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The First Black Woman to Graduate with a Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics from U.S. State University

Nuclear Physics – The study of the structure of nuclei – which includes how they are formed, how they stabilize, and how they decay.

Studying Nuclear Physics in any capacity is no joke, but when you choose to take it even one step further into a post-graduate program is laudable, to say the least.

In the case of Kalisa Villafana, she happens to be setting the pace and creating a world of her own. She happens to be the very first black woman to graduate with a P.hD. in Nuclear Physics.

Kalisa Villafana is making history as the very first African American woman to become Florida State University’s first black female to graduate with a doctoral degree in nuclear physics.

Villafana got her undergraduate degree from Florida A&M University, then went back home to work in Trinidad and Tobago. She decided to return afterward for a master’s degree with the thought that an advanced degree would provide greater career opportunities for her. So she returned, this time, to Tallahassee at FSU

Villafana says when it comes to the Ph.D. programs, it is essential to feel like you are going to thrive, and that the people there want the same for you. She reiterated that she got a great energy about being at FSU.

While Villafana was at FSU, she mentored minority students with the objective of encouraging them to pursue graduate programs. She says she would like to pay it forward by contributing her little quota to helping young people in her home country to be able to attend the college of their dreams.

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