Stance: Studies on the Family

Brigham Young University Student Journal

Month: February 2018

Alexa Canady—First African American Woman Neurosurgeon

In honor of Black History Month, we wanted to do an article about an important African American figure in history from the realm of families, whether it be science, education, research, etc. I found a woman whose biography touched me, and she has touched the lives of many through her work.

Alexa Canady started with normal, American beginnings like most of us. While growing up in Michigan, her parents instilled in her a love for learning and a need for working hard. These attributes helped Canady reach the achievements she made throughout her life. After attending the University of Michigan for college, she continued there for medical school. Although she faced difficulty on her path to becoming a neurosurgeon, including discouragement from her advisers to pursue that career, she persevered using the same desire and hard work that her parents had taught her. After completing medical school, an internship, and a residency, Canady became the first African American woman neurosurgeon.

Canady specialized in pediatric neurosurgery and worked with various neurological illnesses including issues such as trauma injuries. In 1987, at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, she became the director of neurosurgery. Her accomplishments and contributions were great throughout her life as a pediatric neurosurgeon. She retired in 2001, moved to Florida, and continued to work as a part-time neurosurgeon at the Pensacola Sacred Heart Hospital in Florida. She never stopped giving of her amazing talents and abilities, which blessed the lives of many families and children.

If you would like to learn more about Alexa Canady, you can visit her biography on, which is where the majority of the information for this article came from. You can also visit various other websites that commemorate her marvelous contributions to improving the lives of children.


Killer Recipes: Skillet Chicken and Veggies


This recipe has become one of my go-tos. It’s super easy, tasty, and makes me feel healthy because of all the vegetables I’m eating! It’s a great quick and low-maintenance dinner for your family—or, if you’re a college student like me, it can be dinner and leftovers for the rest of the week!


1 ½–2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 zucchini

1 yellow straight-necked squash

1–2 bell peppers

1 C broccoli

(You can really use whatever vegetables you want; just make it about 4 cups total. Some other good vegetables to try are carrots and cauliflower.)

3–4 cloves of garlic

1 packet marinade

(I like to use Grill Mates Mesquite marinade, but again, you can choose to your liking. Along with the marinade, you’ll need whatever ingredients are needed to make it—usually about ¼– ½ cups of oil and some water.)


  1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Make the marinade following the instructions on the packet, then let the chicken marinate for at least 15–20
  3. While the chicken is marinating, chop all the vegetables.
  4. Mince the garlic.
  5. Place the chicken and garlic in a medium skillet. Sauté on medium-high heat until chicken is browned and cooked all the way through.
  6. Remove the chicken from the skillet and add all the vegetables. Sauté until browned.
  7. Add the chicken back into the vegetable mixture and stir over low heat for 3 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!

Note: You can use 1–2 T of coconut oil to sauté the chicken and vegetables if you want, but I’ve found that there’s usually enough oil in the marinade already to get the job done.

By Natasha Andersen