UWF degree and year of graduation:
BS Physics, ’82
Why did you choose to attend UWF?
After attending California State University for two years, I had to move back home due to financial circumstances. As the first person in my immediate family to attend college, I was highly motivated to continue my education, so I enlisted in the Navy in order to pay for school. I studied electronics in the Navy and was stationed in Pensacola, which led me to UWF.
What were your goals as a student?
I wanted to be a design engineer and to test myself. I knew that I didn’t want to pursue a career in the Navy, so I focused on obtaining an education that would provide me with financial independence.
What is your best memory from your days at UWF?
Graduation day - it really was the most important day of my life. I remember being very happy and smiling a lot.
Who was your favorite professor and why?
James Marsh. He was very supportive and funny. The Physics department was very small, so I had close contact with faculty.
What do you do now?
I am the director of the Technology Development at EMS Technologies, Inc. where I have worked for the past 20 years. My job basically consists of the following three areas: working with customers to bring in business and focusing on system architecture; providing technical leadership to design teams; and troubleshooting problems.
Some of the major projects that I have worked on include: Mars Science Lab Radar Antenna, Direct TV high power combiners, XM and Sirius Radio high power combiners and the RADARSAT and Intelsat IX switch networks.
How did UWF help you progress to this point?
The Physics department was very supportive and flexible with my Navy schedule. They told me that I was smart, believed in me and were very accommodating.
Outside of working, what activities and organizations are you currently involved in and what are your hobbies?
I am a member of the following professional organizations: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE); Women in Technology, Georgia Chapter and Mentornet, an online mentoring program. I’m very passionate about mentoring. EMS Technologies is involved with Junior Achievement. My favorite thing to do with my free time is travel. My husband and I visit Europe every year, and we travel all over the U.S. and Canada.
How do you stay connected to UWF?
I read “Connection,” the alumni magazine, as well as the UWF National Alumni Association e-mails. I support the Physics department by giving to the annual fund in an effort to thank them. I also visited campus approximately 10 years ago to speak to students.
What advice do you have for current and future UWF students?
Take advantage of every opportunity and don’t be intimidated. Maintain regular contact with professors. This is easy at UWF because of the small department size.
What quality makes UWF special or unique?
Small size and personal attention.