Black History Month Highlights

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Last month, in honor of #BlackHistoryMonth, I highlighted notable Black STEMists on Twitter every week day for the month of February in collaboration with the @HaynesChemLab. Here’s the thread I created to showcase some incredible Black STEMists.


Dr. Kristala L. Jones Prather

Dr. Prather worked at @Merck for several years before starting her academic research lab at @MITChemE, giving her a unique perspective on metabolic engineering to produce biofuels and pharmaceuticals! #BlackHistoryMonth

Doctor Kristala L. Jones Prather. Born 1972 to present. She was recently elected Fellow of the AAAS for distinguished contributions to the design and assembly of recombinant microorganisms for the production of small molecules using synthetic biology.” Dr. Prather received her S.B. at MIT and Ph.D. at UC-Berkeley. Her research, in the chemical engineering department at MIT, is at the forefront of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology. While Dr. Prather’s family is very education focused, she was the first PhD in her family. She credits management and conflict resolution training during conflict resolution training during her industrial employment for preparing her to run her academic lab well.
Meet Dr. Kristala L. Jones Prather, Fellow of the AAAS for “distinguished contributions to the design and assembly of recombinant microorganisms for the production of small molecules using synthetic biology.” (Image used with permission from Dr. Jones Prather).

Dr. Isiah M. Warner

Dr. Warner’s career has included major analytical chemistry research discovery in the field of fluorescence spectroscopy, extensive mentoring of BIPOC scientists, and exceptional leadership at several institutions. @LSU  is lucky to have him! #BlackHistoryMonth

Pictured is a smiling, bald, black man wearing glasses and a suit. Text states the following: Isiah M. Warner. Born 1946 to present. His group researches GUMBOS (Group of Uniform Materials Based on Organic Salts) that have tunable properties which is ideal for use as sensors, imaging agents, and stimuli-responsive materials.
Dr. Warner received his Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Washington.
He was an associate professor of chemistry at Texas A&M University and later moved to Louisiana State University where he currently serves as a Boyd Professor (LSU's highest honor) and Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. 
Dr. Warner was awarded a Presidential Young Investigator Award from Ronald Reagan and a Presidential Mentoring Award from Bill Clinton.
He has mentored over 300 undergraduate students over the past 30 years.
Meet Dr. Isiah M. Warner, he is currently a Boyd Professor at LSU and he developed detection method for homocysteine and cysteine, indicators of cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease (Image used with permission from Dr. Isiah Warner).

Dr. Sade Spencer

Dr. Spencer’s (@SpencerLab_UMN) research at @UMN_GPP focuses on studying the mechanisms related to addiction development and relapse. She is also actively involved in @BlackInNeuro! #BlackHistoryMonth  #BlackInNeuro

Pictured is a smiling, shoulder-length haired, black woman. Text states the following: Doctor Sade Spencer. Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Minnesota and a member of the Medical Discovery Team on Addiction. Doctor Spencer received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. As a professor at the University of Minnesota, her research focuses on the trajectory of neuroplasticity, neurochemistry, and behavior associated with addiction. Doctor Spencer is co-director of the Early Career Pathways to Success program that mentors female-identifying new faculty at the University of Minnesota. Doctor Spencer is also very involved in the #BlackInNeuro community.
Meet Dr. Sade Spencer, she is a professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Minnesota and a member of the Medical Discovery Team on Addiction (Image used with permission from Dr. Sade Spencer).

Dr. Guion “Guy” Bluford

Dr. Bluford was the first Black American to go to space! He was aboard four @NASA missions to aboard the Challenger and later the Orbiter Discovery. He also has a MBA from University of Houston-Clear Lake. #BlackHistoryMonth

Pictured is a smiling, grey-haired black man in a bright orange NASA spacesuit. He is holding a black space helmet next to him and an American flag sits behind him to the left. Born November second, 1942 to present. Text states the following: First Black American to go to space! Doctor Bluford received his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineerinf from the Air Force Institute of Technology. Doctor Bluford was an officer in the Air Force before becoming an astronaut in 1978. He is the Vice President and General Manager of the Science and Engineering Group in the Aerospace Sector of Federal Data Corporation. Doctor Bluford logged over 688 hours in space and was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1997, the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2010, and the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2019.
Meet Dr. Guion “Guy” Bluford, he was the first black American to go to space and is in the International Space Hall of Fame and the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame. (Image used with permission from Dr. Guion Bluford).

Dr. Arlene Maclin

Dr. Maclin (@ArleneMaclin) is a pioneer in the field of optical & electronic engineering. She has worked at @NSF, @CIA, @Norfolkstate, and @MorganStateU. She was interviewed by @TheHstryMakersin 2013, the Nation’s Largest Black Video Oral History Collection #BlackHistoryMonth

Pictured is a smiling, short-haired black woman wearing pearls and red lipstick. Text states the following: Doctor Arlene Maclin. Born June seventh, 1945 to present. Appointed program director for the National Science Foundation in 1980 and served as the senior Applied Research Physicist at the Central Intelligence Agency from 1981 to 1983. Doctor Maclin received her M.S. in theoretical nuclear physics from UVA and her Ph.D. in theoretical solid-state physics from Howard University in 1974. She served as a research physicist at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory and was a visiting scientist at Oak Ridge National Library. Doctor Maclin served as a professor of optical engineering and director of Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence at Norfolk State University where she received ten million dollars in research grants and developed graduate programs in optical engineering and electronics engineering.
Meet Dr. Arlene Maclin, she is an appointed program director for the National Science Foundation and served as the senior Applied Research Physicist at the Central Intelligence Agency from 1981-1983 (Image used with permission from Dr. Arlene Maclin).

Dr. Terry Alford

Dr. Alford’s research at @SEMTEatASU focuses on the developing materials for future low-power integrated circuit devices. He is a dedicated mentor to his students who have gone to have successful careers as entrepreneurs, academics, and industrial scientists! #BlackHistoryMonth

Pictured is an illustration of three-dimensional hexagon. Text states the following: Terry Alford. Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at ASU and Associate Director of the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport, and Energy in the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering.
Dr. Alford received his B.S. and M.S. from NC State University and his Ph.D. in Material Science and Engineering from Cornell University.
He was awarded the NSF Faculty Career Development Award in 1994 and was also named Scientist of the Year by the Arizona Council of Black Engineers and Scientists.
Dr. Alford is a senior member of the National Academy of Inventors holding 10 U.S. patents and multiple invention disclosures.
Meet Dr. Terry Alford, a professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at ASU and Associate Director of the School for Engineering of Matter Transport, and Energy in the Fulton School of Engineering. (Image from Picryl.com).

Dr. Trachette Jackson

Dr. Jackson (@TrachetteJ) works in the field of mathematical oncology. She uses mathematical and computational approaches to model tumor growth and potential therapies. We love interdisciplinary research! #BlackHistoryMonth

Pictured is smiling black woman with short hair. Text states the following: Doctor Trachette Jackson. Professor of Mathematics at the University of Michigan and an association for women in mathematics fellow. Doctor Jackson received her Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics form the University of Washington.
•	She is the founder and director of the applied and interdisciplinary mathematics bridge to the Ph.D. program at the University of Michigan, which focuses on training under-represented minority scholars to bridge the gap  between applied science and computational modeling. She also co-founded the Mathematical Biology Research Group at the University of Michigan, meant to bridge both fields together. In 2018, Doctor Jackson was highlighted in Forbes magazine article, “Girls, if you want to change the world, try STEM”.
Meet Dr. Trachette Jackson, she is a professor of Mathematics at the University of Michigan and an Association for Women in Mathematics Fellow (Image used with permission from Dr. Trachette Jackson).

Dr. Chinonye “Chi-Chi” Nnakwe

Dr. Nnakwe is interested in understanding how providing innovation training to scientists/engineers may promote the inclusion of founders from underrepresented groups in tech entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship education, and the STEM workforce! #BlackHistoryMonth @AAAS_STPF

Pictured is a young black woman with lock locks. The text states the following: Dr. Chinonye “Chi-Chi” Nnakwe Whitley.
She currently manages a $107M portfolio of 26 standard grants and cooperative agreements and focuses on building basic science research infrastructure. Dr. Nnakwe received her Ph.D. in Pathology from U-Chicago.
After her graduate work, she became a management consultant for Campbell Alliance providing strategy services to pharmaceutical and biotech companies.
She completed a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship focused on innovation policy programs, building research capacity, promoting economic development, and broadening participation in STEM.
For 4 years she worked in the Office of the Provost at the University of Chicago as the inaugural Director of Graduate Diversity Initiatives.
Meet Dr. Chinonye “Chi-Chi” Nnakwe, she is a Program Officer for the EPSCoR Program and adjunct faculty within the Grove School of Engineering at the City University of New York (CUNY) (Image used with permission from Dr. Chinonye Nnakwe).

Dr. Cardinal Warde

Dr. Warde is a professor of EE at @MIT. He was one of the first minority faculty members, and one of the first Black tenured professors. His research focuses on the applications of optics: optical computing, wireless communication, and holography! #BlackHistoryMonth

Pictured is a green electric grid.  Text states the following: Doctor Cardinal Warde. Born 1941 to present. Holds ten key patents on spatial light modulators, displays, and optical modulators, displays, and optical processing systems. Doctor Warde received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Yale University where he developed a new interferometer that could operate close to absolute zero. He founded Optron Systems, that developed optoelectronic systems which use light for information processing, and co-founded Radiant Images, Inc. that created liquid-crystal VLSI displays. 
•	He currently serves as Faculty Director of the minority introduction to engineering and science (MITES) program at MIT.
•	Doctor Warde was awarded the Renaissance Science and Engineering Award from Stevens Institute of Technology in 1996 and the Companion of Honor Award (the second highest honor awarded by the Government of Barbados) in 2003.
Meet Dr. Cardinal Warde, he hold ten key patents on spatial light modulators, displays, and optical processing systems. (Image from Pixy.org).

Victor Glover

Becky Rodriguez: @AstroVicGlover is currently a pilot and second-in-command on the Crew-1 SpaceX Crew Dragon. He has THREE master degrees, served in the Navy, and is a NASA astronaut #BlackHistoryMonth

Pictured is a smiling black man in a blue NASA spacesuit. Text states the following: Victor Glover. Born April 30, 1978 to present. Currently residing on the international space station. First African-American ISS Crew Member to have an extended stay on the ISS. Victor is a NASA astronaut of the class of 2013 and a pilot on the first operational flight of the SpaceX Crew Dragon to the International Space Station. He joined the Navy in 2001 and attended the Air Force Test Pilot School in 2007. He holds three master’s degrees. A M.S. in Flight test engineering from the US Air Force, M.S. in Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, and M.S. in Military Operational Art and Science from the US Air Force. He also completed a Space Systems Certificate from the naval postgraduate school and a Certificate in Legislative Studies at Georgetown University as a Legislative Fellow
Meet Victor Glover who currently resides on the International Space Station. (Image used with permission from Victor Glover).

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