Ja'Shon Tyson

B.S. in Civil Engineering

ja'shon tyson headshot

What inspired you to pursue a STEM-based degree? How did you discover your interest in the field?

What inspired me to pursue a STEM-based degree was that I felt I could make a positive change in the world. I discovered my interest in the field when I started playing with Legos, eventually creating structures and entire cities without any plans/guides.

 

Who within STEM serves as an inspiration for you?

Individuals in STEM that inspire me are Guion Bluford Jr., Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Ben Carson.

 

How would you describe your experiences as a Black and/or Latino student at the School of Engineering?

I would describe my experiences as challenging, and revealing. At times, I feel underrepresented, but I realized that with a little bit more confidence, I can achieve grades that initially seemed near impossible.  

 

What courses were challenging for you? How did those courses better prepare you for what’s ahead? 

Courses that were challenging for me were Matlab, Physics II, and Statics. These classes, especially the latter two, served as foundation blocks for future courses. In classes like these, it is important to learn the material and get a decent grade; it will make life easier in the future. 

 

What are your research/professional career goals?

After I graduate, I plan to work in the field as a Construction Manager/ Project Manager. After obtaining my PE, my goal is to manage my own engineering firm.

 

As an underrepresented minority student, is there something that you recognize more now that you didn’t think of before attending Tandon?

I now recognize the importance of having more minorities in STEM fields. It is important that we lay the foundation so that the next generation of minorities can have a stronger voice at the table.

 

How important is it for incoming minority students to utilize their resources (i.e. professors, counselors, advisors, tutors, etc.)?

It is extremely important for minority students to utilize resources, and reach out for help if you’re struggling. College, particularly engineering subjects, are demanding, and with that pressure, along with the expectation from your family to perform well, it can all be overwhelming. There are tons of resources out there to guide you along your academic journey, and my advice would be to utilize them from the start. 

 

What advice would you offer to Black and Latino men who are interested in the STEM field?

I would offer the following advice to Black and Latino men interested in STEM: 1) identify a figure, famous or personal, who you admire, 2) reach out and find programs that can help you further explore the field, and 3) believe in yourself despite what people may tell you.