Amber Johnson is officially a Purdue University computer science Ph.D. graduate

The first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in computer science at Purdue has officially graduated on Saturday. But the history-making doesn't stop there.

Posted: Aug 3, 2019 6:23 PM
Updated: Aug 4, 2019 1:19 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in computer science at Purdue has officially graduated on Saturday. But the history-making doesn't stop there.

Amber Johnson was hooded by the first African-American woman to earn a computer science Ph.D. from Harvard at graduation. Johnson got permission to make this happen.

Dr. Raquel Hill has been Johnson's mentor for the past two years. She received her doctorate's degree in 2002.

Johnson said walking across the stage was a unique experience.

“When I walked on stage I kinda felt like I was standing in the shoes of Dr. Raquel Hill,” said Johnson. “I felt like there were these thousands of shoes standing in front of me that I was walking in.”

Dr. Hill said being a part of making history goes beyond the title.

“It's not just for us, it is for others,” said Hill. “It's for others to actually see us and understand what they are able also to accomplish.”

Johnson said her degree belongs to every person who has gotten her to this point.

“It belongs to every single person that prayed, that baked me cookies, sent me I was thinking of you text messages, proofread my dissertation,” said Johnson.

Dr. Hill is proud of Johnson's hard work over the years.

“Every Ph.D. process has its challenges and she has persevered,” said Hill. “My mom has always said that there's a blessing in pressing and she has pressed towards the mark of the high calling.”

Both women are heading to a new job opportunity. Johnson will be moving to Maryland to work as a software engineer for Northrop Grumman. Dr. Hill is heading to Atlanta to become the Chair of Computer and Information Sciences at Spelman College. Hill served as an associate professor in Computer Science at Indiana University.

West Lafayette
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: °
Kokomo
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 52°
Rensselaer
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 50°
Fowler
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: °
Williamsport
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 48°
Crawfordsville
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 46°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 46°
Delphi
Partly Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 47°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 47°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 50°
Warming up with plenty of sunshine!
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 947918

Reported Deaths: 15377
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1291181990
Lake635721103
Allen53899761
Hamilton44082449
St. Joseph42122590
Elkhart33803491
Vanderburgh30574449
Tippecanoe26915251
Johnson23727418
Hendricks22410342
Porter21832347
Clark17562231
Madison17492385
Vigo16302285
Monroe14545191
LaPorte14389239
Delaware14183222
Howard13971273
Kosciusko11498135
Hancock10935166
Warrick10737178
Bartholomew10635170
Floyd10514208
Wayne10077226
Grant9213204
Morgan8928160
Boone8463111
Dubois7791123
Dearborn769490
Henry7691133
Noble7466101
Marshall7409128
Cass7219118
Lawrence7026153
Shelby6647111
Jackson661386
Gibson6190107
Harrison609386
Huntington604495
Montgomery5853105
DeKalb581091
Knox5535104
Miami548888
Putnam543268
Clinton537465
Whitley529354
Steuben501768
Wabash488692
Jasper483861
Jefferson474492
Ripley457777
Adams446068
Daviess4231108
Scott409165
Clay394957
White393858
Greene393392
Wells389884
Decatur388797
Fayette378578
Posey362341
Jennings356056
Washington334747
LaGrange325175
Spencer321136
Fountain318455
Randolph317190
Sullivan309449
Owen287064
Starke282864
Fulton280454
Orange277859
Jay257038
Perry254152
Carroll245229
Franklin242838
Rush237030
Vermillion235050
Parke221420
Tipton212055
Pike211740
Blackford170534
Pulaski168551
Crawford147318
Newton145845
Benton143916
Brown135846
Martin130217
Switzerland126910
Warren115616
Union98511
Ohio80511
Unassigned0482

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events