Dr. Jedidah Isler is an award-winning astrophysicist, TED Fellow, and a nationally recognized speaker and advocate for inclusive STEM education. She is also the creator and host of the monthly web series “Vanguard: Conversations with Women of Color in STEM.”
Dr. Isler received her bachelor’s degree at Norfolk State University’s Dozoretz National Institute for Mathematics and Applied Sciences (DNIMAS) before earning a Masters in Physics from the Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-Ph.D. Bridge Program, a pioneering effort to increase the attainment of advanced STEM degrees by students of color. Dr. Isler continued her education at Yale University, where her research on supermassive, hyperactive black holes was supported by fellowships from NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. In 2014, she became the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Yale, completing an award-winning study that examined the physics of particle jets emanating from black holes at the centers of distant galaxies called blazars. Dr. Isler’s current research focuses on using simultaneous infrared, optical and gamma-ray observations to better understand the physics of these blazar jets.