In 2010, the latest year for which complete data is available, only 54 African Americans earned a Ph.D. in chemistry. They made up 2.3 percent of all doctoral recipients in chemistry from U.S. universities that year.
But this year, three African Americans earned Ph.D.s in chemistry at the University of Mississippi, a record for the institution which admitted its first Black students a half-century ago. Seven students in all earned Ph.D.s in chemistry this year at Ole Miss. Two were from Asia.
The three African American who earned Ph.D.s in chemistry are Kari Copeland of Coldwater, Mississippi, Margo Montgomery of New Orleans, Louisiana, and Jeffrey Veals of Gloster, Mississippi.
Kari Copeland also holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biochemistry from the University of Mississippi. She is going to conduct postdoctoral research at Jackson State University.
Margo Montgomery earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans.
Jeffrey Veals holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Mississippi. He will conduct postdoctoral research at the University of Missouri.
Shanna Stoddard, an African American student from Louisville, Kentucky, is on track to earn at Ph.D. in chemistry at Ole Miss in December. There are four other African American students in chemistry Ph.D. programs at the university.
Maurice Eftink, associate provost and professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Ole Miss, stated, “On average about 50 African American students receive Ph.D.s in chemistry nationwide each year, so the University of Mississippi produced 6 percent of the national total.”