Our February First Friday at the Fab Lab program, on February 5 at 6pm, celebrates Black History Month with the first of our All the Colors career diversity series. Our guest this month is Dr. Sylvia Thomas, Associate Professor in Electrical Engineering and former Assistant Dean for the College of Engineering at the University of South Florida.

About All the Colors

All the Colors is hosted for youth by youth, and is collaboratively developed by Pasco County Agents for Change and the Foundation for Community Driven Innovation (FCDI) at AMRoC Fab Lab, with support from PLUGHTIZ Productions. The goal of All the Colors is to help bridge the race and gender gap in science, technology, manufacturing and other high end careers and workforce opportunities by introducing children and young adults to people of diverse backgrounds who work in a variety of fields.

We believe in the truth of the adage that “You can’t be what you can’t see,” especially when it comes to academic and career opportunities for youth of color.  Through interviews conducted by youth, the series will strive to tell the stories of different professionals, and to inspire youth through their journeys to becoming the accomplished and passionate individuals who these adults are today.

Each video will include companion resources and educational material and the entire series will be archived by searchable categories that educators and others working with youth can easily access and share.

About Dr. Sylvia Thomas

Dr. Sylvia Wilson Thomas is currently an Associate Professor in Electrical Engineering and former Assistant Dean for the College of Engineering at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University, where she was a Patricia Roberts Harris Fellow. Dr. Thomas received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Howard University, as a NSF Materials Research Center of Excellence Fellow. Dr. Thomas was a National Science Foundation (NSF) research engineer in Korea at Chonbuk National University.

She holds two patents and has over twelve years of industry experience, assisting in the success of such companies and organizations as Agere Systems formerly Lucent Bell Labs, the National GEM Consortium, ITT Technical Institute, Kimberly Clark Corp., IBM, and Procter & Gamble. Dr. Thomas is also the USF GEM Consortium Representative and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Minority Ph.D. Mentor.

Dr. Thomas leads the Advanced Materials Bio and Integration Research (AMBIR) laboratory at USF, where her research and teaching endeavors are focused on advanced materials for alternative energy sources, sustainable environments, aerospace, and bio-applications from the micro to the nano scale.

About Our Host: Jalyse

Jalyse is a member of FIRST Tech Challenge Team Duct Tape, based at AMRoC Fab Lab.  She has also recently joined our FIRST Robotics Competition team, the Edgar Allan Ohms, and also participates in our REC Foundation Advanced Manufacturing Competition (AMC) Pilot program.  Jalyse is a talented artist who successfully combines her creative instincts with design and engineering challenges to support her teams’ competitive efforts.  She is active in AMRoC Fab Lab outreach events and her natural interest and curiosity in the world around her makes her a natural host for All the Colors.