Celebrating Diversity in STEM: Cliford Mathelier
This February, the Boston Public Schools (BPS) Office of External Affairs will be celebrating Black History Month by spotlighting incredible members of Boston’s STEM workforce. A huge thank you to these talented individuals who volunteered to share their stories as we honor STEM diversity and encourage students interested in a STEM career path.
Get to know Cliford Mathelier, an Automation Engineer at GE. Cliford spends his days advising project teams on the ways they can keep their products secure from cyber threats, developing software for industrial control systems, and offering technical guidance to customers facing IT-related issues (among many other things).
Q: What motivated you to enter the STEM workforce?
A: I’ve always been inclined towards engineering and technology at a very young age. Although most people I knew, including my parents, worked in the healthcare field, I never felt comfortable imagining myself doing what they do. As I look at it now, I still don’t see myself working in any other field.
Q: What has been your proudest career achievement?
I take a lot of pride in making my parents proud. The proudest I’ve ever seen them be of me is when I was awarded the “Top Computer Engineering Student” of my undergraduate class. Although my graduation marked the very beginning of my career, it is one event that I’ll never forget!
Q: Why is it important for today’s students to actively engage in STEM learning?
A: The future is in technology. The possibilities are endless. Whether you want to work for a company developing cutting-edge technology, or you want to develop new technology independently, it’s really up to you. Reaching those goals, however, often start with a solid foundation in STEM education.
Q: If you could give your high-school self career or life advice, what would it have been?
A: My advice to myself would be: Be more curious and don’t be afraid to fail. Very often, failing at something can be seen as not being good enough. However, I came to realize that sometimes the more you fail, the better you get. You can’t always expect to succeed on your first try. There is a lot to learn from a mistake.
Boston Public Schools believes that an immersive STEM program is more than just teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills. STEM education is an all-encompassing experience that encourages students to solve problems and seek inquiries that are relevant to our current society using STEM competencies to address challenges. Thank you, Cliford, for including your voice in this important conversation.