CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) - Dr. Nadya Mason is a well-known physicist at the University of Illinois. She started her position in 2005 and since, she has become an outstanding physics professor and now, the Director at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.

Mason began her studies at Harvard University, earning a bachelor's degree in physics in 1995 and a doctorate from Stanford in 2001. Mason is the first woman and woman of color to work as the director at the institute. 

“Being the first woman here is really important to me. Being the first woman of color, I think that I have always looked up to other people who have been there before me. People who are presidents of other universities and who have achieved a lot. For me I hope that this inspires other people to really achieve where they want to.” said Mason.

Being that Mason is the first woman and woman of color to take on this role, she is excited and says she takes pride in working in the Beckman Institute.

Mason also has a focus on community. She believes that if you work in a great community, greatness will come out of it. 

“Because that’s where we live and that’s where we work and if we can make the best community for ourselves and others, we can do our best work. We can change society, we can improve things, and we can be happy doing it.” says Mason. 

The last day for current director, Jeffrey Moore is today and Mason will start tomorrow. 

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