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black tech legacy

Hattie T. Scott Peterson

Ms. Peterson was a pioneer for women’s rights and African Americans’ rights. She married at 29 years old, but instead of settling into a role as wife and mother, she proceeded to pursue a Bachelor’s degree from Howard University. Not only did she graduate with her civil engineering degree at 33 years old in 1946, but she was the first African American woman to earn a civil engineering degree in the entire country. She continued her path of firsts. Ms. Peterson went on to work as a survey and cartographic engineer for the US Geological Survey in California and then in 1954, she became the first woman engineer to work for the US Army Corps of Engineers focusing her efforts on flood risk reduction measures.