Georgina Baker: From Nima To Her History-Making Graduation From The University Of Leeds

Georgina Baker. Photo credit: Georgina Baker

Ghanaians keep going out in the world to show that we are made of good stuff and we can equally contribute to the greatness of the world.

While doing so, they keep raising the pedestal on which the Ghana flag has been placed.

Today, it is our pleasure to introduce you to this amazing Kuulpeep, 22-year-old Georgina Baker.

Georgina, who simply goes by as Gina, is the first black woman to ever complete the Chemical and Nuclear Engineering at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. She is the first Nubian queen to get that degree from the university since it was established 146 years ago. had an exclusive e-mail interview with Gina who told us about her time in Ghana, attending the Aboakyer festival, and being the only black girl in her class at the University of Leeds.

Kuulpeeps: Congratulations Gina. It’s amazing what you have accomplished. Tell us about your self.

Gina: I am a 22-year-old Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Graduate from the University of Leeds. I am the first black woman to attain such degree from my university. I was born in Ghana and I have lived half of my life there and the other half in the UK. Growing up, I schooled in De Youngster’s International School (RRC Branch) in Ghana up until JHS 1 when I left to join my family in the UK for my GCSEs, A-Levels and University studies.

Kuulpeeps: We hope you have fond memories of the time you lived in Ghana.

Gina: I do have great memories of Ghana. Spending my Easter, Christmas and School Vacations in Winneba with my grandma. Also, taking the time out to go see the Aboakyer Festival in Winneba was always exciting. Besides that, I also picked up my love for music and playing instruments by experiencing life in Nima and the streets. Moreover, I also picked up my love for football and other sporting activities when I lived in Kasoa. 

Kuulpeeps: You were the ultimate Ghanaian and then you go from life in Kasoa and Nima to becoming the only black girl in your class at the University of Leeds. How did you navigate that?

Gina: Well, it was nothing new as I had been the only black woman in my year group for the most part of my education in the UK since secondary school. However, I really did not focus on that as I had my objectives in life and knew what I wanted to accomplish for myself.

Kuulpeeps: You’ve got to tell us why you chose the University of Leeds and how you felt when you got admission.

Gina: Aside, it being a Russell Group University, it was at the time of the very few universities that offered Chemical and Nuclear Engineering as a Bachelor’s and Masters programme which I now hold. I did not know what to expect from my course as I didn’t have anyone in particular in that field to educate me on what to expect. However, I was eager and excited to go to a Russell Group University as an 18- year old and embark on the new chapter of my life.

Georgina Baker. Photo credit: Georgina Baker

Kuulpeeps: Why did you choose to read Chemical and Nuclear Engineering?

Gina: As a child, I wanted to make drugs and I thought the route needed was pharmacy. However, as I got older, I realized this passion could be accomplished by studying Chemical Engineering. My interest in the nuclear field peaked during A-Levels after having had a lesson in nuclear physics which left me questioning a lot of things. 

Kuulpeeps: Reading Chemical and Nuclear Engineering must be tough, how did you get through university life?

Gina: I had a lot of support from my amazing family and friends who made the 5-year journey seamless and I love each and every one of them for that. University is challenging and has invaluable experience regardless of the course you do. 

Kuulpeeps: Through all the challenges, who finally graduated. Any graduation is a happy moment but now you get to make history. How do you feel, knowing that you are the first black woman to complete Chemical and Nuclear Engineering at the University of Leeds?

Gina: Humbled, honored and grateful to have achieved this milestone which I hope would inspire others to follow their dreams and pursue other STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) courses. 

Kuulpeeps: STEM education has always been essential. Do you think more should be done to encourage more women to study STEM?

Gina: Absolutely especially for women that look like me as there are exciting opportunities and programmes out there to change their lives, touch their communities and inspire the world around them through STEM. I always contribute to this cause in every way that I can and after this achievement, this is now more important than ever. However, in the words of Katherine Johnson (African American mathematician whose calculations helped NASA to launched manned spaceflights) “like what you do and then you will do it best” so I say to all women out there especially my black women I have helped open door and now I need your help to wedge it open. 

Kuulpeeps: Thank you very much Gina for this conversation. We wish you the very best.

Gina: You’re welcome!


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