Tell us a little about yourself.
This is always one of my favorite questions. While I’m a rigid project manager who has spent years in the Information technology industry working as a configuration management specialist, software engineer, consultant, project manager, business analyst, and in management, I’m a country girl at heart. I was born and raised in the southwestern part of Oklahoma. When not working, I love to travel, read, bake, spend time with my family and friends, and work my plethora of hobbies. My most recent hobby is laying ceramic tile floors.
Describe your STEM experience.
Currently, I work for Chesapeake Energy as a Security Specialist. I’ve been in the Information Technology field over 18 years. I graduated from Cameron University where I received a B.S. in Computer Information Systems in 1998. Later I received, a Master of Science in Computer Systems & Software Design in 2008 from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama. My career began in Lawton, Oklahoma as a Configuration Management Specialist. Later, moving to Ohio to join Lockheed Martin as an Embedded Software Engineer. I have spent over 14 years in Ohio and Alabama in IT and Project Management (received PMP in 2009). My career has spanned across Education, Department of Defense and Entrepreneurship fields. As a technologist, most of my career has been spent working in a male dominated field. It’s great to know OKWIT is shining a spotlight on women who chose STEM careers. Hopefully, the increased spotlight will spawn a growth in the number of women choosing STEM careers going forward.
What led you to a STEM career?
From the age of 12, I knew that I wanted to be involved in working with computers. At that time, my elementary school had one computer that was located in the library and was shared among all the students. I remember, working hard to complete my work early, so I could spend my free time in the library playing on the computer. As a freshman in college, I remember my mother suggesting I become a teacher or a nurse. During her generation, most women who went to college studied either education or nursing. My young love for computers and problem solving lead me to easily choose a career in the technology field.
Why did you join OKWIT?
To surround myself with like-minded women.
What book are you reading right now?
Disciplines of Execution by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling
Favorite TV Show? Movie?
“Walking Dead” – TV Show
“Star Wars – The Empire Strikes Back” – Favorite Movie
What is your favorite App?
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I’m a military brat with Alabama roots, who grew up in a small Oklahoma town with a high school graduating class of 20.
If you could have dinner with any 3 people, dead or alive, who would you choose?
Oprah Winfrey, Abraham Lincoln, Michelle Obama
If you could change one thing in today’s society, what would it be?
While I believe in the American dream (hard work and perseverance), I also understand that not everyone has the same opportunities for success. I would love to see a revamp of our American educational system that gives every child the opportunity to have access to quality education that is not based on economic status. Education is power and is key to a strong American society