Meet Jasmine Bowers, the First Black Person to Earn A Ph.D in Computer Science From University of Florida

Women of color hold just a minute percentage of degrees across STEM fields, only 2.9% of black women hold this degree. Thankfully the narrative is being changed in the realm of STEM.

Joining history makers is Jasmine Bowers who recently became the first Black person to bag a doctorate degree in computer science from the University of Florida.

Bowers who holds her master’s degree from North Carolina A&T and double majored in Math and Computer Science at Fort Valley State University discovered her flare for technology at a young age. She was also greatly inspired by her self-taught engineer mother, BOTWC reports.

According to Bowers, she caught the bug at a young age when her mother taught her how to use [Microsoft] Excel to create a “wish list.”

“I grew up in a household where I was encouraged to embrace technology,” Bowers told Because of Them We Can. “I also had the freedom to utilize technologies that included computers and other equipment that my mother, a [self-taught] engineer, had.”

“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!”

“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,’” she told BOTWC. she said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “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.”

Bowers hopes to inspire others who wish to pursue a career in STEM and build up the lack of representation for Black people in science.

“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,” she said.

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