Howard University hires their first African-American Female in Computer Science

23Sep08
Dr. Nicki Washington

Dr. Nicki Washington

Howard University makes history in a sense by hiring the new Assistant Professor of Systems and Computer Science Dr. Nicki Washington. This appointment makes Dr. Washington the first African-American female in the Department of Systems and Computer Science at Howard University. Before coming to Howard University, she was a Senior Member of the Technical Staff with the Aerospace Corporation in Chantilly, VA. Her educational background is in Computer Science where she received her B.S in Computer Science in 2000 from Johnson C. Smith University and her M.S in Computer Science in 2002 from NC State University. One of her biggest accomplishments to date is in 2005 when she became the first African American female to receive a Ph.D in Computer Science from NC State University. She is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) as well as a David and Lucille Packard Fellow and NASA Harriet G. Jenkins Pre-Doctoral Fellow. Dr. Washington has also given numerous presentations on the importance of attracting and retaining minority students in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, and pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in STEM.

The fact that she has been outspoken about the importance of attracting and retaining minority students in the STEM disciplines gives me hope that her appointment alone will perhaps inspire the Howard Computer Science students (especially the female students) to possibly think about pursuing their Masters or PhD in Computer Science. As I mentioned in a previous post, African-Americans currently only represent about 2% of PhD’s in Computer Science.

Mikey Digital

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