Partnering with clients to create innovative, multi-dimensional solutions wouldn’t be possible without our team of experts, their talent, and their passion. Each month, we highlight member of our team—giving you the chance to get to know the people behind the capabilities.
This month, get to know Felicia McClary! Felicia serves as our Technical Delivery Manager. Before joining U.Group, Felicia earned her Ph.D. studying the chemical components for activating semiconductor switches, designed novel materials, and built microprocessor hardware technology. She eventually applied this work to the strategic implementation of innovative field practices to enrich the lives of people in developing nations. Felicia loves mentoring young women of color, so keep reading to hear some of her incredible advice!
Describe your role at U.Group in 140 characters or less.
FM: I set the framework for how our development teams leverage agile principles to meet deliverables while refining how we track to achieve a continuous delivery model.
How did you discover your passion for science and technology?
FM: My passion emerged in stages—starting in the third grade at a school science fair (one of the only times I have been content with second place) and then picking up speed after a toxicology internship at the Washington State Patrol Forensic Lab. This interest then blossomed after being nominated as a top performing young scientist where, along with other young researchers, I represented the U.S. delegation at the Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates. And finally, my love for science and technology grew a tenfold after seeing the impact my work made on consumers through my contributions at Intel Corporation. There, I owned the development and refinement of a next generation microprocessor technology currently in production at high-volume.
Who or what inspires you?
FM: My parents. Seriously, my dad lived in Antarctica! Students also inspire me. Not only the students I teach and mentor—but all students, kindergarten through college. They are innovative, imaginative, and the most connected. Young people will save the planet. Finally, Beyoncé inspires me. Her work ethic is admirable.
What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?
FM: I am most passionate about mentorship, and access. The coolest thing to me is interacting with young women of color interested in or actively pursuing STEM careers. I value the opportunity to show students that their careers come with endless options to drive decision making in policy, industry, academia, and entrepreneurship, and that they are not confined to life as a bench scientist—a popular misconception.
If you had one piece of advice to give someone just starting out in your field, what would it be?
FM: The advice I often give young black women is to “Google” yourself, bet on yourself, and go where your creativity, perspectives, and skills are valued— not silenced. The only person you have to be better than is the person you were yesterday.
What is something few people know about you?
FM: I like the sense of accomplishment that comes with power lifting and hitting a new personal record—I have a 310 lb. deadlift, 260 lb. back-squat, and 170 lb. power clean.
FM: I also have a famous cousin who was a member of a singing duo. Whether or not you are a fan of 70’s disco, you have likely heard their double platinum hit single, or some of the songs written for other artists.
Where is your favorite place in the world, and why?
FM: My family has been fortunate enough to experience various places and cultures, thanks in part to my dad’s 30 years of service in the U.S. Navy. But as an adult, my favorite place on earth is Zambia—the most inspiring and beautiful country—referred to as “the warm heart of Africa” alongside its neighbor, Malawi. Livingstone (Victoria Falls), Lusaka, rural villages, the safaris, and the people will leave you with a smile and feeling thankful to be alive.
FM: I also collect original oil paintings in various countries from local artists of color, and Zambia is home to my favorite pieces.