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The First Black Woman to Earn a Physics PhD From University of Glasgow Just Graduated

Black Women in Education

The First Black Woman to Earn a Physics PhD From University of Glasgow Just Graduated


It’s 2019, and white men still, largely, hold the power in many areas of society. So when a black woman shatters every glass ceiling in her way, it’s particularly exciting. Monifa Phillips, PhD, did just that when she graduated from University of Glasgow’s School of Physics as the first ever black woman to earn a PhD there.

Phillips tweeted out her accomplishment on June 30, showing herself in her academic regalia and holding her thesis. But Phillip’s achievement isn’t special just because it’s a first, it’s particularly sweet because she made it happen for herself.

“This week I was the very first black woman to graduate from the Uni of Glasgow with a PhD in Physics,” Phillips wrote. “I’m a proud Black British woman from LDN. I made space for myself in a predominantly white, male field. It was hard, but with the support of my family & my community, I did it.”

Phillips has tweeted about her experience as a black woman in the STEM field before, pointing out racism both subtle and overt. She also uses her feed to amplify opportunities …

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I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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