59 episodes

The Institute for African-American Mentoring in Computing Sciences (iAAMCS), a national resource for all African-American computer science students and faculty, launches a new podcast in collaboration with the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), a non-profit that works to increase women’s meaningful participation in computing. Modern Figures Podcast (modernfigurespodcast.com) guest stars Black women in computing who share their stories and perspectives on technical, societal, and personal topics. Geared toward high school and college students, each guest also highlights the interestingly relatable, pivotal moments along their journey in computing.

Modern Figures Podcast Modern Figures Podcast Hosts

    • Technology
    • 4.9 • 40 Ratings

The Institute for African-American Mentoring in Computing Sciences (iAAMCS), a national resource for all African-American computer science students and faculty, launches a new podcast in collaboration with the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), a non-profit that works to increase women’s meaningful participation in computing. Modern Figures Podcast (modernfigurespodcast.com) guest stars Black women in computing who share their stories and perspectives on technical, societal, and personal topics. Geared toward high school and college students, each guest also highlights the interestingly relatable, pivotal moments along their journey in computing.

    Miss Me with the Ms. Part 1 – Episode 049

    Miss Me with the Ms. Part 1 – Episode 049

    Episode 49 - Miss Me with the Ms. Part 1

    Host: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen

    Guest: Tiffanie R. Smith, Ph.D.

    http://www.tiffaniersmith.com

    Episode Description: We are joined by Dr. Tiffanie R. Smith, a self-professed over-achiever, who recounts her journey to PhD from making the “best decision ever made” in her entire life to being shunned by her lab mates. Her path to current success included many twists and turns. Dr. Smith excels at following her gut instincts while remaining focused on her goals.

    Tiffanie’s Bio-



    Dr. Tiffanie R. Smith is currently an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Lincoln University of PA. She received her Ph.D. in Human Centered Computing from the University of Florida in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering in 2019. Her research interests include educational technologies, embodied learning, culturally relevant education, and broadening minority participation in STEM.

    • 51 min
    The Intersection of Psychology and Technology – Episode 048

    The Intersection of Psychology and Technology – Episode 048

    Episode 48 - The Intersection of Psychology and Technology

    Host: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen

    Guest: Dr. Courtney D. Cogburn

    Twitter:

    .@courtneycogburn

    Episode Description: Unlike most people, Dr. Courtney D. Cogburn knew early on that she was interested in a career in Psychology and later, Social Work. Listen as she shares how these two disciplines contribute to her current work in studying racial inequities. Learn how she is utilizing technology to reveal how racial bias impacts all aspects of our lives.

    Courtney’s Bio-



    Dr. Courtney D. Cogburn is an associate professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work and faculty of the Columbia Population Research Center and Data Science Institute where she co-chairs the Computational Social Science Working Group. She employs a transdisciplinary approach to improve the characterization and measurement of racism, and in examining the role of racism in the production of racial inequities in health.



    Dr. Cogburn’s work also explores media as a social stressor that contributes to racial inequities in health. She also works at the intersection of emerging technology and social justice. She is the lead creator of 1000 Cut Journey, an immersive virtual reality experience of racism that premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, and is also the co-founder of the Justice Equity and Technology Studio at Columbia. Dr. Cogburn is a member of the American Medical Association’s External Equity & Innovation Advisory Group, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Health Equity Collective, and also serves as the Chief Equity Officer and Knowledge Transfer Director of the Learning the Earth with Artificial Intelligence and Physics (LEAP), an NSF Science and Technology Center (STC).



    Dr. Cogburn completed postdoctoral training at Harvard University in the RWJF Health & Society Scholar Program and at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. She received her Ph.D. in Education and Psychology and an MSW from the University of Michigan and completed her BA in Psychology at the University of Virginia.

    • 1 hr 20 min
    A Pivot For the Culture – Episode 047

    A Pivot For the Culture – Episode 047

    Episode 47 - A Pivot For the Culture

    Host: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen

    Guest: Bethlehem Mesfin

    Twitter:

    .@BettyMes_

    Episode Description: Meet friend of the podcast, Bethlehem Mesfin, a graduate student pursuing a Master of Science in Computer Science. Learn about her shift into tech and how a need for community lead to co-founding Code 4 the Culture.





    Betty’s Bio-



    Bethlehem Mesfin is a graduate student at Northeastern University, pursuing a Master of Science in Computer Science. Driven by her passion for building products for all, she transitioned from a career in business into the world of computing.



    Bethlehem earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management, with dual concentrations in Marketing and Leadership & Consulting, from Binghamton University (SUNY).



    Bethlehem is a co-founder and former co-president of Code4TheCulture, a student-led organization dedicated to creating a supportive and safe community for Black and Latinx Graduate students in Computer Science. She currently serves on the Code4TheCulture Alumni Advisory Board and is a GEM University Fellow.

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Young, Gifted, and Black-ademic III – Episode 046

    Young, Gifted, and Black-ademic III – Episode 046

    Episode 46 - Young, Gifted, and Black-ademic III

    Host: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen

    Twitter:

    .@Dr_Kyla

    .@jeremywaisome

    Episode Description: This episode is part of a series dedicated to giving Modern Figures Podcast listeners the inside scoop of a career in academia directly from our hosts. From mapping out a career path and investing in yourself to navigating tenure politics, this series will cover it all.

    In Part 3, we are breaking down an important aspect of academic life: the dissertation. Listen as our esteemed hosts share what it is and its importance on the path to PhD. Get ready to learn firsthand knowledge on the steps to successfully create your dissertation.

    Jeremy’s Bio-



    Dr. Jeremy Waisome is an Instructional Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Education where she conducts research on broadening participation in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and computing (STEM+C). She is particularly interested in understanding how formalized mentoring programs impact student trajectories and self-efficacy.



    Kyla’s Bio - Dr. Kyla McMullen earned her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where she was also a Meyerhoff Scholar. She earned her Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan (2007-2012). While earning her Ph.D. she was also a faculty member at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. At Wayne State University she taught computer literacy courses to over 2,000 students. Dr. McMullen is the first (and currently the only) woman of color to earn a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan. She is currently a tenure-track faculty member in the University of Florida’s Computer & Information Sciences & Engineering Department. Dr. McMullen has a personal commitment to encouraging women and minorities to pursue careers in computing and other STEM fields. She is the author of "Beautiful, Black, and Brainy" and "Brilliant is the New Black" which showcase hundreds of exceptional young African Americans who excel in STEM fields and don't fit the typical "scientist" stereotype. In addition she is the cohost of a podcast series entitled Modern Figures, which focuses on elevating the voices of Black Women in Computing.

    • 1 hr 10 min
    A Data Scientist For Humanity – Episode 045

    A Data Scientist For Humanity – Episode 045

    Episode 45 - A Data Scientist For Humanity

    Host: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen

    Guest: Dr. Brandeis Marshall

    Twitter:

    .@csdoctorsister

    Episode Description: Dr. Brandeis Marshall was able to combine her two loves: math and dance. What began as rolling coins for her mom led to a career in computing which placed her on the front end of “this internet thing”.

    Get ready for a multitude of funny and surprising stories outlining her journey to leadership. You can continue learning from Dr. Marshall by subscribing to her Rebel Tech newsletter or following her on Medium.





    Brandeis’ Bio - Brandeis teaches, speaks and writes about the impact of data practices on technology and society. Her work contributes to the data engineering, data science, and data/computer science education fields. Through Dr. Marshall’s data education firm DataedX, she guides current tech workers in building data equity skills. Her first book, Data Conscience: Algorithmic Siege on our Humanity, is expected to be released later in 2022. It unearths the interlocking computational and civic implications of data on digital processes, structures and institutions.

    • 1 hr 18 min
    Mechanical Engineers Compute Too – Episode 044

    Mechanical Engineers Compute Too – Episode 044

    Episode 44 - Mechanical Engineers Compute Too

    Host: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen

    Guest: Dr. Makita R. Phillips

    Twitter:

    .@HeyDrP

    Episode Description: At the suggestion of her middle school teacher, Dr. Makita R. Phillips began her journey of pursuing a career in mechanical engineering. She prides herself on living on faith and has had a multitude of experiences leading her around the country. Listen to this heart-warming conversation about showing up, living with intention and putting yourself first.

    Makita’s Bio - Dr. Makita R. Phillips is a Thermal Structural Analyst in the Air and Missile Defense Sector (AMDS) at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL). Dr. Phillips uses computational analysis and her background in thermal and mechanical systems to determine the performance of flight systems. Prior to joining APL, she was an American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE)/ National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Postdoctoral Fellow at Carbice Corporation and the Georgia Institute of Technology. She holds a B.S. and M.S in Mechanical Engineering from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical Engineering. She earned her Ph.D. from North Carolina State University where her research focused on the thermal management of superconducting coil systems. She is also a former University of California Los Angeles California Alliance Postdoctoral fellow.

    • 1 hr 19 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
40 Ratings

40 Ratings

elikqitie ,

A Much-Needed Podcast!

As a former coding teacher who taught block coding to elementary and middle school students, I’ve seen the power which comes from learning the skill of coding, especially for English second language learners.

And this field definitely needs more diversity, and if we can get more people and kids of all colors inspired to jump into technology, then the world will be a more balanced and equal place!

Thanks for providing such a needed platform to show people of color more and better opportunities in our world! This podcast truly has such a positive impact.

CeeAndSee ,

I can’t fake humble

Excellent podcast. Very informative and inspiring.

BlondeGenius ,

Grateful for the celebration of CURRENT role models

I lead the Rigor and Equity research agenda at CSforALL, and in my work with K-12 children across the US and abroad, being able to make relatable role models visible and real to students, especially students of color and young women, is critically important. I can’t recommend this podcast enough to CS and other STEM educators working to make careers real for their children. You can’t be what you can’t see—I’m grateful to the hosts for helping our students to see a whole lot more!

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