In the realm of aerospace engineering, a groundbreaking achievement has been made by Dr. Nialah Wilson-Small, a trailblazing individual whose journey has rewritten history. She has become the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering, marking a historic milestone in her illustrious academic career.
Academic Distinctions and Current Role
Dr. Wilson-Small currently serves as an Industry Assistant Professor at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, a position that reflects not only her academic prowess but also her standing in the industry. Recognized by Forbes in the prestigious 30 Under 30 list in the Science category for 2024, she stands as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring engineers and scientists.
Academic Background and Research Focus
Her academic journey commenced at Howard University, where she earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2017. Subsequently, she pursued her master’s and doctoral degrees in Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University, graduating in 2022. Dr. Wilson-Small’s research centers around coordination algorithms for large collectives of simple robots, with a particular emphasis on human-drone interactions. She explores the integration of physical feedback to influence human motion, opening new avenues for communication in diverse applications.
A Historic Achievement
Dr. Wilson-Small’s historic moment was celebrated with pride on her LinkedIn page. She shared her successful dissertation defense, proudly declaring herself as the first Black woman to achieve a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University. This milestone not only symbolizes her personal triumph but also represents a significant stride forward for diversity and inclusion in the field.
Forbes 30 Under 30 Recognition
Her accolades extend to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for 2024, where she is acknowledged for her groundbreaking work in the Science category. Dr. Wilson-Small’s contribution to developing coordination algorithms for human-drone interactions using touch highlights her commitment to pushing the boundaries of technology and its applications in various real-world scenarios.
Inspirational Journey from Botetourt to Cornell
Dr. Wilson-Small’s journey began at Lord Botetourt High School, where she excelled not only academically but also in robotics and STEM programs. A track and field champion, she carried her passion for excellence to Howard University before making history at Cornell. Her inspirations include luminaries like Madame Marie Curie and Dr. Mae Jemison, emphasizing the importance of representation and mentorship in STEM fields.
Impact Beyond Academia
As Dr. Wilson-Small assumes the role of an industry assistant professor at NYU, her influence is set to extend beyond academia. Her research, exploring the intersection of design, human-robot interaction, and autonomy, has practical implications for areas such as crowd control, search and rescue, and workplace human-drone collaboration.
A Legacy of Excellence
Dr. Nialah Wilson-Small’s journey serves as a testament to the potential within each individual to overcome challenges and redefine boundaries. Her story is not only one of personal achievement but also a testament to the power of representation and mentorship in fostering diversity and excellence in aerospace engineering and beyond.
In the world of academia and achievement, one name shines brightly – Dr. Dorothy Jean Tillman, II, affectionately known as “DJ” or “Dorothy Jeanius.” At the age of 17, she has not only earned herself a Doctor of Behavioral Health (DBH) degree from Arizona State University but has also become a beacon of inspiration for aspiring young minds around the globe.
Dorothy Jean’s journey into higher education began at the age of 10 when she enrolled as a college freshman at the College of Lake County, majoring in psychology. By the age of 14, she had already earned her Master of Science degree from Unity College in Unity, Maine, solidifying her status as the youngest environmental and sustainable scientist in the country. Her academic achievements continued with the completion of a Bachelor of Science in Humanities at Excelsior College in 2018.
Beyond her academic triumphs, Dorothy Jean is the founder and CEO of the Dorothyjeanius STEAM Leadership Institute. Launched in 2020, this institute encompasses Dorothy Jeanius STEAM Labs in both Chicago and West Capetown, South Africa. The focus is on promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) education, creating pathways for underrepresented groups to excel in these fields.
Dr. Dorothy Jean Tillman’s latest accomplishment is the completion of her DBH at Arizona State University. Her research concentrated on implementing outreach and education programs aimed at reducing the stigma associated with using campus mental health services among college-aged students. This work reflects her commitment to bringing attention to mental and behavioral health services within educational institutions and community-based organizations. Read more about Dr. Tillman here.