What does Empowering Women in Industry mean to you? Empowering Women in Industry means that women will have an opportunity to share, mentor, and encourage other women to have a voice in the job market, be able to help others succeed, and motivate one another.
How did you get started in your field? I got started through an internship. I was in college working on my Bachelor of Science Degree, awaiting clinicals, and I saw a summer position posted at the City of Saginaw Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). I interviewed for the internship and I was accepted. I was offered a job, soon after and I took it. I worked at the Water and WWTP in various positions for twenty two years before I retired. Then I accepted a new job as the Industrial Pretreatment Supervisor(IPP) in Jackson, MI. After several years, I was promoted to Chemist/IPP Supervisor. It's been thirty two years now, and I love it.
What do you love most about your job? What are you most proud of? Working with a great group of people who love water, water treatment and making sure it stays clean. I enjoy educating and training students and the community about the importance of the water. I travel near and far to teach others about the importance of our most treasured resource: Water. Recently I was asked to make a STEM related video of women in the Science field. It aired on WKAR - Curious Careers and can be found on PBS. Here is a link: https://vimeo.com/msucas/review/310428918/3207351edc
What advice would you give to someone considering this line of work?
Follow your passion! If a STEM related career is for you, find opportunities to volunteer in organizations near you, like AWWA, MWEA, Water for People, WEF and find a college near you to get an education in a water/wastewater career, science or engineering.
Anything else to add? I have been working in this field for thirty two years and when I started I was told by a teacher in college to give up, that I could not achieve because of the color of my skin. I am an achiever, I have always had to work harder, do more, just to be accepted into the room as a woman, a black woman, and as a leader. This month I will accept an Award as the Educational Professional of the Year at the Michigan Water Environmental Association (MWEA) in Boyne Mountain, MI. Thank you for allowing to tell my story.