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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Exceptional young lady bags PhD in Physics from US university, celebrates unique achievements

An exceptional young lady named Katrina Miller has bagged a doctorate degree in physics from the University of Chicago, United States.

She shared her accomplishment on Twitter alongside images of her graduation ceremony.

“And that’s a wrap, Katrina Miller, doctor of philosophy in physics,” she tweeted.

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Dr Katrina said she has always wanted to be a physicist right from time as she has always been fascinated by the workings of the universe since she was six years old.

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“I’ve been fascinated about the inner workings of the Universe since I was six years old. I distinctly remember the astronomy unit we did in my first-grade class, learning about all the different objects making up our solar system. So, the curiosity has always been there; it was just waiting to be cultivated,” she said.

Talking about her challenges, Katrina mentioned that it wasn’t easy as women of colour were hardly revered in her industry. Still, her determination, positivity towards failure and supportive mentors are what helped her to achieve her goals.

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“I have encountered obstacles from sources both internal and external. And overcoming them isn’t a linear trajectory—it’s something I work on every day. Believing in myself and developing a positive relationship with failure are just two of many lessons I’ve learned since becoming a physicist.”

“Surrounding myself with mentors who see my potential or have been in my shoes has been integral to my success,” she added.

Dr Katrina is the co-founder of the Iam Stem Project, an initiative for Women of Color in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in the United States.

She mentioned that it was founded because young girls around the world need an outreach initiative focusing less on recruiting young girls into STEM and more on creating an environment that will keep them there. 

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Dr Katrina also offers her advice to young girls who are planning to pursue a career in STEM to speak their dreams into existence and also make sure to have a mentor they can look up to.

“Speak your dreams into existence! Vocalize your interests to your family, friends, teachers, and yourself too. Take advantage of every opportunity you come across to explore that curiosity. Finally, find someone who looks like you—we exist! The first time I met another black woman in physics wasn’t until my senior year of college. I want young girls to have that moment much sooner,” she said.

She plans to pursue a career as a physics professor, working in science communication or public engagement.

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