Tamara Pearson, Senior Director of Research and Programs, Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Tech

STEM Equity Expert Bringing Her Experience to the Constellations Center

The College of Computing is pleased to announce that Tamara Pearson has joined the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Tech as its new Senior Director of Research and Programs. In her new position, Pearson is charged with helping set the Center’s intellectual and research agenda, as well as managing the Center’s expanding portfolio of initiatives.

Women's History Month graphic

“I want to be at an institution that is pushing the intellectual frontier of computing education in a society that is quickly becoming dependent on these critical skills,” Pearson said. “And I am excited to help tackle the grand educational challenges that will be the difference between those at the center of modern society and those in the margins.”

Before coming to Constellations, Pearson served as the inaugural Director for the Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM at Spelman College. Before that, she was the Associate Director of School and Community Engagement at the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC), at Georgia Tech. She has an M.Ed. and Ph.D. in education from the University of Florida, and a B.S. in mathematics and computer science from Spelman College.

“The challenge ahead,” Pearson said, “is having the moral courage to take on the systemic challenges that have led to the marginalization of specific groups of students for generations.” “Achieving equitable computing education is just the latest iteration of an old problem. My goal is for Constellations to have a research agenda and programs that are both morally courageous and intellectually rigorous.”

Atlanta and the state of Georgia face some specific challenges in improving the tech eco-system and making it more equitable and accessible for all, Pearson said.

Tamara Pearson of the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Tech
Photos by Terence Rushin/College of Computing

“The legacy of racial segregation in the South remains untarnished and there is evidence that resegregation is increasing and wiping away what little gains there had been,” she said. “Addressing equitable computing education in that environment is a grand national challenge.”

“Pearson is just the right person at just the right time to help the Constellations Center position Georgia Tech at the center of this monumental effort to bring computing education to all students,” said Kamau Bobb, Constellations senior director.

As the College of Computing is establishing itself as a critical player in the national effort to improving computing education in both instruction, research and access, we are absolutely lucky to have Tamara as the new senior director of Research and Programs,” said Charles Isbell, dean and John P. Imlay, Jr. chair of computing. “She has the experience, the passion, and the intellectual drive to help us find the path to more equitable computing.