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College Alumna Earns NSF Fellowship in Computer Science

Posted on 23 April 2013 | 8:26 am

College of Charleston alumna Brittany Itelia Johnson ’11 recently received a graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to find ways to improve the usability of program analysis tools. Johnson is currently a Ph.D. student in computer science at N.C. State University.

Johnson is the second College computer science graduate to win an award from the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Computer Science Department Chair Chris Starr remarks, “Brittany Johnson is a stellar example how successful women are in computing. Brittany’s undergraduate mentor, Dr. Jim Bowring, and the other faculty members in computer science at the College of Charleston work with each student to prepare for graduate study and the workforce. But it does not stop there. Sometimes all a student needs to rise to their potential is the assurance from a mentor that reduces anxiety and instills confidence. That’s what we do so well at the College of Charleston. Here Computer Science is big enough to matter and small enough to care deeply about each student.”

“I really wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my experiences at the College of Charleston,” Johnson says. “I found my passion at College with the support of my amazing mentor, Dr. Bowring, and the other professors. I am truly grateful for all the support I was given throughout the department and the confidence I was able to gain from my experiences.”

Johnson is currently conducting a study with students and software developers that she hopes will give insight into improving the expressiveness and scalability of program analysis tools. The goal is to enhance the developers’ ability to create software.

According to the National Science Foundation’s website, “The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.”

For more information about the College’s Department of Computer Science, contact Chris Starr at or visit the department’s webpage.

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