"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
― Frederick Douglass
About Shedrick Stephens
Shedrick Stephens is a retired Senior Process Automation Technologist who has enabled the success of so many young, talented engineers and technicians. He started his STEM journey as a process operator for The Dow Chemical Company, now Dow Inc., and through his discipline, thirst for knowledge and fundamental belief that anything is possible, he rose to the ranks of a regional Triconex subject matter expert, supporting some of the most critical safety control systems across the gulf coast.
Shedrick was born and grew up in Grand Prairie, Louisiana along with his eight brothers and sisters. He had a natural passion for electronics and troubleshooting, so he decided to pursue an Electrical Engineering degree at Southern University in Baton, Rouge, LA. It was there that he realized that he could have a prosperous career within the STEM disciplines. During his matriculation, he was offered an internship at Dow which further led to a full-time offer.
In his spare time, Shedrick tinkered with small electronic devices and appliances, until he eventually partnered with a friend to open up a small business focused on this passion. This opportunity eventually opened up the door to innovate. He designed and built an audio filtering technology in where a remote deice could automatically detect and filter profanity and other offensive phrases while you watched movies or television shows. As a personal project, essentially it was a smart remote control for your TV that automatically muted foul language.
Because he put his family before his career, Shedrick wasn’t able to complete his bachelors degree. He made a difficult decision to put his engineering career on hold and to focus on his new job and growing family. Throughout the next 30 years he created opportunities for his children to be exposed to many enriching opportunities. Shedrick also mentored several engineers and scientists throughout his career (including four of his own brothers and sisters) and served as a STEM/Science fair judge for the local community schools, all while implementing control system technologies that enabled tremendous value for Dow.
Shedrick was chosen as a STEM Pioneer for black history month, because if it wasn’t for his sacrifice, guidance and tough love, many professionals would not be who they are today.
Nearly 40 years after his start in electrical engineering, Shedrick's legacy came full circle as he joined his son (pictured above) to celebrate a career milestone; Shadrach’s Southern University Alumni 40 under Forty award ceremony.