She is the first black woman to earn a PhD in astronomy from Yale University.
As much as she loves astrophysics, Isler is very aware of the barriers that still remain for young women of color going into science. “It’s unfortunately an as-yet-unresolved part of the experience,” she says. She works to lower those barriers, and also to improve the atmosphere for women of color once they become scientists, noting that “they often face unique barriers as a result of their position at the intersection of race and gender, not to mention class, socioeconomic status and potentially a number of other identities.”
While Isler recounts instances of overt racial and gender discrimination that are jaw-dropping, she says more subtle things happen more often. Isler works with the American Astronomical Society’s commission on the status of minorities in astronomy.
She also believes that while things will improve as more women of color enter the sciences, institutions must lead the way toward creating positive environments for diverse student populations. That is why she is active in directly engaging young women of color: for example participating in a career exploration panel on behalf of the Women’s Commission out of the City of Syracuse Mayor’s Office, meeting with high-achieving middle-school girls. She is also on the board of trustees at the Museum of Science and Technology (MOST).
“Whether I like it or not, I’m one of only a few women of color in this position,” she says. “Addressing these larger issues of access to education and career exploration are just as important as the astrophysical work that I do.”
this is one of the most beautiful things i’ve ever seen
I empathize with the girl second from the bottom. That’s EXACTLY what happens to me in black and white film; freckles turn black and I look like I’ve been imitating Jackson Pollock in my garage all day. Or possibly painting the ceiling a lovely shade of charcoal.
Lovely photography though.
Wait, like, that’s something to empathize with in a NEGATIVE way? Cause I have spent my life wishing my freckles from childhood would have gotten darker and not lighter. I have spotted splotchy arms and shoulders, and this hideous light raccoon veneer of freckles across my face. I’ve always felt like I was not for real “freckled” because I wasn’t like her. I love that look.
“This lovely lady name is Sunahala Registana and she is my new steampunk original character. I love the way it came out. I been planning to this style for a very long time and am happy it now a reality. The Jewelry is 100% created by me.”
Got to meet TK Wonder and Cipriana Quann of “Urban Bush Babes” last night in Brooklyn. Very talented and cool people. TK Wonder did a great performance! Love her music and love their style. Can’t wait to work with them later this month!