Hidden or Nah? – Rocket Scientist Realities

God bless the lovely “Colored Computers” and Hidden Figures author, Margot Lee Shetterly, for bringing to light the significance of diversity in STEM fields.  In addition to the women spotlighted in the book and movie (Katerine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan), there are so many other successful women, and I am proud to be one!

Hidden or Nah? – my group as a Test Engineer

I graduated from the University of Michigan in Aerospace Engineering with a Minor in Mathematics.  Yes, it was difficult, but I knew I could do it because people had done it before me.  I just have a problem solving kind of brain!  I always tell my students that Engineering is simply problem solving, but instead of using guess-and-check we must use math and science to prove we have the best solution!  Since seeing the movie on opening night, I wanted to share my own insight and perspective about what it’s really like to be a Hidden Figure in 2017.

Things that have changed since 1961

  1. No skirts and no pearls! Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a reality so I must wear pants everyday along with my safety glasses and steel toe shoes. (I plan to create a women’s line of steel toes!)
  2. I barely have to touch a door.  My male counterparts will stop in their tracks, reverse and re-open a door for me on the regular.
  3. My coworkers and me strive for not only diversity, but also inclusion in my African-American Employee Resource Group.
  4. Influencing skills are Imperative!  Instead of working behind the scenes, I have to be in the forefront and lead a team to improve Change Management once we arrive to a solution.
  5. My company president knows my name, and I have a private office, Boyee!

Things that haven’t changed since 1961

  1. There are still Amazing bosses that will encourage me to do better than my best!  Although unstated, “Don’t embarrass me” is not just a reflection of my manager, but also a representation of my race and gender.
  2. Restrooms are still less available for women.  My second closest bathroom in my last 2 departments is at least 100 feet farther than the second closest men’s, but it’s always empty!
  3. I have continued to hone my communication style, which is basically to let the guys talk in circles and in one sentence re-direct them to the solution. “Guys, Push the Green button.”
  4. Family and friends have No clue what I do at work, and they just call me a rocket scientist even though I work as a Sr. Quality Engineer on Oil and Gas Turbines.
  5. Strangers are continually shocked at my career as a full-time engineer, full-time MBA student, and ’emotionally full-time’ entrepreneur leading Adorn The World, LLC.

I love being an engineer.  I love being a female engineer.
I love being a black female engineer.
I am not hidden.  I was created to SHINE!

Similar to this Hidden Figures movement, I will continue to encourage underserved and underrepresented minorities to become engineers and entrepreneurs. If you still haven’t seen Hidden Figures (and heard the amazing soundtrack), RUN and go see it!

 

Proud Wolverine

This is what it looks like when a world-class university of nearly 45,000 students chooses to use a picture of the Only Black, Female, Aerospace Engineer to graduate during Winter Commencement in 2008.  Umich, you continue to make me proud! With love, BSE ’09, Rocket Scientist, Math Minor, Hong Kong Study Abroad, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., EnCore Multicultural Hip-Hop dance group, National Society of Black Engineers, and University of Michigan Lifetime Alumni Association Member. #GoBlue

Looking up to my family and friends in the stands

Source: University of Michigan

Celebrating Milestones: Tithing

I have officially passed my 6 month mark of consistently tithing!  Woohoo!  The Lord dared me to test Him in the verse below, so I did.  It works! 

“Test me in this…and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.  I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe.  Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land.” –Malachi 3:10-12

 

Many of us I (not you, of course) tried to pull the opposition approach of:

1. Does my tithe have to be money?  Can’t I just tithe my time or something else?  Okay, honestly many of us aren’t still farmers and raising livestock for a living.  We are instructed to give the “yield of your seed“.  Back then, it was their grain, wine, oil, and livestock.  Now, we earn paychecks!  Basically, the way that you are surviving and living is the yield = money.  Give your tithe with a pure heart and don’t differentiate between good or bad.

2. But, Tithing is only referenced in the Old Testament; I’m covered by the blood.  “All Scriputre is breathed out by God and profitable.”  Either you are a believer, or you aren’t.

3. Where did the “10% thing” come from? Every 10th animal… shall be holy to the Lord.  Kings would take a 10th of people’s things to give to his staff.  Abram gave God a 10th of everything when he was blessed.  Jacob promised God a full 10thof all that is given to him.

4. Do I really have to do the whole 10%?  Is that before or after taxes?  Can I stop giving offering since I’m starting to tithe?  *Nerd alert* The good thing about a percentage is that it affects us all the same.  If you make $10 and have to give up $1, is that any easier that making $1,000 and giving up $100?   Offerings, sacrifices, tithes, contributions, vow offerings, and freewill offerings are DIFFERENT things.  Tithes are already the Lord’s, offerings are what you have chosen to give in addition.

5. The church misuses money.  It’s not up to you to decide if it is misued, they are held accountable.  The church leaders must also tithe the tithes that are given.  Find a new place to tithe where you are learning and being fed the word of God.

6. When God gives me more money, then I’ll start tithing.  You can’t wait for that.  God says that when you tithe more, He will give you more, not the other way around.  **Super Nerd Alert** This is called a Material Conditional.   Check out this post on Tithing and the Material Conditional

 Enough of me trying to prove it’s the right thing, this is MY celebration!!  I chose to obey the word of God and I’m happy that I did!  Final thought from my bff “I’d rather obey God and be sitting with Him in heaven, than to disobey God and find out later that I should have.”

Testimony > Revelation

 

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. 

-Matthew 6:33-34

 At least it's a pretty nice back.

Let me start by saying my LS is one of the beastingest people I know!  Fortunately, I can personally point out characteristics that make many of my LS’s quite THE BEAST.  But this one in particular was my first president in an organization that promotes sisterhood and service and was rebuilding a chapter from the BOTTOM!  She led us all through a time when many of us didn’t even know how to make it successful.  She is an alumna of University of Michigan and THE Georgetown Law and has passed the BAR exam!!   Other than that, she’s caring, hilarious, gorgeous, and pretty fly!

After I read her latest blog post, at first I was hurt that she is all depressed.  Then, I was really excited that I have the opportunity to witness and share my testimony with her.  I was just going to comment back on her facebook wall, but thought it was getting a bit lengthy, so below is my hip and shorthanded candid  response:

Girl, this chapter is the realest talk ever!! My first super testimony was my own experience struggling for a job.  I prayed that His will be done!  Similar to you, I had my own “revelation” moment.  After months, I finally just got content that I was staying at home for a while, and even asked my parents (first time for everything) to get me these dream boots for Christmas!  I used this time as an opportunity for me to get closer to my parents and closer to God.  I had to find out what He wanted me to learn.  Now, 2 years later, I realize that I wouldn’t have the close relationship with my parents that I have now had I not been home for those months.  It finally got to a point where I stopped stressing.  Soon after, I bought a flight that I couldn’t afford, and decided “I’d work it out”.  But, Money got REAL funny.  I thank God that a couple days before the credit card bill was due, I got my job, and they direct deposited my moving stipend in my account!

All of Matthew 6 is on point!  Give to the Needy, Pray the right way and understand The Lord’s Prayer, study up on FASTING, Serve God not money, Don’t worry about tomorrow.  Then, and only then can your testimony be greater than this “revelation” of depression.  God Bless you LS, I’ve already sent a prayer up for ya!

When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears
   and delivers them out of all their troubles.

-Psalms 34:17