Dr. Roach recognizes that he has an opportunity to make a difference. In addition to what his technical expertise allows him to contribute to the technology and engineering workforce, he also embraces the mission that ensures fair and equal opportunity for all in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Whether it is in higher education or in the science and engineering workforce (e.g., industry, education, and government), research illustrate the existing disparities for underrepresented groups within the STEM fields compared to majority groups. For example, the 2016 Science and Engineering Indicators (SEI) report prepared by the National Science Foundation highlight that the gap in educational attainment at the bachelor’s level between young minorities and whites continues to be wide. In addition, despite recent increases in participation by women and by racial and ethnic minorities in science and engineering (S&E), both groups remain underrepresented in S&E compared to their overall labor force participation.
Dr. Roach has had and continues to have a strong desire and willingness to engage in activities that contribute to broadening the participation of underrepresented groups in STEM. Resulting from his own experiences, it is evident that there is significant value in this type of service. As an engineer in the workforce, he firmly believes that he can be a conduit to the STEM workforce for talented, well-qualified student scholars and professionals from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. There exist many paths forward to engage himself in these initiatives. He is strongly committed to this path forward, his past educational and work experiences assure him of this. He desire to place himself in an environment where he can achieve his career and life goals while supporting the mission of the organization.
Service in the workforce
Over Dr. Roach’s academic and professional career, he has learned that teaching comes in several forms beyond lecturing – namely leadership and mentoring. Students have high expectations of the professor’s role both inside and outside the classroom. This only signifies that best practices should be put toward what is best for the students; guiding them not only to succeed in their academic career, but providing them the mental and technical capabilities to be reputable engineers in the workforce and in society post-graduation. This aspect of mentoring and leadership in the academic setting has a very similar place in the professional workforce – an environment in which one is willing to share knowledge amongst co-workers and having the openness to accept informed input from them.
As Dr. Roach progresses in his career, he aspires to hone further into his craft with continuous dedication, practice, and effort. In addition to this career endeavor, he also seeks to inspire (and be inspired) by taking a more consciousness role in facilitating a more collegial environment via mentoring and leadership within the workplace. After all, it seems only fitting that such an environment fosters a more productive and fun work/life experience for all.