Three Ph.D. Students from CISE Receive NCWIT Award

Jasmine Bowers, Tiffanie Smith and Sanethia Thomas, all Ph.D. students in the Department of Computer & Information Science & Engineering, recently received the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) North Florida & Southeast Georgia Affiliate Award for Aspirations in Computing. The NCWIT Aspirations in Computing (AiC) Collegiate Award was designed to honor technical accomplishments of women in college.

Bowers’ research focuses on digital finance privacy and security. She is currently working on a project called, “Characterizing Security and Privacy Practices in Emerging Digital Credit Applications.”

“This experience inspired me to not only continue working on impactful research but also encourage young girls to explore their own passions in computing,” Bowers said. “Ultimately, I hope to help expose K-12 girls to computer science and technology. More importantly, I hope to serve in capacities that allow me to encourage young girls to be all that they dream of being and do all that they dream of doing.”

Bowers earned two bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and computer science from Fort Valley State University (FVSU) and a master’s degree in computer science from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. She is a 2015 fellow of the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, Inc. (GEM), and in 2016, she was named a C200 Women’s Executive Leadership Organization Scholar Award Finalist.

Smith’s research focuses on culturally relevant educational technologies. She is currently working on her dissertation, “Makin’ Math Move: A Full Body Interactive Learning Environment for Pre-Algebraic Practice.”

“As I transition into academia, I hope that I can utilize any connections made from networking with other winners to apply for other awards that will allow me to create opportunities for my students,” Smith said.

Smith received her bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. While at UF, she has received two fellowship awards: the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship and the Ford Foundation 2018 Dissertation Fellowship. Upon graduation, Smith hopes to pursue a career in academia by returning to a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) and teaching computer science and continuing STEM outreach.

Thomas’ research focuses on human-centered computing and athlete development. She is currently working on a project called “Athlete Development Technologies.”

“I am humbled to be selected as an awardee from such a prestigious organization,” Thomas said. “This sets me apart and validates my research as note-worthy.”

Thomas received her bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from the University of Texas, El Paso and her master’s degree in Youth Development Leadership from Clemson University.  Thomas has received numerous accolades for her research and work. She is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow and a fellow of the National GEM Consortium.