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Yes, Black women in STEM do exist and they are killing it!

University of Central Florida’s first African-American female chemistry professor has been awarded a huge grant to improve techniques for investigating rape.

According to the Atlanta Black Star, Dr. Candice Bridge was granted a whopping $324,000 from the National Institute of Justice to review methods for catching suspects of sexual-assault outside of DNA evidence. The funding will also give Bridge access to exclusive tools utilized by the FBI and a few government laboratories and it will help her conduct important research on lubricants exchanged during sexual assaults, toxicology, drugs and gunshot debris.

In a statement, the Howard graduate discussed why this funding is so important to her work.

This grant will enable us to conduct research into a unique new means of identifying perpetrators of sexual assault when traditional DNA evidence doesn’t exist. It’s an important line of research that has become even more important as rapists attempt to elude capture by covering their DNA tracks after an assault.

She added, “An award from the NIJ in forensic science is particularly significant as it’s the primary agency for advancing forensic science through research.”

In addition, Bridge will create a website through the Orlando Public Defender’s Office that will give defense lawyers and prosecution more resources about education forensic science analysis.

Now, Bridge isn’t new to doing great things. Since the age of 13, she dreamt of being a chemist and is so gifted that she earned her PhD in chemistry when she was only 25-years-old!

Other standout achievements include being one of the first people with a forensic PhD in the country; the first black female to teach Chemistry at Howard University and the University of Central Florida; voted Professor of the Year in the Howard Chemistry Department in her first year teaching; and was selected as one of Ebony magazine’s “30 Under 30 Leaders.”

Congrats Candice!

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