Dr. Virginia Tickles Breaks Boundaries for Minority Women in STEM


The minuscule percentage of minority women in STEM has expanded in recent years with help from NASA systems engineer Dr. Virginia Tickles. Tickles grew up in New Orleans and was influenced by a long line of women in education and activism in her family who pushed for equality and education reform. She worked to earn a doctorate in higher education from Jackson State University and soon after wrote her dissertation on minority women rising in STEM fields. Her background at NASA encouraged her to educate young women who aspire to work in STEM fields by heading a group at her alma mater known as Jackson State's Society of Women Engineers.


For Further Reading:

Tickles is revered by her colleagues at NASA for her work on spacecraft engineering projects-- read this article to learn more about her accomplishments in STEM. She was also respected for her emphasis on education and minority women’s presence in STEM programs--read here for more on her work with students.


Discussion Question:

Other than STEM, what industries do you feel need more female representation?


Action Item:

With women’s presence in tech and engineering increasing, learn more about the historical figures who paved the way by watching the award-winning movie Hidden Figures, featuring minority women working at NASA.



Read more on Nasa | Image: NASA/MSFC/Fred Deaton