Shonda Witherspoon is a software engineer at IBM Research in the department of Distributed AI, where she works on AI. and IoT related projects. Prior to working full-time at IBM Research, Shonda started as a developer intern, where she stood out as a top candidate after her team won 1st place in IBM's Bluehack Hackathon IoT category, developing a TJBot that could interpret the manual alphabet.
Shonda received her B.S. and M.S. degrees at Florida International University, where she graduated at the top of her class, was recognized as a World's Ahead Graduate, and received the Outstanding Graduate Award in Information Technology - becoming the first dual recipient of the award along with her identical twin sister, Shalisha, who also graduated at the top - and was featured in news media for her accomplishments. She also minored in Japanese Language and Literature, which provided her the opportunity to study Japanese language and culture abroad at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, as well as test her skills in the Florida Statewide Speech Contest, where she placed 3rd in the intermediate level. Shonda continues to self-study Japanese, with hopes of having a global assignment in Japan.
In addition to her interest in technology and different cultures, Shonda is also passionate about promoting STEM opportunities to women and minority groups, and has presented and participated at various events and work shops, such as IBM's Girls-Go-Techknow summer camp, Black Girls Code, and National Engineers Week at Isaac E. Young Middle School, as well as her alma mater.