1. How long have you been a BAMA member? I formally joined BAMA in 2015 but I recall working with BAMA for at least 10 years helping coordinate manufacturing tours in Pinellas County.
2. What do you like most about being a BAMA member? I like the way BAMA’s mission is accomplished, specifically by working with a passionate group of professionals who are eager to share ideas, and best practices working together for the advancement of manufacturing education and the STEM pipelines that feed into them.
3. Tell us about FLATE: FLATE is part of the FloridaMakes Network and is partially funded by the Florida Department of Education. FLATE’s mission is to improve and advance technician education through curriculum reform, and professional development as well as developing the STEM pipelines that feed into them. FLATE provides exemplary industry partnerships, workforce opportunities, and educational synergy throughout the state of Florida by connecting industry and workforce needs to target educational endeavors at many community and state colleges across Florida.
4. What do you consider your greatest accomplishment to date? Finishing my master’s degree while recovering from malaria in two countries with different languages and cultures. I consider it my greatest accomplishment not only for the positive impact my research had on the community but also because I was able to overcome some of the toughest challenges, I have ever faced in life, language barriers, cultural differences, and life-threatening illness. With very modest English and motivated by the aspiration of becoming a better engineer and learning about other cultures, I earned my master’s degree in Delft, the Netherlands collecting my research data in Kampala, Uganda. Almost 24 months of the hardest time I ever experienced became my best memories and greatest accomplishment.
5. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? Does not matter how long it will take, if you believe in yourself, you will reach your dreams.
6. What is the most important skill you have developed in your career? I will say “perspective”. Luckily throughout my career, I had the opportunity to work in different roles wearing different “hats” and interacting with a variety of professionals and people. Perspective helps us to understand situations from other positions, consider other experiences and viewpoints, and discover a solution that takes the needs of everyone involved.
7. What are your hobbies or interests? I enjoy traveling exploring places and learning about other cultures. I like taking pictures. I love to swim, bike, and walk exploring nature.