Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Reflections of Our Visit with Dr. Darden

Collage of images from the Darden discussion featuring Dr. Darden, panelists and guests

We are truly honored by NASA Engineer Dr. Christine Mann Darden's visit-- and the panelists and guests who joined us for our Feb. 14 Black History Month celebration!

Enjoy photos from our memorable visit on Facebook. Watch the event now on YouTube.

A special thank you to our featured guest, event moderator and panelists!

Photo of Darden

Featured Guest Dr. Christine Mann Darden: Dr. Darden began her career with NASA in 1967 alongside other pioneering black women, as portrayed in the book, Hidden Figures, which inspired the blockbuster movie. She would go on to serve NASA for 40 years as a mathematician, data analyst, aeronautical engineer, and one of the world’s leading experts in sonic boom prediction, sonic boom minimization, and supersonic wing design. She was the first African-American woman at NASA's Langley Research Center to be promoted into the Senior Executive Service, the top rank in the federal civil service. Dr. Darden has a Master of Science in Mathematics from Virginia State University and a Ph.D. in Engineering from George Washington University.

Photos of Churchwell
Moderator Valerie Churchwell, City of Phoenix Aviation Department Small Business Engagement Manager: Ms. Churchwell is responsible for the development and implementation of educational programs and services designed to increase competitiveness, capacity, and awareness of small, disadvantaged, minority, and women-owned businesses at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and two regional airports. She began her career as an electrical engineer in the nuclear aircraft and submarine industry. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Alabama and a Certificate of Project Management from George Washington University.

Photo of Rollins
Panelist Selisa Rollins, Bonneville Power Administration General Engineer: Ms. Rollins is a general engineer/operations research analyst at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) in Portland, Oregon. She is responsible for developing scientific techniques and applying mathematical models to simulate the operation of the Federal Columbia River Power System. She received a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from Arizona State University, where she is currently completing a doctoral degree. Ms. Rollins also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Engineering & Applied Technology Department at Rio Salado College.

Photo of Riley

Panelist Darnika Riley, Platform Management & Customer Engineer and Intel Corporation Internet of Things Group: Ms. Riley has more than 18 years of professional experience in the technology industry and holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems with a concentration in Application Development from California State University - Long Beach, and a Master of Science in Information Management from Arizona State University. She currently works at Intel Corporation as an Operations Manager within the Internet of Things (IOTG) organization. Ms. Riley is also very active in the local community and is passionate about helping to increase the pipeline of students interested in pursuing STEM fields.

Photo of Dent

Panelist Nicole Dent, Salt River Project Rotational Engineer: Ms. Dent holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Akron. Her interest in engineering was sparked in high school by participating in a program called Project Lead the Way. As an SRP engineer, she focuses on power generation and distribution. Ms. Dent established a nonprofit organization called the Legaci Foundation in 2018, which provides scholarships to high school students pursuing higher learning in Akron, Ohio. Ms. Dent also spends time mentoring and helping youth with their personal development.