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Engineering Management Grad Introduces Readers to 'Wonder Women of Science'
Meet Tiera Fletcher—2021 online Duke Master of Engineering Management graduate, Boeing aerospace engineer and author of a new book about women breaking barriers
Tiera Fletcher is a busy woman. Besides working as a structural design engineer for Boeing, she helps run a motivational speaker organization “Rocket With The Fletchers,” is wrapping up Duke’s Master of Engineering Management program, and has now released her first book, “Wonder Women of Science.”
Published by Candlewick Press to starred reviews from Booklist and Kirkus, the book profiles twelve science superstars, telling in their own words of their fascinating work as well as their childhoods and paths traveled. Their careers range from computer scientist to microbiologist to unique specialties that didn’t exist before they were created. Written with upper-elementary and middle-school readers in mind, the book aims to surprise and inspire not only die-hard science fans, but also those who don’t (yet!) think of themselves as scientists.
Duke Engineering recently caught up with Fletcher for a brief Q&A, not only about her book, but about her experience as a Duke engineering management student.
Did you have any science idols growing up?
Former astronaut Mae Jemison has been my role model since I first learned about her in elementary school. As the first African American woman in space, she inspired me to fight for my dream to become an aerospace engineer. When I looked at her, I saw myself.
How did you go about selecting the “science superstars” to include in your book?
Research! My co-author Ginger Rue and I searched for women who were pioneers in their respective fields, from different backgrounds and walks of life. We had the pleasure of interviewing twelve amazing female scientists currently breaking barriers in their respective fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Each woman is making life-changing discoveries today!
What do you hope readers of your book will take away from it?
In addition to sharing their stories, each scientist teaches the reader about important topics in their respective field of science. I hope that by reading the journeys of these amazing scientists, readers can relate to them on a personal level and realize that they too can make their dreams become a reality--and learn a great amount of science along the way!
How has the process of writing and creating this book influenced you?
The women included in this book inspire me in so many ways. As a young African American female rocket scientist, I have a deep level of respect and understanding of the experiences of these female scientists. Each of their stories inspire me to do more to pave the way for more women to break into STEM fields and make an impact in human history.
Why did you choose to enroll in the Duke MEM program?
My husband and fellow aerospace engineer, Myron Fletcher, earned a Master of Engineering Management degree from Duke in 2017. He raved about the program so much, I had to check it out. The Duke MEM program is one of the top engineering management master's program in the country and after undergoing the program myself, I now know why. The online program is structured perfectly for full-time working professionals. In my experience, I have learned so much over the past couple of years that would have taken me many years to acquire through my career alone.
What career aspirations do you hope the Duke MEM program will help you achieve?
As an aerospace engineer currently, I aspire to transition into management in the next step of my career. With the tools that I have acquired through the program, I am sure that the Duke MEM program will help me achieve that goal.
What has been your favorite part of your experience thus far?
My favorite part of my experience has been interacting with the amazing students in my cohort. They carry so many different professional talents and perspectives that have contributed to the learning experiences in all courses that I have taken.