Tell us a little bit about yourself I attended the University of Central Florida, in Orlando, FL (#GoKnights!). I...
4th Year PhD Candidate
University of Florida
When I was younger I definitely wanted to be a musician or singer. Instead, I went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Fort Valley State University and now I’m on my way to earning a Doctorate in Human Centered Computing.
How was your experience with STEM classes and teachers in middle and high school?
Honestly, my experience went from one extreme to another. I was like any other student but I experienced a sudden change in how I thought about my future. I wanted to be better than average. Once I became focused and motivated, I couldn’t be stopped. I participated in a dual enrollment program for college after receiving a scholarship from The Rotary Club of Richmond Hill, Georgia.
After grad school, what’s next?
Would love to work in the industry at a tech company and eventually, start a nonprofit organization.
My Grad School Experience
Why did you choose to go to Grad School?
I chose to go to grad school after my first undergraduate research experience and a summer at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute. Overall, I love research, I like a good challenge and I wanted to excel in an area that has never been discovered.
Do you ever feel discouraged? How do you get around that?
To be totally transparent, yes. I’ve felt discouraged several times on this journey for different reasons and at different moments, including few times when imposter syndrome reared its head. I overcame these moments by persevering, keeping my loved ones close, taking breaks when I needed and depending on Yahweh.
Who are some of your biggest cheerleaders?
My biggest cheerleaders are all the people in my corner! It’s important to keep people around you that want to see you win. My cheerleaders are: my family, friends (back home and lab mates), advisors, mentors and spiritual leaders. There is nothing like the love you get from your city and from those who are enduring the same process! Oh, and shout out to Macon, Georgia and the Human-Experience Research Lab!
What has been the most useful life advice you have received?
- “Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld.” (2 Chronicles 20:20)
- Seek advice! You don’t have to know it all and there is always more to learn.
- It’s not always about what you know but who you know.
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