STEM at Work

EMPOWERING STUDENTS FOR STEM CAREERS

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STEM @ Work Video Series

STEM at Work: Ms. Susan Daniel

Senior Manager of Cell and Gene Therapeutics, Johnson & Johnson

To learn more about Ms.Susan Daniel visit her career spotlight below

STEM at Work: Ms. Mya Timmons

Freelance Illustrator
 

To learn more about Ms. Mya Timmons visit her career spotlight below

STEM at Work: Dr. Kojo Mensa-Wilmot

Professor of Biology, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the College of Science and Mathematics, Kennesaw State University

To learn more about Dr. Kojo Mensa-Wilmot visit her career spotlight below

STEM at Work: Ms. Kim Cook-Boyd

Delivery Manager, IBM

To learn more about Ms. Kim Cook-Boyd visit her career spotlight below

STEM at Work: Ms. Alicia Brandon

SG (Social Impact) Sales Enablement Leader, Americas, Dell Technologies

To learn more about Ms. Alicia Brandon visit her career spotlight below

STEM at Work: Ms. Amanda Beaton

U.S. Program Manager, Siemens Cooperates with Education (SCE)

To learn more about Ms. Amanda Beaton visit her career spotlight below

STEM at Work: Ms. Monica Harris

Visitor Services Manager, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

To learn more about Ms. Monica Harris visit her career spotlight below

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STEM CAREER SPOTLIGHTS

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Mrs. Kathleen Atkins

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company

State GYSTC Board Chair

Hello, my name is Kathleen Atkins and I am an Aerospace Engineer!

GYSTC's current State Board Chair, Mrs. Kathleen Atkins, graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Cincinnati and Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. She began her career as an engineer in a modeling and simulation group for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. The simulation group coded the aircraft characteristics and basically played war games with computer models! Now, as a program manager on the C-130 program, she is responsible for ensuring that Lockheed meets all the objectives of their contracts with their customer as well as their company financial goals. She oversees all aspects from negotiating multi-million dollar contracts to building and delivering aircraft to ensuring that they provide the products and services that their customers need to operate their aircraft. Her career has provided the opportunity to travel around the world! She is currently working on programs with the French Air Force, supporting a major upgrade to their legacy C-130H aircraft and managing production of the new C-130J aircraft expanding their Hercules fleet to meet their current operational needs.

Attached is a lesson you can share with your students so that they can be an aerospace engineer just like Mrs. Atkins!

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Ms. Amanda Beaton

Siemens Cooperates with Education

State GYSTC Board Member

To learn more about Ms. Amanda Beaton and Siemens visit the link below

Hello, my name is Amanda Beaton, and I am a U.S. Program Manager for Siemens Cooperates with Education!

State GYSTC Board Member, Ms. Amanda Beaton has been with Siemens since 2003. As the U.S. Program Manager for Siemens Cooperates with Education (SCE), she is responsible for connecting education to industry by bringing Siemens Factory Automation technologies into schools. In previous roles, she also created an apprentice program for field service technicians and managed a leadership development program for Siemens engineers and employees. Amanda started her career with Siemens in the Operations Leadership Development program and worked in manufacturing in Mexico and the U.S. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Industrial and Systems Engineering from Georgia Tech and an MBA from Georgia State University. Amanda sits on several industry advisory boards at colleges and universities across the US. She is also a frequent STEM volunteer and spectator at her two daughter’s soccer and tennis matches.

We are excited to share the Be a Robotics Engineer lesson with your students so that they can explore working in the engineering field just like Ms. Beaton!

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Ms. Alicia Brandon

Dell Technologies

State GYSTC Board Member

Hello, my name is Alicia Brandon and I am an ESG Sales Enablement Leader for the Americas at Dell Technologies!

State GYSTC Board Member, Ms. Alicia Brandon is an ESG Sales Enablement Leader for the Americas at Dell Technologies. In her current role, Ms. Brandon enables people in marketing and sales with the ability to tell Dell’s social impact story for bigger impact in their deals. Prior to joining Dell, Ms. Brandon worked at IBM for 13.5 years and held various roles in Corporate Social Responsibility/social impact, marketing and sales. She was integral in bringing the very first IBM owned P-TECH program to the state of Georgia in 2021. P–TECH is a public-education model that provides high school students from underserved backgrounds with the academic, technical, and professional skills and credentials they need for competitive STEM jobs.

Ms. Brandon has a strong passion for social justice, women’s rights, equity in education, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and diversity and inclusion. She has organized conversations and participated in panels to discuss these topics. As well as serving on GYSTC's State Board of Directors, Ms. Brandon serves on the Board of Visitors for Emory University, and is a Founding Board Member of ACE Academy. She is a current co-lead of the Community Initiatives committee for the Black Network Alliance Atlanta Chapter of Dell Technologies Employees.

Ms. Brandon also believes in "paying it forward" and mentors and coaches young girls who aspire to work in STEM careers. She is also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and a graduate of Tuskegee University where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Sales and Marketing. She is the mom of a rambunctious female Yorkshire Terrier named Parker. Ms. Brandon is a budding entrepreneur who launched a pet apparel brand called HBCU Pets on Juneteenth 2022.

We are excited to share the Binary Coding Bracelets lesson with your students so that they can explore working in the computer science industry like Ms. Brandon!

Kim Cook Boyd

Ms. Kim Cook-Boyd

IBM

State GYSTC Board Member

Hello, my name is Kim Cook-Boyd and I am the Global Practice Manager for AIOps (Artificial Intelligence for IT operations) at IBM

State GYSTC Board Member, Ms. Kim Cook-Boyd describes herself as “truly a ‘Girl Geek’, an engineer, and a computer scientist who is passionate about technology, science, tech gadgets, artificial intelligence, gaming, and her community. In the early 80s, she was part of the first data processing “coding” graduating class at Norman Thomas High School in New York City. After attending New York Institute of Technology, she was the first women from her campus to receive a bachelor’s degree in electrical/mechanical engineering. Ms. Cook-Boyd’s passion and education in STEM led her to a career opportunity within IBM. Her first job was an IBM Customer Engineer. She was the first woman hired in this dept to fix large system computers in New York City which later positioned her to gain a new job opportunity within IBM in Atlanta in the early 1990s. Today, she is the Global Practice Delivery Manager for Artificial Intelligence and Business Automation for IT operations at IBM. She has 30+ years of IT experience. Kim is actively involved in the community and schools promoting STEM/STEAM by coaching, advising and engaging k-12 students on how technology is exciting and help build confidence in students’ problem-solving skills through STEM workshops/hands-on activities. Kim participated in the IBM Corporate Service Corp program, helping students and the Social Institute with upgrading their computer systems in Nagpur, India. Currently, Kim serves on the board as the VP of Outreach for Society of Women Engineers (SWE), SWE collegiate advisor for Spelman college, a member of the Principal Council at a local elementary school in Cobb County and is the committee lead for the IBM Employee Engagement and Business Resource Groups (diversity groups).

We are excited to share the Be a Computer Scientist lesson with your students so that they can explore working in the computer science field just like Ms. Cook-Boyd!

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Mr. Keith Crandell

Georgia Department of Education

State GYSTC Board Member

Hello, my name is Keith Crandell and I am the Science Program Manager at the Georgia Department of Education!

State GYSTC Board Member, Mr. Keith Crandell, is the Georgia Department of Education Science Program Manager and governs public education in Georgia, supporting school districts to serve the whole child. Keith is affiliated with Georgia Science Supervisors Association, Georgia Science Teachers Association, and the Council of State Science Supervisors. He is a Georgia Certified Educator in multiple areas. Keith’s interest is to support GYSTC with science education around the state and to establish opportunities for collaboration with the Georgia Department of Education.

Mr. Crandall studied chemistry at the University of Georgia, and there, gained a passion for science education. As a classroom teacher, Mr. Crandall’s goal was for students to recognize and appreciate the chemistry that is all around them. His work was recognized by the American Chemical Society by receiving the Chemistry Teacher of the Year for the Northeast Georgia Chapter. With exciting projects, labs, and challenging problems, Mr. Crandall’s classroom was a place where chemistry came alive!

We are excited to share the Candy Corn Chemistry lesson with your students so that they can explore working in the science field just like Mr. Crandell!

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Ms. Susan Daniel

Johnson & Johnson

Oconee River GYSTC Board Chair

Hello, my name is Susan Daniel, and I am a Senior Manager of Cell and Gene Therapeutics for Johnson & Johnson!

Oconee River GYSTC Board Chair, Susan Daniel, MBA, MA is the Senior Manager of Cell and Gene Therapeutics with Johnson & Johnson and has over 25 years of industry experience in innovative medicines and medical technology. Susan serves in the Microbiological Quality and Sterility Assurance division and specializes in designing and deploying comprehensive microbial control and monitoring programs. She is someone who helps teams of scientists manufacture cancer treatments for individuals suffering from relapsed cancer. She assists the teams of scientists and ensure they are not contaminated with microorganisms (such as bacteria, yeast, or mold) that could be harmful to the cancer patients going through this treatment. Susan earned her BS in Cellular Biology and MBA from the University of Georgia and her MA in Biotechnology from Harvard University. She is a dedicated industry and community volunteer, who sparks interest in science among children of all ages.

We are excited to share the Be a Microbiologist lesson with your students so that they can explore working in the biology field just like Ms. Daniel!

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Ms. Monica Harris

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Friend of Magnolia Midlands GYSTC

To learn more about the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, visit the link below

Hello, my name is Monica Harris, and I am the Visitor Services Manager at the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service!

Friend of Magnolia Midlands GYSTC, Ms. Monica Harris has a strong love for the outdoors and enjoys helping others have a memorable outdoor experience. As a mom of two girls, she treasurers the time she spends as a Girl Scout Leader, empowering girls to be all they want to be, as they grow and learn about the world around them. Monica, a graduate of NC State University in Fisheries and Wildlife Science, works for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as the Visitor Services Manager for the Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex. During her 31-year career as a federal government employee, she has held many positions in various locations around the country. Monica started her career as a Wildlife Biologist for the Bureau of Land Management in Oregon and then transferred to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, where she has served as a Private Lands Biologist, Refuge Manager, and Regional Planner, before settling into her current position of 13 years. Her outdoor experiences growing up on a 4th generation family farm in North Carolina set the stage for the nature lover to enjoy traveling, photography, camping, and Dutch oven cooking.

We are excited to share the Be a Ecologist lesson with your students so that they can explore working in the biology field just like Ms. Harris!

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Dr. Kojo Mensa-Wilmot

Kennesaw State University

Friend of GYSTC

To learn more about Dr. Kojo Mensa-Wilmot visit his faculty webpage below

Hello, my name is Kojo Mensa-Wilmot, and I am a Professor of Biology in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the College of Science and Mathematics at Kennesaw State University!

Friend of GYSTC, Dr. Kojo Mensa-Wilmot is an accomplished educator and nationally renowned scholar who is currently a Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Kennesaw State University (KSU). Previously, he served as Chairperson of the Department of Cellular Biology at the University of Georgia and Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at KSU. Dr. Mensa-Wilmot received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Ghana and his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Johns Hopkins University's School of Public Health. He is a prolific and well-published researcher and was named a fellow at the African Academy of Sciences in 2017.

Dr. Mensa-Wilmot and his team of researchers earned a $2.6 million award from the National Institutes of Health to study Human African Trypanosomiasis, a disease found in sub-Saharan Africa and transmitted by tsetse flies.

Dr. Mensa-Wilmot is a world-renowned expert on the microorganism Trypanosoma brucei, the single-celled organism that causes the disease called “sleeping sickness”. Dr. Mensa-Wilmot and his team are developing small molecules to be used as drugs for “sleeping sickness”. They are testing new drugs in mice, and will eventually work with human beings. They trying to understand how the drugs work so that they can design better a one.

We are excited to share the Be a Biologist lesson with your students so that they can explore working in the biology field just like Dr. Mensa-Wilmot!

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Mr. Victor Rundquist

Southwire

West GYSTC Board Chair

Hello, my name is Victor Rundquist and I am a Senior Development Engineer with Southwire!

West GYSTC Board Chair, Mr. Victor Rundquist started his studies at DeAnza College in Cupertino, CA a mere 1 mile from Apple’s headquarters. While there he spent 3 years at NASA Ames. As an intern at NASA, he spent time working on the very first WIFI networks and even spent a summer in the Artic studying mobile computer networks. After taking the opportunity to work for NASA, he transferred to Auburn University where he received a bachelor’s degree in Wireless Engineering and a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering. During graduate school he restructured a radio lab where he taught undergraduate students to build their own working AM/FM radios. They even had their own small scale FM radio station for testing.

Through his exposure at NASA and Auburn University one of the things Mr. Rundquist learned very well was the ability to learn. His job at Southwire has him delving into the areas of material science, metallurgical science and even some biology (even though his formal training is in electrical engineering). He is responsible for the research and product development of Southwire products on the metallic side of the business. His job has him becoming an expert in all the areas of our copper, aluminum, steel, and even lead materials. Having the ability and drive to always learn new things keeps Mr. Rundquist on top of his tasks every day. He spends time Southwire’s plants helping with day-to-day issues and implementation of new products and manufacturing processes. As an R&D engineer he even gets the opportunity to invent new things. He currently has 6 patents granted with a few more pending.

We are excited to share the lesson, Be an Electrical Engineer with your students so that they can see what it is like to be an Electrical Engineer just like Mr. Rundquist!

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Dr. Michelle Smith

Georgia Southwestern
State University

Chattahoochee-Flint GYSTC
Board Member

Hello, my name is Dr. Michele Smith and I am the Professor of Chemistry and STEM Coordinator at Georgia Southwestern State University!

Chattahoochee-Flint GYSTC Board Member, Dr. Michele Smith, is the Professor of Chemistry and STEM Coordinator at Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, GA. She received her bachelor’s degree from Wilson College with a major in Chemistry and a minor in Biology. She received her Ph.D. from Auburn University in Inorganic Chemistry.

Dr. Smith is involved with the Georgia Adopt-A-Stream program as a local community coordinator for the Lower Flint River Watershed. The Georgia Adopt-A-Stream program is Georgia’s volunteer water quality monitoring program. She started as a chemical and bacterial monitoring volunteer in 2014 and became a community coordinator in 2016. As a community coordinator, she trains and certifies individuals who are interested in chemical and bacterial monitoring of their local waterways. Chemical monitoring involves determination of water temperature, pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen levels, alkalinity, phosphates, and nitrates. Bacterial monitoring is utilized to determine levels of E. coli in surface waters, since E. coli since high levels may indicated potential pathogens. Since becoming a community coordinator, she has had the privilege of working with K-8 teachers in the Chattahoochee-Flint GYSTC region, Georgia Southwestern students, area residents, members of local homeowner’s associations, local business owners, and staff from the Flint Riverkeeper, Flint RiverQuarium, and Chehaw Park and Zoo.

As the STEM Coordinator for Georgia Southwestern, Dr. Smith has been able to interact with K-8 students in the Chattahoochee-Flint GYSTC area and speak with them on a variety of environmental topics. Her favorite topics are water quality and pollution, ultraviolet light and the ozone layer, and recycling the plastics that we use in our everyday lives. She is always amazed at the knowledge that students possess about the environment and their eagerness to learn even more.

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Ms. Mya Timmons

Freelance Illustrator

Friend of Magnolia Midlands GYSTC

To learn more about this project, check out the following article.

Hello, my name is Mya Timmons, and I am a Freelance Illustrator!

Friend of Magnolia Midlands GYSTC, Mya Timmons is a freelance illustrator with a concentration on the wonderful world of character design. Online she goes by her alias “Beaniehead.arts”. Mya also works as a secretary for her family’s seafood business, ‘Harrisneck Seafood’. In her free-time, if she's not drawing, playing video games, or trying to read one of the many books of her unread book collection, you can find her being dragged down the road by her hyperactive dog named Babs.

Working as a consultant for UGA Sea Grant, she is currently helping to create a plant guide and coloring book that will help connect common names of native plants used by the Gullah Geechee Community to their scientific binomials. The Gullah Geechee Plant Guide Coloring Book was created as part of the The Conserving Ecologically and Culturally Important Plants of Coastal Georgia project – which is under the UGA Sea Grant and led by project leader Dr. Elizabeth King. The purpose of the coloring book is to allow people to learn, while coloring, about some of the plants with culturally important roots within the Gullah Geechee Community through the art of illustration and personification.

We are excited to share the Be a Botanist lesson with your students so that they can explore working in the field of plant study just like Ms. Timmons with her coloring book!

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Dr. Dana Neacsu

Medical Creations
Integrative Medicine

Former State GYSTC
Board Member

Hello, my name is Dr. Dana Neacsu and I am a Medical Doctor!

Former State GYSTC Board Member, Dr. Dana Neacsu is Board Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, affiliated with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She is a recipient of The Joseph Caltabiano Award for Professionalism in Medicine. Early in her career, she was a teaching associate and instructed students from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Later, she was an instructor within the medicine clinical track at the Emory University School of Medicine, teaching physicians’ assistants. She was compelled to learn more about integrative medicine so she applied and was later accepted to the University of Arizona Integrative Medicine Fellowship, one of the oldest and most respected programs of its nature in the country. Currently, Dr. Neacsu is one of few Practitioners in Atlanta who completed the Kalish Institute Advanced Functional Medicine course, which now utilize his treatment protocol for treating various conditions including adrenal fatigue. She opened her own practice in Atlanta, Medical Creations Integrative Medicine, in order to better treat patients’ root medical issues instead of just focusing on their symptoms. She believes that by integrating elements of healing, therapy, wellness, nutrition, stress reduction, and other practices, that patients will start to see real, lasting results and improvements to their health.

We are excited to share this lesson with your students so that they see what it is like to be a Medical Doctor just like Dr. Neacsu!

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