Dr. John Watkins is an American computer scientist, researcher, inventor, and educator. A staunch advocate of diversity in the computing sciences, Watkins successful efforts to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in the computing disciplines have been recognized by professional engineering organizations and the United States government. In honor of both his accomplishments and his service to the university, Watkins was awarded the first Presidential Endowed Chair at a leading university in the southeast in 2012. As a result of Dr. Watkins efforts, that same year, he was responsible for bringing 10% of the African American computer science professors, and 10% of the African American computer science doctoral students in the United States. In 2014, Dr. Watkins serves as the an Endowed Chair and the Chair in his department. Dr. Watkins is the first African American chair in his Department at a top R1 institution.
Dr. Watkins received his B.S. in Systems Analysis, M.S. & Ph.D in Computer Science from two prominent universities in the midwest.