Shonda Bernadin from the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, and three faculty from the College of Science and Technology (CST) made history as the first faculty from Florida A&M University to be designated Google Endowed Professors by the university. Bernadin is an associate professor in the joint engineering college’s department of electrical and computer engineering.
Google donated $5 million to FAMU in 2021, and the grant facilitates providing scholarships, upgrading technological infrastructure, introducing career readiness programs and enhancing the curriculum.
“It is truly an honor to be selected as a FAMU Google Endowed Professor,” Bernadin said. “This opportunity will help enhance our collaborative research between computer engineering and computer science faculty and students. It will also bring awareness to some of our exciting student development activities including research mentoring and technical workshops centered around ethical generative AI.”
Bernadin specializes in speech and image processing, data analysis, natural language processing and artificial intelligence. She founded the Speech Processing and Data Analysis Lab (SPADAL) at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, advancing speech production and perception algorithms related to speech and promoting engineering education among underrepresented students.
She focuses on promoting educational opportunities in STEM that provide equal access to underserved communities and has received recognition for her efforts, including the FAMU Institutional Research Excellence Award in 2021 and the INSIGHT into Diversity Magazine Inspiring Leaders in STEM Award in 2017.
Bernadin serves as the faculty advisor for Women in STEM (WiSTEM), and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Pre-Collegiate chapter and on the board of a local community organization, STEM4Girls, Incorporated.
Professor Clement Allen, Professor Hongmei Chi and Associate Professor Idongesit Mkpong-Ruffin in the FAMU Department of Computer and Information Sciences also received the Google Endowment Professorships. Additionally, computer science students Malachi White and Marley Burrows received Google student scholarships.