First Black Woman to Earn PhD in Architecture from University of Hawaii

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        After 115 years, Danielle McCleave has become the first Black woman to graduate with a doctoral degree in Architecture at the University of Hawaii (UH) at Mãnoa. McCleave earned her bachelor of Fine Arts degree, with an emphasis in sculpture and painting from Belmont University before heading to UH to further her studies. She has made history as the first Black woman to earn a Doctor of Architecture professional degree from UH Mãnoa in the school’s 115-year existence.



        McCleave was hit with a variety of emotions when she first found out that she would be the first Black woman to obtain the degree.

        ”I was excited to be in this position of trailblazing, and I knew it would be encouraging for other Black women looking to get into design,” said McCleave, the University of Hawaii News reported.

        According to the university, of the 116,242 architects in the country, licensed Black architects account for only two percent of that number, with Black women architects making up only 0.4 percent of the two percent. Representation matters to McCleave, and her achievement will pave the path for more women at the university.


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