Student-athlete Chantrell Frazier is finding success off the court, becoming the first Black woman to earn a doctorate in biochemistry at Florida International University.

HBCU Inspires Career Venture

It’s needless to say that it was no easy feat, and Frazier says it would not have been possible without having attended a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), Atlanta Black Star reports. Frazier’s higher education began at Savannah State University and her attendance helped established her foundation and readiness for graduate school.

“Who can look out better for us than ourselves,” Frazier said, according to Atlanta Black Star. “It prepared me to not falter. It prepared me when things got difficult not to quit.”

Frazier's Studies Could Help Free The Wrongfully Accused

The transition from an HBCU was a stark difference as there were only a few Black students among a class of 56,000 at the public university. However, what fueled her academic journey was her passion for forensic science, which took root while attending Savanah State University. Little did she know, by staying on track, she would make history.

“I don’t know how far I would have went, but I just took it to the farthest I could,” Frazier said, according to the outlet.

Frazier’s studies involved investigating the biology and chemicals of human body odors for forensic identification use. Her findings led to the identification of a person on the basis of gender on the contingency of their body odor. In addition, Frazier explored if mosquitoes were attracted to specific human body odors. She will present her findings for her dissertation in Tanzania, and she hopes her work will help free those wrongfully accused.

Frazier Aspires To Become Chemistry Professor

As Frazier looks ahead, she will continue her studies at a postdoctoral teaching fellowship at Framingham State University in Massachusetts. Frazier plans to become a chemistry professor and champion the next generation of STEM leaders.

“It’s just being an example for them showing them that the ceiling is open because I feel like I’ve broken a lot of glass ceilings with what I’ve done,” she said.