Q&A with Featured Contributor Dajae Moe Williams of NASA

For the rest of this week we’ll be posting our last few Q&As with Featured Contributors, and today I bring you Dajae Moe Williams, a Quality Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. Dajae will be speaking alongside Featured Contributor Trudy Kortes in a panel about women pursuing STEM careers on Sunday at 10 a.m., so be sure to check it out in the Guidebook app! And don’t forget your passes!

But for now, let’s get to know Dajae!

Tell us a little about your story. Where are you from? Where are you based out of now?

St. Louis, Missouri. I now live in Los Angeles, California.

What are some of your favorite hobbies?

I enjoy song writing, music production, basketball, and entrepreneurship.

Who did you look up to growing up? How about now?

When I was younger, I looked up Will Smith, Queen Latifa, and Bill Nye the Science Guy. Now I look up to Nipsey Hussle and Steve Jobs.

Women in STEM FTW!! [Image Description: Headshot of Dajae. She’s smiling at the camera in front of a blue background. She’s wearing a white button-up, black polka-dotted tie, and vintage-looking glasses. Her long dark hair is hanging down her back.]

What do you wish you had more time for?

I wish I had more time to write educational music and learn new skills like swimming, horseback riding, and surfing.

For the nonscientists out there, how do you describe what you do?

As a Quality Engineer, I ensure that the hardware I monitor is always safe and functions as it should.

Did you always intend to go into this field?

No, I always wanted to be a music producer, but once I was exposed to STEM, a whole new world of possibilities opened for me.

What do you love best about your work?

I love being exposed to the new technology and new designs that are used to advance space exploration.

How do you articulate the importance of amplifying underrepresented voices in STEM?

It is important to amplify underrepresented voices in STEM because it makes room for different perspectives. You can only get so far with continuously asking the same type of people with the same type of background to find solutions. We will only advance as a species when we take into consideration that people with different experiences are the key to discovery. We’ve gotten far without diversity, but imagine how much further we could get with it.

Where can folks find you online?

@Dajae.Monae on Instagram!

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Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

Teal Christensen

Teal is a recently-graduated English literature student with more unfinalized future plans than favorite songs from Hamilton. Her main hobbies are reading books, thinking about books, and talking about books.

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