The profile below was originally published on the website of NACME, the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, which provides scholarships to engineering students of color. It is reprinted here with permission.
Through partnerships with like-minded entities, NACME works to increase the proportion of African American, American Indian, and Latino young women and men in STEM careers.
For Engineers Week (Feb. 21 – Feb. 27), we are profiling African American engineers.
Tamra L. Dicus
TITLE: Chemical Engineering Patent Examiner, United States Patent and Trademark Office
EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science, Tuskegee University, Chemical Engineering
EXPERIENCE: As a Chemical Engineering Patent Examiner, Tamra Dicus protects the interests and rights of the public and assists applicants in their pursuit of securing patents on their dreams.
“I have always loved chemistry and have had a natural curiosity about substances,” says Dicus. “I didn’t always desire to be an engineer simply because I didn’t know enough about the profession. I felt that I had the aptitude to excel but I needed to learn more about the field of engineering. As such, I can say that it REALLY pays to talk to your peers, teachers, and professors, and seek the advice of others with experience in the area that you are considering. “
“The NACME Scholarship meant everything to me! Simply put, I wouldn’t have been able to attend Tuskegee University without the funding that I received from this scholarship. I am sincerely grateful for what NACME has meant to me and my professional life. The NACME Scholarship was the single most important factor for me being able to attend the college of my choice.”
As for Tamra’s advice to students, “Stay focused on your studies freshman year. By establishing a work ethic and emphasis on academic excellence, I was able to attain a cumulative GPA of 3.7/4.0 my freshman year, which set the tone for my remaining years at Tuskegee.”
“In closing, I am reminded of the quote from George Washington Carver, the esteemed former professor of Tuskegee Institute, ‘There is no shortcut to achievement. Life requires thorough preparation.’ These words guided me while at Tuskegee and still serve as my lamppost in my career and life.”