Her-Story Thursdays: Dr. Shirley Jackson

Dr. Shirley Jackson Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson first developed an interest in science and math when she was a child and graduated from her high school in 1964 as the Valedictorian. She then attended MIT for both of her undergrad and graduate careers.

Dr. Jackson was the first African American women to earn her Ph.D from MIT, which she earned in Physics in 1973. She graduated MIT and went to work at Bell Laboratories where she is credited with helping create the basic technologies that allowed the portable fax, touch tone telephone, solar cells, fiber optic cables, and the technology behind caller ID and call waiting to be invented.

Dr. Jackson currently serves as the 18th president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and serves on President Obama's Intelligence Advisory Board.  She also has 53 honorary doctorates to her name, as well as a place in the U.S News STEM Leadership Hall of Fame and in the National Women's Hall of Fame. In 2007 Dr. Jackson was honored with the prestigious Vannevar Bush Award for her lifetime achievements in scientific research and education.

Dr. Jackson is one of the most influential African American women in the STEM fields today, and her scientific research has brought about the existence of some of the most popular technology used in existence today.