Ambria M. Berksteiner is the reigning 2017-2018 Miss Black Savannah USA. In 2016 Berksteiner launched Operation: Changing the World One STEM at a Time which provides mentoring to young African-American girls who are interested in pursuing STEM careers. Berksteiner is a participant of the Dual Degree Engineering Program at Spelman College, where she majored in Mathematics, and is currently pursuing a degree in Industrial Engineering at Auburn University. Berksteiner is planning on obtaining her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering.
Check out Ambria's feature in the Savannah Tribune HERE
Ambria's esteemed position as a Spelman Alumna STEM Ambassador, member of the Executive Board of the National Society of Black Engineers (Auburn University Chapter), and recipient of the Georgia Power Women in Engineering Scholarship, displays her exemplary service as an advocate for the STEM fields as well as the arts,Since Operation Changing the World One STEM at a Time's creation and obtaining this prestigious title Berksteiner has continued to use her voice to bring awareness to the math and sciences, working diligently to expose underrepresented students to different areas of the STEM fields.
Name: Ambria Berksteiner
Alma Mater: Spelman College/Auburn University
SiSTEM Career Path: Mathematics/Industrial Engineering
Degrees: BS Biology
KH: What has been the most interesting part of your career?
AB: The most interesting part of my venture has been how much my scientific skills, particularly my critical thinking skills, have improved throughout my matriculation at Auburn and Spelman. Being able to be exposed and share a classroom to individuals from all walks of life and cultures definitely helped develop my way of thinking.
KH: How can women of Color Advance in STEM/Get further in STEM
AB: African American women face numerous obstacles that limit their advancement in the STEM fields. Despite the existence of these obstacles there are solutions. As black women in STEM we must maintain positive attitudes, utilize our support systems, and also engage in building a supportive workplace, be passionate and competent in what they accomplish, engage by having or being a supportive mentor and/ or role model.
KH: How did you get interested in STEM?
AB: I actually did not have an interest in the STEM fields until around high school (I attended The Savannah Arts Academy) I was always naturally good at math, but never looked into engineering until I saw that I could do math and create/be involved with the visual arts at the same time ! I enjoy the fact that I will be working on technologies that have potential to revolutionize the world!
KH: Why should women of color get involved with STEM?
AB: It is important for women to get involved with STEM more because Diversity in the classroom and workplace is very much needed to advance scientific knowledge and expose it to our youth. If our young girls see mostly men in the STEM fields then that can be very discouraging. We must shine a light on the knowledge that African American women bring to STEM, and model for young ladies that STEM ca be vast and diverse.
KH: How do you enjoy your weekends?
AB: When I am not doing my Miss Savannah duties I am practicing roofs or coding for fun!
KH: Best Advice you have ever received ?
AB: The best advice I have ever received was to give NEVER give up. Like any career aspirations, you have to work at them!