Despite a pandemic, another historic moment has been made in education.
Last month, Jasmine Bowers became the first Black person to earn a doctorate in computer science from the University of Florida, according to Because of Them We Can.
Bowers shared the news via her Twitter account.
On July 15, I became the first black woman to defend a dissertation in computer science at UF.
“You may fail, but fall still fighting;
Don’t give up, whate’er you do;
Eyes front, head high to the finish.
See it through!” pic.twitter.com/4NaPbgr9Hq
— Jasmine Bowers, Ph.D. (@JasmineDBowers) July 19, 2020
Bowers was involved in the computer science doctoral program, which was created in the last decade. The program has the highest number of Black women faculty among computer science departments.
She credited her success to her mother.
“The seed of motivation was planted at a young age when my mother taught me how to use Excel to record my ‘wish list.’ I grew up in a household where I was encouraged to embrace technology,” Bowers said. “I also had the freedom to utilize technologies that included computers and other equipment that my mother, an [self-taught] engineer, had.”
Bowers double majored in math and computer science at Fort Valley State University before attending North Carolina A&T where she received her master’s degree.
“The Ph.D. was and is the pinnacle of the seed planted years ago, deposits from teachers, internship experiences, amazing mentors, a supportive Ph.D. advisor, and the push from my mother who is and will always be behind me reminding me, ‘You can do this,'” Bowers said. “I will be moving to a new state and starting my career as an engineer where I get to put into practice all of my studies. I will continue to give back and encourage young girls to explore STEM.”