By Roadtrip Nation

Evelynn M. Hammonds


My road in life took a while to figure out.
She grew up in Atlanta, Georgia; her father wanted to become an engineer, but no schools would accept an African American man into their engineering programs.
Even so, his love of science was clearly passed down to her; her favorite toy as a child was a chemistry set.
When she went to college, she noticed that she was the only African American woman in her physics and chemistry classes.
She became interested in why she wasn’t seeing more women and people of color in these classes, and ended up making it her life’s work.
Says that the diversity problem in STEM fields is a historical problem that dates all the way back to the Industrial Revolution.
Over time, as science and engineering began to be viewed as “prestigious” jobs, women and minorities had to start fighting to be let in.
Not only has her research shed light on the underlying issues contributing to inequalities in STEM, but her own career has also broken down countless barriers for women in these fields.
She was the first African American woman to win tenure at MIT, and she was the first woman and first African American to be named Dean of Harvard College.
Keep following my journey


Professor, History of Science, African and African American Studies

I am a scholar and former Dean of Harvard College researching the intersections of race, gender, science and medicine.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Learning / Being Challenged

Day to Day

My daily work revolves around my study of race and gender in regards to science and their impacts on each other. Currently, I focus most of my day to day work and teaching around figuring out why we don't have more women and minorities in scientific professions. I teach classes, develop curriculums, grade papers, etc. I also read a lot of research and literature on this subject.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Confront gender and racial stereotypes directly. Continue on your path in your area of interest and don't let anyone tell you, you don't belong there.


The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"Why are you here? You can't be a scientist. "

Challenges I Overcame