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Alice Ball:  African American Chemist Who Developed First Successful Treatment of Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease)

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

alice ball
Alice Ball (1892-1916)

 Alice Augusta Ball (1892 – 1916) was the first to develop an effective treatment to cure leprosy (Hansen’s Disease).  It was not until years after her death that she received the credit she deserved. Ball was born in Seattle, Washington.  Her mother Laura was a photographer and her father, James P. Ball, Jr. was a lawyer. She had 3 siblings, two older brothers, and one younger sister. The family lived comfortably and by today’s standards would have been considered middle class.  The family moved to Honolulu, Hawaii in 1903 hoping that the warmer climate would be better for her father’s arthritis.  James Ball, Sr. died shortly after the move and the family relocated back to Seattle.  Ball graduated from high school in 1910 and then attended college at the University of Washington and the College of Hawaii (University of Hawaii); earning a bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical chemistry in 1912 and a bachelors degree in pharmacy in 1914, both from the University of Washington.  She then transferred to the College of Hawaii and was the first African American as well as the first woman to graduate with an M.S. degree in chemistry in 1915.  Upon graduation, she was offered a teaching and research position, making her the first woman chemistry instructor at the College of Hawaii at the age of 23. Continue reading “Alice Ball:  African American Chemist Who Developed First Successful Treatment of Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease)”

Katherine Johnson, NASA Mathematician Dead at 101

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

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Katherine Johnson (1918 – 2020)

On, Monday, February 24, 2020, NASA announced that African American American physicist and mathematician, Katherine Johnson has died.   She was 101 years old.  In 1969 she calculated the flight path for NASA’s historic Apollo space mission to the moon.  The movie, “Hidden Figures” chronicled Johnson’s experiences along with that of several other African-American women at NASA.

Employed by NASA for over 30 years, she retired in 1986.  Johnson’s love for math dates back to her childhood. She loved to “count everything”.  A gifted student, Johnson graduated from high school at age 14.  On November 24, 2015, she was one of 17 individuals to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  She is truly a pioneer!  Johnson was also a distinguished member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc!

We salute you, Soror Johnson!! Well done!  Rest Well!

Click here to view statement   NASA

 

 

Just What The Doctor Ordered:  Black Men In White Coats

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

BMIWC

 

 

Dr. Dale Okorodudu is committed to connecting with black male youth and encouraging them to consider careers in the medical field.  Currently, only Black Men In White Coats was established in 2013 by Okorodudu after he learned the number of black men entering the medical field was decreasing.  In 2011 there were even less black males entering the medical field than in 1978. His mission for the organization “is to inspire the next generation of physician leaders and to diversify the field of medicine with a special emphasis on Black males.”.  The event is open to all genders.  Currently, on 6% of physicians in the U.S. are black.  The 2019 event was held at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.  Several other medical schools from around the country also participated including, University of North Carolina, Duke University, University of Colorado and UCLA.

Students, parents, teachers, medical professionals, and community leaders participated in the event.  The event welcomes students who are in the 3rd – 12th grades. Students are able to connect with mentors and other supports that can aid them in pursuing education and career options in the medical field; while parents are also given resources and guidance to understand how to support their child in pursuing a career in the medical field.  For more info on the organization, visit their website: http://www.blackmeninwhitecoats.org/

Check out the video from the 2019 event:  https://youtu.be/JsRlwGS2GqM

Sources:

https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com/blogs/culture/black-men-in-white-coats-is-on-a-mission-to-show-black-boys-that-they-can-be-doctors-too?fbclid=IwAR0i7sJlx7QewrQqCuWP1zy9lr5FAjRWLEhspjZ0FhfysCiZ8h3v9Ab7aCA

http://www.blackmeninwhitecoats.org/summit/

Trachette Jackson:  Black Mathematician Making An Impact In Cancer Research

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

Trachette
Dr. Trachette Jackson

Dr. Trachette Jackson (1972 – ) is a professor and mathematician.  Jackson has focused her mathematical research in the area of cancer oncology.  She and her research team,  are exploring how mathematical modeling can be used to gain a broader understanding of cancerous tumor growth and how it is initiated.  Her research has gained international attention. Jackson received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1994 from Arizona State University and earned her masters and Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 1996 and 1998.  Her Ph.D. thesis focused on mathematical models and their connection to chemotherapy treatment for cancer patients. Continue reading “Trachette Jackson:  Black Mathematician Making An Impact In Cancer Research”

Kenyan Engineer Roy Allela Creates Gloves That Translate Sign Language To Audible Speech

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Roy Allela

Kenyan inventor and engineer Roy Allela is developing technology that allows sign language to be translated into audible speech.  Inspired to explore ways to improve communication with a niece who is deaf motivated Allela to explore how technology might be able to bridge the gap.  Neither Allela or other family members know sign language.   The “Sign-IO” gloves use Bluetooth technology to translate signals from sensors on the glove when a person is making sign language gestures.  Continue reading “Kenyan Engineer Roy Allela Creates Gloves That Translate Sign Language To Audible Speech”

Dr. Roscoe C. Giles: First African American To Be Become Certified By The American Board of Surgery

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Roscoe Giles
Dr. Roscoe C. Giles (1890 – 1970)

Roscoe Conkling Giles (1890 – 1970) was born in Albany, New York. He was the first African American to become certified by the American Board of Surgery in 1938 at the age of 27. After graduating from high school in Brooklyn, NY, he was awarded a scholarship to Cornell University and would be the first African American to earn a medical degree there.  He was 16 years old when he began his studies at Cornell.  While there, in 1907, Giles became one of the first members of African American fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc. which was started at Cornell in 1906. Continue reading “Dr. Roscoe C. Giles: First African American To Be Become Certified By The American Board of Surgery”

Dr. Marian Croak:  Inventor of (VOIP) Technology Behind Skype, Video Conferencing, And Text-To-Give Messaging

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marian croak

Dr. Marian Croak (1955 – )

The African American woman that made it possible for us to enjoy video conferencing, and internet/wifi generated phone calls is Dr. Marian Croak. Croak created Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP). VoIP technology makes it possible for voice communications and other media to be transmitted over the internet (internet protocol or IP).  In 1982, she began her career at AT & T/Bell Laboratories.  At that time Croak anticipated the advent of using the internet to transmit voice communication and other types of media and began to strategize on how to expand capabilities in this area.

Croak has over one hundred patents related to VoIP technologies and an additional one hundred patents pending.  “Text to give” technology that is often used to collect donations during natural disasters and other crises was also developed by Croak.  She filed a patent for this technology in 2005.  This technology was groundbreaking in changing how money is donated to charities and non-profit organizations. After 32 years at AT & T/Bell Laboratories, Croak joined Google in 2014; serving as the Vice President of Engineering.

In this role, she has overseen Google’s expansion efforts in new markets; which included technology for Project Loon.  Project Loon employs the use of balloons to help with increasing the reach of communications technology.  Croak was inducted into the Women In Technology Hall of Fame in 2013.  She enjoys long distance running and is the mother of three adult children.

Sources:

https://blackdoctor.org/525473/dr-marian-croak-creator-of-voip-the-technology-behind-skype-sms-messaging-more/2/

https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/croak-marian-r-1955/

http://www.witi.com/center/witimuseum/halloffame/319632/Marian-R.-Croak,-Ph.D.-Senior-Vice-President,-Applications-&-Services-Infrastructure-AT&T-Labs/

https://face2faceafrica.com/article/womens-history-month-salute-marian-croak

 

Freddie Figgers: Inventor & Telecommunications Mogul

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Freddie Figgers (1989 – )

Freddie Figgers (1989 – ), is an African American inventor, entrepreneur, and computer programmer. He is the CEO and founder of Figgers Wireless. The company is located in Quincy, Florida. Figgers’ rise from being abandoned and left in a dumpster at birth to becoming CEO of a company valued at over $62 million is nothing short of amazing! After being abandoned at birth, Figgers was adopted by two loving parents. He got his start in computers at the age of 9, when he received a broken computer which he was able to fully repair.

Upon learning that his father had Alzheimer’s, Figgers invented a shoe with a GPS tracker and a two-way communicator. He would later sell this invention for millions of dollars. At age 12, he was hired as a computer technician. By age 15, he had launched his own cloud computing service. Figgers would become the youngest person in history to hold an FCC license which he would use to launch, Figgers Wireless. It is the sole black-owned company in the country which manufactures its own 4G phone and 5G smartphones.

Continue reading “Freddie Figgers: Inventor & Telecommunications Mogul”

Alexander Augusta:  1st Black Surgeon In The U.S. Army

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Alexander Augusta
Alexander Augusta (1825 – 1890)

Alexander Augusta (1825 – 1890) was born in Norfolk Virginia.  He began his medical studies under the supervision of private tutors.  He then applied for admission at the University of Pennsylvania but was denied.  Still, a Professor William Gibson, who was very impressed with Augusta began teaching him privately.  In 1847, Augusta married Native American woman, Mary O. Burgoin.  In 1856 he was admitted to the College Of The University of Toronto. He would eventually receive his Bachelors of Medicine degree from Trinity Medical College.

Augusta went on to establish a thriving private practice in Canada.  He was also hired as the head of Toronto City Hospital.  Just prior to the start of the Civil War,  he returned to the U.S. and enlisted in the U.S. Army.  He was the first of eight black officers to be commissioned during the Civil War and was the first black surgeon in the army.  He was commissioned as a major with the 7th U.S. Colored Troops. At that time, Augusta was the highest ranking black officer.  His high ranking angered some of the white medical personnel who reported to him.  Those individuals wrote President Lincoln and complained.  Lincoln then forced Augusta to take on a leadership role at Freedmen’s Hospital in Washington, D.C.  Augusta was the first African American to lead Freedman’s Hospital.   Continue reading “Alexander Augusta:  1st Black Surgeon In The U.S. Army”

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