Faculty in the News In the News

September 11, 2020 at 7:01 pm

Travis White in C&EN Diversity article: ‘I do belong.’

Ohio University chemist Travis White became an NQPI member in 2019.

Dr. Travis A. White, assistant professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry at Ohio University, wrote about his academic journey as a Black student and faculty member—and a chemist–in the cover story of Chemical and Engineering News.

“While attending our annual College of Arts and Sciences’ faculty awards ceremony last fall, I scanned the ballroom and immediately noticed something: with over 100 people there, I was one of two, maybe three, Black faculty members. At our de facto chemistry table, I was the only one. Unfortunately, this situation felt all too familiar and left me wondering, ‘Do I belong here?'” White writes.

He describes life as an undergraduate, finding his first Black chemistry professor in his fourth year. But he also talks about a “strong support system throughout my journey toward this tenure-track position.”

White concludes his story, “So as I sat at the faculty awards ceremony, I knew that while I may look different from most everyone there, I do belong. I’m not here by accident. Instead, I’m here because of my intellect, my abilities, and people who believe in me. Hopefully the ballroom’s occupants share my opinion and see me for more than a quota to fill.”

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