Meet the First Black Woman to Receive PhD in Neuroscience at University of Rochester
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Meet the First Black Woman to Receive PhD in Neuroscience at University of Rochester

  • Jamaican native, Monique Mendes, made history as the first Black woman to achieve a doctoral degree in Neuroscience at the University of Rochester, UR
  • She attained the feat in 2020, becoming the only second person to earn PhD in Neuroscience from the university
  • In 2018, she made history as the first graduate student at UR to receive a diversity award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders in Stroke

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Monique Mendes became the first Black woman and only the second Black person to receive a doctorate in Neuroscience at the University of Rochester (UR), New York, in 2020.

The Jamaican native attended Immaculate Conception High School in Saint Andrew Parish before relocating to the US aged 16.

According to Jamaicans.com, the first Black awardee of a UR neuroscience PhD received it in 2013.

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Monique Mendes
Photo of Monique Mendes. Source: Jamaicans.com
Source: UGC

Pursuing her PhD

While in her second year at the University of Florida, Mendes worked in the university's Neuroscience Stroke Lab, where she learned how strokes occurred in the brain and about therapeutic approaches to the condition.

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Her work in the lab influenced her quest to seek a doctoral degree in the field.

In October 2020, Mendes began her postdoctoral training after she received a diversity award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders in Stroke.

After Overcoming Adversity, Black Lady Becomes Her Family's First Graduate and Doctor

YEN.com.gh previously reported that on her journey to earning a degree, Lerato Jaca triumphed adversity to achieve her goals, becoming the first person in her family to bag a degree in 2020.

She understood what it meant for a Black girl to glean such a feat, more so, make history.

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In a post on Twitter, Jaca disclosed that she graduated from the University of Cape Town, UCT, making history as her family's first graduate and doctor.

Black Man Becomes First Lawyer in His Family

YEN.com.gh earlier reported that Ray Curtis Petty Jr, ESQ is the definition of a fighter who has overcome cycles of obstacles life threw at him to achieve his goal as a legal brain, becoming the first lawyer in his family.

Undaunted by the mountain of difficulties and childhood inadequacies, he triumphed and made history as his family's first-generation attorney.

Recounting his story on his Instagram account, he recalls being told by his teachers that he should be in special education classes. His coaches also doubted his ability to remember a playbook as a child, he said.

Source: YEN.com.gh

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