Dr. Nashlie Sephus, Ph.D., an Innovate Mississippi board member and mentor, is included in a new program designed to recognize the achievements of Georgia Institute of Technology alumni who are improving the human condition.
The Georgia Tech Alumni Association has announced 40 distinguished honorees who have innovated industries and positively impacted communities across the globe. In its first year, more than 250 individuals were nominated by colleagues, peers, and Georgia Tech faculty this April.
Dr. Sephus is the Applied Science manager for Amazon’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) who focuses on fairness and identifying biases in the technologies. She also founded 501(c)(3) non-profit, The Bean Path, with the goal of sowing technical expertise in order to grow networks and fertilize communities in Mississippi, removing barriers for anyone who wants to learn technology.
“I’m honored to be included in the class of 2020,” she said. “I hold my education and network from GT to a high regard, and my lessons learned while there taught me perseverance, hard work and determination, pushing me far past my previous capabilities.”
The 2020 class includes Olympian and breast cancer survivor Chaunté Lowe; Joy Buolamwini, founder of the Algorithmic Justice League, whose research on algorithmic bias in artificial intelligence has led to policy and industry changes in addressing AI harms; and Maithili Appalwar, who founded Avana to address the alarming rate of suicides among farmers in Yavatmal, a district in Maharashtra, India by working with more than 10,000 farmers to conserve more than 50 billion liters of water.
“I am amazed and humbled by the accomplishments of these innovators and trendsetters. They epitomize the focus that our Georgia Tech alumni have to make the world a better place,” said Dene Sheheane, president of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association.
Those nominated must have completed at least one semester at Georgia Tech, be under the age of 40 as of June 30, 2020, and have made an impact in their profession or community, spanning all industries and sectors. A committee of 26 faculty, staff, and volunteer leaders, who collectively represented all Georgia Tech colleges, scored each nominee using a 25-point rubric.
Selection Committee member Bert Reeves, MGT 2000 and a state representative in the Georgia House of Representatives, said, “I was blown away at the nearly impossible task of scoring the applicants. These are folks who are not just impacting their community and state, but in some cases, their country and the entire world. It is truly inspiring to see the innovation and passion that our alumni are contributing to many of the greatest issues our world faces today.”