ida stephens owens, first black woman with a ph.d.
In 1967, Ida Stephens Owens was the first black woman to receive a Duke PhD., in Biochemistry and Physiology. Dr. Owens worked at the National Institutes of Health, exploring the human body’s detoxifying system. She has been recognized as a key figure in studies surrounding genetics and enzyme systems. Owens served on both the Trinity College Board of Visitors and the Women’s Studies Advisory Council. In 2013, she became Duke’s first recipient of the Graduate School Distinguished Alumni Award.
 “Ida Stephens Owens Named First Recipient of The Graduate School Distinguished Alumni Award,” Duke: The Graduate School, March 16, 2013, https://gradschool.duke.edu/about/news/ida-stephens-owens-named-first-recipient-graduate-school-distinguished-alumni-award.