Women in STEM Interview: Alexandra Reid- Academic Technology Specialist

It was really exciting a couple of weeks ago when I started receiving feedback from my Tweet to @BlackGirlNerds about looking for women to interview for this new section to my blog. During the last few weeks, I’ve learned some interesting things about current research and I can’t wait to share it with you all.

Courtesy of Alexandria Reid

Courtesy of Alexandria Reid

For my first interview I present to you Alexandra Reid, M.Ed. She is a self-professed “lifelong learner with a passion for education,music, and all things digital.” Currently, she splits her time between a Graduate Assistant-ship for IT-Academic Technology Services, a music teacher at the New Castle Dance and Music Academy,  a freelance web developer, and oh yeah, a doctoral student.  I was really impressed with Alexandria for several reasons but mostly her dedication to enriching the educational environment for future generations.

A.H.: How did you get started in educational technology?

A.R.:I have always had an interest in technology, specifically it’s benefits in the classroom. My bachelor’s degree is from the University of Delaware in instrumental music education. When I started teaching I realized that there was a need, especially in the populations that I was working with, for more active learning activities that could be enhanced though technology integration. Three years later, I pursued a master’s degree in Educational Technology also from University of Delaware. And now I am working on my doctorate in Educational Leadership with a focus in Curriculum, Technology, and Higher Education from University of Delaware.

A.H.:Why is educational technology important?

A.R.:My current research focuses on the achievement gap between underrepresented minority students and non-minority students in introductory mathematics courses at the undergraduate level. I believe that this gap can be assisted with mobile devices and active learning strategies implemented in the classrooms.

A.H.:How can people learn more about educational technology?

A.R.:Academic Technology is an exponentially growing field, especially at the college level. The best way to get an idea of what’s happening is to consult your college or university’s IT Department – we are always willing to assist faculty and students with the newest and most intuitive devices for scholastic productivity.

A.H.:What is the coolest thing you’ve learned since you started working in technology?

A.R.:UNIX is a recognized language, just as English or Portugese. Who knew!

A.H.:What motivates you?

A.R.:Being a minority female in a STEM field is motivation enough to not only meet, but exceed the expectations of my peers and supervisors. When I was first accepted into my doctoral program in 2012, I made a promise to two very dear family members that they would see the second doctor in the family. Unfortunately, they passed away months apart. I don’t plan on breaking that promise regardless.

A.H.:Do you have any words of advice for young women interested in pursuing STEM?

A.R.:Demand to be treated and seen as an equal peer in the field. Your talents and strengths should not be outshines just because you are a female!

A.H.:Do you have an Inspirational phrase or story you use when you need strength?

A.R.:When there were times I felt I wasn’t strong or smart enough to keep going, my Grandmother always told me, in the words of MLK Jr., “Keep on keepin on’!” Though she is not with me anymore, I still hear those words when times get tough.

A.H.:How do you share your love of science with others? Do you mentor, teach, etc?

A.R.:In my spare time, I teach music at a private studio. Each lesson integrates a type of technology that my students can experiment with at home. It allows them to connect with the material in a more engaging way, and they all seem to enjoy it very much.

A.H.What do you see as the biggest challenge to women in STEM? What can we as a person/society do?

A.R.:We can collectively stop calling it a male dominated field. Enforcing that stigma creates an air of exclusion to women.

A.H.Who is your favorite Science Fiction or Fantasy writer?

A.R.:Gene Rodenberry. I mean, isn’t he THE science fiction writer? 🙂

A.H.: One last thing just for finish this sentence.  When I was a 14 I thought –

A.R.:I would be a high school band director. My how things have changed!

 A.H.: Very true. Thank  you for taking the time to do this interview. To learn more about Alexandria you can use the links below to view her portfolio and projects.

www.bader-c.org (web developer)

www.dogmomma.com (web developer)

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