Lingo by STEMBoard

From Fashion Model to Mechatronics Engineer: Michelle Easter

Mechatronics Engineer Michelle Easter - LINGO LEADER

1) When was the first time you touched a computer?

When I was a kid, the first computer I ever touched had MS-DOS on it! The computers from my childhood were so simple compared to what exists now- the progress is amazing.


2) Who is your hero and why? 

My hero is my mentor, Professor/Dr. Godfrey Gumbs. He was my first physics teacher, and I met him early on in my career transition from modeling into engineering. After growing up in Guyana, he earned an academic scholarship to attend Cambridge in London, earned his PhD in solid state physics in Canada, and moved to New York to work at a City University of NY institution with the intention of maximizing his reach to support underprivileged students. He believed in me and pushed me intellectually more than anyone ever had, and didn't judge me for working as a model to pay my rent as an adult going through a drastic late-20s career change. He "threw me in the deep end" by helping coordinate my first technical internship performing quantum optics research. He held me to the highest standard. Even when I struggled as the only woman in his Quantum Mechanics class, one of the only students who also hadn't taken the necessary math or physics prerequisites, he exclaimed "But you're Michelle!" No doubt I would not be where I am now if I did not have him in my corner. He is definitely my hero!


3) What is your mantra?

"What do you want, and how badly do you want it?" 

At a very basic level, the first question prompts me to throw any distractions out of my view and focus on my goals. Then, the next question fuels my fire to do whatever it takes to accomplish my goals. If you want something badly enough, you must go above and beyond, exploring the boundaries of your capabilities, to ensure you achieve it.


4) Your favorite quote and by whom?

"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants." Megamind- physicist, astronomer, and mathematician, Sir Isaac Newton. 

I love it because it is a recognition of all of the achievements our predecessors have made that we have the benefit of leveraging every single day to live generally easier lives, and to make further technological advancements as we grow into the future. It is also a wise strategy to implement- use the resources that have been developed for your use; we strive for progress for a reason.  It is probably because of his great mind that he recognizes the shoulders he stands on, and he demonstrates humility, respect, and wisdom through this quote.


5) If you could have any superhero power-what would it be?

I don't know if it counts as a superhero power, but I want the power that LeeLoo, from the Fifth Element, has, to rapidly learn a ton of information! It would be hard not to just lock myself in my house and learn everything I could possibly learn. 


6) What is the one piece of technology you cannot live without? 

Definitely my iPhone (with data connection)!


7) Technology is: