Ding-Jo H. Currie, ’77 & Michael R. Deis, ’82

Ding-Jo H. Currie, Ph.D., ’77 M.S. 

Ding-Jo H. Currie graduated from Wright State in 1977 with a Master of Science degree in mental health counseling from the College of Education and Human Services. She started her full professorship in the Educational Leadership Ed.D. Program at California State University­–Fullerton in the fall of 2011. This new chapter of Currie’s career comes after she has earned the reputation as an outstanding national and international leader in higher education with over 30 years of distinguished service as chancellor of Coast Community College District, president of Coastline College, and a number of executive-level leadership roles. She is known as the first Asian American woman to be elected by her 1,200+ peer CEO’s as the chair of the American Association of Community Colleges and also served on the board of directors for American Council of Education. Currie has been the recipient of many prestigious local and national awards, including the Lovejoy Mentor Award, Women Helping Women Award, Outstanding Chinese Educator Award, Visionary of the Year Award, and Woman of the Year in Community Colleges Award.

She has been the host and institute coordinator for Kaleidoscope, a national leadership institute designed primarily for women of color in higher education with 20 years of success, now housed at CSU–Fullerton. Currie is also the founder and president of China’s Higher Education Foundation, promoting the enhancement of higher education through collaboration between the East and the West. Behind her is a solid educational background with her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California in intercultural/international education and degrees in mathematics, psychology, and counseling.


Michael R. Deis, ’82 B.S.E.

Michael Deis graduated from Wright State in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree in systems engineering. He received his Master of Science degree in systems engineering in 1996 from the University of Florida, and received his Doctor of Management degree in organizational leadership in 2010 from the University of Phoenix.

Deis, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is director, Sensors Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The directorate specializes in developing science and technology for superior Air Force systems in the areas of intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, precision engagement, and electronic warfare. The directorate's primary areas of technology investment include radio frequency sensing, net-centric spectrum warfare, electro-optical sensors and countermeasures, automatic target recognition, performance-based sensing, and electronic devices. Deis oversees an annual budget of more than $850 million, and directs the activities of approximately 1,300 scientists, engineers, and support.

Deis began his civil service career at WPAFB as a controls engineer in the Flight Dynamics Directorate, followed by an assignment in the Air Force Electronic Combat Office. He transferred to the Air Force Development Test Center as a plans and programs engineer, followed by assignments in the 46th Test Wing, Precisions Strike Systems Program Office, and the Air Armament Center Capabilities Integration Directorate.

In 2002, 2003, and 2005, he received the Exemplary Civilian Service Award from the Air Force. In 2004, Deis received the Volunteer Excellence Award. In 2009 and 2010, he was the recipient of the Meritorious Civilian Service Award.

Deis spoke as the College of Engineering and Computer Science distinguished speaker in May of 2012. He has since continued to foster Wright State’s strong partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory.