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Documentary Screening at Proctors to Pay Tribute to GE Niskayuna Research Pioneer


SCHENECTADY — The illustrious ⁢journey of ⁢a local trailblazer, Dr. Marshall‌ Jones, will‌ be⁤ showcased in two documentary screenings at Proctors ‌Theatre this Wednesday. The event aims to highlight the remarkable story ​of this GE Aerospace researcher.

The documentary,⁢ “Never Give Up – the Marshall Jones ⁢Story,”⁤ will be⁣ screened for free at 6 p.m. on ⁣Feb. 28 in the GE Theatre. The film traces Jones’ life from his modest upbringing on a Long Island⁣ duck ‌farm to ⁣his groundbreaking work in ⁣laser technology.

Over his five-decade career at GE’s Niskayuna research facility, Jones​ has‌ accumulated 70 patents ​and continues to contribute to the site. His current focus is⁢ on additive manufacturing, a process that⁤ GE ‍defines as using 3D object scanners to guide hardware in ​depositing material in​ precise geometric shapes. ⁤Jones is also collaborating with a group in Cambridge,​ England on ⁤supersonic ⁤laser⁣ deposition.

At 82, ⁣Jones maintains a vigorous workload, having visited China last year for a technology conference.

Wednesday ⁤will mark ‍Jones’ first⁣ viewing of the complete 47-minute⁤ documentary.

“I felt incredibly fortunate ⁤that ⁢they​ wanted to create this documentary. ​I hope it can inspire and make a difference for those who ⁣watch it,” Jones said.

A​ group of⁣ Schenectady High School students will attend a‌ screening of the documentary ⁢and participate in ⁢a Q&A session with‌ Jones at Proctors on Wednesday⁢ afternoon. This⁢ will be followed ​by a public screening at the theatre.

“My⁢ hope is that‌ the⁢ students will see⁣ him ⁤as a ​living legend and be‍ inspired to ‍explore fields like ‍aerospace or science,” said Schenectady Director of Diversity ‍and Affirmative Action, Ronnie Gardner. “We aim to motivate young minds ⁤in⁢ our‌ community ⁢to ⁢delve into science ⁣and technology.”

The documentary ​was created by the Sankofa African American 3D Museum, ⁣who⁣ decided to ‌make the film after ⁣discovering Jones’ impressive career⁤ last ⁤year.

“Once I began researching and uncovering information about him, I was surprised that no one had made a full documentary or even a movie ⁢about him before,” said⁢ museum president Lawrence Walker.

Walker, who also served as the assistant director ⁢of the film,⁣ interviewed Jones for several hours last year ⁢for the documentary.

“I was amazed when he told me about⁤ his 70 patents and that he’s still working​ at 82,” ‍Walker said. “I suggested he‌ should retire and enjoy life, but he insisted on⁤ continuing to work. ⁣His legacy will be ‍hard to surpass.”

Walker noted that screening​ the documentary during Black History⁢ Month adds a special⁢ significance.

“We’re honoring a man who‍ is a pioneer in his ⁤field,” he said.

The film’s producers are hoping to secure a⁣ future broadcast television airing​ of‌ the documentary.

Jones was inducted ‌into the ‍National Inventors⁣ Hall of‍ Fame in ‍2017⁢ and serves as an ambassador for the ‍hall of fame’s Camp⁣ Invention program,⁣ which hosts STEM camps for‍ children in grades K-6 nationwide.

Jones expressed his ‌hope that‍ the film⁤ will inspire the local students who watch the documentary on Wednesday.

“I hope it‍ encourages them to believe that ⁢they can achieve their dreams,”​ he⁤ said. “I‍ think adults may be surprised by my humble beginnings. I started as a farm boy⁣ raising ducks‍ on Long Island. No one could have ⁢imagined I would be⁤ where I am today.”

Free tickets for the film screening are available to the‍ public via the Proctors ‌website.

Emily Stanton
Emily Stanton
Emily Stanton, a skillful journalist previously based in Boston, is adept at covering a diverse array of stories. Her thorough and engaging reporting style, honed with a Master's in Journalism from Boston University, focuses on community-relevant stories.
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