Saturday, February 22, 2020

Physicist alumna excels in career, wants to inspire young black women

Physicist alumna excels in career, wants to inspire young black women

ROADRUNNERS YOU
SHOULD KNOW

FEBRUARY 14, 2020Kelly Nash ’09 understands planning for a bold future. The fact that fewer than 100 African American women in the U.S. held Ph.Ds. in physics at the time she decided to pursue her passion did not hold her back. 

Now, this UTSA physicist, associate professor and alumna wants to make sure she inspires other black young women to do the same. 

She advises all to follow their passions. “Don’t be afraid to pursue a major because there is no one that looks like you in that field,” she said. “In fact, Black History Month reminds us of all the African American women who challenged the status quo and chose to be trailblazers from education to the arts to science and engineering.” 


“Don’t be afraid to pursue a major because there is no one that looks like you in that field.”

KELLY NASH, Associate Professor in the Department of Physics



Next, Nash recommended that before a student selects a field of study to take time and define what personal success means to the individual. Finally, she said, “The complex identity of being both black and a woman gets amplified in the classroom, workplace and often in daily life. You have to combat the negative effects by focusing on self-love and remembering that what you have to say and contribute matters just as much as anyone else in the room.” 

In May, Nash will finish her three-year term as an officer for the American Physical Society’s Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics. “This has been such a rewarding experience,” she said, “and I have had the pleasure to support programming that is truly making a difference in the lives of young people. Every year the experience of the conferences where I have been able to share my journey of both struggles and successes has provided interaction with so many undergraduate women in physics from such diverse backgrounds. They have inspired me more than ever to be an advocate for underrepresented groups in science.” 


Read an interview with Kelly Nash in UTSA’s Sombrilla Magazine. 


When asked about the significance of Black History Month, Nash responded, “Black History Month is important because it is a time to reflect on the immense societal contributions of African Americans and to share that message with peoples from all backgrounds. On a more personal level, I think it’s a time for all African Americans to reflect on the shared journey of perseverance and the progress of people from across the African diaspora and how it is reflected in our own personal family history.” 

Nash continues to make a difference at UTSA, working in the Department of Physics with undergraduate students and conducting research to discover how nanomaterials interact with cell and molecular biology.

Pamela Lutrell


Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.



UTSA Today is produced by University Communications and Marketing, the official news source of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Send your feedback to news@utsa.edu. Keep up-to-date on UTSA news by visiting UTSA Today. Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.


Events


Spotlight

Spotlight

mexican-cookbook-collection_680.png
UTSA’s Mexican Cookbook Collection now available online

UTSA’s Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA’s Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA’s Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.