[Season 5]

The Oprah of Tech – Episode 074

In this episode, Linda Calvin, the Chief Impact Officer for Reboot Representation, shares her experiences growing up as the only Black woman in her family, church, and school. She discusses the challenges she faced and how she used her love for writing and creativity to navigate those situations. Linda also talks about her journey in the IT sector, her decision to go back to school as a non-traditional student, and her transition to law school. She emphasizes the importance of continuous learning and the value of understanding coding as a foundation for leadership in the tech industry.

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Ctrl+Alt+Empower – Episode 073

Dr. Robin Brewer, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, shares her journey in computer science and human-computer interaction. She discusses her research experiences, including internships at Facebook and Microsoft Research, where she focused on designing technologies for older adults. Dr. Brewer inspires the next generation of researchers and challenges preconceptions about Black women in computing. Her current work centers around designing technologies for older adults and people with disabilities, including voice and AI technologies. She also emphasizes the importance of getting research outside of academia and into the real world.

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Start Where You Are – Episode 072

Dr. Valamere Mikler, an advocate for equitable spaces in DEI, shares her journey from criminal justice to industrial organizational psychology. She discusses her work with Girls Who Code and her initiative, SheRanTech, which educates and empowers girls and women on internet safety and securing STEM careers. Dr. Mikler also explores the motivations of millennials and Gen Z in the workforce and the importance of technology in advocating for women in tech. Join Dr. Jeremy Waisome and Dr. Kyla McMullen as they elevate the voices of black women in computing.

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Welcome to the Mushroom Queendom – Episode 071

In this episode of Modern Figure’s podcast, Dr. Jeremy Waisome and Dr. Kyla McMullen interview Shana T. Bryant, an executive producer at Oculus Game Publishing. Shana shares her journey in the gaming industry, from her early passion for video games to her diverse roles in companies like EA and Microsoft. She discusses the importance of communication and teamwork in game development and challenges the notion of the “gamer” identity. Shana also delves into the lack of diversity in the industry and the slow progress being made. Join the conversation and be inspired by Shana’s insights and experiences in the world of gaming.

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From Lagos to UX: Dr. Aishat Aloba’s Journey in Computing – Episode 070

In this episode, Dr. Aishat Aloba joins hosts Dr. Jeremy Waisome and Dr. Kyla McMullen to discuss her journey as a Black woman in computing. Dr. Aloba shares her experiences growing up in Lagos, Nigeria, and the misconceptions about Africa. She talks about her initial interest in computer engineering and how she discovered her passion for computer science. Dr. Aloba also highlights the importance of community and the role it played in her transition to studying in the United States. She shares her experiences at the University of Mississippi and the opportunities she had to get involved in research. The episode concludes with Dr. Aloba discussing her decision to pursue a PhD and her current work in user experience research.

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Hey Shaniqua, what’s the weather? – Episode 069

In this episode of Modern Figures, Dr. Gloria Washington shares her inspiring journey in computing, from the struggles she overcame to her passion for uplifting Black women in the field. The podcast delves into Dr. Washington’s experiences in academia, industry, and now as a professor, where she passionately works to elevate the voices and opportunities for those following in her footsteps.
Dr. Washington recounts the profound influence of her mother’s encouragement and how the unexpected challenges she faced, including financial decisions and personal losses, honed her determination to succeed.

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Tech, Law, and Media Magic – Episode 068

In this engaging episode of the Modern Figures podcast, hosts Dr. Jeremy Waisome and Dr. Kyla McMullen welcome the multifaceted Dr. Jasmine McNealy. The conversation takes an inspiring dive into the world of journalism, law, and public interest technology. As a proponent for critical thinking and policy influence, Dr. McNealy shares her unique trajectory and the importance of her work concerning current and emerging tech issues.

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Dr. Angelique Taylor’s Tech Odyssey – Episode 067

In this enlightening episode of the Modern Figures Podcast, co-hosts Dr. Jeremy Waisome and Dr. Kyla McMullen engage in a rich conversation with Dr. Angelique Taylor, a shining example of Black women’s excellence in computing. Dr. Taylor’s inspiring journey, from her early fascination with technologies to spearheading research in AI and healthcare robotics, offers listeners profound insights into the world of cutting-edge technological innovation.
Dr. Taylor shares her path from community college to a thriving career in academia, providing an intimate look at her personal and professional growth. Her narrative is filled with pivotal moments, from the stark transition to predominantly white institutions to the cultural adaptations required while ascending her academic career. The episode encapsulates Dr. Taylor’s tenacity, highlighting her pursuit of impactful research and the significance of building strong communities, particularly amongst Black women in computing.

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“Go Tell that Man You want to go to Grad school” – Episode 066

In this episode, Dr. Jessica N. Jones shares her experience of starting the “CodeIT Day” program at Clemson University, which aimed to introduce middle school students to computer science. She discusses the importance of representation in the field and the impact of culturally relevant pedagogy. The conversation also touches on the transition to the University of Florida and the shift in lab dynamics. Plus, there’s a hilarious discussion about “Wizgate” with a surprise guest from a previous Modern Figures episode. Join in as they reminisce about their time in the lab and the unique culture they created.

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Season 5 Opener – Episode 065

Get ready ‘cause we’re kicking off Season 5 with 2 very special guests – hosts of the Modern Figures podcast – Dr. Jeremy Waisome and Dr. Kyla McMullen! Listen as they spill the beans on their quest to conquer the world of research – and they’re tackling it with a consortium focused on Black women and girls in computing. They even dish about wrestling with AI language models like Chat GPT and the wild world of ethical considerations. They’re tackling the resignation of Harvard’s prez, Dr. Claudine Gay, and the unique hurdles faced by Black academic leaders. Join the conversation on the work we’re doing and what we have next in the pipeline!

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