Kalisa Villafana Becomes The First Black Woman In Florida University To Earn A Ph.D. In Nuclear Physics

Kalisa Villafana Becomes The First Black Woman In Florida University To Earn A Ph.D. In Nuclear Physics

"Hopefully, young girls see that they too can be a physicist. You may not see a lot of us, but we're there. We're out there."

According to BET, Kalisa Villafana, a graduate from Florida A&M University became the first black woman of Florida State University to earn a doctorate in Nuclear Physics. She worked for a year in her home city of Trinidad and Tobago, it's then when she realized that in order to get better career opportunities she has to pursue an advanced degree course. 

"When it comes to a Ph.D. program you have to feel like you're going to thrive and the people there want you to succeed," she told ABC News. "That was what I got from FSU. None of the other schools I visited gave me that energy."

Besides, Villafana also guides and motivates minority students to pursue academics, which she wants to continue.

She said, "I want to show them how to get to the next point. In Trinidad, many people don't know how to get to the United States and get a Ph.D. that's paid for by the school. They don’t know how to go from being an international student from the islands to a doctor in the U.S."

Her goal is to work as a medical physicist specializing in cancer research.

"Hopefully, [young girls] see that they too can be a physicist. You may not see a lot of us, but we’re there. We’re out there."

Kalisa Villafana’s recent graduation makes her 96th Black woman in the country with a Ph.D. in physics, reports BET.

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