Dr. Katherine Jordan
Duke University Hospital
PhD Industrial and Systems Engineering. North Carolina A&T State University
I am currently a Management Engineer at Duke University Hospital. When I was younger, I wanted to be a lawyer or a broadcaster. My role models were Miriam Thomas from WTVD News and Claire Huxtable. Engineers weren’t in my vocabulary yet. I earned a Bachelors degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University which ultimately matriculated into my Doctorate degree in Industrial Engineering with a concentration in Human Factors.
How was your experience with STEM classes and teachers in middle and high school?
I enjoyed STEM classes in middle school. I enjoyed the hands-on approach our teachers provided that allowed me to see science in “normal” everyday things. In high school I began to really enjoy mathematics because the classroom got a lot smaller and I felt proud that I was able to do something challenging. Those experiences set the tone for me to become an engineer.
What’s next in your career path?
I plan to get more certifications in project management to refine this skill. I also plan to launch a workshop series in my hometown to teach young girls about coding and the basics of data science.
What do you do to unwind?
Exercise is my favorite stress reliever but I’m also guilty of watching mindless TV shows. I won’t mention the names of these shows but they usually begin with, “The Real Housewives of. . .”
What has been the most useful life advice you have received?
If you’re the smartest person in the room, find a new room.
What do you want to say to up and coming Melanin Genius?
Always take time for you. Taking time off isn’t a sign of weakness. You’re going to do some remarkable things in this world. Even Bentleys need tune-ups.