I don’t understand why we have to keep on saying it but the truth is that unless we keep saying it those who need to hear it will not hear it until it is driven into their heads that, “Black Lives Matter”, and here are 11 reasons why we do matter.
By Bo Thornton
African Americans are reportedly missing out on the tech boom. The acronym known as STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The creation of jobs in these career fields are expected to far outpace non-STEM jobs.
Black students are being awarded just a handful of STEM-related degrees. Some of the reasons cited for the discrepancy includes a mix of “self-doubt, stereotypes, discouragement and economics.” Math and Science need to be heavily emphasized as the academic foundation to guarantee good jobs for these students.
While some of the STEM job titles may sound daunting, these 11 African Americans behind those titles prove that our young people have plenty of role models to look up to. They hold positions in job fields from video game technology to space explorations and set an example for the kind of professional achievement that is possible.
Edward Tunstel, Robotics Engineer – Some predict that robots will be doing all our jobs someday. Edward Tunstel may have something to do with that. Tunstel is a senior roboticist at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Robot navigation and the use of behavior-based controllers to enable robots to react to their environment are areas of Edward’s expertise. He recently served on the NASA Mars Exploration Rovers project as a flight-systems engineer. Robotic engineering attracts innovative thinkers with backgrounds in mechanical, electrical, and computer-software engineering.
Kamilah Taylor, Software Developer – Duties of a software developer includes writing, editing and testing computer programs that have an impact on nearly every aspect of our personal and professional lives. Employment in this field is expected to grow 22 percent by 2022. Kamilah Taylor is a senior software engineer at LinkedIn who works on the flagship LinkedIn iOS mobile app. She’s helping to build the “next big thing” for the company.
Uduak-Joe Ntuk, Petroleum Engineer – U.S. Labor Department predicts the demand for petroleum engineers will rise by 26 percent over the next decade. These engineers locate reservoirs of petroleum and design extraction methods. Many work for the largest oil companies in the world. Uduak-Joe-Ntuk works in the public sector. Ntuk is a petroleum engineer for the city of Long Beach, California. His job involves well development, oil-and-gas production operations, enhanced recovery methods as well as flood-related work.
Antonio McMichael, Application Developer – As a computer-application developer, Antonio McMichael is a member of Microsoft’s Windows CXE team, which developed the Windows 8.1 application (Windows Insider) to enable devices to receive prerelease operating-system updates on their phones directly from Microsoft. McMichael contributed to the design of a blind assist vest, a wearable device to help the visually impaired, while he was still studying computer science at Howard University.
Angelique Johnson, Biomedical Engineer – Biomedical engineering is a subspecialty under the engineering umbrella that concentrates on solving biological and medical problems. Angelique Johnson, who has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, works on technologies to treat hearing loss, Parkinson’s disease, paralysis and blindness.
Troy Freeman, Validation Engineer – Troy Freeman is a validation engineer with more than 15 years of experience. Validation engineers test systems used in developing or manufacturing a variety of products, like pharmaceuticals. Freeman’s job requires him to analyze and calibrate equipment and have a thorough knowledge of Food and Drug Administration (and other government-agency) manufacturing regulations. These technology professionals typically have a Bachelor of Science in industry and technology.
Erin Teague, Software Engineer – Erin Teague is a director of product management at Yahoo. A position that requires her to combine both her computer-engineering degree and Harvard MBA for her work at the tech giant, where she’s responsible for the acquisition, activation, retention and re-engagement of users for Yahoo’s Sports Fantasy products.
Lisette Titre-Montgomery, Video Game Developer – If you’ve ever played the “Tiger Woods PGA Tour” video game, then you’re familiar with Lissette Titre-Montgomery’s work. She is a video game developer with more than a dozen years in the industry. Video game developers are software engineers with a foundation in coding and a gift for artistic creativity. Titre-Montgomery has a degree in computer animation and currently works as an art manager. Her credits include some of the industry’s most recognized games, such as “The Simpsons Game” and “The Godfather II.” Lissette is an advocate for game-based curriculum in schools.
Micah Lewis, Agriculture Engineer– Micah Lewis works for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a research engineer within the agency’s Quality and Safety Assessment Research Unit. His academic path that led to that position included earning both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in computer science as well as a Ph.D. in biological and agricultural engineering. Lewis does research and development of sensors and instrumentation to measure quality parameters (like moisture and density) for a range of products, such as cereal grain and oilseeds.
Angie M. Hankins, Patent Attorney – Some individuals with a STEM degree ultimately pursue a legal career. Angie M. Hankins earned an undergraduate electrical-engineering degree before graduating law school. She’s the director of intellectual property at Samsung. Patent lawyers typically represent inventors during the patent-application process and can also function as litigators to protect their clients’ rights of invention.
Ramsey Smith, Technology Infusion Manager – Ramsey Smith is the technology infusion manager for the Small Business Innovation Research Program at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. NASA invests $130 million annually in research and development by small businesses with a goal of encouraging innovation that could support NASA programs or become commercialized. The program is helping to grow the U.S. economy through STEM-based small businesses.