This week’s #WCWinSTEM is Kenya Allmond, M.S., an IT audit manager!
As compiled by Léolène Carrington, Ph.D.
We’re so excited to feature Kenya Moore as this week’s #WCWinSTEM! Kenya is a #STEM Champion and is excited to share her story with us.
Responses may be edited for content and brevity.
How would you describe yourself in 1 tweet?
Gadget girl, tech tamer, arts aficionada, #STEM supporter, wanton wanderer, vivacious volunteer, photograph flaunter, lighthouse lover, @udcnasalumni @gwalumni.
Where/when did you go to school?
- B.S., Computer Science, University of the District of Columbia
- Master of Forensic Sciences, emphasis in High Technology Crime Investigation, The George Washington University
What do you do right now?
I started as a programmer, then became a forensic investigator. Now I am an IT audit manager with a small accounting firm where our primary client is the Federal government. I, along with my team, assess Federal government information systems in the domains of security management, access control, segregation of duties, configuration management and contingency planning and recommend improvements for compliance with Federal regulations. I heavily rely on my extensive knowledge of the Unix operating system and Oracle database management system gained as a software engineer early in my career (two careers ago). I’m also able to use skills I gained in my second career in computer forensics and electronic discovery in my current career.
What made you choose your STEM discipline in the first place?
I was really good in math and science and was intrigued when I did BASIC programming in a class in high school. We were to just type the program exactly how it was written. After successfully doing that, I dissected it and make it do other things.
What’s one piece of advice you wish you had when you started your STEM journey?
If you have a genuine interest, you belong here and don’t let anyone dissuade you.
Do you have any woman of color in STEM sheros? Who and why?
Mae Jemison and Shirley Ann Jackson – Both were pioneers.
What else are you passionate about?
I love photography and lighthouses!
Why do you think it’s important to highlight women of color in STEM?
It’s important to highlight women of color in STEM because even though we’ve always been here, it’s not often known or portrayed that way.
When many of us tell our families, teachers, etc. that we may be interested in STEM fields we are often dissuaded either because they’ve never heard of women, much less women of color, in those fields or because they know it will be a difficult environment for us. My first job after college as a software engineer was very difficult in terms of environment and my family told me I should come home and do something else. I didn’t. While I was treated like I was not welcome I knew I belonged. My understanding and love of technology was too strong to be dissuaded. For any woman of color that may be struggling with the same thing or apprehensive about the potential for difficulty, it’s important to see that many of us have made it through.
Are there institutions, groups or organizations you would like to give a shoutout to?
National Society of Black Engineers – They have been an instrumental support system for me.
Thank you for the work you do, Kenya, and for being brave by pursuing your #STEM goals no matter what. We’re honored to have you in our #VanguardSTEM squad!
*All images are courtesy of Kenya Allmond
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