Meet the First Black Person to a Earn Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Texas at Arlington
Education Women

Graduate Researcher at University of Texas at Arlington First Black Person to Earn Ph.D. in Chemistry

(Image: Courtesy of the University of Texas at Arlington)

Lindsay Davis has made history at the University of Texas at Arlington, becoming the first Black graduate researcher to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry there.

Davis is recognized for helping to break the stigma surrounding women and Black people within the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) industry.

“It feels good to be a trailblazer,” Davis said in a UTA statement. “I am proud to set an example for underrepresented minorities who dream of using their STEM talents to make the world a better place.”

Upon her graduation in August, Davis already had a job waiting for her at her alma mater, Langston University. The Black researcher will serve at the historically Black university in Oklahoma as part of an expansion into the school’s STEM curriculum.

“Life comes full circle,” Davis said. “My experiences at UTA have equipped me to encourage other students like me to become the next generation of scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. Thankfully, my mentors at UTA are brilliant female scientists. Their research accomplishments inspire me to keep going.”

Davis is proud of what she has been able to accomplish in STEM and hopes to inspire the next generation of STEM students of color.

“Lindsay’s research project has provided mentorship and training for several students from diverse backgrounds,” said Kayunta Johnson-Winters, associate professor of chemistry and Davis’ faculty advisor. “Two of her mentees, both women of color, have moved on to advanced degree programs at other institutions.”

Davis’ impactful work in STEM includes research on treatment for tuberculosis, Afro Tech reported.

“We want to understand on a molecular level how FGD operates, since it is the target for further drug development for multiple drug-resistant forms of TB,” Davis said. “Once we discover the mode of action of FGD, researchers can create treatments that more effectively target the enzyme and cure patients with drug-resistant strains of TB.”