As a child Yvonne Y. Clark, or Y.Y. as she was known, had a love for building and fixing things, but she was prohibited from taking a mechanical drawing class in high school because of her sex. Instead, she took an aeronautics class and joined the school’s Civil Air Patrol. She was the first woman to receive a mechanical engineering degree from Howard University. In addition to her degree from Howard University, she was the first woman to earn a master’s degree in Engineering Management from Vanderbilt University, and the first woman to serve as a faculty member in the College of Engineering and Technology at Tennessee State University. She was also the first African-American member of the Society of Women Engineers.

Learn more at the Society of Women Engineers.