Today, there is an increased push for the American education system to improve their STEM programs as well as to get students to show interest in the fields. It is important to bring attention to some of the African-American females that have, and are still, paving the road for future scientists, astronauts or any STEM degree holders.
These women are just some of the many examples of African-American contributions to science. (Descriptions pertain to the women in the order they appear on the photoset, from up down, left right)
Mercedes Richards PH.D is a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Pennsylvania State University. Originally from Jamaica, Dr. Richards received her Doctoral degree at the University of Toronto. In 2010 Dr. Richards received the Fulbright Award to conduct research at the Astronomical Institute in Slovakia. research focus is on binary stars; twin stars formed at the same time.
Willie Hobbs Moore PH.D is the first African-American woman to earn a PH.D in physics in 1972. She received it at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Her thesis research involved important problems in vibrational analysis of macro molecules.
Beth Brown PH.D (1969-2008) was an Astrophysicist in the Sciences and Exploration Directorate at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Born in Roanoke, VA, she grew up watching Star Trek and Star Wars and was fascinated with space. In 1998, Dr. Brown becoming the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate in Astronomy from the University of Michigan.
Chanda Prescod-Weinstein PH.D is currently a NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow at the Observational Lab in Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Maryland. Originally from Los Angeles California Dr. Prescod-Weinstein specializes in theoretical cosmology.
Dara Norman PH.D is a professor at the University of Washington. Dr. Norman grew up in the south side of Chicago Illinois. She went to MIT as an Undergraduate and worked at NASA Goddard in Maryland. Dr. Norman currently specializes in gravitational lensing, large scale structure and quasars (quasi-stellar objects). This year she was honored with the University’s Timeless Award for her contributions and accomplishments to astronomy. In 2009 she was invited to the Star Party at the White House.
Jeanette J. Epps PH.D from Syracuse NY is a NASA astronaut. She received her PH.D in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Marylan in 2000. Dr. Epps was selected in 2009 to be one of the 14 members of the 20th NASA astronaut class. She recently graduated from Astronaut Candidate Training.
Shirley Ann Jackson PH.D is the second African-American woman to earn a PH.D in physics and the first from MIT. In 2009 Dr. Jackson was appointed to serve on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. She is currently the President of the Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute.