First Black Woman Earns Degree in Astrophysics from Wisconsin

Miona Short has become the first African-American woman to earn a bachelor of science in astrophysics from UW-Madison.
First Black Woman Earns Degree in Astrophysics from Wisconsin
First Black Woman Earns Degree in Astrophysics from Wisconsin
Miona Short

One hundred year after the first African-American woman graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Miona Short has become the first African-American woman to earn a bachelor of science in astrophysics from UW-Madison. She is from the south side of Chicago.

Short was one of the first recipients of the First Wave/MC Lyte Scholarship for student artists.  It's a four-year, full-tuition scholarship named for the female hip-hop star of the 1980s and 90s. MC Lyte helped to select Short for the scholarship.

From the time she was a little girl, Short has loved learning about the moon and stars. Her passion for astronomy developed into a passion for astrophysics, and her idol is astrophysicist Neil De Grasse Tyson. A selfie she took with Tyson is her Facebook profile photo, and you can find this quote on her Facebook page:

"There was a LOT of: late nights, early mornings, tears, second guessing myself, prayers, working hard, working harder than I thought I could, bombing, learning from my failures, learning to be gentle with me, finding Venus in the night sky, memorizing equations, quoting Einstein to myself, writing on windows, silence when there should’ve been noise, reflection, rejection, bad physics jokes, poetry, good physics jokes, perfecting the subtle calligraphy of the Greek letter psi, getting lost in the numbers, and finding myself again.

Thank you everybody for the lessons I’ve gathered in the past 5 years. Madison was a true test, but I certainly needed to be right there. I have the best family and friends and overall support system in the world. My blessings abound and abound and abound some more."


Short is also interested in being an entrepreneur and launching her own hair care line.