|Name:||Thema Monroe-White, PhD|
|Current Job:||Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems|
Dr. Monroe-White teaches Information Systems and Data Analytics at Berry College. She attributes her early exposure to R the School of Public Policy's Introductory Stats class for her success as an external evaluator and data analyst, and later for opening the door to her tenure-track position in the exciting field of data science. Prior to joining the faculty at Berry, she served as the external evaluator for private and federally funded national initiatives aimed at increasing entrepreneurship and innovation training in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, expanding the pipeline of high-quality science and technology-based ventures in the U.S and reducing the opportunity gap for underrepresented majority students in higher education. Thema continues to act as a consultant for programs like these, particularly those aimed at broadening participation in the STEM fields. Thema has been married for 16 glorious years and is the mother of four beautiful children.
Some advice for current PUBP students: 1) Start crafting your professional persona while you are still in school. In addition to maintaining strong connections with your advisor, committee members, instructors and classmates, think strategically about how the practical skills you are learning can be harnessed and leveraged to open doors in the future. 2) For the Ph.D. students: don't just write a dissertation and leave it on the shelf. Even if you are headed to work in industry, you never know what life may hold. In order to keep the doors to academic-life open, you must publish. Find a few colleagues who value publishing as much as you do and remain an active contributor in your field. 3) To all existing (or would be) spouses and parents, I want you to know that you can have a fulfilling personal life while building your professional career, it is not either or. I started the program at Georgia Tech after already being a wife and mother (x3!). I encourage those of you thinking about how to navigate a family and a professional career to trust your instincts and not rush in (or out) of any decisions because of what others may tell you.
Parting words: Good luck! It is not always easy, but the PUBP journey at Tech is well worth it.