Alumni Spotlight Introducing…
B.S. ’93, M.S. ’95 Ph.D. ’02
I was born in Berkeley and raised in Oakland where I still live with my wife and two children. My parents, godmother, and uncle all attended Cal, and I wanted to attend Cal from as early as I can remember. I also knew I wanted to study science at an early age and the fact that Cal’s Mechanical Engineering department is perennially ranked in the top three nationally made the choice even easier. While at Cal, I gravitated towards enriching my student experience by participating in student and community-service oriented groups such as the MESA Program, the Black Engineering and Science Students Association (BESSA), its graduate counterpart, BGESS, and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Professionally, I am an Engineering Director at Applied Materials Corporation where I have worked for 18 years.
What was your undergraduate life like at Cal? Although Mechanical Engineering was challenging, I really enjoyed campus life at Cal. I was an officer in the campus organizations listed above and through working closely with others on problems larger than the day to day grind of classwork we created lasting bonds. I made many close friends that I have to this day.
What advice would you give your undergraduate self? Prepare and go to office hours religiously. Read your professor’s latest publications before you go, in addition to just showing up with some basic questions about the homework.
What are some current projects you are working on? In 2019, I co-founded the Black Engineering and Science Alumni Club (BESAC) with some of my fellow BESSA members from our time at Cal. We have been working to grow the chapter with the expressed mission to tap into our alumni network and find ways to help students who may be experiencing some of the challenges we faced. (Shout out to Kirk Tramble, Rori Abernethy, Nerayo Teclemariam, Leon Daniels, Josephine Agbowo, and Sheila Humphreys!)
How do you tap into your Cal Alumni network? My Cal Alumni network of BESAC members and extended contacts stays connected via social media. BESAC has hosted both in-person and online events including two Summer Welcome Parties for incoming students and a Homecoming event focused on COVID-19 disparities and how members of our community were responding to address them. The vision to form BESAC was driven from an event in 2018 which brought close to 200 alumni, students, family members, and friends to the Alumni House to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of BESSA and 30th Anniversary of BGESS. Seeing all of the love and energy in the room, we could only imagine how amazing it would be to harness those forces to create a longer lasting service organization.