Celebrating African American Heritage Month: Meet two early career LLNL employees

Feb. 19, 2016
warren and hill

Monique Warren, an environmental engineer, and William Hill, a software developer, are two employees just starting their careers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. (Download Image)

Celebrating African American Heritage Month: Meet two early career LLNL employees

In honor of African American Heritage Month, the African American Body of Laboratory Employees (ABLE) and the Office of Strategic Diversity and Inclusion Programs at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are spotlighting a few early and mid-career employees of the Laboratory’s African American population, specifically focused on the employees’ educational background, work at the Lab, perspective on engaging under-represented groups in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and African American role models.

 

 

hill
Outside of his work at the Laboratory, William Hill enjoys teaching coding at the Hackbright Academy in San Francisco, a leading software engineering school for women.

William Hill

Job: Software developer

Educational background: Has both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in computer science from Mississippi State University.

Hill came to work at the Lab in 2013 as a software developer for the Computation Directorate, however, he is matrixed to the Global Security Principal Directorate. He currently works on the Counter-proliferation Analysis and Planning System (CAPS) software team developing new features for the Lab’s suite of applications. “I came to LLNL because I thought it was a great place to learn and grow early in my career,” Hill said. “I like that there is always a new challenge. I am excited that I am able to constantly grow from those challenges.” Early on, Hill was inspired by his parents toward a career in STEM and later by his mentor from Mississippi State, Donna Reese. Now he likes to give back and shares his passion for computer science by teaching and mentoring others. “To engage more under-represented groups in pursuing careers in STEM, we need more outreach and representation,” said Hill. “I think students are more likely to pursue STEM fields when they see people that look like them excelling in those fields. I’m proud that I’ve been able to use my accomplishments in my short career as a stepping stone to give back.”

Hill describes himself as ambitious, inquisitive and happy. In his spare time he enjoys exercising, playing basketball, reading and playing video games.

Favorite role model in African American history: “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., because his relentless pursuit of equality opened doors for myself and many others.”

Favorite quote: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

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warren
Monique Warren received a first place award for her project, “Determining the Feasibility of a Zeolite Pretreatment at GTU09 to Maximize Carbon Utilization,” during the 2014 LLNL Summer Student Poster Symposium.

Monique Warren

Job: Environmental engineer

Educational background: Has a bachelor’s in civil engineering (environmental emphasis) from the University of Southern California (USC) and is currently taking graduate coursework with UC Davis with a plan to apply to the master’s program in environmental engineering.

Warren, a student intern at the Laboratory since 2014, was recently hired as an environmental engineer in the Environmental Restoration Department within the Operations and Business Principal Directorate. She investigates, analyzes and designs environmental treatment technologies for soil and groundwater remediation and works with hydrogeologists, engineers, drafters, field technicians and vendors to complete well designs. “I love the environment at the Laboratory,” said Warren. “My colleagues, supervisors and managers were welcoming and just a joy to work with from the start. My department has been very open and encouraging of new ideas and provided me with different opportunities for research and new work, something that I greatly value. The work we do impacts the surrounding community, and I am proud to be part of this stewardship.”

Warren believes that to encourage young students toward STEM, it’s important to show them that science is worthwhile and fun in order to impact their career decisions later. A pivotal moment for Warren was when her father Joe, a longtime Laboratory employee, introduced her to Andrea Hodge, a former LLNL staff scientist who currently works as an associate professor in the department of aerospace and mechanical engineering at USC. “I was a middle school student at the time, and having the opportunity to see her lab space and watch her work, I realized the importance of her job and more importantly (at the time) how fun it looked,” said Warren. “She inspired me at a young age to pursue engineering, and then when I reached high school, she encouraged me to enroll in a summer engineering program at USC, solidifying my desire to enter the field. She is a big reason I am here today, and I am very thankful for her.”

Three words Warren uses to describe herself are passionate, driven and intentional. In her spare time she enjoys baking, reading and running and hopes to complete a half or full marathon someday.

Favorite role model in African American history: “Maya Angelou. Her writings from poetry to novels are powerful, inspiring works that I love and enjoy. Her famous poem, “Still I Rise,” helped me to recognize the significance of who I am and what I have come from.”

Favorite quote: “Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave.”  – Maya Angelou

 

Tags: Careers / STEM