SpelBots pictured front: Tyler Davis, Amelia Henderson, Breoshshala Martin. Back: Dr. Williams, Jazmine Miller, Jonecia Keels, Naquasia Jones. Photo: Rich Cash, Spelman College
Reflection by SpelBots Tyler Davis
I joined the SpelBots team during my first year at Spelman College under the advisement of Dr. Williams. Never did I think I would be interested in programming robots, but seeing the current upperclasswomen on the team and learning about all of their accomplishments intrigued me. I wanted to be just like them. Not only were they competing and winning robotic competitions usually dominated by international graduate teams, but they were and still are the only female African American team to ever do it. I wanted to be a part of that history.
Tyler Davis: Former SpelBots Captain and Current IBMer
Dr. Williams and my teammates instilled in me what it means to not only be a team player, but to be self-driven and self-motivated. As a team member, we were required to do robotics research and of course, a major part of research is that the answer is unknown. I believe that these key skills prepared me for where I am today. Currently, I am a consultant at IBM, developing web-applications for government clients. I apply these skills daily in order to stay relevant and up to date on the latest technology and to increase my skill-set.
Being a member also taught me the importance of giving back. We spent countless hours volunteering with organizations across the country to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in computer science. We’ve done presentations at Google Headquarters, international universities, Black Girls Code San Francisco, and much more, all to expose students to robotics and computer science.
I am proud of who I have become and I believe that my Spelman education and SpelBots experience is much to thank.