Dr. Kyla McMullen was determined to change the stereotypical image of what scientists look like. Her compilation of 73 intelligent, beautiful, black, and sexy female scientists serves as a resource to bring visibility to the breadth of beauty in science.
Let’s get our current generation engaged in the sciences. The images and bios should be shared so that we bring more awareness to the beautiful mix of sistas that have paved the way.
Scroll through the list and visit the websites to learn more about 73 intelligent, black, beautiful, and sexy female scientists. The list is in no particular order, despite the fact that there are numbers.
1. Kyla McMullen, Ph.D
Institution: University of Florida
Education: Ph.D & MS in Computer Science from University of Michigan, BS in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Kyla’s research is in headphone-based spatial (3D) audio rendering, perception, and applications. She uses these to create realistic 3D sound representations for users in virtual environments, render spatial information to persons with visual impairments, and augment multidimensional data analysis. She is also interested in research concerning the persistence of underrepresented populations (women, minorities, those with disabilities) in computing fields.
Fun Fact: In her spare time, Kyla loves to dance (jazz, contemporary, hip-hop, liturgical, Detroit Style Ballroom, Chicago step, and salsa … just to name a bunch). She loves Broadway musicals and may or may not have co-produced/written/created/starred-in a musical about graduate school. Kyla is the first underrepresented woman to earn a Ph.D in Computer Science from the University of Michigan.
Visit her website
Institution: University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Education: Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Masters degree in Physics from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Bachelor of Science degree from the Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fl.
My research aims to understand the relationships between the composition and surface functionalities of semiconductor nano-composite materials and their cytotoxicity properties. The goal is to synthesize nontoxic, sustainable nanoparticles for multiplexed bioimaging and targeted drug delivery.
Fun Fact: I LOVE TO DANCE (with other people, or all by myself)!!! I’ve recently taken up salsa (with a little merengue, bachata, and cha-cha).
Visit her website
Institution: University of Louisville
Education: Ph.D in Electrical Engineering from The University of Michigan; B.S./B.A. in Computer Engineering/Mathematics from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Angelique Johnson conducts research on microfabricated nerve stimulator leads that can be used to treat hearing loss, Parkinsons disease, paralysis and blindness. Her work has been patented, featured on the cover of Hearing Research, and translated into a startup. When not performing miracles in the lab to make the lame walk and the blind see, Angelique can often be found in her kitchen, bringing flavor to life.
Fun Fact: She runs full marathons in her free time, and comes from a family of 11 kids.
Institution: Johns Hopkins Medical School
Education: Ph.D. Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Dr. Richards graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a B.S. in Mathematics. At UMBC she was a Meyerhoff Scholar and captain of the Dance Team. During her graduate career, she attended the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She received a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Medicine and conducted research on novel breast cancer therapeutics.
Fun Fact: Dr. Richards was a National Football League (NFL) Cheerleader for 8 years: 3 years with the Baltimore Ravens and 5 years with the Washington Redskins. Her last year with the Redskins, 2012-2013, she had the honor of being a captain. She is currently a Science Cheerleader. Science Cheerleader is an organization of former and current professional cheerleaders who have Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers. They pride themselves on STEM mentoring, outreach and programs. Their most recent endeavor engaged children and adults in a science project that sent microbes into space on the International Space Station.
Visit her website
Institution: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Education: Ph.D-Biomedical Informatics
Dr. Bright is an innovative and dedicated biomedical informatician with expertise in clinical decision support systems, knowledge representation, user needs assessment, and usability evaluation. She is passionate about utilizing biomedical informatics theories and methods to promote the broad penetration of electronic health records as tools to drive continuous quality improvement, enable personalized medicine, and aid in the transformation of care delivery models to improve decision-making at the point of care. As the first known African American female to obtain a doctorate in the biomedical/medical informatics field, she is in high demand for participation in numerous programs and seminars promoting STEM education.
Fun Fact: Dr. Bright is a roller coaster enthusiast who’s been working towards the goal of visiting at least one theme park in every state; ride ’em until you’re sick!
Visit her website
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!
Visit her website
Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Currently I am a Postdoctoral research Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Bioengineering. I have been researching biomaterials and tissue engineering for orthopedic applications for the past decade. My graduate research investigated three dimensional scaffolds for the regeneration of bone using adult stem cells.
Fun Fact: I write and perform in a sketch comedy troupe at the Philadelphia Improv Theater. I wrote a sketch about NASA’s space camp because I was obsessed with it as a kid.
Institution: University of Michigan
Education: Ph.D, Texas A&M University
Dr. Watkins’ research involves understanding how depression is expressed among African American men and how society’s images of manhood impact mental health outcomes for men of color. She is currently the President of the American Men’s Studies Association; the first woman and person of color to ever serve in this capacity in the organization’s 22 year history.
Fun Fact: She usually spends her free time doing community service (she’s a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.), running on a treadmill, or trying to monitor her chocolate chip cookie obsession (which may result in her needing to visit the treadmill more often 🙂
Visit her website
Institution: ARCADIS U.S., Inc.
Education: Ph.D, Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan
I work with the most important resource on the planet. My work includes designing water and wastewater treatment systems to help utilities meet their drinking water and sanitation needs.
Fun Fact: I’m learning salsa dancing for the second time and bachata for the first time.
Institution: Vanderbilt University
Education: Xavier University of Louisiana (2009)
A few words sum up being a chemistry Ph.D student: challenging, difficult, and long!! Lol. However, my experience has been exciting, rewarding, and inspiring. I truly have a deeper appreciation for the love of science and pursuit of new information, and what I can bring to the table as a young scientist. Knowing that everyone who has a Ph.D in chemistry, especially the black female chemists out there, went through this same process gives me strength as I continue to push forward in my journey! Ph.DLife Chemistry
Fun Fact: In my life outside of school, I love science outreach activities! Teaching middle school students for a weekend is always great and gives me a fresh outlook on why I am pursuing science. Science outreach challenges me to relay complex ideas in a way that others can understand me, a crucial skill for scientists to have. I also love exercising the ‘non-science’ side of my brain, which includes book club, painting, and of course shopping Haha! I want the world to know that scientists are fun, cool, exciting, quirky, regular people just like everyone else!
Institution: Howard University, Georgetown University
Education: University of Virginia, Howard University
I am a third year graduate student majoring in Counseling Psychology at Howard University. My dissertation research evaluates the effects of internalized colorism on the psychological well being of African American undergraduate female’s tolerance of dating violence at HBCUs. I am working as a project manager and research assistant at Georgetown University Medical Center in the Department of Psychiatry. We are creating an effective school and community based dating violence intervention for rural adolescents using intervention mapping.
Fun Fact: I am a classically trained ballet dancer. I was on the dance team at the University of Virginia and previously trained as a dance student in a residency with the Dance Theater of Harlem and Alvin Ailey Dance School.