Since 1995 Women
of Color Technology Awards Conferences have linked corporate
employers, government and non-profit agencies, and educational
institutions to highly qualified minority female students
and professionals in science, health care, technology, and
biomedicine, through the conferences' workshops, seminars,
Diversity Expo, and the prestigious Women of Color Award Ceremonies.
Students who attended
the conference were able to attend meetings on various issues
affecting minorities in technology and research. Meetings
with company representatives and individuals from research
the students with different views of how their educations
can be applied once they graduate.
year's Women of Color Research Sciences & Technology awards
conference was held in Nashville, Tennessee at the Opryland
Hotel. Elizabeth City State University's Dr. Linda Hayden
received the Emerald Award for her work in promoting university
research. She is the current director of the ECSU Center of
Excellence in Remote Sensing Education and Research (CERSER),
ECSU Nurturing ECSU Research Talent (NERT),
and ECSU/NASA Network Resources Training Site (NRTS).
faculty, and ECSU Alumni attended the event.
of Color Awards Conference
Danielle Graves, ONR Research Student
founded in 1976 with a purpose of offering opportunities for
underrepresented minority students to obtain M.S. degrees
in engineering and Ph.D. degrees in engineering and the natural
and physical sciences through a program of paid summer internships
and graduate financial assistance. Ms. Jones stated that this
program is important because minorities are highly underrepresented
in the fields of math, science, and technology. She informed
us that some of the benefits of obtaining Master’s and
doctoral degrees include higher starting salary, greater ability
to earn independently, competitive career advantage, greater
choice of work, greater nobility, and fortified self-confidence.
She also said that you are identified as a leader which allows
you a seat at the table to find solutions to some of the nation’s
most pressing problems in science and engineering which include:
healthcare, the environment, transportation, communication,
and civil infrastructure. GEM has over 40 company members
and a host of member institutions. Microsoft Corporation,
IBM Corporation, Bayer Corporation, Dupont, and Pfizer Global
Research & Development are a few of the company members.
University members include the University of Virginia, North
Carolina A&T State University, UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University,
University of Maryland, College Park, and Florida A&M
In order to “master our future,” Ms. Jones gave
us three essential elements that are vital in our journey
to success. She first said that we have to “dare to
prepare.” We need to know what we want for ourselves
in five and ten years and how we plan to achieve it. We have
to take time to read, understand business, have the right
people in our corner, be grateful, and identify challenges
and opportunities. We also have to protect our assets including
our health, family, name, and good employees. We also have
to learn to negotiate, and be on time.
The second element is “practicing what you preach.”
She said that “Integrity is vital,” and you have
to be “impeccable with your word.” Communication
is an art and the key to selling yourself and your ideas.
The third element is love. She said that “love has a
three-fold purpose: spiritual, personal, and relational.”
You have to love your business because it helps you protect
your assets, understand your business, and exemplify mutual
respect. The major point made here is that preparation is
the key, and balance is essential.
of Color Awards Conference
Karitsa Williams, ONR Research Student
interesting part of this trip was the Emerald Awards banquet.
It was like I was at a real awards ceremony on television.
The tale of the Emerald was quite interesting in the way that
it was brought about. Mr. Bill Grimmet told the story and
had good public speaking skills and performance style. All
of the award winners told a life story of how they made it
to where they are today. Their stories were so heart touching
and real. Their stories made me want to be like them and one
day receive an award too.
of Color Awards Conference
Joanelle Baptiste, ONR Research Student
all started on Thursday, September 11, 2003 at 9:35 p.m. The
students of ONR Undergraduate Research program was about to
endure the longest bus ride ever. However, we knew that each
milestone we rode was worth it because at the end of our trip,
we would have a rewarding and beneficial experience. We were
heading to Nashville, Tennessee to attend the outstanding
Women of Color Exceptional Achievement in Research Sciences
and Technology Conference.
It is not a walk in the park to be a well-respected and notable
figure in the highly competitive world of research science
and technology. If you are a woman, it is twice as hard. The
Women of Color in Research Science and Technology Awards Conference
recognizes and honors senior level women who have demonstrated
exemplary leadership and technical skills in and beyond the
workplace. These outstanding women are not just honorees but
role models who are setting the pace to many young ladies
who shy away from careers in technology and science, believing
that these fields are only for males.
The first seminar of the Conference
that I attended was entitled "Master Your Future".
The universities that were in attendance were: Virginia State
University, Morgan State University, Coppin State University,
University of Maryland at College Park, and none other than
Elizabeth State University. The Director of the Career Communications
Group, Inc. (CCG), Mr. Watson, gave the welcoming remarks.
He gave some insight on how to measure a missed opportunity.
He stated that the conference should not only be attended
for pleasure purposes but to network and gain an invaluable
experience. Ms. Dionetta Jones of the National Consortium
for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science
(GEM), Inc. was next on the agenda. Her presentation was remarkable.
It was geared specifically towards minorities for the prime
reason being that there is a lack of us in the field of engineering.
She gave a few pointers on the benefits of a higher education,
which were: increased compensation, higher starting salary,
greater ability to earn independently, and greater mobility
just to name a few. She also spoke on journeys to success.
In order for one to get to where they want to be, they must
dare to prepare and practice what they preach. Communication
is not just talking but also effectively getting your message
across according to Ms. Jones. Financial support for GEMS
was included in Ms. Jones closing remarks. GEMS financial
support includes fellowships and internships. The summer internship
for the M.S. Fellowship brings the total value of the award
to between $20,000 and $60,000, while the summer internship
for the Ph.D. Fellowship brings its total award to between
$60,000 and $100,000 with certain requirements.
On day three, Saturday September 13,
I attended the third session of the "Delegation and Team-building"
seminar. During this seminar, a panel of five senior level
women gave helpful insight and advice on how and what it takes
to manage to manage, delegate, and build strong, willing,
and committed teams through team- building exercises, setting
targets and performance reviews, development of individuals,
and appraisal training. These remarkable women were Ms. Marcia
Steele of Strategic Realities, Inc., Dr. Evelyn Lewis- Director
of Regional Medical & Research Specialist at Pfizer Inc.,
D.V.M. Gina Wilkerson-Director of Veterinary Medicine at AstaZeneca
Pharmaceuticals LP, Ms. Valecia Maclin-Program Manager at
Raytheon Company, and Ms. Cheryl Owens- Senior Vice President
for Management Operations at the Government National Mortgage
Association. These women gave very beneficial advice that
I will take with me from here on out. Dr. E. Lewis of Pfizer
Inc. said something in particular that I will never forget:
"No one person can quizzle a symphony, it takes a symphony
to quizzle an orchestra". What this quote is saying is
that in the workplace or wherever one may be, it cannot be
done alone. These women were able to tackle the most difficult
level a question could have. However, one of our very own
students, Carl Seward, asked a couple of tongue-biting questions.
"What do you do when you're in a position where you've
had no training?" asked Carl. With a little hesitation,
Ms. Maclin of Raytheon Company decided to tackle the question.
She said that one must be able to make decisions on the spot
and have common sense skills- very simple answer but quite
logical. In closing, Ms. Steele added that we must dress for
success in order to feel like the best. She stated that no
'bow-wow' outfits should be tolerated at the workplace. She
expressed that a 'bow-wow' outfit is when you bow in the front
and in the back the guys go wow. I was filled with so much
laughter-that was the highlight of the seminar. After the
seminar was over, we attended the Career Fair. Some of the
sponsoring agencies were NASA, Raytheon Company, MITRE, AstraZeneca
Pharmaceuticals, and the John Hopkins Hospital just to name
a few. I gave out as many copies of my resume as possible.
After lunch was over, I attended the
fourth session of the leadership seminar. It was entitled
"Leadership and Emerging Technologies". The first
and only speaker was Ms. Judy Smith of Booz Allen Hamilton
Defense Information Technology Group. Ms. Smith graduated
with the first class of females pursuing an Electrical Engineering
degree from John Hopkins University in 1973. Ms. Smith's discussion
was very interesting primarily because she talked about a
futuristic device that her team and self is planning to produce
by the year 2010. A soldier at war will be equipped with this
hand-held device that will help him to understand his environment
and make adequate decisions in ample amount of time with the
help of satellites. She also spoke on the Simantic Web, the
new technology route that the Internet will take. I felt so
privileged to receive free top-secret information that people
pay millions of dollars for. Her presentation was so impressive.
Later on that night, we attended the Women of Color Emerald
Awards Ceremony where Dr. Hayden was being honored for her
outstanding contribution to research science and technology.
This conference was surely not a missed opportunity
for me. I took advantage of every second. I networked and
collected valuable information from the seminars and career
fair. An experience like this is immeasurable. Memories like
this, I will never forget!