We were lucky enough to spend part of HokieGrad Day with Nanoscience graduate Ginai Seabron and her family. Congratulations!! 🎉🎉 More photos & story coming soon! ClassOf2018 @ori_ginai @vtdsa pic.twitter.com/pRP2lBOGdn
— Virginia Tech Science (@VT_Science) May 11, 2018
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA — This graduate knew something was strange about her peers after noticing she was usually the only Black student in class. It’s lonely at the top, right?
According to Virginia Tech News, Ginai Seabron became the first African-American woman to earn a bachelor’s degree in nanoscience from the College of Science at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University [Virginia Tech].
The source reports Seabron was only one of 20 graduating the nanoscience major.
So, on May 11, Ginai Seabron accepted her degree at the Biocomplexity Institute in Steger Hall — all to the massive sound of cheers and support from her peers, friends, and family.
Via Twitter, Seabron made an announcement about her accomplishment.
“OFFICIALLY DONE! These past 4 years have been longgg and HARD but I/WE made it. You are looking at the FIRST African American Woman NANOSCIENTIST from Virginia Tech!”
According to her, she didn’t believe she was the first Black woman to graduate from the program. However, after checking with the department, it turned out to be true.
Her tweet went mega viral and is still rising — currently over 14,300 retweets and 74,000 likes.
“I didn’t expect it at all. It’s overwhelming, but I love it,” referring to her social media fame.
Hours before commencement, Seabron talked about her journey to graduation. According to her, it wasn’t an easy task, especially being the only Black student in the room. Actually, she said it was “intimidating.”
Yet, she didn’t give up. This has also inspired others to pursue the degree.
“I’ve actually helped a few other people in my Black community transfer into the nanoscience department,” Seabron tells Virginia Tech News.
Virginia Tech President Tim Sands, who also has a nanotechnology background, says he met Seabron during her freshman year as he talked to students about nanoscience. The president adds the following statement:
“We’re proud of her success, and I greatly appreciate her many contributions to the university community. Her strength and insight have been very helpful to me in our efforts to make the Virginia Tech experience more inclusive. I have no doubt that great things are ahead for her.”
— ¡BOOSHEELENA¡ (@ori_ginai) May 9, 2018
ADVICE FOR THOSE TO COME
Her advice to future students is as follows.
“Continue to push. Rely on your family and your friends. Reach out to your professors. Go to office hours. Create your own office hours if you have to. Be social. Step out of your comfort zone. Get to know the people in your class — they could become your study buddies. You’ll think you’re the only person struggling, but as it turns out, everybody’s struggling.”
“The Black community at Virginia Tech is wonderful,” Seabron elaborates. “The Black Cultural Center and everyone in the cultural and community centers are all amazing. They know me as Auntie Nai here. They’re really my family away from home. Without them, I wouldn’t have made it. I can promise you that.”
During Seabron’s time at VT, she served as:
- president of the Black Organizations Council
- a member of Enlightened Gospel Choir
- resident advisor during her junior year
- a teaching assistant during her sophomore year
- and volunteer with College Mentors for Kids.
“I love helping others, and in every single one of those positions, I’ve had the great opportunity of meeting and helping out other people,” Seabron adds. “And they’ve also helped me through.”
— Virginia Tech Alumni (@VT_alumni) June 27, 2018
Ginai’s post-graduation plans aren’t in stone yet, but — as reports WWBT-12 — she plans to return after a year internship.
All in all, let us know your thoughts about this graduate’s historic success. If you have any comments, feel free to share them via our Facebook page.
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[Featured Photo via Ginai Seabron / Twitter]