A new scholarship created as a tribute to NASA pioneer Katherine Johnson will benefit African American students studying math or science within West Virginia University’s Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.
Inspired by the movie “Hidden Figures,” alumna Deborah Miller established the endowed Katherine Johnson Math Scholarship to honor the late mathematician, who died Feb. 24.
The scholarship will be awarded to undergraduate students within the Eberly College, with first preference given to African American students in the Department of Mathematics. If no math students qualify, students pursuing degrees in physics, astronomy and statistics will be considered.
Miller’s $50,000 gift supports efforts by the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to boost scholarship aid for students from underrepresented groups as part of the WVU Foundation’s “We Are Stronger Together” fundraising initiative.
Miller said she wanted to show her gratitude for Johnson’s groundbreaking work and encourage students with a similar gift for numbers.
“Katherine is my hero,” Miller said. “I’m so glad there was such a woman who could inspire us.”