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Upon arriving at The City College of New York in 1981, Dr. Akins opened his research laboratory to both high school students and undergraduates with a keen interest in science, who were willing to work hard both academically and in the laboratory. With the assistance of a cadre of like-minded faculty, Dr. Akins expanded this model by establishing the Center for Analysis of Structures and Interfaces (CASI), a major research center and training laboratory for high school students in their junior and senior years, high school chemistry and physics teachers, and undergraduate and graduate students. These efforts have led to City College being one of the nation's leaders in providing Ph.D.s to minority students. During the 1997-98 Academic Year, 11 underrepresented minority students obtained their Ph.D.s at City College in chemistry or engineering.