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Young lady, Charlyne Smith set record as first black to bag Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering in US Varsity 



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A brilliant 27-year-old black American lady, Charlyne Smith has set an astonishing record at the University of Florida, United State after she emerged as the first black student to bag a Ph.D. degree in Nuclear Engineering.

Charlyne Smith, who currently occupies the role of Senior Nuclear Energy Analyst on Nuclear Energy Innovation team at the Breakthrough Institute has described her achievement as a pathway that will open doors for blacks and the marginalized groups.


According to Smith, “It means more opportunity, more options and open doors, especially for the black community and marginalized groups to create and innovate in the nuclear energy space, to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges, and this includes climate change.”


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Charlyne Smith is originally from St. Catherine, Jamaica, North America, she relocated to United State in 2012 to pursue a career in science and technology.


When she arrived in United State, Charlyne Smith went ahead to study at the Coppin State University in Baltimore and in 2017, Smith graduated from the University with B.Sc. in chemistry and mathematics.

Charlyne Smith

According to the Smith, she discovered she was passionate about Nuclear Engineering after she had spoken with nuclear scientist Dr. Nickie Peters at a Copin State University (CSU) alumni events, adding that getting a degree in Nuclear Engineering could help bring immediate change to the countries that were in-need of it.


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She proceeded to study in University of Florida and finally becoming the first black woman/person-ever to bag a Ph.D. from the university.


Smith stated that she has plans to help displace fossil fuels energy sources in the Caribbean, and make sure that they’re replaced with clean energy sources like nuclear energy.

“My strategy is to begin with Jamaica; this is because it houses the only nuclear reactor in the Caribbean. Although it is a research reactor, it existence shows experience and technical competence in the nuclear engineering space” according to Charlyne Smith.


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Charlyne, is a co-founder of a non-profit organization called Empowering Garrison Girls (EGGs) whose vision is to fill the need for a global transformation and to drastically reduce gender inequalities by focusing on young ladies that are residing in Jamaican garrison communities.


In her words:

“Being exposed to a wide range of STEM discipline is fundamental to solving current and future world’s problem. My plan is to help diversify the engineering disciplines by first helping to develop a summer engineering pilot program that is meant for high school students in Jamaica.”


She added that, “The hope is that success of these sort of educational programs will help in creating a blueprint for designing STEM-based secondary institution.”

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