Business Insider published a list entitled, “The Sexiest Scientists Alive” and Black female scientist, Kyla McMullen noticed that the list lacked Black women and there were more than enough to feature at least a few. So she did something about it! McMullen took to her own blog to feature a list of 73 Black female scientists who are not only impressive in their brainy career choices, but stunning to look at!
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“If I were a young Black girl looking at the Business Insider article, I would unconsciously be receiving the not-so-subtle message that people who look like me do not excel in science. So why would I try a scientific career?” McMullen asked.”The face of Science needs an extreme makeover. If the current generation is going to be engaged in scientific careers, we need to dispel the stereotypical image of a scientist as being a white, glasses wearing, socially-inept nerd.”
McMullen’s list features engineers, Ph.D’s, epidemiologists and more. Check out a few of the standout scientists:
MLK Postdoctoral Fellow in Physics
Education: A.B. Harvard College, M.Sc. UC Santa Cruz, Ph.D University of Waterloo/Perimeter Institute
I’m a cosmologist, which means that my day job is to try to figure out how the universe and the stuff in it evolved, from the beginning until now. I’m what you call a pencil and paper theorist, so I do a lot of calculus by hand. I use tools like General Relativity and Quantum Field Theory regularly.
Fun Fact: I absolutely LOVE watching Korean dramas and listening to Korean pop music. My favorite group — by total coincidence — is BigBang!
Gamola Z. Fortenberry, Ph.D
ASPPH/CDC Public Health Fellow
Institution: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Education: PhD and MPH in Environmental Health Sciences from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, BS in Environmental Science from Florida A & M University, Tallahassee, FL
As an environmental epidemiologist, my goals are to assess the role of environmental exposures in impacting disease outcomes and to educate people about environmental protection and safe practices in order to decrease the incidence of disease outcomes. My current research involves assessing trends, magnitudes, and characteristics of pesticide illnesses/injuries using state-based surveillance systems.
Fun Fact: I really enjoy traveling and trying different foods. I’m also kind of a thrill-seeker and enjoy adventure activities like zip lining and roller coasters.
Institution: University of Michigan (Ann Arbor Campus)
Education: M.S in Biophysics from Univ. of Michigan; B.S in Physics from Delaware State University
Haynes currently works in the Center for Engineering Diversity and Outreach office at U of M. She manages the peer-mentoring program and works with incoming engineering students to help ensure their academic success by matching them with senior, engineering student mentors. Her masters research focused on characterizing a mechanism of microRNA mediated repression. She has always been interested in the health sciences and will be returning to school in the fall of 2014 to pursue an M.P.H in Nutrition.
Fun Fact: She has always loved the water and swam competitively for 6 years. Her favorite stroke is butterfly.
Institution: Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Georgetown University
Education: Ph.D in Biomedical Research
A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, I completed my undergraduate degree in chemistry from Spelman College and my Ph.D in biomedical research from Meharry Medical College. My current research in the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Research focuses on colon cancer prevention from a dietary and environmental standpoint. Ultimately I hope to work on health and science policy helping to create opportunities for the disadvantaged to have access to quality care.
Fun Fact: My older sister and I both have Ph.D’s in STEM fields, I obtained my Ph.D at age 28, and I have 75 line sisters!
Amber Michelle Hill
Translational Neuroscience PhD student
Institution: University College London, Institute of Neurology
Education: Current Ph.D student in Neuroscience at UCL, MSc in Clinical Neuroscience from Roehampton University, B.A. in Psychology, Neuroscience and Chemistry from Denison University
Amber’s research is focused on developing and validating novel biomarkers of mitochondrial dysfunction (i.e. cellular energy changes) in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Mitochondria are important because they provide our bodies’ cells with the chemical energy they need to function correctly (i.e. signaling, dividing, growth and death) and keep us healthy. The cutting-edge models that Amber is developing will be important for all neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory conditions.
Fun Fact: Amber is an independent artist and social entrepreneur and a clinical editor at Remedica Medical Education and Publishing. She is the founder and executive director at Movement for Hope, an innovative social enterprise that combines art and science to support people with brain and spinal cord illnesses. She founded the organisation at 24 years old and it has now impacted and reached over 100,000 lives with pilot projects in the Europe, North America, Africa and Asia. Amber enjoys painting and dancing in her spare time.
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