Hometown: Oxon Hill, MD
Graduating Class: 2001 BSIE
Career Overview: Over 20 years in manufacturing in various positions including new product introduction, quality, continuous improvement and industrialization. I am currently the Director of Quality and Continuous Improvement for Cognex Corporation based in Natick, MA.
- What is the single most important experience or understanding you gained in the ISE department? The single most important experience I gained in the ISE department is leveraging your team’s strengths to execute goals. I learned this from one of my very first ISE classes with our group projects and it’s a lesson I hold true today not just in the team I lead, but also with my peers in projects we are driving to completion. I understand my strengths and what I bring to the table and leverage those of my team members to achieve common goals.
- What is the most pressing issue facing human society that engineers should be working harder to solve? The digital divide still exists. It is not just in lower income areas, but also with older generations. With so many solutions and services migrating to digital platforms, it is forcing a less technical savvy population to a divide that did not exist. I would like to see more emphasis put on addressing this digital divide with learning for those that are not as comfortable with electronics, the internet, etc. along with support and funding for those that desire access but are unable to obtain digital or electronic platforms (phones, computers, etc.)
- What would you like to accomplish in your career? What are you most proud of so far? I would like to continue to support the increase of diversity within engineering. I am a firm believer in diversity of thought and the more diverse the background of the team, the more creative you can be at problem solving. I am proud to be in a position that not only supports this initiative, but also in a position that allows me to speak on the great careers in engineering to encourage more underrepresented groups to engage in STEM fields.
- If you were not in the engineering field, what would you likely be doing? If I were not in engineering, I would probably be in human resources or teaching. I enjoy developing and coaching people. I also enjoy teaching people new skills and encouraging and stretching people to their full potential. In both HR and teaching, it would afford me the opportunity to do this.
- What advice do you have for current ISE students? It’s important to get industry experience coupled with your classroom learning. The experience is invaluable and allows you to link coursework and real-life application. It also is important in those internships and coops, that you establish and maintain connections and start building your professional network. Professional organizations like National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineering (IISE) are great assets to provide opportunities for relevant job experience as well as your network.