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The efforts to increase the percentage of Black STEM professionals in industry have been outstanding. However, since the start of the new millennium, the number of students who actually graduate with STEM degrees has been declining. We hope to solve this problem by inspiring minority students to pursue STEM careers and by providing resources to those who have already begun their journey. See Possible.
QUEENS OF STEM
Sometimes all we need are examples of the possibilities. Re.engineer is an inclusive community of STEM (science, technology, engineering, & mathematics) professionals who collaborate and share solutions. Our mission is to bridge the skills gap between professionals at all levels, and our professional development opportunities help our community members to achieve success in their careers. We were created to serve as a platform for all STEM professionals to share and leverage value.
Anyone can research our database of professional stories and connect with other people in hopes of developing collaborative relationships. We want to take the stress out of professional development by providing a bridge between developing and senior level professionals.
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Editor-in-Chief SHADRACH S T EPHENS
Aisha Lawrey BLACK HISTORY THE IMPORTANCE OF
D O N ' T @ M E
I N C L U S I O N The Importance of Black History and Why it Should be Celebrated
American historian Carter G Woodson, one of the first scholars to study the history of the African diaspora, is the founder of Black History Month. Woodson, often referred to as "the father of black history", first proposed Negro History Week in 1926, envisioning a week-long celebration dedicated to the teaching of black history in public schools. February is Black History Month, it is an important time for African Americans to acknowledge key figures from our past and present. It’s an opportunity to spotlight and celebrate the achievements that African Americans have accomplished in this country, despite the history of racism and oppression. It affords us the chance to challenge what we learned in history, dig deeper, and find out the actual events of the past that were not taught in schools. While those who contributed in the name of science, innovation, and economy were silently ignored, Black History Month celebrates and puts their achievements into the proper context. Black History Month helps us learn about African American culture. The media tends to showcase the negatives of the African American community, such as poverty, drugs, incarceration, lack of education, etc. These portrayals paint a biased and unfair stereotype in our minds. Black History Month enables us to pause and focus on a more positive narrative of the African American culture. We can look to successful African American business leaders, poets, musicians, scientists,
philanthropists, and artists to mitigate the damage caused by the unfair depiction of African Americans in the media. People from African and Caribbean backgrounds have been a fundamental part of British history for centuries. However, their value and contribution to society is often overlooked, ignored or distorted. Most schools still teach a history curriculum which focuses on traditional events and the achievements of white figures. When we celebrate Black History Month, we aren’t just celebrating African American history. We are celebrating American history, which belongs to all Americans. By collectively and consciously celebrating Black history, we come together and continue to rewrite the narrative of our diverse nation. In celebrating Black History Month, we can also take satisfaction from progress in the realization of the ideals envisioned by our Founding Fathers. But, even more than this, we can seize the opportunity to honor the too- often neglected accomplishments of African Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history. Today, countries all over the world also dedicate a month to celebrating Black History Month. For many modern African American millennials, the month-long celebration for Black History Month offers an opportunity to reimagine what possibilities lie ahead. But for many, the forces that drove Woodson nearly a century ago are more relevant than ever. ▪
AARON P. WOODS
S T E M P I O N E E R S
Honoring the Past. Celebrating the Present. Embracing the Future.
Aaron P. Woods
Aaron is the Founder & CEO of Podpal, the all-in-one platform for podcast management. He came up with the idea for Podpal while collaborating with his wife, Tania, on the production of her first show. As a new podcaster, she was struggling to release content regularly due to the fragmented processes & tools available today. Aaron discovered that Tania’s need for podcast management was not an isolated problem. In fact, most new podcasters give up by Episode 6 due to the administrative burden of podcasting. This inspired him to create a simple and intuitive app for podcasting that helps podcasters spend less time as an admin and more time doing what they love: telling stories, interviewing guests, and building their brand. Aaron embodies the company’s mantra of “A Podcaster’s Best Friend®,” and seeks to help millions of podcast teams plan, publish, and promote their show without all the stress and clutter. As the only black-owned podcasting startup, Aaron is also passionate about providing the education, tools, and opportunities that empower podcasters of color and amplify black voices! While Aaron has successfully transitioned into tech, he actually began his career as a Structural Design Engineer for MKA in Seattle, WA. Some notable structures he was a part of designing include Amazon’s Campus & Spheres in Seattle, Salesforce Tower in San Francisco, and Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas. After a few years in building design, he joined Boeing and worked as a Quality Engineer on the 777X Program. He eventually transitioned into software through his work as a startup Founder and entrepreneur. This helped him secure senior leadership positions at big technology companies like The Home Depot and Microsoft where he currently still works full-time while building Podpal on nights & weekends. Aaron’s various experiences in STEM fields, as well as his natural gifting in the arts enable him to approach problems from a multi-disciplinary point of view. He has worked in just about every engineering discipline including structural engineering, civil engineering, aerospace, forensic engineering, manufacturing, e- commerce, quality engineering, & computer software. Aaron currently resides in Atlanta, GA with his wife and 4 amazing children. When he’s not creating and innovating, he enjoys spending time with family, playing acoustic guitar, and advocating for children and adults on the autism spectrum.
www.podpal.com PLAN, PUBLISH, & PROMOTE YOUR PODCAST ALL-IN-ONE PLACE!
S T E M P I O N E E R S
Honoring the Past. Celebrating the Present. Embracing the Future.
I was a student athlete throughout high school and went on to play college football for Jacksonville University. JU is a smaller private school and only had a few majors to choose from, many of which were feeder programs into larger universities. I enrolled into their dual-degree Civil Engineering program. The structure of this major was to complete a BS in Physics in the first 3 years at JU, then complete the Civil Engineering coursework at a larger school. My defining moment was when the 3 years at JU expired and I had to make the choice between continuing to pursue my athletic dreams of playing in the NFL one day, or the more likely goal of becoming a top engineering professional. I made the tough choice to follow my academic interests, and transferred to The University of Florida to complete the dual-degree. Although I was very tempted to try out / walk-on to the Florida Gators football team, I silenced that part of my soul and literally buried myself in my studies. That led to me graduating Summa Cum Laude with a 4.0! 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 ?
This opened up doors to top-tier graduate programs like The University of Texas at Austin who gave me a full-scholarship to complete my Master’s Degree in Structural Engineering and work as a graduate research assistant at the world renown Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory in Austin, TX. After graduating with my Master’s, my wife and then small family moved to Seattle so I could take a Design Engineer position with an elite firm in the PNW. In this role, I deepened my knowledge of engineering principles and learned how to solve complex technical problems by placing my years of schooling into engineering practice.
S T E M P I O N E E R S
Honoring the Past. Celebrating the Present. Embracing the Future.
Podpal got started in 2018 while I was working for Boeing in Seattle. I took a boring factory job out of desperation because my wife & I received a diagnosis that our son, Elijah, was severely autistic. This job provided the health benefits we needed to help him, but it was a far cry from what I studied in school and I found very little interest in aerospace. During this time, I was helping my wife get her first podcast off the ground, and became intimately aware of the stress she felt as it related to podcast creation and management. Like many aspiring podcasters, she had great content to share, but quickly realized that being a Podcaster is more demanding than it looks. She found it increasingly difficult to stay on top of her workflow, and was spending more time managing her podcast than she was behind the microphone! One day, she was on a podcast coaching call to get help with her show. The coach shared the podcast management “best practices” that she advised to all of her clients: use Google Docs, Excel, Trello boards, Dropbox, this app, and that app for each of your podcasting needs. It was overwhelming, disjointed, and just seemed like a lot of tools for something so simple: recording a voice and sharing it with others. Wasn’t there a one-stop- shop software for this kind of thing? I KNEW THERE HAD TO BE A BETTER WAY. PODP A L IS OFF TO A N A M A ZING ST A RT . WH A T W A S THE INSPIR A TION BEHIND SOLVING THE CH A LLENGE OF PODC A ST M A N A GEMENT ?
The most difficult decision as it relates to Podpal were some personnel changes that I made right as our product launched. I knew this would place our development roadmap at risk, and possibly negatively impact Podpal users. However, I decided to make some internal changes anyway because that was what was best for the long-term strength of the company. I strive to be a person of high character and integrity, and even if removing a team member places business goals at risk, doing the right thing is always more important. WH A T IS THE MOST DIFFICULT DECISION YOU ’ VE H A D TO M A KE TO PURSUE YOUR DESTINY ?
It didn’t exist.
With my background in engineering and newfound passion for technology products, I dove headfirst into researching this problem and market space. The more I researched, the more I knew this had to be done. I was inspired to develop a software solution that would allow thought-leaders, comedians, and storytellers to create more content with less stress, less time, and less clutter! Since coming up with the idea for this company, I've taught myself UI/UX Design, learned basic coding, gained top-tier advisors, hired 4 employees, fired employees, pitched VC's, and have grown in every aspect of being a CEO. Most importantly, without a traditional background in computer science or software technology, I have developed a technology solution to a novel problem that users love!
No day is typical. That’s exactly the challenge and nature of the beast. Balance sometimes doesn’t exist or is very difficult to achieve. Most days I finish my day job, spend time with the family for a few hours, and then work from 9PM to midnight on Podpal. I try to maximize the working hours, use my lunch hour for meetings with customers, and leverage asynchronous tools like Slack & Loom to communicate with my team and contractors. We also work with several contractors overseas whose timezone is opposite ours. This way, while we’re sleeping, work is still getting done! Pro tip! A FULL - TIME JOB , A HUSB A ND , F A THER OF FOUR , A ND THE FOUNDER / CEO OF A TECH ST A RTUP . WH A T ’ S DOES A TYPIC A L D A Y LOOK LIKE FOR YOU ?
WH A T A DVICE DO YOU H A VE FOR OTHERS WHO A RE INTERESTED IN BECOMING A TECH ST A RTUP ?
WH A T KEEPS YOU UP A T NIGHT ? Finishing what I started. People start all kinds of things, but many rarely finish. I’m doing my best to see Podpal through until God tells me to move on. Hoping to do so with excellence, integrity, and pride. One of the greatest fears I have to overcome, sometimes on a monthly or even daily basis, is the fear that it’s not going to pan out, that the business will ultimately fail. The fact is most startups do. In general, I’m not afraid of failure. But the investment of my time, personal finances, and energy into Podpal has come at a great sacrifice to my wife and kids. The thought that I have spent this many hours and this much of my brain space on something that ultimately fails is a very crippling thought. It would mean that I could have spent that time, money, and energy with those I love, at stages and moments in their lives that I can never get back. So every moment I spend on Podpal is truly a sacrifice and I take that time very seriously because I know it’s time away from those I love. This has made me a very savvy founder because I don’t waste time on decisions, I tend to call shots quickly and I have an attitude of “If I’m going to fail, I better fail fast.” Our most valuable resource is time, and I navigate the fear of “lost time” by living every moment with intentionality and excellence so that I give Podpal the best chance of being a successful startup. WH A T FE A RS H A VE YOU OVERCOME THROUGHOUT YOUR ENTREPRENEURSHIP JOURNEY A ND HOW DID YOU N A VIG A TE THROUGH THEM ? “Write code. Talk to users.” I think this is Facebook’s mantra, but it’s one I hold onto. If you are thinking of starting a tech company the first thing you need to embrace is that ideas are cheap. This really goes for any product or new venture. It doesn’t matter if YOU think it's a great idea. What problem does your product solve for those who need it most? The only way to know that is to get out and talk to them. Before we wrote a single line of code for Podpal I probably talked to at least 100 podcasters about their needs, goals, desires, and pain points. User research should be at the core of any tech company. I didn’t even build a team before I knew I had a solution that solved a real problem. So I say, work backwards. Don’t fall in love with the solution. Find a problem and learn as much about it as well as the people who have the problem. Then you will absolutely think of ways to solve it, and you might discover you don’t even need technology to do so.
S T E M P I O N E E R S
Honoring the Past. Celebrating the Present. Embracing the Future.
CONGR A TUL A TIONS ON BEING CHOSEN TO COMPETE FOR A $ 200 , 000 FUNDING PRIZE IN BET ON BL A CK SERIES ON REVOLT TV . HOW W A S TH A T EXPERIENCE ?
Man, ‘Bet on Black’ was an extreme honor. I was able to meet several other gifted, black entrepreneurs as well as get national exposure for Podpal. What was most impactful was seeing the diversity of ideas and products that people of color have created. We can do anything!
I hope this series inspires other young dreamers and awakens those with funding to give black businesses more opportunities and more cash. Support is great, but what businesses need to get off the ground and make a lasting impact is capital! ▪
YOU CAN CATCH THE FULL EPISODE, EPISODE #4, ON REVOLT TV OR BY CLICKING THE VIDEO BELOW.
The Ebony Covering Black America Podcast Network (EPN) is a thoughtfully curated group of Black centric weekly and bi-weekly podcasts covering a broad spectrum of demographics, featuring entertaining, informative, inspirational, socially relevant, and educational topics. On all major podcast platforms (Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, Deezer, iHeart, etc.) Ebony Magazine Publishing and ReachTV have partnered to bring the Ebony Podcast Network to the only airport television network, with 2,500+ screens in 90 commercial airports and 58 private/FBO airports across North America. There is an incredible lineup of outstanding STEM professionals telling their stories and providing perspectives on how to not only have successful careers but to also have fulfilling lives. Join them for weekly discussions on interesting, inspirational, and creative ideas in STEM. Make sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode! EBONY COVERING BLACK AMERICA: PODCAST NETWORK CHECK OUT THEIR LATEST EPISO D ES BELOW
HISTORY B L A C K M O N T H
PAST PRESENT FUTURE
S T E M P I O N E E R S | H O N O R I N G O U R L E G A C Y & E M P O W E R I N G T H E F U T U R E
F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 2
"DO NOT ALLOW YOUR MIND TO BE IMPRISONED BY MAJORITY THINKING. REMEMBER THAT THE LIMITS OF SCIENCE ARE NOT THE LIMITS OF IMAGINATION.” D R . P A T R I C I A B A T H
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
The month of February has been deemed Black History Month in the United States . The origin dates as far back as 1926 in the US when Negro History Week was established by Carter G . Woodson to celebrate the achievements of Black people as a race and dispel the myth that Black people did not positively contribute to the growth of the United States as a country . Since it ’ s inception , Black History Month has also been recognized in Canada ( February ), The United Kingdom ( October ) and Ireland ( October ). During Black History Month , we pause to remember and celebrate people and events in the history of the African diaspora . It is a time to reflect on and appreciate the growth of nations when the human race embraces diversity of cultures and inclusion of all mankind . Science , technology , engineering , & mathematics ( STEM ) is one of the fastest - growing fields , but it is underscored by racial disparities . Black scientists , technologists , engineers and mathematicians have changed the world significantly throughout history . From space exploration and scientific discoveries , to tech innovations and more , there are countless Black heroes in STEM whose work has shaped our lives .
During the month of Feburary , we committed to " Honoring Our Legacy and Empowering the Future " by celebrating historical black professionals in STEM and giving flowers to those who are still practitioners within the discipline . It is projected that in the next thirty years members of racial and ethnic minority groups will account for the majority of America ’ s population . Today , however , they account for just twenty - eight percent of America ’ s STEM workers . We know that for America to remain competitive in a global economy , we need to do all we can to draw upon the nation ’ s diverse talent pool , which includes historically underrepresented groups in STEM . In Re . engineer ' s spirit of collaboration , we asked our community of nearly 3 , 000 subscribers and followers to nominate worthy Black figures in STEM to be highlighted during Black History Month . It is with great pleasure that we share this collaboration with the world . Please join us in celebrating our everyday heroes , past , present , and future , for their determination , pride , and innovative approaches to problem solving . We were truly honored to share their stories !
REPRESEN JUSTICE JUNETEENTHS REPRESENTA REAMLEAD THINKWR IVILRIGHTSROSA AVERYABOLITIO CTIVISM RESILIENCE PRIDE MISREPRESENTED SACRIFICE CONVERSATIONS AWARENESS JIMCROW EDERICKDOUGLASS MALCOMX LOVE BRAVERY FREEDOMOFSPEECH FEBRUARY JOY DIVERSITY CES EQUALRIGHTS OPPRESS HUMANITY SEPARATION UNITY E Click on each of the pioneers' headshot to read more about their contributions to STEM. SMCOMMUNITYGENEALOGY INSPIRE JUSTICEDEDICATIONCONTRIBUTI INCLUSIVE LEGACY OBSTACLES OPPORTUNITY POVERTY OVERCOME QUEENS ADVOCATE BLACKHISTORYMONTH PERSERVANCE BRILLIA FRICA INNOVATIVE EQUALI SLAVERY MARTINLUTHERKINGJR. SEGREGATION EXCELLENCE ACTIVIS ANGELOU HARRIET URGOOD GARVEY CULTURE TRUGGLE TRUTH HONOR SOULFUL WORTHY REOTYPE PEACE TORYVIO VIOLENCE EMANCIPATIONPROCLAMATION CIVILRIGHTSACTOF 1964 BLACK Challenger exploded nine miles over the Atlantic shortly after FITZGERALD JACKIEROBINSON UNDERGROUNDRAILROAD CIVILWAR CONSTITUTION REBELLION PRIDE PREJUIDICE MINEDHISTORICALM POWERFUL GenTegra Dr. Ronald McNair The late Dr. Ronald McNair was nationally recognized for his work in laser physics and was one of the thirty-five applicants selected by NASA from a pool of ten thousand. In 1984, McNair became the second African- American to make a flight into space as he was a mission specialist on the space shuttle Challenger. He was a member of the crew when the Dr. Patricia Bath Dr. Patricia Bath is an African- American (AA) ophthalmologist, inventor, and academic scholar. Bath was also the first AA female doctor to receive a medical patent for inventing the Laserphaco Probe for cataract treatment in 1986 which was less painful and more precise. She has broken gender borders by being the first AA woman to complete a residency in ophthalmology and also being the first to be inducted into the prestigious National Inventors Hall of Fame. In the past year, 3.6 million people have treated their cataracts thanks to Bath's incredible contribution to the medical field. Dr. Patricia Bath takeoff from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on January 28, 1986. Even though McNair's life was cut way too short, he exemplified excellence in everything that he touched. Sgt. Tony Reid Commercial sUAS Pilot Sgt. Tony Reid has been in the UAV drone industry for 5 years. He received his Part 107 UAS Certification in September 2016. Since then he has trained and deployed with the American Red cross, operating in many missions from mapping in Hurricane Harvey 2017, to damage assessments in Puerto Rico, Hurricane Maria 2018. Recently, Mr. Reid deployed to the grand Bahamas in 2019 for Hurricane Relief. He conducted damage assessments in Dorian 2019, which included inspections of buildings, and critical infrastructure such as; bridges, highways, roof inspections and powerlines.
REPRESEN POWERFUL PERSERVANCE BRILLIA SMCOMMUNITYGENEALOGY INSPIRE JUSTICEDEDICATIONCONTRIBUTI MINEDHISTORICALM FRICA INNOVATIVE EQUALI JUSTICE JUNETEENTHS REPRESENTA REAMLEAD THINKWR IVILRIGHTSROSA AVERYABOLITIO CTIVISM RESILIENCE PRIDE MISREPRESENTED SACRIFICE CONVERSATIONS AWARENESS JIMCROW EDERICKDOUGLASS MALCOMX LOVE BRAVERY FREEDOMOFSPEECH FEBRUARY JOY DIVERSITY CES EQUALRIGHTS OPPRESS HUMANITY SEPARATION UNITY E Dr. Peggie Ward Koon Dr. Peggie Ward Koon was born in Millen, Georgia, the youngest of 10 children. Her father was a sharecropper and her mother, who completed the local one- room high school, was a housewife. Dr. Koon began her career as the first Black female manufacturing engineer at the Inland Division of General Motors, where she worked with robotics in the manufacture of automotive foam seats. Dr. Koon has been a leader in the area of Process Automation and Technology for over 30 years. She is not only a change management leader, author and serving on several non-profit boards but she is an amazing role model and great mentor. ANGELOU HARRIET URGOOD GARVEY CULTURE TRUGGLE TRUTH HONOR SOULFUL WORTHY REOTYPE PEACE TORYVIO VIOLENCE INCLUSIVE LEGACY OBSTACLES OPPORTUNITY POVERTY OVERCOME QUEENS ADVOCATE BLACKHISTORYMONTH EMANCIPATIONPROCLAMATION CIVILRIGHTSACTOF 1964 BLACK SLAVERY MARTINLUTHERKINGJR. SEGREGATION EXCELLENCE ACTIVIS FITZGERALD JACKIEROBINSON UNDERGROUNDRAILROAD CIVILWAR CONSTITUTION REBELLION PRIDE PREJUIDICE GenTegra Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune One of America’s most inspirational daughters, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune was an educator, national civil rights pioneer & activist, champion of African-American women’s rights, advisor to Presidents of the United States and one of the most influential women of the twentieth century. Dr. Dr. Patricia Bath Mr. George Antoin Smith has been a leader in engineering since he was a student at Lindblom Technical High School in Chicago in the late 1960s. Mr. Smith went on to attend Purdue University where he and 5 freshman friends from two Chicago public schools became the first members of a new association for Black engineering students. It was launched by upperclassmen, Edward Barnett, Fred Cooper, and a PhD candidate named Arthur J. Bond. That organization grew and on April 12th of 1975, Arthur Bond and the Chicago 6 founded NSBE, the National Society of Black Engineers. George Smith Bethune was a STEM educator before the acronym was ever curated. Her philosophy for educating youth and young adults entailed using the head, heart and hands to identify strategies to critically think through problems to find ffective solutions to better serve African American communities-at-large. Elijah Mc C oy Elijah McCoy overcame challenges that African- Americans faced in his time for education and employment to become one of the first successful contributors to the field of tribology. He patented an Automatic Steam Chest Locomotive Lubrication Device in 1872 and It didn’t take long for his invention to revolutionize the railroad industry. McCoy challenged the status quo of manual lubrication, worked to patent his designs, and the result is a safer and more efficient industry that routinely utilizes automatic lubrication devices to extend equipment life and reduce wear and damage to machinery.
REPRESEN JUSTICE JUNETEENTHS REPRESENTA REAMLEAD THINKWR IVILRIGHTSROSA AVERYABOLITIO CTIVISM RESILIENCE PRIDE MISREPRESENTED SACRIFICE CONVERSATIONS AWARENESS JIMCROW EDERICKDOUGLASS MALCOMX LOVE BRAVERY FREEDOMOFSPEECH FEBRUARY JOY DIVERSITY CES EQUALRIGHTS OPPRESS HUMANITY SEPARATION UNITY E James Edward West’s inventions and contributions in electrical engineering have garnered him a great deal of recognition. In 1999, West was the fourth African American selected to join the National Inventors Hall of Fame for the invention of the electret microphone. This invention replaced the carbon microphone and revolutionized communications technology. He also received the U.S. National Medal of Technology in 2006. He has forty-seven U.S. patents, over 200 foreign patents, and has written over a hundred academic papers. James Edward West SMCOMMUNITYGENEALOGY INSPIRE JUSTICEDEDICATIONCONTRIBUTI INCLUSIVE LEGACY OBSTACLES OPPORTUNITY POVERTY OVERCOME QUEENS ADVOCATE BLACKHISTORYMONTH PERSERVANCE BRILLIA FRICA INNOVATIVE EQUALI SLAVERY MARTINLUTHERKINGJR. SEGREGATION EXCELLENCE ACTIVIS GenTegra Dr. Patricia Bath Mauri Schoby is a Sr. Project Execution Director at Dow, Inc. Mauri Schoby J. Ernest Wilkins Jr. ANGELOU HARRIET URGOOD GARVEY CULTURE TRUGGLE TRUTH HONOR SOULFUL WORTHY REOTYPE PEACE TORYVIO VIOLENCE EMANCIPATIONPROCLAMATION CIVILRIGHTSACTOF 1964 BLACK FITZGERALD JACKIEROBINSON UNDERGROUNDRAILROAD CIVILWAR CONSTITUTION REBELLION PRIDE PREJUIDICE MINEDHISTORICALM POWERFUL where she leads a team responsible for digital technology implementations across the Global Operations organization. She is also responsible for leading the Operations Control and Compliance team which ensures the effectiveness of risk management, internal control measures and governance processes. Her work with NSBE over the years had by far the largest impact on Diversity & Inclusion of any effort in the 100 year history of Dow. The program she helped develop has brought hundreds of diverse professionals into the company. J. Ernest Wilkins Jr. was a prominent African American mathematician and physicist who worked at the University of Chicago Met Lab during the Manhattan Project. In 1970, Wilkins became the Distinguished Professor of Applied Mathematical Physics at Howard University, where he founded the university’s Ph.D program in mathematics. From 1974 to 1975 Wilkins served as president of the American Nuclear Society, and in 1976 became the second African American to be elected to the National Academy of Engineering, one of the highest honors an engineer can receive. Tai Prince Ms. Tai Prince is a Senior QHSES Programs Specialist, employed by TechnipFMC, responsible for implementing & communicating company-wide quality, health, safety, environmental and security strategies and programs. Her role ensures the highest standards are achieved for her customers and product lifecycle. She develops and leads multiple programs and events that support STEM and her companies' philanthropic corporate projects. She also serves as a Judge Advisor with FIRST Robotics; on the Women’s Energy Network Houston board as Co-Director of Community Initiatives and the Young Leader Co-Chair for United Way Greater Houston.
REPRESEN POWERFUL PERSERVANCE BRILLIA SMCOMMUNITYGENEALOGY INSPIRE JUSTICEDEDICATIONCONTRIBUTI MINEDHISTORICALM FRICA INNOVATIVE EQUALI JUSTICE JUNETEENTHS REPRESENTA REAMLEAD THINKWR IVILRIGHTSROSA AVERYABOLITIO CTIVISM RESILIENCE PRIDE MISREPRESENTED SACRIFICE CONVERSATIONS AWARENESS JIMCROW EDERICKDOUGLASS MALCOMX LOVE BRAVERY FREEDOMOFSPEECH FEBRUARY JOY DIVERSITY CES EQUALRIGHTS OPPRESS HUMANITY SEPARATION UNITY E John Thibodeaux John Thibodeaux is the Global Improvement Leader for the instrument discipline at Dow, Inc. John has been an unsung hero within the manufacturing industry for decades. He has produced revolutionary work to reduce equipment and process failures resulting in establishment of standard rework processes in many facilities across the world. He has used his ability to usher in diagnostic, analytical technologies that enable predictive maintenance to propel Dow maintenance to the next level. His accomplishments along with his genuine nature of caring for people from all walks of life make him an unsung hero. ANGELOU HARRIET URGOOD GARVEY CULTURE TRUGGLE TRUTH HONOR SOULFUL WORTHY REOTYPE PEACE TORYVIO VIOLENCE INCLUSIVE LEGACY OBSTACLES OPPORTUNITY POVERTY OVERCOME QUEENS ADVOCATE BLACKHISTORYMONTH EMANCIPATIONPROCLAMATION CIVILRIGHTSACTOF 1964 BLACK Gilbert was the contractor chief architect to develop and lead SLAVERY MARTINLUTHERKINGJR. SEGREGATION EXCELLENCE ACTIVIS FITZGERALD JACKIEROBINSON UNDERGROUNDRAILROAD CIVILWAR CONSTITUTION REBELLION PRIDE PREJUIDICE GenTegra Dr. Tracee Gilbert Dr. Gilbert is the owner of System Innovation, which has provided engineering services to various clients in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense and the Department of Navy Modeling and Simulation. Additionally, System Innovation is engineering next generation technologies (i.e., blockchain, Dr. Patricia Bath Mr. Bernadin is the dean of students and Director of IT at the highly-acclaimed Ron Clark Academy (RCA), an innovative middle school and educator training facility. Along with his colleagues, he has helped provide professional development to over 80k educators worldwide to learn better ways to engage students, increase academic excellence, and create a culture for success. He has spent the past 12 years serving as an expert that helps schools to create and improve their house system. For his dedication to service, he was recently named as one of the Top 100 Leaders in Education by the Global Forum for Education and Learning. Junior Bernadin artificial intelligence, and quantum computing). Dr. the concept, strategy, and implementation of digital engineering across the DoD, Military Services, Industry and Academia. She has a passion for helping people of color, women, and entrepreneurs succeed in STEM. David Blackwell Born and raised in Illinois, David Blackwell was a pioneering statistician and game theorist. In addition to the monumental work that defined his career, Blackwell also fought and broke numerous racial barriers and was the first African-American to be inducted into the National Academy of Sciences. Blackwell was known for his independent invention of dynamic programming, which is used today in finance and in various areas of science, including genome analysis. On October 3, 2014, President Obama awarded Dr. Blackwell with the National Medal of Science posthumously.
REPRESEN JUSTICE JUNETEENTHS REPRESENTA REAMLEAD THINKWR IVILRIGHTSROSA AVERYABOLITIO CTIVISM RESILIENCE PRIDE MISREPRESENTED SACRIFICE CONVERSATIONS AWARENESS JIMCROW EDERICKDOUGLASS MALCOMX LOVE BRAVERY FREEDOMOFSPEECH FEBRUARY JOY DIVERSITY CES EQUALRIGHTS OPPRESS HUMANITY SEPARATION UNITY E African-American inventor Otis Boykin is best known for inventing a variable resistor used in computers, radios, television sets and a variety of electronic devices such as a control unit for heart stimulators. The unit was used in the artificial heart pacemaker, a device created to produce electrical shocks to the heart to maintain a healthy heart rate. He patented more than 25 electronic devices, and his inventions greatly assisted him in overcoming the obstacles that society placed in front of him during that era of segregation. In 2014 he was inducted posthumously into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Otis Boykin SMCOMMUNITYGENEALOGY INSPIRE JUSTICEDEDICATIONCONTRIBUTI INCLUSIVE LEGACY OBSTACLES OPPORTUNITY POVERTY OVERCOME QUEENS ADVOCATE BLACKHISTORYMONTH PERSERVANCE BRILLIA FRICA INNOVATIVE EQUALI SLAVERY MARTINLUTHERKINGJR. SEGREGATION EXCELLENCE ACTIVIS GenTegra Dr. Patricia Bath Known as "Black Edison," Granville Woods was an Granville T. Woods Thomas Jennings Thomas L. Jennings was the first African-American granted a patent by the United States, but he was also a businessman, Kiley & Ty ' Lisha Summers ANGELOU HARRIET URGOOD GARVEY CULTURE TRUGGLE TRUTH HONOR SOULFUL WORTHY REOTYPE PEACE TORYVIO VIOLENCE EMANCIPATIONPROCLAMATION CIVILRIGHTSACTOF 1964 BLACK FITZGERALD JACKIEROBINSON UNDERGROUNDRAILROAD CIVILWAR CONSTITUTION REBELLION PRIDE PREJUIDICE MINEDHISTORICALM POWERFUL African-American inventor who made key contributions to the development of the telephone, streetcar and more. He was born to free African Americans, held various engineering and industrial jobs before establishing a company to develop electrical apparatus. Woods registered nearly 60 patents in his lifetime, including a telephone transmitter, a trolley wheel and the multiplex telegraph. By the time of his death, on January 30, 1910, in New York City, Woods had invented 15 devices for electric railways. received nearly 60 patents. The Summers are the creators of SpenDebt, a financial tech company helping people pay off debt one micropayment at a time. After college graduation, they found themselves in over $100k of debt. Growing up, finances wasn’t discussed in their households. No one told them that only making minimum payments would have them in debt for the rest of their lives. They decided to hire a financial advisor to help them improve their financial situation. After becoming debt free, they began sharing their story, realizing there were so many people caught in the never-ending debt spiral without a plan to get out and SpenDebt was born. an ardent abolitionist and a civil rights leader. He was a founding member of many early philanthropic rights organizations such as the Wilberforce Society, the New York African Society for Mutual Relief, the Phoenix Society, the New York Vigilance Committee and the Legal Rights Association. In 1821, the United States government granted him a patent for a process called "dry scouring" a forerunner of today’s dry-cleaning. Jennings used the wealth from patent royalties to help promote social change for equal rights.
REPRESEN POWERFUL PERSERVANCE BRILLIA SMCOMMUNITYGENEALOGY INSPIRE JUSTICEDEDICATIONCONTRIBUTI MINEDHISTORICALM FRICA INNOVATIVE EQUALI JUSTICE JUNETEENTHS REPRESENTA REAMLEAD THINKWR IVILRIGHTSROSA AVERYABOLITIO CTIVISM RESILIENCE PRIDE MISREPRESENTED SACRIFICE CONVERSATIONS AWARENESS JIMCROW EDERICKDOUGLASS MALCOMX LOVE BRAVERY FREEDOMOFSPEECH FEBRUARY JOY DIVERSITY CES EQUALRIGHTS OPPRESS HUMANITY SEPARATION UNITY E Dr. Noella C . West Dr. Noella C. West is an author, national speaker, sought after educator and leader in the health care industry. Known for engaging and motivating her audience, she provides a unique experience that touches the lives of men and women around the world. She has been working in the health industry for over 20 years. Currently a doctorate of nurse practitioner, she serves as Adjunct Professor at the University of Tampa School of Nursing as well as the University of South Florida College of Nursing. She has presented at international conferences and been featured in national nursing magazines. ANGELOU HARRIET URGOOD GARVEY CULTURE TRUGGLE TRUTH HONOR SOULFUL WORTHY REOTYPE PEACE TORYVIO VIOLENCE INCLUSIVE LEGACY OBSTACLES OPPORTUNITY POVERTY OVERCOME QUEENS ADVOCATE BLACKHISTORYMONTH EMANCIPATIONPROCLAMATION CIVILRIGHTSACTOF 1964 BLACK SLAVERY MARTINLUTHERKINGJR. SEGREGATION EXCELLENCE ACTIVIS FITZGERALD JACKIEROBINSON UNDERGROUNDRAILROAD CIVILWAR CONSTITUTION REBELLION PRIDE PREJUIDICE GenTegra Percy Lavon Julian Percy Lavon Julian was a twentieth-century research chemist whose work in chemical synthesis laid the groundwork for synthesizing estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone used to treat those with hormone Dr. Patricia Bath Marie Van Brittan Brown Marie Van Brittan Brown was the inventor of the home security system in 1966, along with her husband Albert Brown. In the same year they jointly applied for a patent, which was granted in 1969. Her invention has been cited in 32 other patent applications. The invention was basically the first closed-circuit television security system and is predecessor to the modern home systems today. It led to the foundation for video monitoring, remote-controlled door locks, push-button alarm triggers, instant messaging to security providers and police, as well as two-way voice communication. deficiencies. He also developed process improvements in the production of cortisone, used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, and corticosteroids used to treat various illnesses. By the time of his passing in 1975, Julian had become the first African-American chemist inducted into the National Academy of Sciences and had received more than 130 chemical patents. Maryann JP C oleman Weldon Maryann is the CEO & Certified Scrum Master of Empire Org. LLC, where she has organically built a lean certified, servant leadership focused operation which organizes and orchestrates execution of several process improvement methodologies. She utilized strengths of business savvy, communications, and leadership, to obtain an Organizational Communications Management degree. Her goal is to increase the career and life skills of apprentices, while helping the community at large by bridging the tech diversity hiring gap and income divide.
REPRESEN JUSTICE JUNETEENTHS REPRESENTA REAMLEAD THINKWR IVILRIGHTSROSA AVERYABOLITIO CTIVISM RESILIENCE PRIDE MISREPRESENTED SACRIFICE CONVERSATIONS AWARENESS JIMCROW EDERICKDOUGLASS MALCOMX LOVE BRAVERY FREEDOMOFSPEECH FEBRUARY JOY DIVERSITY CES EQUALRIGHTS OPPRESS HUMANITY SEPARATION UNITY E Shedrick Stephens Shedrick Stephens is a retired Senior Process Automation Technologist who has enabled the success of so many young, talented engineers and technicians. He started his STEM journey as a process operator for The Dow Chemical Company, now Dow Inc., and through his discipline, thirst for knowledge and fundamental belief that anything is possible, he rose to the ranks of a regional Triconex subject matter expert, supporting some of the most critical safety control systems across the gulf coast. SMCOMMUNITYGENEALOGY INSPIRE JUSTICEDEDICATIONCONTRIBUTI INCLUSIVE LEGACY OBSTACLES OPPORTUNITY POVERTY OVERCOME QUEENS ADVOCATE BLACKHISTORYMONTH PERSERVANCE BRILLIA FRICA INNOVATIVE EQUALI SLAVERY MARTINLUTHERKINGJR. SEGREGATION EXCELLENCE ACTIVIS GenTegra Dr. Patricia Bath Dr. Calvin Mackie is an award winning mentor, an internationally renowned motivational speaker, and a Dr. C alvin Mackie Dr. Ella Lee Kelley Annie Easley Dr. Ella Lee Kelley, a trailblazer in education was a nationally recognized educator and advocate for ST M education ANGELOU HARRIET URGOOD GARVEY CULTURE TRUGGLE TRUTH HONOR SOULFUL WORTHY REOTYPE PEACE TORYVIO VIOLENCE EMANCIPATIONPROCLAMATION CIVILRIGHTSACTOF 1964 BLACK FITZGERALD JACKIEROBINSON UNDERGROUNDRAILROAD CIVILWAR CONSTITUTION REBELLION PRIDE PREJUIDICE MINEDHISTORICALM POWERFUL successful entrepreneur. merging from New Orleans public schools to get four STEM degrees and become the first African-American professor at the Tulane’s University School of Engineering. In 2013, Mackie founded a non-profit organization, STEM NOLA, to expose, inspire and engage communities about the opportunities in STEM. Since its inception, they have engaged over 40,000 low-resourced, K-12 students in hands-on project based STEM activities in New Orleans communities, impacting over 10,000 families. Annie Easley was an African- American computer scientist, mathematician, and rocket scientist. She worked for the Lewis Research Center (now Glenn Research Center) of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and its predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). Easley was a leading member of the team which developed software for the Centaur rocket stage, and was one of the first African-Americans to work at NASA. She was posthumously inducted into the Glenn Research Hall of Fame in 2015 as her work with helped lay the foundations for future space shuttle launches. and research. She was an administrator, mentor, and director, with a passion and dedication for STEM and students pursuing STEM degrees. The many lives that have been touched by this incredible woman is a testament of her ability to connect with all STEM scholars. Throughout her more than 30 years with the Timbuktu Academy, she demonstrated a strong passion for pre-college students and also received the U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.
REPRESEN POWERFUL PERSERVANCE BRILLIA SMCOMMUNITYGENEALOGY INSPIRE JUSTICEDEDICATIONCONTRIBUTI MINEDHISTORICALM FRICA INNOVATIVE EQUALI JUSTICE JUNETEENTHS REPRESENTA REAMLEAD THINKWR IVILRIGHTSROSA AVERYABOLITIO CTIVISM RESILIENCE PRIDE MISREPRESENTED SACRIFICE CONVERSATIONS AWARENESS JIMCROW EDERICKDOUGLASS MALCOMX LOVE BRAVERY FREEDOMOFSPEECH FEBRUARY JOY DIVERSITY CES EQUALRIGHTS OPPRESS HUMANITY SEPARATION UNITY E Acknowledgements A special thank you goes to the entire Re.engineer community for supporting our 2022 Black History Month STEM Pioneer celebration. We have received outstanding feedback and countless signs of appreciation throughout the month of February, and even though we could not feature all of the worthy diverse STEM Pioneers, we have set the stage for others to join in on the conversation. Our hope is that you continue celebrating the legacies of the past, present and future for the months and years to come. We'll leave you with this African proverb, "Until the lion learns how to write, every story will glorify the hunter." ANGELOU HARRIET URGOOD GARVEY CULTURE TRUGGLE TRUTH HONOR SOULFUL WORTHY REOTYPE PEACE TORYVIO VIOLENCE INCLUSIVE LEGACY OBSTACLES OPPORTUNITY POVERTY OVERCOME QUEENS ADVOCATE BLACKHISTORYMONTH EMANCIPATIONPROCLAMATION CIVILRIGHTSACTOF 1964 BLACK SLAVERY MARTINLUTHERKINGJR. SEGREGATION EXCELLENCE ACTIVIS FITZGERALD JACKIEROBINSON UNDERGROUNDRAILROAD CIVILWAR CONSTITUTION REBELLION PRIDE PREJUIDICE GenTegra
ERICA WALTON- DOUGLAS
JEL INDA GIBSON-ALLEN
C E L E B R A T I N G T H E R A N G E A N D E X C E L L E N C E O F B L A C K W O M E N I N S C I E N C E , T E C H N O L O G Y , E N G I N E E R I N G , & M A T H E M A T I C S
T H E Q U E E N S O F S T E M
In addition to her core role, Jelinda is also the Sponsor for the Sustainability Team at her worksite. The team is playing a pivotal role in highlighting the sustainability journey of the company, sustainability-based projects taking place across the worksite, as well as initiatives being developed in the gulf coast region. In her 22-year engineering career, Jelinda has had some exciting (and unique) experiences. She has served as an expert witness for court proceedings in her reliability engineering role, participated in hurricane storm recovery efforts throughout Louisiana, and received a nomination for her engineering application for waste reduction recognition, just to name a few. If there’s one thing to note about Jelinda, she is not a one- sided woman. In addition to a successful engineering career, Jelinda is the owner and chief artistic director of Studio G Dance & Gymnastics Company. More to come on that. She is also an active member of the New Orleans Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. She serves as co-chair of the Arts & Letters Committee and Chair of the Artie Awards. Lastly, Jelinda is a wife and mother of 5. Her oldest daughter is an honor student in her senior year at the University of Southern Mississippi. Her oldest son is a freshman and entrepreneur at Texas Southern University. She also has 2 high school athletes at Mandeville High School, and a 4th grader who is in gifted education, pursuing dance and gymnastics.
Jelinda Gibson-Allen is an outstanding STEM professional currently working at Dow, Inc. In her current role as Senior Operations Leader, Jelinda provides unwavering leadership for 40+ direct and indirect reports, who as a team, are responsible for the safe, reliable, and profitable operation of chemical manufacturing assets in the plastics business portfolio. Having the opportunity to represent my university on various platforms was an experience of a lifetime!
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 ?
T H E Q U E E N S O F S T E M
TELL US A BOUT THE MOST IMP A CTFUL CH A LLENGE YOU ’ VE SOLVED . The most impactful challenge I believe I have solved is filling the void within the leadership ranks with regards to representation.
WH A T A DVICE DO YOU H A VE FOR PROFESSION A LS LOOKING TO RISE TO THE R A NKS OF LE A DERSHIP ? For those young engineers looking to rise to the leadership ranks, I would tell them to be true to themselves and follow the blueprint that is often available.
Develop and foster relationships to build a wide network of supporters that will assist them in navigating through the complexities that they will undoubtedly face. Don’t be afraid to take the unpopular assignment and also know when to say no. This challenge is one that has been faced by many black professionals and that has been amplified over the last couple of years. We have so often been faced with a lack of recognition and opportunity, not the lack of talent as the stories have been told. The personal impact is the realization that I AM the goal that others want to achieve. This pushes me to show up and show out every day, which is a challenge in itself, but one that I'm willing to work through for the greater purpose. WH A T KEEPS YOU UP A T NIGHT ? At the moment, what keeps me up at night is the question of whether I can truly impact long-term success of others or am I just riding a wave that will eventually die down before things go back to the way they used to be. I often wonder if we have finally "arrived" at the turning point or if it's all a facade. I wonder if my children will be able to thrive as adults in the future world that's being shaped around us. ▪Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82 Page 83 Page 84 Page 85 Page 86 Page 87 Page 88 Page 89 Page 90 Page 91 Page 92 Page 93 Page 94 Page 95 Page 96
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