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Reading: 27-Year-Old woman earns PhD in Nuclear Engineering, sets record as the first African- American woman to win award at US university
Reading: 27-Year-Old woman earns PhD in Nuclear Engineering, sets record as the first African- American woman to win award at US university

27-Year-Old woman earns PhD in Nuclear Engineering, sets record as the first African- American woman to win award at US university

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Festus Conteh
By Festus Conteh 196 Views 2 Min Read
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27- aged woman earns PhD in Nuclear Engineering, sets record as the first African- American woman to win award at US university
27- aged woman earns PhD in Nuclear Engineering, sets record as the first African- American woman to win award at US university

27-Year-Old Ciara Sivels, from Chesapeake, Virginia, United States, has made history by becoming the first-ever African-American woman to earn a PhD in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Michigan. Sivels began her higher education journey at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where she earned her Bachelor’s degree before proceeding to the University of Michigan for her record-setting PhD degree.

Sivels’ journey to achieving her doctoral degree began when she was in high school. Initially interested in culinary arts, a teacher encouraged her to pursue Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). She then decided to pursue engineering and eventually ended up in the nuclear program.

In an effort to expose more Black women to the world of STEM, Sivels established an organization called Women in Nuclear Engineering in Radiological Science. She believes that her path could have been much easier if she had been exposed to STEM-related topics earlier and believes that representation and exposure is key.

During her graduate studies at the University of Michigan, Sivels was one of only three black women completing her PhD degree at the university. After completing her program, she became the first-ever African-American female graduate of the University of Michigan’s Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences.

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Festus Conteh is an international youth that functions conveniently in all forms of writing including article writing, news, script, content writing, constitution and project/proposal writing. Writing is fun to Festus and has brought fame and recognition in his clime. In 2019, he was awarded best upcoming writer in an online writing completion that was organized by the Association of Sierra Leonean Authors (ASLA). After his impactful contribution to national development and cohesion through writing, he was nominated for the African Genius Award for the Best Writer in Africa Award Category an award he lost to one of the greatest African Writers - Chinua Achebe. In 2022, Festus was one of the applicants to the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) as Vice Chairperson (Policy and Advocacy) a process that met imperil feedback. As a freelancer, Festus has written articles for magazines, newspapers, and media houses and his articles have attracted big media houses including BBC, Aljazeera and Legit. Ng and is the Head of Programs at Salone Messenger a public relations firm based in Sierra Leone with the latest news and information. He is the founder of Africa’s Wakanda a platform that spotlight the beauty of Africa. Festus is also a perpetual volunteer in life-changing causes and has shown great commitment and dedication to being a catalyst and solution to the challenges faced by young people like himself. Festus currently serves as the Secretary General of the Africa Youth Leaders movement which is a network of youth between the ages of 20 – 30 years who have shown achievement, leadership potential and commitment to make a difference. Festus is also the Africa Focal Point of Youth for Change Initiative, which is a platform through which young people can access resources, be empowered and given the opportunity to grow to become useful members of society who will participate in the development of their communities and nation. Along with another Africa Youth platform, Festus has Co-Founded the Future of Africa initiative which is an advocate forum with the aim to bring together local and international socio-economic stakeholders to support innovative programs aimed at advancing the radical and practical progress of adoption awareness-vulnerable children and youth and youth leadership-through interlinking local, regional and international resources and opportunities.