[Season 3]

Miss Me with the Ms. Part 2 – Episode 050

The conversation continues with Tiffanie R. Smith, Ph.D. as we celebrate reaching 50 episodes! Listen as Dr. Smith shares how she was successful in combining her love of dance with STEM along with why how her students address her is important.

Miss Me with the Ms. Part 1 – Episode 049

We are joined by Dr. Tiffanie R. Smith, a self-professed over-achiever, who recounts her journey to PhD from making the “best decision ever made” in her entire life to being shunned by her lab mates.Her path to current success included many twists and turns. Dr. Smith excels at following her gut instincts while remaining focused on her goals.

The Intersection of Psychology and Technology – Episode 048

Unlike most people, Dr. Courtney D. Cogburn knew early on that she was interested in a career in Psychology and later, Social Work. Listen as she shares how these two disciplines contribute to her current work in studying racial inequities. Learn how she is utilizing technology to reveal how racial bias impacts all aspects of our lives.

A Pivot For the Culture – Episode 047

Meet friend of the podcast, Bethlehem Mesfin, a graduate student pursuing a Master of Science in Computer Science. Learn about her shift into tech and how a need for community led to co-founding Code 4 the Culture.

Young, Gifted, and Black-ademic III – Episode 046

This episode is part of a series dedicated to giving the Modern Figures Podcast listeners the inside scoop of a career in academia directly from our hosts, Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen. From mapping out a career path and investing in yourself to navigating tenure politics, this series will cover it all.

In Part 3, we are breaking down an important aspect of academic life: the dissertation. Listen as our esteemed hosts share what it is and its importance on the path to PhD. Get ready to learn firsthand knowledge on the steps to successfully create your dissertation.

A Data Scientist For Humanity – Episode 045

Dr. Brandeis Marshall was able to combine her two loves: math and dance. What began as rolling coins for her mom led to a career in computing which placed her on the front end of “this internet thing”. Get ready for a multitude of funny and surprising stories outlining her journey to leadership. You can continue learning from Dr. Marshall by subscribing to her Rebel Tech newsletter or following her on Medium.

Mechanical Engineers Compute Too – Episode 044

At the suggestion of her middle school teacher, Dr. Makita R. Phillips began her journey of pursuing a career in mechanical engineering. She prides herself on living on faith and has had a multitude of experiences leading her around the country. Listen to this heart-warming conversation about showing up, living with intention and putting yourself first.

From Peace Corps To PhD – Episode 043

At the age of 14, Ihudiya Finda Williams knew 2 things: she loved to code and she wanted to be in the Peace Corps. On this episode, listen in as she shares lessons learned that led from corporate internships to Africa to Harvard.

Young, Gifted, and Black-ademic II – Episode 042

This episode is part of a series dedicated to giving the Modern Figures Podcast listeners the inside scoop of a career in academia directly from our hosts, Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen. From mapping out a career path and investing in yourself to navigating tenure politics, this series will cover it all.
Part two covers from making the decision and picking the right graduate school (for you) to identifying funding support to pay for it all. Additionally, listen as our hosts share pivotal lessons learned along their respective journeys that can help make your path smoother.

The Chic Geek – Episode 041

Dr. France Jackson shares her journey from being the “smart girl” in elementary school to a PhD student working within the intersection of fashion and design-centered culture. She shares why authenticity can be a competitive advantage and how curating experiences has become a lucrative career.

NoireSTEMinist – Episode 040

Dr. Carlotta Berry joins us to talk about the importance of community, utilizing available resources and reaching back as we climb the proverbial ladder. Passionate about recruitment and retention in the electrical and computer engineering fields, Dr. Berry has committed herself to being an advisor and advocate. Pull up a seat for a lesson in determination and faith.

Young, Gifted, and Black-ademic Part 1 – Episode 039

This episode is part of a series dedicated to giving the Modern Figures Podcast listeners the inside scoop of a career in academia directly from our hosts, Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen. From mapping out a career path and investing in yourself to navigating tenure politics, this series will cover it all. Consider this your window into the inspiring, and sometimes a bit messy, life of academia.

Big Brain Energy – Episode 038

One of our loyal listeners, Sayde King, joins us to share how the Modern Figures podcast changed her life. Sayde shares her career journey from being the IT person in high school to being a Phd student in Computer Science and Engineering. Learn how she navigates the challenges of grad school and how she became the definition of why the Modern Figures podcast exists.

BlackComputeHER: Chicken Soup for the Soul – Episode 037

Dr. Jamika Burge joins us for her second appearance on the Modern Figures Podcast. She talks about the origin of the BlackComputeHER conference and how it focuses on the intersection of identity while providing space for community. What began as a conference now includes a Fellows program, and the citeHER publication program. Dr. Burge shares how her organization became a thought leader in changing the conversation on Black women in tech.

Not Your Average Computer Scientist (part 2) – Episode 036

In part two of this two-part episode, we hear what Christina has been up to in the AIforK12 space.

Not Your Average Computer Scientist – Episode 035

In part one of this two-part episode, we hear the origin story of someone who was not your average computer scientist growing up. Dr. Christina Gardner-McCune was not “sitting around building servers” in her free time. Instead, she participated in student government cheerleading and developed a passion for education-based interventions. Although she had a couple of setbacks and restarts in her educational journey with her mother’s encouragement and a desire to blend her creativity with computer science, Dr. Gardner McCune was able to lay the foundations for her career successfully.

Corrections:

Dr. Gardner McCune was an AP CS Principles Development committee member, not the leader of the committee as stated in the episode.
Dr. Gardner McCune’s Middle School Vice Principal’s name was Mr. Salters.

All the Resources – Episode 034

In this episode, Portia and Katherine delve into how they work with Karat to identify the factors that are keeping capable Black people out of tech jobs. They have launched the Brilliant Black Minds program to address these gaps and help Black people and a full-time job in tech. If you haven’t heard, Karat is the go-to company when it comes to finding and interviewing software engineering talent that goes to big tech companies. In fact, they have committed to offering $1 million dollars of free support to get Black people into tech, The episode is full of practical tips for entering the tech workforce as a person of color. If you’re thinking of changing careers and/or making your break into tech, this is the episode you shouldn’t miss.
#Karat #HowardUniversity #ImpactAnalytics #BrilliantBlackMinds #RiseLab #DEI
#equalPay #impostorSyndrome #StereotypeThreat

Securing the Technical Bag – Episode 033

In this episode, Portia and Katherine delve into how they work with Karat to identify the factors that are keeping capable Black people out of tech jobs. They have launched the Brilliant Black Minds program to address these gaps and help Black people and a full-time job in tech. If you haven’t heard, Karat is the go-to company when it comes to finding and interviewing software engineering talent that goes to big tech companies. In fact, they have committed to offering $1 million dollars of free support to get Black people into tech, The episode is full of practical tips for entering the tech workforce as a person of color. If you’re thinking of changing careers and/or making your break into tech, this is the episode you shouldn’t miss.
#Karat #HowardUniversity #ImpactAnalytics #BrilliantBlackMinds #RiseLab #DEI
#equalPay #impostorSyndrome #StereotypeThreat

Cultivating Tech – Episode 032

Modest in nature, Dr. Nashlie Sephus is a tech giant. A native of Jackson Mississippi, she grew up doing it ALL. She has worked with everyone, she knows everyone, she probably has your number.

Like a Kid in a Computing Store – Episode 031

Being the first Black woman to earn a PhD in Computer Science at Purdue University is only one part of Amber’s story. Amber has always been curious and interested in gadgets (and their destruction at times) which led to her interest in computer science. Despite being discouraged from pursuing the PhD by her initial advisor, Amber never forgot her purpose and persevered to the end. True to form, her passion for giving back is evidenced by her drive to build visualization tools for electronic healthcare records to make predictions that inform treatment guidelines. Currently, Amber is giving back to her community in Jackson Mississippi, as the COO and co-founder of the JXN Tech District, a $150M live-work-play, mixed-use real estate development project in Jackson, MS.

Big STEM Energy – Episode 030

Dr. Karina Liles is nothing short of amazing. She has been using technology to solve problems from a young age. From teaching colors to her sister at a young age, to being the on-call tech guru for her family and friends, creating clever scripts to get her job done faster, and making video games for her brother, Karina has always been an advocate of using technology to engage others. Currently, as the Chair of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department Claflin University, an educational consultant, and the creator of the STEM Truck SC, Karina ensures that the next generation of computer scientists are just as excited about computing as she is.

Applying Pressure – Episode 029

Season 3 (2)

Episode 29 – Applying Pressure

Hosts: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen

Guests: Erik Russell and Dr. Burçin Tamer

Description: If you’ve watched Disney’s newest hit movie Encanto, you can relate to this episode. We all feel like Luisa at times, but instead of crumbling under the weight of the pressure to address inequities in computing, the Computing Research Association is applying pressure through data-driven, evidenced based initiatives to promote broadening participation. This is Data that’ll tip, tip, tip, the scales towards inclusion.

Erik’s Bio: As Director of Programs at the Computing Research Association (CRA), Erik provides operational leadership, program management, and relationship building for the organization. Working closely with the CRA Committee on Widening Participation (CRA-WP), Erik drives CRA’s talent development initiatives with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Through careful engagement, recruitment, cultivation, and support of talent, he aims to amplify efforts to promote advanced computing research. Before joining CRA, Erik worked to advance computer science education through his service as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow within the Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering at the National Science Foundation. Erik has been actively working to engage and retain students from groups historically underserved in computer science research.

Burçin’s Bio: Dr. Burcin Tamer is the Director of Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP) at the Computing Research Association (CRA). Dr. Tamer leads a number of projects that collect data, conduct research and evaluation, and engage with the computing community to support the community’s efforts to broaden participation in computing. These projects include BPCnet.org, which is an NSF-funded project that provides resources and services to the community to successfully develop and implement impactful BPC Plans.

Wandavision – Episode 028

Episode-28-for-web

Episode 28 – Wandavision

Hosts: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen

Guest: Dr. Wanda Eugene

Description: Dr. Wanda Eugene, an actor turned engineer, has ALL of the degrees. She found her home and community in engineering through an unlikely path. Hear about how she uses her expertise in computer science, industrial engineering, instructional technology, entrepreneurship, and African-American studies to make her impact on the world.

Bio: Wanda Eugene, Ph.D. is constantly seeking out new ways to leverage technology to engage underserved communities. As a principal at DEEP Designs LLC, she specializes in cultivating technology with vulnerable populations and integrates the strategic direction of the organization. As the Executive Director of Computing and Society Engagement (CASE), she has launched Entrepreneur Diversity in Information Technology (EDIT), a free incubator program that works with underserved minorities to launch tech-based businesses with the support of entrepreneurs like Jimmy John Shark. In parallel with this work, she serves as a Research Assistant Scientist in the University of Florida Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, Computer & Information Science & Engineering Department, where she explores how cultural, social, and personal surroundings affect the appropriation of computational artifacts and ideas of how they can serve as a resource for the design of new technologies.

Dr. Eugene holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science, a Master’s in Industrial Engineering and a Master’s in Interdisciplinary Studies specializing in Instructional Technology and African American Studies and a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering.

Guess Who’s Back, Back Again – Episode 027

Season 3

Episode 27 – Guess Who’s Back, Back Again

Hosts: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen

Description: We are back (again). We have a *BIG* update (listen until the end). In this episode, we reflect a bit on the progress of the podcast so far. Listen to hear what we have been up to since the panini press began, podcast updates, job updates, life updates, and  everything in between.