ENGLISH: Tracy K. Smith is a prize-winning poet who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2012 for her collection of poetry titled Life On Mars. She won the Cave Canem Award in 2003 for her collection entitled The Body’s Question and the James Laughlin Award for Duende in 2007. She currently teaches creative writing at Princeton University. Read more about Tracy K Smith and some of her poetry on the Poetry Foundation’s website.
SOCIOLOGY: Patricia Hill Collins is best known for coining the term “intersectionality”, a concept that recognizes the overlapping identities within a particular social group. When she was elected as the president of the American Sociological Association in 2008, she became the first African-American woman to serve the organization in that role. She has written many books and articles on race and sexuality, and her first book, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment, won the American Sociological Association’s Jessie Bernard Award in 2000. Read more about her accomplishments on her faculty profile from the University of Maryland .
PSYCHOLOGY: Mamie Phipps Clark and her husband Kenneth Clark are best known for their Doll Test, which revealed the effects of segregation and racism on the the self perceptions of black children and had a significant impact on the ruling of the historic Brown vs. The Board of Education case in 1954. In 1947, the Clarks opened a research center called the Northside Center for Child Development, which still provides mental health education and services for families who are living in poverty in New York, NY. Read more about her accomplishments at the American Psychological Association‘s website.
FINE ARTS: Annie Leibovitz is a celebrity photographer who has worked for Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair magazines. She has shot some of the most iconic covers for Vanity Fair magazine, including the 1991 cover shot of a pregnant Demi Moore and the 2015 cover shot of Caitlyn Jenner. In 1991, she became the first woman to have her work displayed in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. Read more about Annie Leibovitz and view more of her work at Vanity Fair magazine‘s website.
MATH: Katherine Johnson was a NASA mathematician whose calculations were a major reason why John Glenn’s Friendship 7 mission was a success. She received the Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2015. Her life, along with the lives of two other black women mathematicians at NASA ( Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughn) were portrayed in the Academy Award nominated movie Hidden Figures. Read more about her accomplishments from her biography on the NASA website.
CHEMISTRY: Stephanie Kwolek is most known for her work with polymers that led to the creation of Kevlar, a fabric that is so strong that it is used in bulletproof vests, helmets, and spacecrafts. She was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1994 and she won the Perkin Medal and the National Medal of Technology in 1999. Read more about her accomplishments on the webpage that the American Chemical Society has created for her.
BIOLOGY: Cheryl Hayashi is known for her research on the silks of spiders, which could lead to improvements in medical sutures, fishing lines, and stronger ropes. Read more about her from her TED Talk profile.
ENGINEERING: Mildred Dresselhaus is called the “Queen of Carbon Science” as she is most know for her research regarding this mysterious element. She received the Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2014 and the National Medal of Science from President George H.W. Bush in 1990. She passed away on February 20, 2017. Read the tribute from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a school where she served as Professor Emerita, to find out more about her accomplishments.
NURSING: Hazel W. Johnson-Brown is the first African-American woman to become an Army general and she served as a former chief of the Army Nurse Corps. Read more about her life in this Washington Post article.
DENTAL SCIENCE: Jeanne C. Sinkford is the former dean of Howard University’s dental school and she is the first woman to be the dean of any dental school. She as recruited women and minorities to the dental profession through her position as Director of the Center for Equity and Diversity at the American Dental Education Association. Read more about her accomplishments on the webpage that the Sindecuse Museum at the University of Michigan dedicated to her.