Trina Fletcher

trinaTrina Fletcher, Engineer

I began playing sports at the age of 7 all the way through college. I always liked hands-on sports, activities and getting to fix things. Growing up in rural Arkansas, I was lucky to be in an environment and neighborhood that embraced getting outside and exploring the real world. My sisters and I always listened to our mom and dad’s stories of their experiences in manufacturing. I never thought it would be something I’d end of pursing and loving myself, but it indeed was. After interning and working full-time with several Fortune 500 companies, I was able to see the pros and cons for women and people of color in those environments. As a result, I’m currently pursing my doctorate degree with a special focus on increasing the recruitment and retention efforts for underrepresented minorities in the STEM workforce pipeline. I always make it a point to return to my alma mater, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) in order to share words of wisdom with our STEM Academy and LSAMP program participants. I also have passion for international work around women’s and youth empowerment as well as increasing African girls exposure to STEM education. Overall, I’m very happy with my current position in life and super excited for the future.

My STEM Story

2000 Took a Vocational technology course where I was able to build bridges and race cars from wood. Unfortunately, there were no people that looked like me so I didn’t believe I belonged in that environment long term so I began to focus on sports.
2002 During the summer, I attended a family day event at my mother’s job where she was a production supervisor within the manufacturing plant. There was parts lined up ready to be assembled onto the school buses they produced. It made me think about the VoTech class I had taken and sparked an interest for building things again.
2004  I was introduced to the Industrial Technology program Chairman, Dr. Charles R. Colen, Jr., by my Aunt Snookie at UAPB and became the inaugural President of the HBCU-UP STEM Academy. For the next 3 years I would also become very involved with the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Chapter.
2005-2007 Interned with Dr. Suely Black of Norfolk State University, Caterpillar, and Kelloggs.
2008 Completed a co-op with Lockheed Martin at one of their Missiles and Fire Control locations. Attended the annual National Society of Black Engineers and completed several on-site interviews. Received multiple offers within a month of returning back to school. Successfully graduated with my B.S. degree in May. Accepted a Global Operations Leadership Development Program (GOLD) position with Johnson and Johnson.
2010 Developed a true passion for mentoring girls around education and physical health. Co-founded Dream Girls ARK with my twin sister, Tina Fletcher, based in Southeast Washington, D.C. Strong emphasis placed on STEM education activities and tutoring within the subjects of math and science.
2011 Received the Student Award for Service Excellence from George Washington University.
2012 Co-authored a book titled 10 Steps to Succeeding at ANY College for high school students preparing for college.   Graduated with my Master’s degree in Engineering Management from George Washington University and took a position with Eaton Corporation within their Manufacturing Engineering Program.
2013 Served as a Mentor Lead for the National Society of Black Engineers Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) program at the Washington, D.C. location. Relocated mentoring program to Arkansas (Dream Girls ARK) where current Executive Directors are both STEM graduates.
2013 Co-hosted Women’s Empowerment Summit with my twin on behalf of the Give1Project organization in Dakar, Senegal and Cotonou, Benin in Africa. Spent Christmas break and New Year’s helping set up the organization International office in Dakar and taught an English class.
2013 Accepted the George Washington Carver Doctoral fellowship award to begin my PhD in Engineering Education at Purdue University within the College of Engineering. Hosted a workshop titled From the Classroom to the Community: How Minority STEM Students Impact the World at the 2013 LSMCE conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.

This is what it looked like

My Community Work and Passions

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