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“If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.” Dr. Carter G. Woodson

About Dr. Peggie Ward Koon

Dr. Peggie Ward Koon was born in Millen, Georgia, the youngest of 10 children. Her father (Enoch Ward) was a sharecropper and her mother (Irene Clark Ward), who completed the local one-room high school, was a housewife. When Peggie was 9 months old, her older brother Charles, the family’s first trailblazer, encouraged the family to move to “the city” of Augusta, Georgia so that his younger siblings would have better educational and career opportunities.

Dr. Koon was in the first group of students to desegregate Tubman Middle School and the Academy of Richmond County High School, which changed the trajectory of her life, allowing her to take more advanced classes and to receive a General Motors Scholarship. As a General Motors Scholar, Peggie received her undergraduate degree in mathematics from Smith College, then continued her study of mathematics and information technology as a General Motors Graduate Fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She holds a doctorate degree in management information systems from Kennedy Western University.

Dr. Koon was inspired to excel in the STEM disciplines and to pursue a STEM career by her older siblings who held degrees in mechanical and electrical engineering, chemical engineering, theoretical particle physics, and engineering. Peggie attributes her interest in technology to her Smith College experience. As a General Motors (GM) Scholar at Smith, Peggie was given the opportunity during the summer of her junior year to work as an intern at the GM Data Center. Upon her return to Smith, Koon took her first computer science class. Since that time, she has spent her entire career in STEM fields.