Alexis Scott ('95 M.S.) calls herself a Triple E -- an engineer, an entrepreneur and an educator. The National Society of Black Engineers Dallas-Fort Worth chapter calls her one of the "Hidden Figures of Dallas: Top Women of Color in STEM." Scott was formally honored by the organization in March during a scholarship event to raise money for students majoring in science, technology, engineering and math fields. The award, inspired by this year's movie Hidden Figures, was aimed at making sure the stories of inspirational women like Scott don't go untold.
"When the movie first came out, I got a lot of calls and emails from friends saying it reminded them of me," says Scott of the film about three African American women at NASA whose work helped the U.S. win the space race in the 1960s. "When I watched it, I actually cried because I did connect with them. When I started working in this field, I saw similar situations where I had to prove myself. I'm honored to be compared to those women."
Scott discovered as a young girl that she enjoyed numbers and excelled at using them to solve math problems. She says she knew there was a stereotype that girls weren't supposed to like math, but she didn't let that stop her and went on to earn her master's degree in mathematics at UNT.
Now as a manager and engineer at Raytheon in Dallas, she works in the field of system security engineering, with expertise in cybersecurity. She says it's been common in her career to be the only African American woman in the office or at the conference table. However, she also says receiving the "Hidden Figures" award with nine other African American women shows that these achievements are possible.
Inspiring the next generation is a major part of her life. In 2011, she founded AMS Academic Solutions, a company providing math and science tutoring. She hopes to encourage more women of color to enter those fields.
"In my lifetime, I would like to see many women in research and leadership positions," she says. "I want to see women embrace their intelligence and their passion."