Four Black Women Earn Ph.D.s in Chemistry at Jackson State University

Jackson State University in Mississippi recently held its fall commencement ceremony. Among those receiving degrees were four African American women who all earned Ph.D.s in chemistry.

Nationwide in 2013, 61 African Americans earned a Ph.D. in chemistry so that fact that four African American women earned their doctorate in the field at the mid-year commencement ceremony of just one university is noteworthy.

The chemistry Ph.D. program at Jackson State admitted its first students in 1999 and awarded its first degrees in 2003. Over the past 11 years, 23 African Americans have earned chemistry Ph.D.s, or 2.1 per year. This is the second highest rate for African American Ph.D.s in the field in the United States.

The four women awarded Ph.D.s in chemistry at Jackson State University are Shantelle Hughes, Kristen Lewis, Cassandra McCullum, and Danielle McShan.

PHDLewisDr. Lewis, who completed her undergraduate degree at Tougaloo College in Mississippi, offered some advice to other Black women seeking graduate degrees in STEM disciplines. “Know your end goal and construct a plan for your graduate studies accordingly so you can make the most of your time,” Dr. Lewis says. “Choose a mentor that will challenge you and work with you to accomplish your goals. Lastly, your most valuable commodity is your time. Make sure you are spending it wisely.”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Black Film Project and Film Studies Fellowships Established at Harvard University

Henry Louis Gates Jr., professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, will direct the newly established Black Film Project, an initiative aiming to support independent films focusing on Black history and culture.

Higher Education Grants or Gifts of Interest to African Americans

Here is this week’s news of grants or gifts to historically Black colleges and universities or for programs of particular interest to African Americans in higher education.

Yale Library Acquires Digital Collection of Langston Hughes Papers

In a recent December upload, the Yale University Library added a collection of papers from Black poet Langston Hughes to the school's online archive. The collection contains correspondence between Hughes and other authors and civil rights activists of his time.

Academic Fields Where Blacks Earned Few or No Doctoral Degrees in 2022

In 2022, African Americans earned 1.2 percent of all mathematics and statistics doctorates, 1.2 percent of all doctorates in computer science, 1.7 percent of all doctorates in chemistry, and only 1.7 percent of all doctorates awarded in engineering disciplines.

Featured Jobs