This week’s #WCWinSTEM is Alicia M. Morgan, an Engineer and STEM/STEAM Advocate!
As compiled by Léolène Carrington, Ph.D.
We’re delighted to feature Alicia M. Morgan as this week’s #WCWinSTEM! Alicia is passionate about empowering K-16 students, as well as educators and workplace professionals with tools to be globally competitive. Alicia is also the author of “Father and Daughter Time: Conversations of the Heart”, and is excited to share her story with us.
Responses may be edited for content and brevity.
Engineer and STEM/STEAM Advocate shining being uniquely different. I shine by leading with my strengths and values to creatively soar.
Where/when did you go to school?
- B.S., Aerospace Engineering, Tuskegee University
- M.S., Industrial Engineering with a Manufacturing Minor, New Mexico State University
- Certification, Nonprofit Management Certification CNM Connect, University of Chicago at Booth
- Certification, Sales Strategies: Mastering the Selling Process,University of Chicago at Booth
What do you do right now?
I worked in the engineering field for several years at Fortune 500 Companies such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon. After being laid off, I completed nonprofit management certification and became a STEM/STEAM Advocate supporting Dallas County Community College District college/workforce readiness initiatives, Bryan Adams High School Engineering and Biomedical Sciences NAF Academy Advisory Board and an after school program called Heart House. Heart House provides safety, education and opportunity to refugee and underprivileged children in the Vickery Meadow Community of Dallas. Recently, I became a Global Arts Education Fellow with an organization called J Rêve International. We will be hosting a STEM + Arts Integration conference in DC July 28-30.
What made you choose your STEM discipline in the first place?
“I have always been an inquisitive problem solver.”
I enjoy digging deeper to figure out how something works and to discover ways to improve the processes involved in creating it. I am both a left and right brain thinker, I equally enjoy integrating the arts into problem solving.
What’s one piece of advice you wish you had when you started your STEM journey?
Learn to collaborate and build relationships earlier in your career. Don’t just seek a mentor and become one. Engineers often work in silos and things are constantly changing, so you will need to become a life long learner.
“You must learn to embrace failure. It happens. What you do after it matters most.”
Do you have any woman of color in STEM sheros? Who and why?
It’s hard to name just one. Naturally, the women before us that were highlighted in the movie and book Hidden Figures: Dorothy Vaughn, Katherine Johnson, and Mary Jackson (Shout out to her inspiring me as an Aerospace Engineer). A career in STEM is challenging, as such it is empowering to hear the stories of women thriving in the field beyond unconscious biases they often face. Last year, I was the honoree for the Women of Color in STEM Conference K-12 Promotion of Education Award. I had the opportunity to meet women from all across the country doing amazing things in STEM. The organization Career Communications Group also does a great job highlighting women of color of diverse backgrounds.
What else are you passionate about?
Creative writing and storytelling. I am always looking for ways to enhance my storytelling capabilities whether it’s visually through video, voice-over or taking improvisation classes.
Why do you think it’s important to highlight women of color in STEM?
“You can’t be what you can’t see. It is important that women of color are highlighted more in media so that there are no more hidden figures but highly visible women in STEM.”
Thank you for using your platform to highlight STEM Women as crushes. 🙂
Are there institutions, groups or organizations you would like to give a shoutout?
The Society of Women Engineers, both the National and Dallas Chapter, for their amazing support in my journey and for the professional development opportunities the organization offers. BWISE– Black Women in Science and Engineering, a group that empowers and develops Black women who have degrees in the sciences, math and engineering (even if you no longer work in that field) and who would like to connect with others. Talk Stem, a program consisting of free guided walks designed to engage elementary and middle school-aged children and their families in learning about how math is alive in the world around us all. The National Society of Black Engineers, for all the work they are doing to increase the number of African American Engineering graduates to 10,000 annually by 2025. They recently released an amazing collaborative report titled “Ignored Potential: A Collaborative Road Map for Increasing African- American in Engineering”.
Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
I was featured in the Dallas Morning News story on how the movie “Hidden Figures” inspired the black engineering and science community in Dallas. My personal motto is “Inspire others, speak your truth and believe you are good enough to be who you are.”
Thank you, Alicia, for your dedication to empowering students in STEM in the K-16 area! We’re honored to have you in our #VanguardSTEM squad!
*All images used with permission from Alicia M. Morgan.
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