FAMU Alumna and NOAA Scientist to Receive Women of Color STEM Award

June 22, 2023
Placeholder image
FAMU Alumna and NOAA Scientist to Receive Women of Color STEM Award

By Deidre Williams

Florida A&M University alumna and environmental scientist Natasha D. White, Ph.D., will receive the Professional Achievement in Government award at the Women of Color STEM DTX Conference in Detroit this fall. The award recognizes significant minority achievement and excellence in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

“We have chosen Dr. White as the recipient because she is part of an exceptional group of forward-thinking STEM experts,” said Tyrone D. Taborn, conference co-founder. “This year’s pool of candidates was exceptionally strong and represented a diverse collection of executive professionals.”

As a program manager with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Education, White oversees the Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions (EPP/MSI), which supports the training and graduation of students from traditionally underrepresented minority communities to ensure a diverse future workforce. FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., is the principal investigator of a five-year $30 million NOAA grant to recruit and train scientists from underrepresented groups.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the gender gap in STEM remains significant, with women making up only 27 percent of the STEM workforce. Black and Hispanic women make up 9 percent and 7 percent of all STEM workers respectively. The WOC STEM conference recognizing White aims to draw attention to this severe underrepresentation of women, particularly at senior levels, across all disciplines.

“I am honored to be recognized for excellence in STEM as a woman of color and government professional,” said White. “It is my hope that by my example I can help attract and retain the next generation of women and girls to pursue careers in science and technical fields. Representation truly matters, and I feel empowered and motivated to do more.”

A native of Jacksonville, White earned her bachelor’s in biology at FAMU before completing her master’s and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in environmental sciences from the FAMU School of the Environment.

Dean Victor Ibeanusi, Ph.D., applauded her award as “a testament to the school’s talented alumni who continue to pave the way forward with excellence and an unwavering commitment to guide the next generation of STEM leaders in the environmental sciences.”