Re.engineer Magazine - Winter 2022

T H E Q U E E N S O F S T E M

LET'S CHOP IT UP!

WH A T W A S THE DEFINING MOMENT TH A T INSPIRED YOU TO PURSUE A C A REER IN STEM ? I have always been a math lover, so I knew that I would work in a field that would allow me to use those skillsets. I also knew that I wanted to be a very financially stable adult and that pursuing a career in engineering would allow me to achieve that. At the time, I didn't know any engineers! My original STEM pursuit was in chemistry and chemical engineering, inspired by my mom who is a chemist and the person I have looked up to all my life. I made the switch to electrical engineering because of a chemistry professor who basically told me that I would not be successful pursuing a dual degree. At the time, I was struggling in an advanced chemistry class so I started looking at other engineering options. I made a connection with the only black female engineering professor at Southern University and because of her enthusiastic and caring approach to her teaching methodology of Electrical Circuits, I was convinced that I would be very successful if I pursued an electrical engineering degree. After that, the rest was history! I went on to obtain my electrical engineering degree and finished with a 3.7. I was the top graduate in the Engineering Department, which was a huge honor. It was a defining moment of my graduation day, along with the opportunity to hear Nelson Mandela deliver our commencement speech for the 2000 Spring Class of Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge. My inspirations to pursue a STEM career were two black women!

HOW W A S YOUR EXPERIENCE REIGNING A S THE 69TH " MISS SOUTHERN ” A S A N ENGINEERING M A JOR . I reigned as Miss Southern University in my 5th year of college. I had a light course load my last 2 semesters so it gave me an opportunity to enjoy the experience a little more. Academics was always a top priority for me so I wasn’t going to let my new responsibility supersede my goal of graduating with high honors. I was able to balance my academic and university responsibilities and I thoroughly appreciated everything I experienced that last year of my undergraduate studies. Having the opportunity to represent my university on various platforms was an experience of a lifetime!! Whether it was for a community service activity, football game, parade, pageant or speaking engagement, each opportunity was so impactful and I am forever grateful for my New Orleans and engineering "fam" for thrusting me to the top of the voting polls in that unforgettable Spring 1999 election. I can say that I was truly treated like a "QUEEN" in several capacities and it has definitely shaped and molded me throughout my life journeys.

Participate in a 2-week employee development program in Barcelona, Spain. It gave me an opportunity to truly examine myself inwardly, identify my weaknesses, recognize my strengths, tap into my true potential, and it just provided me with the boost of confidence that I needed at the junction in my life. WH A T H A S BEEN THE MOST REW A RDING EXPERIENCE ON YOUR JOURNEY TO BECOMING A M A NUF A CTURING LE A DER ?

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