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Mya Gibbs Finds Math To Be A Relief From The Stress of Classes

January 2017

Mya GibbsMya Gibbs, C'2019, is mathematics and architectural engineering major at Spelman College. Gibbs, who is also a math lab tutor, and member of the National Society of Black Engineers, is the Society of Women Engineers Programs chair. Here she shares why math means the world to her.

1. What inspired you to major in mathematics?
My inspiration for studying mathematics stems comes from my love of solving problems. Math has always been something I have enjoyed because I get this rewarding feeling when I solve a problem correctly. In addition, math is a form of relief from many of my other classes.

2.  What are your short-term and long-term career goals? How do you plan to use your skills to impact change in your chosen field? For my short-term career goals, I want to be a part of a successful engineering company and work my way up to the top. When I am effective enough as an individual, I plan to create my own architectural engineering business. In order to impact my field of engineering, I would like to expand my business to do missionary work building homes in other countries outside of the United States.

3. Please describe any internship, research or study abroad experiences you have had while at Spelman. How (if at all) did these experiences further convince you to pursue your chosen career? I have not yet had any internship, research, or study abroad opportunities while at Spelman, but I have had the opportunity to go to a convention for the National Society of Black Engineers and that experience helped motivate me further because I saw so much potential and Black excellence within one room. This spring, I will be studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain.

4. What resonates with you most about the film "Hidden Figures?" (see trailer here) 
The part of the film that resonates with me the most is the part where the character Katherine was the only Black person in a room full of white men, and they kept putting work in front of her, but she kept completing all of her assignments. I had a similar experience in high school because I was the only Black girl in most of my math and science classes, and in order to prove I was just as smart as the other people in the room, I had to work much harder.  

5. What person has had the biggest influence upon you as it relates to your interest in mathematics? Math has always come pretty easily to me, but I did not really appreciate it until my junior year of high school thanks to my Advanced Placement calculus teacher Mr. Lewis. He made math become a potential career as opposed to a course taken just as a requirement.

Mr. Lewis really challenged me to be the best I could be. He would not settle for anything less, so I had to rise to the challenge. Math is always much more enjoyable when I know what is going on, and he consistently made sure the class understood the material. Now I have the privilege to continue my mathematics education here at Spelman College.  

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