5th Year PhD Candidate
Human Centered Computing
University of Florida
My major was in Computer Science and I graduated from Hampton University. When I was younger at first I thought I would be an astronaut and then I wanted to be a scientist at NASA.
How was your experience with STEM classes and teachers in middle and high school?
All in all I had a good experience with STEM when I was younger. Even when I struggled in classes, the teachers were always nice.
After grad school, what’s next?
I will go to work in a Department of Defense lab.
What do you do to unwind?
To unwind I listen to music, watch TV and spend time with family and friends.
My Grad School Experience
I chose to go to graduate school for four main reasons. The first reason is because I knew that it would help to qualify me for my dream job. Second, getting a Ph.D. would allow me to explore topics about which I am passionate. Third, education is powerful. Once I have my degree, no one can ever take that from me. The final reason I decided to go to grad school is simply because I love school!
I sometimes become discouraged when I look ahead at my graduation timeline and all that I have to do. I overcome it by remembering all that I have accomplished already.
My family and friends are my biggest cheerleaders. Their support, encouragement and their pride propel me forward.
What do you want to say to up and coming Melanin Genius?
- You can do it. Don’t let imposter syndrome trick you into running away from opportunities and experiences.
- You’re not the only one. There are LOTS of us here. Reach out.
- Reach back. Although it may seem like you have a long way to go yourself, there is someone who wants to be where you are.
What has been the most useful life advice you have received?
As a child my youth pastor used to say, “Pay now, play later.” This basically means that we must do what we have to do so that we can do what we want to do. Back then he was talking about school but it applies to every area of life.
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