Virginia's first Black nanoscience graduate inspires young minds

Posted at 6:55 PM, Feb 25, 2021

RICHMOND, Va. -- Ginai Seabron, who once attended Albert Hill Middle School in Richmond, returned last year as a guest speaker. The students were excited to meet a history maker who chose a particular field of science.

In 2018, Seabron became the first black nanoscience graduate in the state of Virginia after completing her four years of study at Virginia Tech.

"I love questions and I love to answer them, especially when they’re coming from little growing minds. The students we’re like wait, you sat in this room? And I’m like yes, I sat in this room with my teachers,” said Seabron.

But what exactly is a nano scientist?

“What I tell the kids, a good way to think about nanoscience is when you think about Black Panther. The sister, she was studying nanoscience in the movie,” Seabron explained.

“A nano scientist is someone who studies very small things. It would be someone who studies math, all the sciences: biology, chemistry, physics, and then also engineering, but they study it very, very small,” said Seabron.

Seabron says she's proud to be the first Black nanoscience graduate in Virginia.

“I am glad to be added to the history books. Not just the Black history books at Virginia Tech, but the history books,” Seabron said.

Seabron’s college graduation cap, which is personalized with letters of the periodic table, is now featured as an exhibit in the Virginia Museum of History and Culture. Upon her graduation, her accomplishment went viral as she appeared in national news publications and received social media mentions from all over the country.

“It just kept growing over time, and then we truly knew it went viral when people started to reach out to me, as well as Shonda Rhimes posted me and so that was really big,” she said.

Seabron is now a graduate student at Virginia Tech pursuing her master’s degree in higher education. After graduating in May, Seabron says she wants to use both her degrees in a way that can come together.

“If I’m able to do research while still working in a diversity and inclusion office, diversity inclusion for science, diversity inclusion for medical school, or even policy reform... but what does that look like, I don’t know, we're going to figure this out. It is definitely application season. Job hunting time is now, so we’re going to see what I can create for me,” said Seabron.

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