Knatokie Ford – Biomedical Scientist & STEM Activist

Read about the inspiring achievements of Kantokie Ford - the biomedical scientist and STEM for minorities activist.

Knatokie Ford is a renowned biomedical scientist with an absolute love for good music, skydiving, and solo trips.

However, she does not fit into the conventional image of a scientist. This trait of her personality makes her stand out in a crowd. Let’s learn about the inspiring journey of Knatokie Ford. 

Childhood

Knatokie Ford was the youngest child among four kids in a blue-collared family living in Arkon, Ohio.

At the age of three, she lost vision in one of her eyes due to an unfortunate accident, which later on; turns a blessing in disguise!

Knatokie was shy in her early days. However, to compensate for the loss of vision, she started playing sports.

She also started participating in performing arts and tried to understand the mechanism of the human eye.

Growing up in a family where her parents always try hard to have enough finances, she gradually understood that only education could help to have a better life. 

Education

Knatokie Ford vowed her teachers with her academic brilliance when she was still in high school.

She became senior class president in her school. By then, she already got numerous scholarship offers for her college studies.

With a desire to follow the footsteps of her elder brother Knatokie decided to join the Clark Atlanta University on a full-ride scholarship. 

Knatokie Ford completed her Bachelor’s degree in science with chemistry as a major subject.

In 2004, Next, she completed her Master’s degree in biological chemistry.

By the time she completed her studies at the Clark Atlanta University, she was already serving the Beta Kappa Chi National Scientific Honor Society as a Vice President and the Golden Key National Honor Society as a coveted member! 

Then she enrolled and completed her PhD in Experimental Pathology from Harvard University.

She studied age-related macular degeneration during her PhD. Meanwhile, Knatokie Ford started to support other minority students and even became the President of the Minority Biomedical Scientists at Harvard.

She also started to offer motivational presentations before undergraduates belonging to underprivileged families to encourage them to join Harvard University. 

After completing her PhD in 2011, she joined the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center as a postdoctoral fellow.

Located in Boston, it was a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. However, many people are not aware that she got a few acting gigs during her student life.

However, she soon realized that she had to do something to support herself. So, she even worked as a substitute teacher in a Los Angeles school for a brief period. 

Work

During working as a postdoctoral fellow, Knatokie Ford got ample time to apply for the fellowship awarded by the AAAS.

Soon, she became a part of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) in 2012.

Here, Knatokie contributed significantly to change the STEM program‘s image and get more participation of women in the STEM field.

She also made a conscious effort to ensure that people of different colours get apt representation in science stories to inspire all people, irrespective of their race, skin colour, or sexual orientation.

Knatokie’s exemplary work was listed as one of the top 100 science and technology accomplishments during President Obama’s administration. 

Meanwhile, Knatokie Ford also worked hard to improve the nation’s healthcare and manage several projects on education technology. She worked in this capacity till 2014. 

Dr Knatokie Ford then found a media consulting organization in 2014.

Her organization Fly Sci® Enterprise is focused on leveraging the power of storytelling to promote social change in the STEM field.

From 2018-2019, she also served the Council of Barbie Global Advisory.

She also became a member of the advisory committee for YouTube Kids Global and featured in several books.

She is even known as the wonder woman of STEM. 

References

https://www.knatokieford.com/

https://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2013/05/forging-way-other-minority-scientists

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Angela
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