Comfort and I are part of the AIMS Alumni family, but I personally got to know her during her visit to AIMS Rwanda. Here is our interview about her STEM journey:
Hello Comfort, thank you for being here with us
Hi Winnie, you are welcome. Thank you too for inviting me.
What is your full name?
My name is Comfort Mintah
What do you do currently?
I am a final year PhD student at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. My research is about Quantum Information and Computation. I am also an online tutor at AIMS Ghana, the main organiser behind the weekly joint seminar series between AIMS Ghana and AIMS Cameroon. Lastly, I am a part-time instructor at St. Mary’s University, Nova Scotia, Canada.
How has your STEM journey been like?
I was born in Accra, the capital city of Ghana. I attended Riis Memorial School from elementary to junior high school, before joining Mfantsiman Girls for senior high school. I later joined the University of Ghana for my bachelor’s degree, where I single majored in Mathematics. At the time of graduation, it was only me and Ebo Annan who graduated with single majors in Mathematics. I was the first female to graduate in the field of Mathematical Physics after about 65 years of the University of Ghana’s existence.
I later travelled to South Africa for my first masters degree in Mathematical Sciences, at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cape Town. That is where I met my supervisor; Prof. David Kribs, who I later joined in Canada for my second masters, co-supervised by Prof. Rajesh Pereira. I am currently doing my PhD in Canada with both of them, in the field of Quantum Computing and Information. I can also say that I am one of the first female Ghanaian students to specialise in this field.
What has been your toughest moment while walking this journey?
I was blessed with parents who understood the importance of girl-child education and were ready to support me as much as they could when it came to my education. Things got a tough when I lost my mother who was the breadwinner of the family during my third year at university. Those were extremely hard times!
However, my love for school, Mathematics and family got me through those challenging times. I believe this inspired me to be the strong, independent, and self-motivated young lady everyone aspires to be when we are young.
What do you enjoy doing outside work?
I love going to the gym and swimming as well. I also enjoy hanging out with my students – especially my female students – chatting about what we think of Mathematics as individuals, our fears, passions, and ideas we can contribute to make the field of Mathematics interesting, exciting, and enjoyable for all.
What are some of your achievements in life?
I have so far been awarded; The International Doctoral Tuition Scholarship, The Mathematical Foundation of Hybrid Quantum Technologies and Quantum Leap Africa supported by AIMS Canada and MITACS.
For achievements; I was one of the panel speakers at the African and Canadian women in STEM conference supported by AIMS in 2019.
Do you have a favourite quote?
Yes I do; “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time” ~Thomas A. Edison.
How would you encourage a young girl in STEM?
Don’t ever give up! Perseverance always conquers. Dream big, you can achieve whatever you want in life, as long as you set your mind to it. Lastly, always remember to love yourself.
Thank you Comfort to taking time out of your busy schedule to inspire a young girl out there. We greatly appreciate your time and wish you all the best with school.