Pursue what interests you - what you are truly passionate about, not what others think is a 'good' career for you.
What do you do?
I used to be a Mechanical Engineer. I've worked on Delta and Titan rockets at McDonnell Douglas Space Systems in California, as well as designed automotive braking systems for Allied Signal.
Now I'm a full-time author of more than 100 children's books, including many on STEM topics and groundbreaking women in various science fields such as Anna Comstock, Katherine Johnson, and more.
Why did you choose this field?
Growing up, math and science were always my favourite subjects in school. No one in my family was an engineer, but I wanted to continue studying science and math in college so engineering seemed like the perfect fit for me.
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
"Keep an open mind to all the incredible, and sometimes unexpected opportunities."
Deciding to switch from a career in engineering to writing children's science books has been very exciting and rewarding, but at first I was unsure about making this change. I wish my younger self would have known to keep an open mind to all the incredible, and sometimes unexpected, opportunities for women in STEM.
Why do you love working in STEM?
"My hope is that my books inspire young readers."
I love to research and learn, particularly with regards to space exploration, new technologies, and women STEM pioneers. Digging intro research to uncover the details about my book topics and working with science experts on these projects is very fulfilling. My hope is that my books inspire young readers, particularly girls who are interested in science.
Best advice for the next generation
Pursue what interests you - what you are truly passionate about, not what others think is a "good" career for you. There are many exciting STEM fields, so investigate as many as you can, reach out and shadow women working in careers you're interested in, then don't let anything stop you as you go after your dream job!
My picture book ASTRONAUT ANNIE will soon blast off for the International Space Station aboard a resupply rocket where it will be read aloud by an astronaut. A video of that reading will be posted on the Story Time From Space website for children around the world to hear. I hope ASTRONAUT ANNIE and my other books about remarkable women inspire young girls to bravely pursue their dreams!