Patricia Kingori Becomes Youngest Black Woman to Receive Tenure at Oxford University

Patricia Kingori is making history as the youngest Black woman to receive tenure at Oxford University, Black Enterprise reports. 

Patricia Kingori has just been granted a full professorship at the University of Oxford, making history as the institution’s youngest Black woman to receive tenure in their 900 plus year history. A native of Kenya, Kingori had just become a first time mother when she received a Wellcome Doctoral Studentship to fund her Ph.D. with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She was on maternity leave for a year before relocating to Kenya with her family to complete fieldwork. However, Kenya became embattled by civil unrest, forcing Kingori, who was then pregnant with her second child, to leave the country. Ten months later, she returned to help finalize her data collection alongside two new supervisors. 

Kenyan-born Patricia Kingori has made history as the first Black woman to receive tenure at Oxford University. (Photo: Screenshot/YouTube.com)

Despite the challenges, she persevered, completing her Ph.D. and going on to do postdoctoral research at Oxford’s Ethox Centre as a Wellcome Research Fellow. In just 5 years, Kingori was able to travel through the ranks from a research lecturer to an associate professor. For the last 8 years she’s been a member of the Oxford community where she’s accomplished so much, acquiring a number of competitive funding grants, writing for prestigious publications, supervising philosophy doctoral candidates, and teaching hundreds of students. 

“Patricia has moved many mountains and shattered countless glass ceilings to secure this historic achievement. In the truest tradition of Somerville, she is a woman of firsts, a trailblazer. And yet, I have no doubt that where Patricia leads with such determination, implacable good humor, and brilliance, others will follow.” – Jan Royall, principal baroness at Oxford’s Somerville College.

As a sociologist, Kingori works to study the daily ethical experiences of frontline workers across the globe. She has now been appointed at the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities at Oxford “in recognition of the quality and global impact of her research on academia and beyond,” a statement from the university reads. 

 Professor Kingori on getting tenure and making history at the same time! 

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