In 2011, I became the second Black woman in the history of the University of Michigan to graduate with a PhD in astrophysics. Up until a few years ago, I was also the only Black woman during the last 10 years to achieve that degree in the United States. I deeply respected Dr. Beth Brown, the first Black woman to graduate from the University of Michigan with a doctorate in astrophysics. She passed away in 2008 at a young age, but not before touching hearts and minds with her brilliance and kindness.
My success comes from like-minded individuals who, regardless of race, supported and mentored me. Black History Month reminds me how fortunate I am to have had such amazing opportunities. Those who fought for equality paved the road for me to forge friendships across racial boundaries and have allowed me to be judged by the content of my character. While I was only the second astrophysics doctoral graduate from the University of Michigan, I will not be the last.