FVSU alumna becomes first African American to earn doctorate in computer science from the University of Florida

Posted on Aug 13, 2020

Fort Valley, Georgia – Jasmine Bowers, a 2013 Fort Valley State University alumna, is reaping the benefits of hard work and determination as the first African American to earn a doctorate in computer science from the University of Florida.

Bowers double majored in math and computer science at FVSU before receiving her master's degree from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical (A&T) State University. According to Because of Them We Can (BOTWC), the computer science doctoral program at the University of Florida, which was created in the last decade, has the highest number of Black women faculty among computer science departments.

FVSU President Dr. Paul Jones congratulates Bowers on her academic achievement.

"We are proud of Ms. Jasmine Bowers for earning her doctorate and achieving a remarkable milestone as the first African American to graduate with a doctorate in computer science from the University of Florida," Jones said. "Dr. Bowers' ambition is inspirational to all young students, and her success shows that a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) opens doors to endless possibilities."

In an exclusive interview with BOTWC, Bowers spoke about her mother, who encouraged her to embrace technology.

"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. adviser, 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."

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