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I Sit With The Cool Kids - A STEM Black History Moment !

Happy Black History Month!!!

Isn’t it Amazing? Being Black!!?

Although, I’ve had some unfortunate experiences with racism & stereotypes, I’ve always felt like the cool kid in the room.

The one with all the flavor making it hard for bland palettes to digest, butttt because your appetite is so intrigued by the essence & versatility of this cool kid, you can’t ignore the hunger of wanting more. That sums up my experience as a black woman. Its truly one that I LOVEEEEEE.

I’ve learned to focus my existence around this idea. Unfortunately, some are greatly

disgusted with themselves on account of their own cravings. Some dislike themselves for not having what it takes to be the cool kid. No man is perfect, but my existence is in no way related to your ability to digest me.

Put me in a box. Make sense of my “coolness”. Do what makes you happy, but I shall live and birth a lineage of cooler kids regardless.

But this blog isn’t just about my experience as a black woman. This post is a reflection of Black History & how others have gone before me, so that I can have this platform.

So that I can create what I’d like, be sought after in the world of STEM, type blog posts to be read by anyone. & exist as a brilliant woman in science.

I was scrolling through IG (that’s Instagram, if you don’t know) & I came across this post about the first African American woman to earn a PhD in Chemistry. Now, I‘m a researcher at heart. If I want to know something, I’ll immediately find myself in a book or lost in several website searches finding the answer. I was highkey upset with myself that I did not already know this information.

But the post sparked a thought. The thought sparked action. The action is being performed right here & right now because I’m going to share her story. (Briefly ofc).

So let’s talk about Dr. Marie Maynard Daly.

Born April 16, 1921, she was the daughter of a British West Indies immigrant father and a Black American mother. Daly‘s father and maternal grandparents both exposed her to scientific material at an early age. Her father had dreams of becoming a scientist and enrolled in college, but could not complete his studies due to lack of funds. Daly’s grandparents had an extensive library she would study when she visited.

Dr. Marie attended Hunter College High School, a laboratory high school for girls run by Hunter College faculty. She went on to attend Queens College in Flushing, NY and in 1942, graduated manga cum laude and as a Queens College Scholar, awarded to only the top 2.5% of the graduating class.

In 1943, while working as a laboratory assistant at Queens College, Daly completed her master’s degree in chemistry at New York University. She then transitioned to become a tutor at Queens College and enrolled in Columbia University’s doctoral program.

In 1947, Dr. Marie presented her thesis entitled “A Study of the Products Formed By the Action of Pancreatic Amylase on Corn Starch”

to earn her PhD in chemistry, making her thee FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN to receive a PhD from Columbia!! Notice how ”woman” was not in that previous statement.

Just want to make sure you read that correctly. LOL

The amount of research and work that Daly produced in her lifetime is simply mind blowing. She’s worked in collaboration with some of the greatest scientist of her time. She established careers and tenures at the greatest and largest institutes in the world. Her fellowships and awards consist of the New York Academy of Sciences, American Cancer Society, American Association of the Advancement of Science, & the Arteriosclerosis of the American Heart Association.

Sis was in her bag!

She’s studied the cell nucleus & examined protein function & structure — at a time when the structure and function of DNA was not yet known. She studied arterial metabolism and became the assistant professor of biochemistry and medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University. She was simultaneously an investigator for the American Heart Association and did much much more.

In 1975, Dr. Marie Daly was apart of a group of 30 minority women attending a conference to examine the challenges minority women face in STEM fields. From this meeting the report, The Double Bind: The Price of Being a Minority Woman in Science, was published. This report made recommendations for recruiting and retaining minority women scientists.

Dr. Marie Maynard Daly retired in 1986 from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She went on to establish scholarships for chemistry and physics majors at Queens College in memory of her father. In 1999, Daly was recognized as one of the top 50 women in Science, Engineering, & Technology.

She died October 28, 2003 and a few years later an elementary school in her childhood neighborhood was renamed after her in honor of all she had done with her work and for her community.

Dr. Marie Maynard Daly may not be a name you knew before reading this. She may be a name you remember only for a moment, but it‘s a name I vow to remember. In the moments when I feel underestimated in the workplace, I’ll think of her. When I am afraid to begin a new project, I’ll think of her. As I navigate through womanhood and science simultaneously I’ll reflect on the hard work and determination of Dr. Daly. She opened the door so that myself and all other minority women in science could walk through it.

For that, I am extremely grateful. <3

Thank you Dr. Marie Maynard Daly

- TPC, <3

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1 comentario

Pamela Smith
Pamela Smith
10 feb 2021

It is so good to know that our his-tory is what we can look back at and know that both black men and women paved the way for everyone, but the young kids today have a golden opportunity to advance in so many ways with our modern technology. They are blessed just use it to your advantage.

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