A young woman named Miona Shorts has set a record at the University of Wisconsin–Madison as the first-ever black woman to earn an Astrophysics degree.
Miona Short bagged a bachelor of science degree in Astrophysics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She was the first ever to have the degree and the second black woman to graduate in the history of the university.
Miona said she felt very overwhelmed to be the first ever. She stated that she found out in her first year when someone told her, though she didn’t believe it until she made research about other black women who finished in the university,
“Timing is everything and I had no idea until I started looking up the history of some of the first Black students at the university, when I saw that the first Black woman graduated exactly 100 years ago, it sent a shiver up my spine,’’ Miona said.
‘’It’s just one of those things that bring tears to your eyes. The numerical alignment is so beautiful but the fact that it would take 100 years is very telling of the culture in the United States,’’ she added.
Miona said she had dreams of traveling among the stars ever since she was a young girl growing up on the South Side of Chicago and she’s glad her degree is bringing her much closer to her achieving her goals of one day exploring the planets, stars, and everything in between.
She remembered the moment she wanted to be an astronomer, telling her mother when she was two years old that she wanted to go to the moon after she saw a Kraft cheese commercial on TV that featured a cow jumping over the moon.
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Then her mom told her she would have to become an astronaut first, it was then she took up the challenge and she never for once doubted herself.
“I said, ‘OK, cool. That’s going to happen, that evolved into wanting to study the stars. I think there are things that get written in our book of life early on. I’ve had this passion for all of science, particularly for astronomy and astrophysics,” she recalled.
Miona said she has a positive view about her future, mentioning that she spent her summer at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STSI), where she met her all-time hero and famous Astrophysicist, Neil De Grasse Tyson.
Also securing her historic graduation in the history books is another accomplishment that reminds her of a great future.
Miona said she also has dreams of launching her own hair care and beauty brand called “Shukrah.” Which she would flag off with a comb that can detangle or condition the hair in bits.
“I am coming up with a whole line of products. Shukrah is a hair tool company right now and we are probably going to move into the beauty space later, Miona said. “Our flagship product is a comb that will make it easier to de-tangle and shampoo or condition the hair in fewer steps,’’ she added.