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Meet Queen Dr. Shamaria Engram
Wearing Lipstick Shade: Zuri
Dr. Shamaria Engram is a graduate of Bethune Cookman University where she majored in Computer Engineering while also being a member of the Division I softball team. After her matriculation at Bethune Cookman University, she decided to pursue her PhD in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of South Florida (USF). After two years of being in the program, Dr. Engram learned that a Black woman had never graduated with a PhD from USFs Computer Science and Engineering program. In December 2020 that statement was no longer true, as Dr. Engram became the first Black woman to graduate with a PhD in Computer Science and Engineering from USF.
In honor of Black History Month, name one black woman you look up to or influenced you and why?
My forever First Lady Michelle Obama of course! I just love everything about her from how she carries herself, to her fashion, to how she has continuously risen above every obstacle and challenge thrown her way.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love the feeling that my work is meaningful and has a purpose, that is what motivates and drives me to get up and go to work every day.
What keeps you motivated during challenging times?
I think my faith, more than anything, keeps me motivated during challenging times. Whenever I face an obstacle, I just reflect over my life and remember all of the times I thought that I wasn’t going to make it, but God, through His unmerited grace and favor, kept me and brought me through. In challenging times it’s the confidence in knowing that God didn’t bring me this far to leave me, and that He’s kept me through challenging times before so He can do it again!
If you could give your younger self advice what would it be?
I’d tell my younger self to be patient with yourself. Not everything is going to come overnight, and not everything is going to come easy. Have faith that if you put the work and effort in, then things will eventually fall into place, and if they don’t then maybe whatever it is just wasn’t for you, because what’s for you won’t miss you when you’ve given your best effort.
What is your favorite quote by a Black woman?
I have two, both by Maya Angelou: 1) “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”, and 2) “Nothing will work unless you do.”