All posts by Ethan Hart

African American History Month Heroes – Science and Mathematics

African American History Month banner for Mathematics

Tarpon Springs Campus students created a display of heroes who are not often listed during the celebration of African American History Month. The display will be in the Library/Learning Center in the campus’ FA building through the end of February.

This blog post was written by Alex Johnson, one of the students who helped create the Tarpon Springs Campus display of African American History Month heroes. Ethan Hart, Associate Director of Learning Resources at the Tarpon Springs Campus, worked with students to develop this project. 

Shirley A. Jackson, George R. Carruthers, Mae Carol Jemison, Euphemia Lofton Hayes, Kelly Miller, and Percy Julian are among African American History Month heroes whose work influenced the fields of science and mathematics.

Shirley A. Jackson
Portrait of Shirley A. Jackson for African American History Month
Shirley A. Jackson

Shirley A. Jackson is an American physicist and the first African American to be elected president of a major university – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is also the first African American to earn a doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.).

George R. Carruthers
Portrait of George R. Carruthers for African American History Month
George R. Carruthers

George R. Carruthers earned a Ph.D. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering in 1964 from the University of Illinois. In 2003, he was inducted into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame due to his work on ultraviolet spectrums and other astronautical tools.

Mae Carol Jackson
Portrait of Mae Carol Jackson for African American History Month
Mae Carol Jackson

Mae Carol Jackson is the first African American woman to travel into space. Before becoming an astronaut, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University and her Doctorate in Medicine from Cornell University. She holds nine honorary doctorates in science, engineering, letters, and humanities.

Euphemia Lofton
Portrait of Euphemia Lofton for African American History Month
Euphemia Lofton

 

In 1943, Euphemia Lofton Hayes was the first African American woman to earn a doctorate in mathematics. In 1966, she became the first woman to preside on the D.C. Board of Education.

Kelly Miller
Portrait of Kelly Miller for African American History Month
Kelly Miller

Kelly Miller was a mathematician, sociologist, essayist, newspaper columnist, and an author. He was the first African American man to attend Johns Hopkins University. As a writer, he was an outspoken advocate for African American education.

Percy Julian
Portrait of Percy Julian for African American History Month
Percy Julian

Percy Julian was a research chemist and a pioneer in the chemical synthesis of drugs from plants. In 1953, he established his own laboratory and then sold it in 1961, becoming one of the first black millionaires. He was elected to both the National Academy of the Sciences and the National Inventors Hall of Fame.