Dr. LaVonda Brown

Assistant Professor,
Electrical and Computer Engineering,
Louisiana State University.

About Me

I am currently an Assistant Professor at Louisiana State University in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. I thought I would be a comedian or a medical doctor when I was younger. I earned a Bachelors degree in Electronics Engineering from Norfolk State University and went on to bag a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.

How was your experience with STEM classes and teachers in middle and high school?

I always enjoyed my math and applied science classes in grade school. There were a few teachers in middle school that recognized my strength and pushed me past the bar set for the class. That’s when I realized the breadth of my gift with numbers. I will forever be grateful for those teachers.

What’s next in your career path?

Starting my own business!

What do you do to unwind?

workout in the gym and yoga   

My Career

So what do you do at work everyday?

When I come into work I divide my time between teaching tasks and research tasks. Some days, I prepare lesson plans for my “Healthcare Robotics & Instrumentation” course and visit with students during my office hours. On other days, I order equipment/robots for my lab and interview students to join my lab. Oftentimes it’s a combination of both with a heavy layer of writing grants, proposals and journal articles.

What motivated you to pursue this career path?

I am passionate about increasing the number of minorities in STEM related fields.

What is the coolest part of your job?

I get to play with robots all day. And that is pretty awesome.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The hardest part of my job is balancing my teaching duties with research duties.

Ever felt discouraged blazing this path?

I have felt discouraged on my journey, but I overcame it by spending time with my family. They are the reason I am doing this and they encourage me to keep striving for greatness. I want to be both an academic and professional role model for my younger cousins, nieces and nephews. I know it makes a world of difference to see someone who resembles you accomplish things like getting a bachelor’s degree, going to grad school to receive a master’s degree and Ph.D., receiving awards, scholarships, fellowships, joining a sorority and travelling internationally to share research.

Who are the people that keep you going?

My biggest cheerleaders are my family! They may not completely understand exactly what I do, but they are always there for me when I need a listening ear—or a ticket home 🙂

What has been the most useful life advice you have received?

Trust the journey.

What do you want to say to up and coming Melanin Genius?

Keep pushing!

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