees in chemistry starting with a B.S. degree from Saint Augustine’s College (now University) in 1969, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Howard University in 1971 and 1973 respectively. His specialty at the graduate level was Physical Organic Chemistry with a focus on Mass Spectroscopy. In addition to within the U.S., he has traveled internationally to engage in research collaborations and present his research work in Scotland, England, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, China, and Africa. He serves on several advisory boards, a member of various societies and organizations, a past Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer and has received numerous awards and honors including the 21st Century Trailblazer Award from the City Council of Jackson Mississippi. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
In becoming the Founding Executive Director of the Science and Engineering Alliance, Inc. (known as SEA), and moving an idea from conception to reality, Shepard's work to create access and open doors of opportunity for faculty and students at HBCUs led him to become a chief negotiator for inclusion of HBCUs in the federal government's multi-billion dollars-a-year research enterprise. After leading SEA for nearly a quarter of a century and the organization exceeding its mission, he closed SEA in 2013 and formed The Shepard Institute (TSI), LLC that same year as the vehicle to continue his advocacy work for HBCUs.
A native of Garner, North Carolina, Dr. Shepard now enjoys life moving between Maryland and North Carolina. He and his wife Alzonia, a 1971 St. Aug. grad, are the proud parents of three adult children and three grandchildren.