Established in 1941, the Southern University Alumni Federation has served as the voice for alumni for over 77 years. The Federation’s mission is to support the goals and objectives of the Southern University System. Consisting of more than 100,000 alumni, the Southern University System is actively engaged throughout the United States and the globe. Led by a history of dynamic, dedicated and capable leaders – the Federation strives to keep graduates connected to opportunities, recognize alumni accomplishments, bring awareness to issues that affect the University and above all continue the fight to preserve the University and its mission.
I recently connected with an awesome young leader that is using his foundation in leadership and engineering to be a force that is out of this world! Mr. Benjamin's success has been nothing short of amazing and his talents "On and Off" the field have enabled him to break through barriers in his academic, athletic and professional careers. He is definitely a rising, trending leader that will be one to watch as we progress through the 21st century. I am blessed to have met him at this stage of our careers, even though our roots trace back to our alma mater, Southern University and A&M College. His story is one that should inspire us all and challenge us to not take the easy way out and cut out all complacency.
Mr. Benjamin graduated from W.S. Neal High School in East Brewton, AL in 2003 with a 4.5 GPA, All-State Honors in three different Sports and a bright future ahead. He has since been inducted into the W.S. Neal Sports Hall of Fame. From Neal, Mr. Benjamin attended Southern University and A&M College where he was a part of the Jaguar Football team from 2003-2008, a graduate of the Southern University Honors College and a recipient of an honors Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Also while at Southern University, Mr. Benjamin became a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated. After Southern University, Benjamin started his career with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL as an Operations Controller for the International Space Station (ISS). During his career at NASA, Benjamin has received numerous awards for his hard work and determination in Payload Operation on-board the ISS. Also while at NASA, he has taken part in the agency NASA F.I.R.S.T Program which is an agency wide effort to mold the next group of leaders. Mr. Benjamin was recently chosen as a Management Intern for the Center Director of the Marshall Space Flight Center and also selected to perform duties as a Payload Operations Director. Benjamin also holds a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management/Program Management from the Florida Institute of Technology. Mr. Benjamin also has an entrepreneurial mindset and has numerous businesses outside of his daily work. He is part owner of the Huntsville Rockets Football Organization, produces and writes music, and also part owner of Mother Hemp, a wellness company based out of Memphis, Tennessee.
In this re.engineer feature we invite Roger Tetrault Jr., a Senior Instrument & Electrical (I&E) Maintenance and Reliability Technologist for Dow Chemical to share his perspectives on following your passion for technology while also extending that passion across multiple generations of professionals. Roger has over 13 years of industry experience both inside and outside of chemical manufacturing and one of his core responsibilities is being a technical resource to other technicians as they partner to solve complex I&E challenges. Throughout his career, he has also collaborated with operations and the various engineering functions to identify solutions to high level, long standing reliability problems and as a result, he has been able to minimize unplanned events for the business customers that he supports.
Very early in life, Roger was the kid that installed everyone’s car stereos and electronics. At some point he realized that he could leverage his skills to the marine crafts, so he began installing stereos, auto pilots and GPS systems on boats. The experience and knowledge that he gained with marine crafts opened up an opportunity to work as a military contractor fabricating, installing, maintaining and repairing electrical, communications, and weapons systems on special operations boats. Roger entered the industrial world as an electrical apprentice, and he eventually went on to attain his Associates of Applied Science degree from Brazosport College while working full-time and fulfilling the role of husband and father, a role that that he takes very seriously. During this time he received multiple NCCER certifications and graduated both the Project Management and Project Supervision Academies. Roger became a Dow employee in 2016 and since then, he has served as a mentor and trainer in the Dow apprenticeship program, joined the adjunct staff at Brazosport College and is planning to complete his Electrical Engineering degree. Roger is considered to be a leader in his industry and I am very blessed to have connected with him as we are both working towards giving back through collaboration.
It’s not often that I get an opportunity to feature a childhood friend, so this week’s Re.engineer Trending Leaders feature is very special to me. I have know Mr. Kenn Barnes Jr., Esq. since the days of Nintendo Super Mario Brothers and sandlot tackle football and I am extremely excited to collaborate with him on a professional level.
Kenn serves as Special Counsel-Criminal Justice to the Louisiana Supreme Court. His duties include assisting with the Court’s pretrial services, specialty court programs across Louisiana, serving as liaison between the Louisiana Supreme Court and the Felony Class System Task Force, Louisiana Public Defender Board, Louisiana State Law Institute, and has recently been appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards to the Justice Reinvestment Oversight Committee on behalf of the Louisiana Supreme Court.
Kenn received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Louisiana State University in 2011 and received both his Juris Doctorate and Diploma of Comparative Law from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University where he served as Executive President of the Student Bar Association in 2015.
Join us as Kenn provides some perspectives on being a leader within the criminal justice system.
Last year, Google announced the findings from an internal study that looked across teams to determine the most innovative and productive groups within the company. They found that their best teams weren’t the ones full of top scientists. Instead, their highest performing teams were interdisciplinary groups that benefited heavily from employees who brought strong soft skills to the collaborative process. Further research revealed that important predictors of success within Google were skills like good communication, insights about others, and empathetic leadership. But it’s not just top tech companies that are finding value in these types of skills. A Twitter poll from edX found that people think teamwork and collaboration are the most helpful soft skills in the workplace, followed by critical thinking, public speaking and persuasive writing.
In this re.engineer feature we invite Ashley M. Martin, soft skills trainer, to share her perspective on what it takes to be successful as a professional. Teaching is Ashley's passion and the mantra of “You learn something new every day” is a philosophy that she lives by. She blends her love for educating, encouraging, and equipping others into dynamic conversations, training sessions, and talks.
You can find more information about Ashley at her website: www.iamashleym.com
Underrepresented groups in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in the United States include women and some minorities. In the U.S., women made up 50% of the college-educated workers in 2010, but only 28% of the Science and Engineering workers, and African Americans, American Indians, Alaskan Natives, and Hispanics collectively formed 26% of the population, but account for only 10% of the Science and Engineering workers (U.S. News, 2014). But thank God for STEM Leaders like Shauna Brown! In this re.engineer Q and A session, Shauna will share some of her insights on how she has challenged the status quo and also how she is using her professional experiences to prepare the next generation of Melanin in STEM!
Shauna Brown is the Assistant Director of the Academy of Aerospace and Engineering, a STEM-themed magnet program for pre-college/pre-career students. In this leadership and management role, Shauna is responsible for leading and overseeing operational, instructional, and programmatic aspects of the program of 800 students and 120 staff. She has served in this role for 5 years, and is the first woman in the history of the academy to hold this position. In addition to her professional work, Shauna is the founder of Melanin in STEM, an organization whose mission is to increase representation in STEM through early exposure, mentoring initiatives, and professional networking.
We are extremely excited about this re.engineer featured moment, as we have a great opportunity to highlight one the industry’s reliability engineering and lubrication experts, Sanya Mathura.
Sanya is the Founder of Strategic Reliability Solutions Ltd and operates in the capacity of Managing Director and Senior Consultant. Strategic Reliability Solutions Ltd located in Trinidad & Tobago and focuses on the provision of reliability services such as; Lubrication audits, Training, Consultancy, Site Assessments and Implementation of Lubrication Management Systems.
She possesses a strong engineering background with a BSc in Electrical & Computer Engineering and MSc in Engineering Asset Management. After completion of her thesis “An investigation into the root causes of lubricant degradation in critical equipment in an Ammonia complex”, she was made aware of the plight that reliability faces within and outside of the Caribbean. As such, she decided to ensure that every attempt was made to make reliability the backbone upon which the industry operates by forming Strategic Reliability Solutions Ltd.
In this re.engineer Q&A moment, we spend some time catching up with Chef LaTara Jeffers, Founder and CEO of Veganish. Chef LaTara is leading an inspiring movement that is #reengineering how we develop healthier lifestyles. She is definitely an entrepreneur to keep an eye on as Veganish is a game changing force that is disrupting our traditional beliefs on what it takes to live your “Healthiest Life”.
In this re.engineer Q&A moment, we gain some leadership perspective from Erica Walton-Douglas, Ingersoll Rand’s Director of Operations of the Tradeport distribution center in Memphis, Tennessee. Erica was recently featured by Ingersoll Rand as being one of three female leaders that hold top leadership positions in residential HVAC & Supply facilities. In this exclusive interview, Erica explained how she is making history as being the first female leader at her location.
In this re.engineer feature we recognize Brant Smith for his continued success as a Process Safety, Instrumentation, and Reliability Leader.
Brant’s appetite for creating value has consistently grown over the years and he has recently partner with Automation + Controls Engineering (ACE) to create his own division which is focused on Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS) and Field Services.