Name: Dale Glass
Place of Employment: National Presbyteriam School
Job Title: Science Coordinator
Education: BS in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Electrical Engineering, Brown University
MS in Applied Mathematics, specialty in Signal Processing
I have worked as a biomedical engineer at a research hospital, specifically developing a spinal cord monitoring program for patients, usually teen-aged girls, undergoing surgical treatment for scoliosis. I currently teach hands-on, inquiry-based science at an independent school in DC and am involved with several citizen-scientist programs. I am an advisor to an Ambassador Troop.
What is the greatest challenge you’ve encountered during your career in STEM?
My greatest challenge has been working with a boss who tried to take credit for my work. Fortunately, others recognized the situation, and after a while, I got a promotion - and he got let go.
What do you think is the most exciting thing about having a career in STEM?
There is always something new to learn and always new discoveries being made. We have made great strides in understanding how many things work, from a physical, biological, chemical and even sub-atomic point of view, but the more answers we seem to have, the more questions there are.
If you could give one piece of advice to a girl who is considering doing a Silver or Gold Award based on STEM or pursuing a career in STEM, what would that be?
My advice would be to find a mentor/project advisor who is eager and able (schedule-wise) to help. The engineering principle, KISS (keep it simple, stupid), is usually great advice too.
Did you have STEM mentors?
I had wonderful, supportive teachers in high school and college, but wish that I had had mentors early in my career. Now I seek them out and have several people who can help guide my development and career - and I also serve as a mentor to others.
If you were a Girl Scout, what is your favorite Girl Scout memory?
I was only a Junior Girl Scout for a semester, but my favorite memory was sewing a stuffed-animal bunny rabbit, using my own pattern. Funny that one project I did as a biomedical engineer was write a computer program that would print out a pattern for a leather leg brace based on four specific patient measurements.
If you were a Girl Scout, did Girl Scouting have an impact on your decision to pursue a career in STEM?
As a high schooler, I joined a co-ed Venture Scout group that was based in an engineering research lab. We got to use meet professional engineers and metallurgists, tour high-tech facilities, and use amazing equipment for science experiments. This experience, combined with my studies at school in biology, physics, and chemistry and an inspiring article about biomedical engineering in Scientific American, is what made me decide to be an engineer.