Dr. Shamaria Engram manages to write her name in history books as she became the first woman of color to receive a Ph.D. degree from the University of South Florida’s Computer Science and Engineering program.
No black woman in more than 40 years has managed to obtain this degree however things have changed thanks to Miss Engram’s resilient efforts and never give up attitude.
Born and raised in Tampa Bay she often found herself being the only black person in the room leaving her to feel isolated and singled out. She got her high school education from Strawberry Crest which was dominantly attended by white kids.
She then went onto Bethune Cookman which came as a surprise because the university had a lot of black kids where she got to meet other people like her.
However, things did not remain the same for long and took a 180 degree turn when she got into USF where Engram was once again left to deal with the challenges she faced on her own.
She shared that being a minority often times you have to behave a certain way because you do not want to be judged just because you look different and have a different skin color. She said that it was not until two years that some other students who were also black joined the program.
There were incidences where she would be discriminated against and not be given the same kind of respect that some of her other colleagues got which used to be disappointing but at the same time, it motivated her to keep pushing herself.
Her achievement is surely an inspiration for many who want to follow in her footsteps. She shared that hopefully, her story will encourage others to turn their dreams into a reality.
Not only this but Dr. Shamaria landed her first job as technical staff for MIT Lincoln Laboratory which will begin anytime this week.