BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – This spring, Michelle Lollie became the first Black female to graduate from Louisiana State University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy with a PhD.

In an interview that’s posted on LSU’s official Facebook page, Lollie shared one of her biggest graduation-related dreams, saying, “When graduation comes around and I get to hand my degree to my grandmother, that will be a pivotal moment.”

She explained that her grandmother, who is from Mississippi, had to pick cotton to make ends meet.

“I want to make sure that’s a modern story,” Lollie said. “Obviously, slavery had been over for over a hundred years. But unfortunately for her, you know, there weren’t that many opportunities for her, where she could provide for her and her family.”   

Lollie added that because of her grandmother’s sacrifice, her children and grandchildren have been able to pursue their educational and career goals. 

Image Credit: LSU

Lollie’s dissertation was on the subject of advanced communication and sensing protocols using twisted light and engineered quantum statistics, and you can read more about it read here