Shalisha Witherspoon is a Software Engineer in the department of Distributed AI.
She received her B.S. and M.S. in Software Engineering at Florida International University in Miami FL, where she graduated at the top of her class and was awarded the Outstanding Graduate in I.T. award – an honor she shared with her identical twin sister, Shonda Witherspoon, as the first dual recipients.
Before joining IBM Research full-time, she successfully completed an internship, where she made accomplishments such as winning IBM’s first Bluehack competition in the TJ Bot/IoT category in a team of five, where they trained the TJ Bot to translate the manual alphabet.
As a first-generation college student and minority in the STEM field, Shalisha is passionate about promoting diversity in STEM, and has volunteered and spoken to groups including Black Girls Code, IBM’s annual Girls-Go-Techknow summer camp, and Isaac Young Middle School – hoping to encourage them to pursue careers in technology.
Besides technology, Shalisha is interested in Japanese language and culture, having minored in them at her university. She also had the experience of studying abroad at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan for a summer program, receiving four prestigious scholarships to support her journey, including the U.S. Department of State's Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, and Fund for Education Abroad. One of her goals is to receive a work assignment at IBM’s Tokyo Research Lab, fulfilling a lifelong dream of working in Japan.