Helen Crow Mills and John Carroll Mills Lecture Series

The Helen Crow Mills and John Carroll Mills Lecture Series was established and endowed in UA’s College of Arts and Sciences by Helen Mills Pittman and her late husband, Dr. John Mills, of Birmingham, to bring successful and distinguished alumni and citizens to campus to speak as a way to motivate and inspire students.

Fall 2022 Lecture

Dr. J. Hunter Waite
President, Waite Science, LLC

October 20, 2022
227 Gallalee Hall

Lecture Overview

Video: “Jupiter and the Galilean Moons: The ongoing NASA Juno mission to Jupiter and future exploration of Europa by the NASA Clipper mission”

New results and future plans for planetary missions exploring the Jupiter system will be presented. Juno has been exploring the system for several years probing mysteries of its origin, looking deep into the planet below the cloud tops, and exploring its aurora. Juno has recently embarked on an extended mission to explore the Galilean moons setting the stage for the next NASA mission to Jupiter, Clipper, which will examine the habitability of the icy ocean world moon, Europa.

Speaker Bio

Born in Huntsville at the start of the space race, Dr. Waite attended the University of Alabama and graduated with a BA in Physics in 1976. He received a PhD in Space Science from the University of Michigan in 1981 and worked on the Earth’s ionosphere and atmosphere at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama from 1981 to 1988. He then moved to Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in 1988 and began a lifelong period of research on Jupiter and Saturn. Selected Principal Investigator of the Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer onboard the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and Titan in 1992 – work that continued to the end of the mission in 2017. Dr. Waite was a professor at the University of Michigan from 2000 to 2006 and returned to SwRI to develop the Mass Spectrometer for Planetary Exploration, which was selected for the NASA Clipper mission to Europa in May of 2015. It will be delivered for flight in November of 2022. He retired from SwRI in September of 2022 and started an independent research company Waite Science LLC in October in Pensacola, Florida.

Past Mills Lectures

Dr. Bridget Scanlon
Senior Research Scientist, Center for Sustainable Water Resources, University of Texas at Austin
Read Dr. Scanlon’s Bio

Thomas Hubbard
Former US Ambassador to the Philippines and South Korea
Video: “Career as a Foreign Service Officer”
November 2, 2017

Doug McCraw
Video: “The Creative Entrepreneur: The Nexus of Art and Technology”
October 21, 2016

Robert Abernathy
CEO of Halyard Health
Video: “Transforming a Company”
September 24, 2015

Michael Dowe
Chief Scientist, Raytheon, Ktech
“A Career in Physics and National Security”
November 13, 2014

Gary Fowlie
“Cybersecurity or Cyberthreat? – Balancing Human Rights and Economic Growth in Our Virtual World”
October 24, 2013

Sherri Jackson
Television journalist
“TV or Not TV: Is that the question? Why Ethics Must Cross Platforms for Journalists”
April 26, 2013

William “Bud” Forster
Aviation innovator, board of Northrop Grumman
“The Principles of Leadership”
October 21, 2011

Jeffrey Levitetz
“Life 30 Years After New College: What I’ve Learned Along the Way and What You Need to Know to Have a Successful Future”
September 10, 2010

Joe McInnes
“How I Got Here From There: The Reinvention of One’s Life and Career”
February 29, 2008

Maurice Crowe (First Mills Lecture)
CEO Crowe Realty
“Lessons in Switching to Plan B”
October 19, 2007

About Helen Mills Pittman and John Mills

Helen Pittman received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Human and Environmental Sciences at UA in 1959. She is president of Crow Real Estate and Insurance Co. in Birmingham and is a longtime member of the Leadership Board of UA’s College of Arts and Sciences.

The late John Mills received his bachelor’s degree in pre-dental studies from The College of Arts and Sciences in 1955 and a dentistry degree from UA’s School of Dentistry in Birmingham in 1958. He practiced endodontics for 29 years and was a diplomat of the American Board of Endodontics.

Mills was a pioneer in endodontics in Alabama and the only board-certified endodontist in private practice in Alabama for many years. After leaving private practice, Mills became director of the endodontic program at UA’s School of Dentistry in Birmingham.