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Modern Figures Podcast
56 minutes | a year ago
Best Revenge is Your Paper -Episode 026
Episode 26 – Best Revenge is Your Paper Hosts: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen Guest: Pamela Gibbs Website: http://www.pamelasgibbs.com Instagram: @pamelaDisrupts Twitter: @pameladisrupts LinkedIn: Pamela Gibbs Description: From a young age, Pamela Gibbs wanted to know all the things. As an avid reader, her interest in solving the great mysteries of the world and speaking truth to power led her to pursue a career in research (and to spending a lot of time being grounded). It comes at no surprise that she ended up pursuing degrees in several disciplines, giving her a set of broad perspectives and experiences. Today, Pam is pursuing her doctoral degree while working in human factors engineering at Walmart. In this episode, we discuss family, business, banking, diversity, tech, Beyoncé, and more. Join us as she shares what inspires her to continue to learn and grow and how that’s shifted through the years. Bio: Pamela Gibbs has over a decade of finance, sales, business strategy experience along with 5+ years of technical expertise in the field of computer science. Her background is very diverse, she is currently working as a Technology Design Researcher for Walmart, and completing her doctoral studies in Information and Interaction Design at the University of Baltimore. Prior to that she completed dual bachelor of science degrees in International Business and Marketing as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Penn State University. Combining her technical and business knowledge, Pamela looks forward to helping dismantle some of the barriers to access regarding education, technology, and finance that impact underrepresented groups- particularly black women, while continually shattering the glass ceiling. She currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, where she uses her platform to inspire and fuel the current and future generation of women in technology. She is a proud wife, mother, member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated, and lover of all things Beyoncé.
64 minutes | a year ago
Corporate-ish. Identity, Retention: Her Passion, Our Mission.-Episode 025
Episode 25 – Corporate-ish. Identity, Retention: Her Passion, Our Mission. Hosts: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen Guest: Dr. Denae Ford Robinson Website: http://denaeford.me Twitter: @denaefordrobin LinkedIn: Dr. Denae Ford Robinson Description: If you visit Dr. Denae Ford Robinson’s website you’ll learn a lot about her. One of the first things you’ll see is that she’s focused on dismantling barriers in computer science. And so are we! Denae is passionate about understanding how identity plays a role in retaining underrepresented people in tech, with a specific research focus on cognitive and social barriers in socio-technical ecosystems. We talk a lot about this and the strategies she’s seen that make a difference, including mentoring, which is just one of the many ways we seek to broaden participation in computing at iAAMCS and NCWIT.Though she’s taken her talents to industry, Denae maintains one foot in the academy. Listen in and learn how you too can pursue publishable research in a corporate environment (which is a big deal for those of us with doctoral degrees). Bio: Dr. Denae Ford Robinson is a Senior Researcher in the SAINT group at Microsoft Research where her research lies at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction and Software Engineering. Her current research focuses on how empathetic mechanisms can facilitate collaboration for software engineers in online socio-technical ecosystems globally through an extended cultural lens. Dr. Ford Robinson earned her Ph.D. in Computer Science and a graduate minor in Cognitive Science, M.S. in Computer Science, and B.S. in Computer Science from North Carolina State University. As a scholar student athlete, she found the joy in computing and let it run from there, literally. Throughout her Ph.D. academic career, she has interned and collaborated with research laboratories including MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Microsoft Research, Stack Overflow, and Facebook Research. Her dissertation research creates and applies a framework for dismantling barriers to participation titled “Identity-Based Signals and E-Mentorship to Support Engagement in Online Programming Communities”, which cites her impactful collaboration with Stack Overflow on the Mentorship Program. Dr. Ford Robinson firmly believes that her research is for software developers, so to make sure they find value in it and have the opportunity to give feedback, she writes blogs: http://blog.denaeford.me. She also blogs about her time as a PhD student at http://philosideee.com . More information about her research and papers can be found at http://denaeford.me. She has received several fellowships and awards including the National GEM Consortium Fellowship, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Microsoft Research Ph.D. Fellowship, and #blackcomputer Fellowship. She was also recently recognized with the 2019 #blackcomputeHER Rising Star Award. Passionate about pouring into others, she participates in several service opportunities including serving on the Board of Directors for INTech Camp for Girls designed to inspire young Black, Latinx, and Indigenous girls in computing.
62 minutes | a year ago
Working Moms Get The Job Done – Episode 024
Episode 24 – Working Moms Get The Job Done Hosts: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen Guest: Dr. Gloria Opoku-Boateng Instagram: @glowhyia Twitter: @glowhyiaOB LinkedIn: Dr. Gloria Opoku-Boateng Description: Gloria Opoku-Boateng met Kyla at the 2018 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference. And Kyla knew we had to interview her to share her unique story. She started her computing education in Africa while her father was working as a missionary. In high school, she and her siblings fell in love with technology. And as a result, Gloria decided to pursue computer science in college. Since she stayed in Africa to get her degree, While she didn’t have to contend with racism, she did feel isolated as one of the only women in her classes. But she persevered and went on to obtain 2 masters degrees and a PhD! Gloria’s determination (like doing 10 internships in her PhD program) is on display throughout this episode. She leveraged all her experiences which makes for an interesting career trajectory. Fun fact: Gloria is a Mom to a 7 week old and as this episode drops Jeremy’s baby girl is now 7 weeks! Bio: As an African-American, wife, mom, sister, and woman in tech, Gloria is not your typical black woman in computing. She grew up a missionary kid who lived in different parts of the world. She is currently in a research leadership/manager role at Amazon Web Services; leading UX and design research teams for some of the most technical services Amazon provides via cloud. Prior to her current role, she led research around Capital One’s AI/ML Platform and Identity Services. She has also worked with corporate tech giants like Google, IBM, and Northrop Grumman. Her academic tech journey started with her bachelors in computer science; continued with two masters in applied health informatics and Human-Computer Interaction, and a phD that culminates health, UX research, and vulnerable populations. She is passionate about mentoring and giving back to the community. Over the last several years, she has volunteered in so many ways to teach girls how to code, mentor UX researchers, and served in various capacities with local and regional robotics competitions. With her work and passion, Gloria has been awarded several awards and recognition. She hopes to inspire women in tech with her experience and encourage black women to ‘have it all’ through balance and patience. When she is not at work or volunteering, she is spending time with her family; catching up on her favorite TV shows or book.
57 minutes | a year ago
Educating the Tech Workforce – Episode 023
Episode 23 – Educating the Tech Workforce Hosts: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen Guest: Dr. Lauren Thomas Quigley Instagram: @blackGirlSTEMMagic Twitter: @laurendthomas1 LinkedIn: Dr. Lauren Thomas Quigley Description: Here’s a secret: you don’t have to get a degree in computing to have a career in the tech industry. Our next guest has degrees in physics, optical engineering, and engineering education, but none in computing. Today, she works for the oldest technology company in the world! Dr. Lauren Thomas Quigley’s story gives us the perspective that is often shared in engineering classrooms across the country, that completing a degree in engineering teaches you how to solve problems. It’s an algorithm that can be applied in a variety of different domains. Listen in to learn how Lauren’s degrees propelled her towards her career educating the tech workforce. And hear how her mentorship through the National Society of Black Engineers and beyond helped Jeremy accomplish her goals of completing her doctorate in engineering. Bio: Lauren Thomas Quigley, Ph.D. is an Engineering Education researcher who focuses her work on changing STEM education so that anyone can participate in STEM and all people can benefit from technology. In her day to day work, Lauren develops learning experiences to teach people about artificial intelligence and machine learning, one of the most quickly developing and valuable technologies today. She built a university inside of a large tech company and designsAI learning experiences for a wide range of audiences including corporate executives, technical and non-technical people and the broader public. Outside of her daily work, she continues research and teaching along the intersections of STEM education, social justice and womanism frameworks. Dr. Thomas Quigley is a proud alumna of Spelman College and Norfolk State University. She also celebrates being the first Black woman graduate of her Ph.D. program in Engineering Education in 2013. Over the years, Lauren has mentored a host of students through affiliations with the National Society of Black Engineers, past professional positions and her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Her purpose is to change STEM education so that anyone can become an engineer and all people benefit from and get to participate in modern technology.
58 minutes | a year ago
Ask Us Anything – Diversity and Inclusion Edition- Episode 022
Episode 22 – Ask Us Anything – Diversity and Inclusion Edition Hosts: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen Description: In late 2019 we asked our followers on social media what they wanted to know. At the time, it was a chance to encourage participation from attendees at the Grace Hopper Celebration in Orlando in a social media challenge. But after reviewing all of the questions, we realized we should probably dive deeper into our responses. This episode focuses on answering questions related to diversity and inclusion. As Black women, we know what it’s like to exist at the intersection of two underrepresented identities in tech. We leveraged our experiences to share our take on issues relevant to us and the computing field more broadly. Our hope is that one day we’ll see a more representative tech workforce. Until then, we will keep supporting efforts that bring visibility to the need to improve the culture and climate to help broaden participation in computing in a sustainable way. Do our answers resonate with you? Tell us how using #ModFigsPod
51 minutes | a year ago
The “Secret Sauce” – Episode 021
Episode 21 – The “Secret Sauce” Hosts: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen Guest: Dr. Juan Gilbert Website: www.juangilbert.com Twitter: @DrJuanGilbert LinkedIn: Dr. Juan Gilbert Description: Dr. Juan Gilbert is passionate about diversifying computer science and the professoriate. He is a first generation college student whose parents instilled in him the value of education. Juan purposefully chose to be a scholar-athlete but by serendipitously became a computer scientist. His attempts to avoid graduate school obviously didn’t pan out and we are so grateful. Learn more about how he developed his model for recruiting underrepresented students, and in particular, black students and how he translated that into the Institute African-American Mentoring in Computing Sciences. Bio:Dr. Juan E. Gilbert is the Andrew Banks Family Preeminence Endowed Professor and Chair of the Computer & Information Science & Engineering Department at the University of Florida where he leads the Human Experience Research Lab. He is the primary investigator or director of the Institute for African-American Mentoring in Computing Sciences (iAAMCS). Dr. Gilbert is also an ACM Fellow, a Fellow of the American Association of the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, and a Senior Member of the IEEE.
74 minutes | a year ago
Blazing Trails: Catch this Smoke – Episode 020
Purchase the Book Episode 20 – Blazing Trails: Catch this Smoke Hosts: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen Guest: Dr. Nicki Washington Website: www.nickiwashington.com Instagram: @drnickiw Twitter: @dr_nickiw LinkedIn: A. Nicki Washington Description: Dr. Nicki Washington is unapologetically dope. She literally wrote the book. No, seriously! Her book entitled, Unapologetically Dope: Lessons for Black Women and Girls on Surviving and Thriving in the Tech Field, is just one of the many reasons you want to know this Modern Figure. She is a trailblazer, and is working tirelessly on ensuring pathways into tech remain available to the next generation of the black tech workforce. Nicki is also one of our favorite people to follow on social media. Her fiery passion shines through whether she’s speaking on current events or just taking an internet troll to task for challenging her expert opinion. Bio: Dr. Nicki Washington is an associate professor of computer science at Winthrop University and the author of Unapologetically Dope: Lessons for Black Women and Girls on Surviving and Thriving in the Tech. She previously spent nine years at Howard University as the first Black female faculty member in the Department of Computer Science. Her professional experience also includes The Aerospace Corporation and IBM. Recognized as one of Essence Magazine’s “Essence Tech Stars: 15 Black Women Disrupting the Tech Industry,” Dr. Washington has led partnerships with the Howard University Middle School of Math and Science, Google, Exploring Computer Science, and Washington, DC Public Schools to introduce computer science courses and teacher professional development across Washington, DC high schools. She was a lead writer for the K-12 CS Framework (led by Code.org) and South Carolina K-12 Computer Science and Digital Literacy Standards. Her efforts in K-12 CS education have directly impacted approximately 10 million K-12 students and thousands of educators in over 20 states and Washington, DC, and they will continue to impact more nationwide as additional states develop K-12 CS standards. She is a graduate of Johnson C. Smith University (B.S., ‘00) and North Carolina State University (M.S., ’02; Ph.D., ’05), becoming the first Black woman to earn a Ph.D. at the university and 2019 Computer Science Hall of Fame Inductee. She is a native of Durham, NC.
36 minutes | a year ago
Lessons from a 14 Year Old Tech Boss – Episode 019
Episode 19 – Lessons from a 14-year old Tech Boss Hosts: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen Guest: Moria Bowman Zinger Website – Zinger App Description: At 14 years of age, Jeremy and Kyla couldn’t have imagined being the CEO of a tech company. Today’s guest, Moria Bowman, has been working on businesses since she was 10! Growing up in an entrepreneurial family inspires her drive to create and sustain her companies. But she has no plans to involve her other siblings. As a homeschooler, her time is a bit more flexible than other kids her age. This gives Moria time to invest in her company. Zinger, is a ride-share app designed to protect its users from danger. Listen in and more about this young tech boss and what she’s doing to improve safety on the road.
59 minutes | a year ago
Securing the Bag with Digital Swag – Episode 018
Episode 18 – Securing the Bag with Digital Swag Hosts: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen Guest: Jasmine Bowers Guest and Host Shirts are in Our Store Website – www.jasminebowers.com LinkedIn – Jasmine Bowers Instagram – @JasmineDBowers Twitter – @JasmineDBowers Description: Jasmine Bowers is a doctoral candidate researching digital finance privacy and security at the University of Florida. She’s known since 11th grade that she wanted to be Dr. Bowers but navigating how to get there has been an unexpected journey. She’s seen quite a bit of success publishing and presenting her work, and finding ways to incorporate hip-hop titles per her research advisor. Finding ways to better communicate privacy policies is so important, and usable security is what she’s passionate about. Hopefully, through her doctoral research mo(bile) money won’t mean mo(re) problems! We also learn about the ways in which she’s found ways to set goals and manage her expectations. Bio: Jasmine Bowers is a 5th-year computer science Ph.D. candidate at the University of Florida, where she focuses on the privacy and security of digital finance mobile applications under the advisement of Dr. Patrick Traynor. She has published several conference papers, including Regulators, Mount Up! Analysis of Privacy Policies for Mobile Money Services (SOUPS 2017) and Characterizing Security and Privacy Practices in Emerging Digital Credit Applications (WISEC 2019). During her tenure, she has also contributed to several journal publications, including *droid: Assessment and Evaluation of Android Application Analysis Tools ( ACM Computing Surveys 2019) and Mo(bile) Money, Mo(bile) Problems: Analysis of Branchless Banking Applications ( ACM TOPS 2017) . In 2015, Jasmine entered the University of Florida Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) department and the Florida Institute for Cybersecurity (FICS) research lab as a GEM Fellowship scholar. She currently serves as a graduate mentor in the University of Florida Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program. This training program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and designed to support low-income/first-generation and underrepresented undergraduate students in their pursuit of a Ph.D. In the summer of 2018, Jasmine served a law clerk at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington, D.C.based public interest research center that aims to focus public attention on emerging privacy and civil liberties issues. She worked alongside notable attorneys and law students on critical technology and privacy issues. She served as a technical expert during meetings and significantly contributed content for Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, government agency requests for comments, as well as the EPIC website content. Jasmine applied her mobile application analysis skills to contribute technical expertise to an ongoing case. Most recently in the summer of 2019, Jasmine served as a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Office of Technology (OTech) summer intern. Jasmine earned two B.S. degrees in mathematics and computer science from Fort Valley State University (FVSU) and earned an M.S. in computer science from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCAT).Jasmine’s passion is helping others, specifically encouraging students to pursue an education in computer science.
81 minutes | a year ago
Ask Us Anything – Higher Education Edition – Episode 017
Episode 17 – Ask Us Anything – Higher Education Edition Hosts: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen Description: In late 2019, we asked our followers on social media what they wanted to know. At the time, it was a chance to encourage participation from attendees at the Grace Hopper Celebration in Orlando in a social media challenge. But after reviewing all of the questions, we realized we should probably dive deeper into our responses. This episode focuses on answering questions related to higher education. It includes suggestions for students in high school and college. We also talk about the resources we use, organizations to leverage, and advice about research. We dive into what it’s like being Black women in academia, as well as intersectionality and what that means to us. We even had a surprisingly deep question from Jeremy’s brother, @ScooterMagruder. What do you think about our answers? Use #ModFigsPod to respond.
48 minutes | a year ago
Holding Space and Interrogating Privilege – Episode 016
Episode 16 – Holding Space and Interrogating Privilege Hosts: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen Guest: Dr. Colleen Lewis LinkedIn – Dr. Colleen Lewis Twitter – @CSTeachingTips Web – CSTeachingTips.org Description: Dr. Colleen Lewis is our favorite ally for underrepresented populations in computing. Though she is a white female, we felt it was important to bring her on to the podcast to showcase how she has leveraged her privilege to dismantle racist systems and structures to improve the experiences of others. In other words, she’s BEEN at the cookout, and now she’s on our podcast. Her work is at the intersection of computing and education, where she focuses on issues related to gender and diversity. You can often find Dr. Lewis at conferences presenting a workshop to help educators recognize and respond to bias through research-based scenarios, or as we refer to it: “Microaggressions – The Game.” This episode is filled with gems around effective strategies for feeling included if you don’t fit within the normative depiction of a computer scientist. There’s also a sweet segment about her friend named Irene, who introduced her to the world of computing. Our takeaway from this episode: get yourself an Irene! Or better yet, a Colleen. Bio: Hi, I’m Colleen Lewis, and I’m humbled to get to participate in the Modern Figures Podcast! In my conversation with Dr. McMullen and Dr. Waisome, I shared some of my experiences in college that suggested I was “not cut out for CS.” People might not have expected that I’d eventually become the McGregor-Girand Associate Professor of computer science at Harvey Mudd College. Learning takes time, and the bumps in my educational journey were evidence I hadn’t learned the CS concepts yet, but not that I would never learn them. My research seeks to identify effective teaching practices for creating equitable learning spaces where all students have the opportunity to learn. I curate CSTeachingTips.org, a NSF-sponsored project for disseminating effective computer science teaching practices. I’ve worked with Dr. Kyla McMullen to help computer scientists learn to recognize and respond to microaggressions and other biased statements. When a microaggression targets one of our identities, we might choose to ignore it and prioritize self-care. For example, as a White woman, I don’t always have the energy to respond to sexism, but I think it is my responsibility to challenge racism.
48 minutes | a year ago
Big Goals & Big Data – Episode 015
Episode 15 – Big Goals & Big Data Hosts: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen Guest: Dr. Renata Rawlings-Goss LinkedIn – Dr. Renata Rawlings-Goss Twitter – @GossRenata Web – Good With Data Description: Would you say no to the Alvin-Ailey Dance School? Dr. Renata Rawlings-Goss did in the name of science! Though she was enrolled in a competitive performing arts program during high school, a PBS commercial inspired her to pursue an interest in astrophysics. Her undergraduate experiences at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University ultimately catalyzed her desire to pursue graduate school. Though she is a biophysicist by training, Dr. Rawlings-Goss currently serves as the founding Executive Director of the South Big Data Innovation Hub where she helps industry leaders leverage data science to identify solutions at the regional and national level. Learn about how she translated her skills into the discipline of computing through research. Bio: Dr. Renata Rawlings-Goss is a nationally recognized leader in Data Science and the founder of The Data Career Academy, a 5-week intensive for professionals and faculty looking to accelerate their careers with data, manage large scale data projects, grow a data science network, get introduced to thought leaders-including hiring managers, and get live help in creating a personalized strategic data career plan. Dr. Rawlings-Goss is the Executive Director of the South Big Data Innovation Hub, an NSF funded 16 state center connecting industry, academia, and government around data science innovation, as well as the Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Georgia Institute of Technology- Institute for Data Engineering and Science (IDEaS). Formerly, Dr. Rawlings-Goss worked with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, under President Obama’s administration, founding the National Data Science Organizers and co-leading the writing team for the Federal Big Data Strategic Plan. Through her roles, she has served as an executive strategist, career mentor, and policy advisor to Fortune 500 companies, individuals, as well as over 19 federal and state government agencies around data science education, Big Data, Digital Transformation, Public-Private Partnerships, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning, Data Career Success, Professional Development and Data Innovation. Author of “Data Careers, Training, and Hiring” published by SpringerPress, her work has been recognized in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and as one of President Obama’s top 100 Impacts in Science and Technology.
55 minutes | a year ago
Pink & Green Robot Queen – Episode 014
Episode 14 – Pink & Green Robot Queen Hosts: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen Guest: De’Aira Bryant Instagram – @DeeGotRobots Twitter – @DeeGotRobots Web – www.deairabryant.com Description: De’Aira is a graduate student conducting interdisciplinary research focused on helping children through social robotics at Georgia Institute of Technology. Listen in as she discusses what it’s like to be a “high profile graduate student” traveling the world, sharing how we can leverage artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, ethics, and machine learning to improve outcomes for society. Her experiences now are a long way from those she had in her hometown in South Carolina within the “Corridor of Shame.” Her unconventional route into computing is hilarious but shows just how important mentorship and community is for Black women in computing. Bio: De’Aira Bryant is a third-year computer science Ph.D. student in the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research areas span the fields of human-robot interaction, artificial intelligence and cognitive science. As a graduate researcher in the Human-Automation Systems (HumAnS) Lab, her studies explore the possibilities for interactive communication between children and social robots. She is especially passionate about the fair and ethical use of AI for social good and the protection of vulnerable populations. Prior to attending Georgia Tech for her graduate studies, De’Aira graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and a minor in Mathematics. She is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, the National GEM Consortium Fellowship, the SLOAN Minority PhD Fellowship and the Lillie J. James Computer Science award. Hailing from the small town of Estill, South Carolina, De’Aira is also an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She has demonstrated a long history of service work and is particularly involved in a variety of computer science and robotics outreach programs. De’Aira even recently gave a TEDx talk entitled “Paying it Forward with Social Robots.” In the long term, she dreams of pursuing a career in academia to further inspire and promote computer science education for all students.
48 minutes | a year ago
In charge, INTech, and in grad school – Episode 013
Episode 13 – In charge, INTech, and in grad school Hosts: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen Guest: Khalia Braswell Instagram – @digital.diva, @intechcamp Twitter – @KhaliaBraswell Web – https://www.khaliabraswell.com, https://intechcamp.org Description: Imagine taking a leap of faith to start something new when you’re already secure in your perceived dream tech job. Khalia Braswell took the reins of her career to pursue her dream of creating an organization that serves her community and it is thriving. And now, she’s fulfilling a new dream of obtaining a doctoral degree. Learn how she navigated the twists and turns she encountered along the way. Bio: Khalia Braswell is an award winning technologist, whose personal mission is to make a social change using technology. Khalia graduated from Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology in 2008. She went on to study at North Carolina State University, graduating with a BS in Computer Science. In 2016, she also obtained her Masters in Information Technology with a concentration in Human Computer Interaction. Khalia is currently the Founder and Executive Director of INTech Camp for Girls, a non-profit whose mission is to inform and inspire girls to innovate in the technology industry. INTech targets girls in grades 6th – 12th through summer camps and after school programs, which teaches them how to build software solutions, introduces them to women of color in tech, and allows them to explore tech careers at various companies across the Carolina’s. As a speaker and moderator, Khalia has given a TEDx talk highlighting ways to get more Black and Latinx girls in tech. She has also shared stages with notable leaders including John B. King Jr., former US Secretary of Education, and senior executives at Apple among others. She has also presented at Northwestern University, Apple, and the Grace Hopper Celebration of Diversity in Computing. She has been featured in Forbes, The Root, Charlotte Observer, and more. Braswell was previously a user experience engineer at Apple in Cupertino, California where she helped design enterprise applications, which reached all Apple employees. She has been named to the 2016 Charlotte Mecklenburg Black Chamber of Commerce 30 Under 30 list, the 2017 North Carolina State University Computer Science Outstanding Young Alumni list, 2018 NAF Alumni Honoree’s, and the 2018 Root 100 list of the most influential young African Americans. Khalia has also received the 2018 Walker’s Legacy Women of Power award, the 2019 BlackcomputeHER “Lift As We Climb” award, and the Emerald Elegance Award For Technology from the Alpha Lambda Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc . Braswell is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and the National Society of Black Engineers.
54 minutes | a year ago
Squad Goals – Episode 012
Episode 12 – Squad Goals Host: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen Guest: Isa Watson Instagram – @isadwatson Twitter – @isadwatson Web – https://www.isawatson.com Description: Join us as we chat with Isa Watson. She talks about her childhood rooted in curiosity, kindness, and humility, fostered by her parents. Hear about her experience transitioning from the HBCU community to an Ivy League. Though she began as a Chemistry major, Isa skillfully navigated Silicon Valley, and is now the CEO of a Tech Company called “Squad”, which raised nearly $4mm in venture capital funding and has scaled rapidly. She has always been a believer in the importance of community at all stages, and her story will inspire you to do the same. Bio: A Caribbean girl in America, Isa (pronounced EYE-suh) is an Inc 30 under 30 entrepreneur and a classical pianist. She is the Founder and CEO of Squad, a leader in the newly coined “connection economy.” Squad’s app helps millennials + gen-z build their offline + IRL connections in real human ways. A scientist at heart, she loves bringing heavy data and a fresh perspective to fundamental human problems. Isa grew up in Chapel Hill, NC and started her career as a chemist for the metabolic diseases group at Pfizer before pivoting over to the world of business. After getting her MBA, Isa worked as a VP of Strategy and Business Development at JPMorgan Chase before deciding that her real interest was in applying her medley of skills towards problems affecting local communities. She founded Envested in 2015 to merge her various experiences into one awesome company. Some of her prior accolades include the “40 Under 40” Award from the Robert Toigo Foundation and 1st place in the Annual Business Plan Competition at Harvard Business School with Vaxess Technologies. Isa has earned an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an MS in Pharmacology from Cornell, and a BS in Chemistry from Hampton University. She is a very active member of the MIT Sloan Executive Alumni Board.
62 minutes | a year ago
Started from the Java, Now We Here – Episode 011
Episode 11 – Started from the Java, Now We Here Host: Dr. Jeremy Waisome Guest: Dr. Kyla McMullen(@Dr_Kyla (Twitter), @drkylanol (IG)) of Modern Figures Podcast Description: In this episode, Dr. Kyla McMullen takes a seat on the opposite side of the podcast table to become a guest for the day. Dr. McMullen talks about her journey into computing, although she could not have cared less about school as a student. Today, her work in 3D audio is being used to augment interfaces in virtual and augmented reality, as well as gain insights on spatial audio perception. Tune in as Dr. McMullen tells her own unique super-shero origin story. Bio: Description: Dr. Kyla McMullen earned her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where she was also a Meyerhoff Scholar. She earned her Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan (2007-2012). While earning her Ph.D. she was also a faculty member at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. At Wayne State University she taught computer literacy courses to over 2,000 students. Dr. McMullen is the first (and currently the only) woman of color to earn a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan. She is currently a tenure-track faculty member in the University of Florida’s Computer & Information Sciences & Engineering Department. Dr. McMullen has a personal commitment to encouraging women and minorities to pursue careers in computing and other STEM fields. She is the author of “Beautiful, Black, and Brainy” and “Brilliant is the New Black” which showcase hundreds of exceptional young African Americans who excel in STEM fields and don’t fit the typical “scientist” stereotype. Dr. McMullen’s research interests are in the perception, applications, and development of 3D audio technologies. In this line of research, sounds are digitally filtered such that when they are played over headphones, the listener perceives the sound as being emitted from a specific location in their own physical space. Think of it as “surround sound over headphones”. She is using this research to create realistic virtual environments, enhance data sonification, augment assistive technologies for persons with visual impairments, and decrease cognitive load in multimodal systems. She has recently earned the National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award to further support her research in this area. She is also the PI of an NSF S-STEM award to augment the financial load of graduate school for PhD students. Dr. McMullen is also senior personnel for NSF’s Institute for African-American Mentoring in Computing Sciences (iAAMCS) effort to broaden participation in the field of computing. In this role, she has served as the conference chair for the National Society of Blacks in Computing. The conference gathers Black computing student, faculty, and industry professionals for professional development, career progress, networking, and bonding. In addition, Dr. McMullen co-hosts Modern Figures Podcast, elevating the voices of Black women in computing. This podcast is a collaborative effort iAAMCS and The National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT ) to highlight the often neglected stories of Black women in computing.
59 minutes | a year ago
Code[dot].play() – Episode 010 – Video
https://youtu.be/V7lVr9wOnCs Episode 10 – Code[Dot].play(); Hosts: Dr. Kyla McMullen and Dr. Jeremy Waisome Guest: Dr. Raquell Holmes (@raquellholmes) of improvScience and cestemer Description: From biology to biomedical research, and ultimately high performance computing, Dr. Raquell Holmes has had a very “circuitous” journey. In college, she had professors who weren’t able to help foster her interest in mathematics. But one professor gave her the support she needed, by giving her a window into the life of research. It wasn’t until she was working on her graduate school research that she became interested in the world of computing. Today, her work of bringing computing to teachers, schools, and other scientists is done through her nonprofit organization, ImprovScience, where she invites people to play at work through improvisation. Tune in as Dr. Holmes explains many aspects of her identity which were formed in her youth that influences who she is today. Our favorite quote from this episode podcast is related to the importance of finding community. She stated “I get to be Black the way I’m Black,” and we feel that! Bio: Dr. Raquell Holmes, founder of improvscience, provides leadership development to scientific and technical organizations invested in the development of an engaged, diverse and collaborative workforce. Dr. Holmes designs programs that integrate performance and emotional intelligence to advance communication, inclusion, and discovery across scientific disciplines and cultures. Dr. Holmes has unique abilities in fostering communication within scientifically diverse communities. Her expertise and services are invaluable to team building. Dr. Holmes founded improvscience where she uses performance to build community and expand relational and co-creative capacities. She also fosters a positive and creative social environment among professionals. Dr. Holmes is working to change the relationship of science to the world, locally and globally. She is particularly interested in changing the relationship of science and scientists to poor communities and communities of color. Dr. Holmes has the ability to bring people together to create an environment for growth and development. She leads seminars and workshops, develops conferences, designs on-site professional development sessions, and coaches. She uses multiple platforms and locations including: improvscience, Life Performance Coaching, East Side Institute, All Stars UX, and Arizona State University. Dr. Holmes works with individuals and companies who invest in professional growth as a critical component for engagement, leadership and building environments for excellence. Accomplishments: Dr. Holmes is a computational cell biologist who got her Ph.D. from Tufts Biomedical School in Boston. She stayed in the Boston area for her postdoctoral training at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Holmes then joined Boston University where she became a Research Assistant Professor. She authored the book Cell Biologist’s Guide to Modeling and Bioinformatics. She is an East Side Institute Associate in New York and adjunct professor at Arizona State University. Dr. Holmes is the founder and director of improvscience, a consulting company that has worked with over 3000 scientists across the country at Harvard Medical School, University of California Berkeley, UC San Francisco, Department of Energy, Boston University, University of Connecticut Health Center, National Institutes of Health, American Chemical Society and the American Meteorological Society.
48 minutes | a year ago
Making History Every Day – Episode 009 – Video
https://youtu.be/55IdEhtoaXw Episode 9 – Making History Every Day: Privacy, Security, and Authorship Hosts: Dr. Kyla McMullen and Dr. Jeremy Waisome Guest: Dr. Siobahn Day (@drsiobahncday) [http://www.siobahncday.com] Description: With parents in computing, a career in CS was a natural fit for Dr. Day. Math was her favorite subject because she could check her answers. She was developing websites in middle school and by the time she reached HS she knew she wanted to attain a PhD. Dr. Day is the first woman to receive a PhD in Computer Science from NCA&T. In this episode, you’ll learn how faith, determination, and hard work are what she believes led to her success. And she shares the importance of having multiple mentors, which may even include your parents. Bio: Siobahn received her BS in Computer Science from Winston-Salem State University in 2005, her master’s degree in Information Science from North Carolina Central University in 2009, and in 2018 obtained her master’s and doctorate of philosophy degree in Computer Science from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Siobahn is the first female Computer Science Ph.D. graduate from the department. She is a Lecturer for the Department of Computer Science at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an Adjunct Assistant Professor for the Department of Computer Science at North Carolina A&T State University. Prior to this, she served as an Adjunct Instructor at several colleges and universities where she taught an array of courses in Computer Science. She has delivered numerous presentations on a variety of Technology topics at national and regional conferences. Siobahn is also an entrepreneur. She created Dreams Creative Group in April 2015 with one goal in mind – to elevate art. Dreams Creative Group offers unique web and graphic design solutions to individuals and institutions. Siobahn and her team of employees work tirelessly to make their clients’ dreams reality. She is a member of several associations including The Beta Iota Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Junior League of Greensboro, Winston Salem State University National Alumni Association (Life Member), and North Carolina Central University National Alumni Association (Life Member). She also serves as a volunteer for various organizations including Boy Scouts of America, FIRST North Carolina, Girl Scouts of America, and ‘Black Girls Code’, which introduces Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics skills to African American girls.
54 minutes | a year ago
Never Hustle Backwards – Episode 008 – Video
https://youtu.be/iVe7ojlAxLI Episode 8 – Never Hustle Backwards (Part 2) Hosts: Dr. Kyla McMullen and Dr. Jeremy Waisome Guest: Nancy Douyon (@therealnancydouyon) Description: Humanities in technology and culture in research. Users in design and training the teacher. Branding herself for conscious customizing. These are a few of Nancy’s favorite things. In the sequel to her previous episode, Nancy schools us on the importance of inclusive UX (user experience) design and adapting technology to have a conscience. It’s impossible to design for a population that you don’t seek to understand, and she has made this her brand. Bio: Nancy Douyon is a trailblazer in human experience design with over 15 years of industry experience building scalable user research platforms and revitalizing user interfaces at leading companies such as Uber, Google, IBM, Cisco, and Intel. Throughout her career, Nancy has gained a reputation for delivering big results in a culturally honest and purposeful way with hundreds of products deployed in over 80 countries worldwide. She consults globally on remote user research methods and development in emerging markets. Her past research examined design frameworks around the promotion, development, and implementation of global policies around user experiences in tech. Nancy is currently developing the Douyon Signature Labs, Silicon Valley’s first social enterprise research institute focused on bridging the gap between human potential and tech innovations. She is proudly Haitian, has traveled to over 70 countries, and speaks fluent sarcasm. In her spare time, she lectures on user experience methodologies, dances in Carnivals all over the place, and lives her best life as written in her forthcoming book.
55 minutes | a year ago
All Work and All Play – Episode 007 – Video
https://youtu.be/n0RGY87vI_s Episode 7 – All Work and All Play Hosts: Dr. Kyla McMullen and Dr. Jeremy Waisome Guest: Nancy Douyon (@therealnancydouyon) Description: Listen in as Nancy Douyon, The Missy Elliot of Technology, gives insight into how her inquisitive nature opened doors. Nancy attributes much of her success to “hood logic” and not knowing any better. But truth be told, Nancy has a tenacious, never give up attitude that stems back to her Caribbean roots. We loved her “superhero origin story” so much, that this episode is just her intro! Bio: Nancy Douyon is a trailblazer in human experience design with over 15 years of industry experience building scalable user research platforms and revitalizing user interfaces at leading companies such as Uber, Google, IBM, Cisco, and Intel. Throughout her career, Nancy has gained a reputation for delivering big results in a culturally honest and purposeful way with hundreds of products deployed in over 80 countries worldwide. She consults globally on remote user research methods and development in emerging markets. Her past research examined design frameworks around the promotion, development, and implementation of global policies around user experiences in tech. Nancy is currently developing the Douyon Signature Labs, Silicon Valley’s first social enterprise research institute focused on bridging the gap between human potential and tech innovations. She is proudly Haitian, has traveled to over 70 countries, and speaks fluent sarcasm. In her spare time, she lectures on user experience methodologies, dances in Carnivals all over the place, and lives her best life as written in her forthcoming book.
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