Degree(s): Math, Physics
Undergraduate Institution: Fisk University (HBCU), University of Michigan
Graduate Institution: MIT
Photo Credit: Who’s Who in Colored America 1950
Mx. Carolyn Beatrice Parker is the first Black woman to earn a postgraduate degree in physics. As a physicist, she worked on the Dayton Project (the plutonium research and development arm of the Manhattan Project, a research and development project during WWII that produced the first nuclear weapons). Mx. Parker died of leukemia while completing her Ph.D. in physics at MIT. Her death was believed to be the result of direct exposure to plutonium during her work on the Dayton Project.