Black On Campus
Higher Education and the African American Experience

Black Women to Watch in 2013

January 15th, 2013 by Ajuan Mance

For people of African descent in U.S. higher education, 2012 will be remembered as a year in which African American women students made important strides in higher education, even as many institutions faced funding issues, affirmative action challenges, and difficulty retaining students and faculty of color. The following are just a few of the young Black women whose pioneering achievements in the year 2012 hold the promise of even greater things to come:



Dr. Kyla McMullen: In the spring of 2012 Dr. McMullen became the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is now an assistant professor in the Human-Centered Computing Division in the Clemson University School of Computing.


(Source: Associated Press/Daily Mail)

Courtney Pearson: In the fall of 2012, this senior became the first African American student elected homecoming queen at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). Her mother, father, and stepfather are all Ole Miss alumni. Nearly 50 years to the day after James Meredith was escorted onto the Mississippi campus by a contingent of U.S. Marshals ordered to protect him, Pearson was escorted out to the center of the Ole Miss football field by her father, U.S. Navy Cmdr. Kerri Pearson, to be crowned homecoming queen for the 2012-2013 school year.


(Source: Penn State Energy and Mineral Engineering)

Kimberly Grant: In December, Kimberly Grant became the first African American woman student to graduate with a degree in Mining Engineering from Penn State University. The Philadelphia native plans to use her B.S. to become involved in mining safety research and development. She plans to eventually earn an M.S. in Mining Engineering, and she hopes to serve as a role model to encourage inner-city youth to pursue degrees in the sciences.


Ajuan Mance


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