While there is an ongoing, sometimes wearisome fight to increase diversity and inclusion in STEM, it’s important to know that there are people of color in STEM fields right now doing incredible work. The people we covered this year in STEM come from all different walks of life: some were formerly homeless, incarcerated, told they could never achieve in school, and faced other challenges.
Here are 10 of the most intriguing men and women in STEM that Black Enterprise covered in 2016: (Click on the names to read each one’s full story).
Hip-hop entertainer turned tech entrepreneur
Divine sat down with Black Enterprise to talk about how he emerged from a 10-year prison sentence for dealing drugs to befriending venture capitalist Ben Horowitz and founding his own financial tech startup, due to launch its first product in early 2017.
Physicist and cancer researcher
As one of the less than 100 black women physicists in the U.S., Green is making groundbreaking research in the fight against cancer. She came up with the treatment-altering idea of using lasers to treat cancer to avoid the unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Green was also a panelist at a Women in STEM discussion at Black Enterprise’s TechConneXt summit in 2016.
Recording artist and producer; founder of SuperPhone
The “Diamond Girl” artist launched SuperPhone—which is part messaging app, part data analytics software, and part customer relationship management (CRM) solution—after noticing some feature deficits in other communication apps and platforms. Leslie also joined other tech innovators as a speaker at TechConneXt.
The Ph.D., who is a professor at the University of Central Florida (UCF), was awarded a grant of $324,000 for her research, leading to new ways to analyze evidence from sexual assault investigations.
Aerospace Engineer, Co-founder and CEO, STEMBoard
Bowe worked at NASA’s Ames Research Center as an aerospace engineer and went on to co-found STEMBoard, a tech solutions company that create software solutions for government and private entities. The company also works to close the achievement gap. Bowe also represented women in STEM as a speaker at TechConneXt.
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