Oxford University announced this month that Kenyan-born Patricia Kingori is the youngest Black professor in the prestigious educational institution’s history after granting her full professorship, BBC reported. Besides that feat, the university also said Kingori is one of the youngest women to be awarded full professorship in its 925-year history.
Professor Kingori is a sociologist, and her scope of work largely focuses on the experiences of frontline health workers. “To have my body of work recognized in this way is a great honor, and I am deeply grateful to the many people who have inspired and supported me so far,” she said about the appointment.
She has published extensively in journals such as Social Science and Medicine and has guest-edited several issues on topics concerning global health, ethics and frontline workers, according to Oxford Population Health.
Professor Kingori has served on several organizations including the World Health Organization, Save the Children, and the Obama administration’s White House Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment in Africa Initiative. In 2020, the Medical Research Foundation appointed her as one of its six trustees to oversee funding priorities from its £60 million ($80 million) budget.
Professor Kingori was reportedly raised in St. Kitts, per BBC. And the Caribbean nation’s Somerville College described the academic as a “trailblazer” and a “woman of firsts.”
“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,” Somerville’s Principal Baroness Jan Royall said. “And yet, I have no doubt that where Patricia leads with such determination, implacable good humour and brilliance, others will follow.”
A January 2021 report stated that among the United Kingdom’s 23,000 university professors, only 155 of them were Black.