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#BlackInAstro Experiences: Ayanna Jones

27 Jun 2020, 21:11 UTC
#BlackInAstro Experiences: Ayanna Jones
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

This post is part of our series #BlackInAstro. For our cornerstone post, see here. This week, we’ve been posting a #BlackInAstro story every day for #BlackInAstroWeek. In this final installment, we are publishing an interview with Ayanna Jones, a Chemistry Ph.D. student studying astrochemistry and astrobiology at Emory University, US.Ayanna Jones was an undergraduate student at Clark Atlanta University (a Historically Black College or University, or HBCU) when she did a research internship that changed her life. She worked at the University of Chicago on astrophysics, a field that seemed totally disparate from her undergraduate field of polymer chemistry. “It was really transformative for me, applying chemistry to those [astrophysical] concepts,” Jones says. “I knew [from then on] that I was really passionate about astrochemistry.”Jones is now a PhD student at Emory University. On top of her work in laboratory astrochemistry, she is the president of the Emory Black Graduate Students Association. To Jones, supporting other Black students is just as important as her research. “What keeps me going is just knowing that another little Black girl who’s also interested in this field […] might see me and think that she can do what she wants,” she says. “We do ...

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