Episode 20 – Blazing Trails: Catch this Smoke
Hosts: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen
Guest: Dr. Nicki Washington
LinkedIn: A. Nicki Washington
Description: Dr. Nicki Washington is unapologetically dope. She literally wrote the book. No, seriously! Her book entitled, Unapologetically Dope: Lessons for Black Women and Girls on Surviving and Thriving in the Tech Field, is just one of the many reasons you want to know this Modern Figure. She is a trailblazer, and is working tirelessly on ensuring pathways into tech remain available to the next generation of the black tech workforce. Nicki is also one of our favorite people to follow on social media. Her fiery passion shines through whether she’s speaking on current events or just taking an internet troll to task for challenging her expert opinion.
Bio: Dr. Nicki Washington is an associate professor of computer science at Winthrop University and the author of Unapologetically Dope: Lessons for Black Women and Girls on Surviving and Thriving in the Tech. She previously spent nine years at Howard University as the first Black female faculty member in the Department of Computer Science. Her professional experience also includes The Aerospace Corporation and IBM. Recognized as one of Essence Magazine’s “Essence Tech Stars: 15 Black Women Disrupting the Tech Industry,” Dr. Washington has led partnerships with the Howard University Middle School of Math and Science, Google, Exploring Computer Science, and Washington, DC Public Schools to introduce computer science courses and teacher professional development across Washington, DC high schools. She was a lead writer for the K-12 CS Framework (led by Code.org) and South Carolina K-12 Computer Science and Digital Literacy Standards. Her efforts in K-12 CS education have directly impacted approximately 10 million K-12 students and thousands of educators in over 20 states and Washington, DC, and they will continue to impact more nationwide as additional states develop K-12 CS standards. She is a graduate of Johnson C. Smith University (B.S., ‘00) and North Carolina State University (M.S., ’02; Ph.D., ’05), becoming the first Black woman to earn a Ph.D. at the university and 2019 Computer Science Hall of Fame Inductee. She is a native of Durham, NC.