Astrophysicist Will Speak about Overcoming Limitations to Pursue Your Calling

Feb. 17, 2017
Jedidah IslerJedidah Isler, Ph.D., the first black woman to earn her Ph.D. in astrophysics from Yale University, will speak in the Academy for Leadership Development Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21. (Courtesy photo)

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WACO, Texas (Feb. 17, 2017) – Award-winning astrophysicist Jedidah Isler, Ph.D., will lecture in the Academy for Leadership Development Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, in the Barfield Drawing Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center, 1311 S. Fifth St.

Isler is a TED fellow, a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and an advocate for inclusive STEM education. Two TED talks by Isler are available online. Combined, they have received more than two million views. Isler is a National Science Foundation Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow at Vanderbilt University. Previously, she served as a Chancellor’s Faculty Fellow in Physics at Syracuse University and an affiliate of the Future Faculty Leader Fellowship at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

As an advocate for inclusive STEM education. She works to break down barriers that keep people from becoming scientists. Isler hosts the monthly web series “Vanguard: Conversations with Women of Color in STEM.” In 2014, Isler became the first African-American woman to receive her Ph.D. in astrophysics from Yale University.

In the Academy for Leadership Development lecture, Isler will be sharing her journey to becoming an astrophysicist.

“It is our hope that the audience members will leave the lecture inspired to fervently pursue their calling in life,” said Lamar Bryant, director for student leadership education and development in the Academy for Leadership Development. “Dr. Isler’s journey is a true testament to the mantra ‘if you believe, you can achieve!’ Furthermore, I hope those who have the opportunity to hear Dr. Isler speak leave the lecture feeling empowered to live beyond perceived and systemic limitations, because through hard work and faith in God, all things are possible.”

The ALD Lecture Series brings national and international speakers to campus to lecture on a variety of issues relating to leadership in modern society.

“The ALD Lecture Series is an opportunity for faculty, staff, and students alike to hear from some of the nation’s best speakers on a variety of topics related to leadership,” Bryant said. “We understand leadership is complex, and it can be defined in different ways. Thus, we aspire to present a variety of perspectives throughout the lecture series that serve as a catalyst for audience members to work through the process of understanding their personal philosophy on leadership.”

This event is free and open to the public. For more information and a full schedule for the ALD Lecture Series, click here.

by Kalli Damschen, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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