By: Ayinde Moir Waring,
Jerome Singleton is a man of many faces. He is a Michigan man, a Morehouse man, a man of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and now a world champion.
On Wednesday, Singleton completed a journey that began at birth and culminated with him winning a gold medal at the 2011 International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships, in Christchurch, New Zealand. In doing so, Singleton defeated South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius, who had not lost a 100 meter race since 2004 and instantly rose to the top of his sport.
But Singleton is used to excelling at everything he does.
At 24, he has already traveled around the world and distinguished himself, not only in sports but also in the world of science. In 2005, Singleton landed an internship at NASA’s Gleen Research Center, where he worked on the Oil-Free Turbomachinery project that would be implemented in aiding the Mars Landing. Additionally, he was given the opportunity to help update a SIV (Stereo Imaging Vescroscopy) System that was being used for the early detection of cataracts. Then in 2007, through Yale University, Singleton did research at the CERN/European Organization for Nuclear Physics in Geneva, Switzerland on High Energy Particle Physics, which is widely considered the top research facility of its kind in the world.
This was followed by a stint at IAS/Park City Math Institute in Park City, Utah, where he took courses in discrete probability and mathematical physics; as well as delved into the applications of Brownian Motion.
These accomplishments alone would be noteworthy, but Singleton did them while still competing and winning at track events around the globe.
Born without a fibula in his right leg due to fibular hemimelia, doctors amputated his leg below the knee when he was 18 months old, but Singleton never allowed that to stop him in his athletic pursuits.
Hailing from Irmo, South Carolina, Singleton graduated from Dutch Fork High School, where he excelled in football and track, competing against fully able-bodied athletes in both sports. He then attended Morehouse College, where he competed on the collegiate level in track – again, against fully able bodied competitors – while double majoring in mathematics and applied physics as part of the Morehouse Dual Degree Program.
While at Morehouse, his 3.8 G.P.A. helped him gain entrance into Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest academic honor society, and Beta Kappa Chi, the national science honor society.
“He’s simply the ultimate overachiever,” cites Dr. William Kevin Dancy, who served as a confidant and mentor to Singleton while he attended Morehouse. “It’s amazing how he has been able to balance so many things at once and excel in every facet of his life.”
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