When Kalisa Villafana found out she was about to create history by becoming the first black woman to graduate with a PhD in nuclear physics at Florida State University—just three months before completing her degree—her focus was to compel others to pursue their dreams even if there is no-one in the field who looks like you—another young, black person. The T&T born graduate is also ranked the 96th black woman in the US with a PhD in Physics.
“Everybody wants to interview me…I was like ‘Oh gosh, what is happening?’ And then after a while I was like ‘Stop’…. But then I understood…You know when I read some of the messages that people were saying they wanted to do physics but they were afraid of it, then I was like okay. If it makes an impact on one person then that’s a good thing,” Villafana told Catholic News via phone.