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Can An Engineering Professor Write Contemporary Romance Novels?

Updated: Jun 18, 2023

Well that is the question of the day, isn't it? Obviously my answer is going to be a resounding, yes! Because I'm doing it. And hopefully doing it well. I posed this question on Twitter and I got one of the best responses ever. If Stacey Abrams, my Spelman sister, can run for governor of Georgia and also be a Black romance author, then why can't I? In fact, I forgot that I read the first two installments in Selena Montgomery's suspenseful romance series from . In fact, she ruefully admitted at a talk I attended last year that she has unfortunately now gotten too busy to complete the last novel in the trilogy. Lord I hope that won't be me with my First Responder Fairytales or Catalyst Chronicles series. 😉

In my opinion, many academics take themselves much too seriously. Well, this have never been me. I am definitely not that pretentious, snotty, elitist prototype of a college professor. If you spend as little as five minutes on my Twitter account, you would see that. Just check out my Black STEM Gifs, Engineering Fun Facts quizzes or Robot Slam Poetry. I know that I must never forget where I came from or those who prayed for me and planted seeds in my life. I have been too blessed to forget where I came from or neglect to be humble and grateful for how far I've come.

However, that being said I do have a voice and some things to share that others cannot. How dare me, take my gifts and hide them in a bushel? Part of my mission is to break the mode of what a professor and a Black women in STEM looks like. How better to do that than break all expectations of what people would expect me to do. This teaches my students and others that there is nothing better than to shatter expectations of those who try to put you in a box that is in direct conflict for who you want to be.

So can an engineering professor write about a Black Woman in STEM finding love? Absolutely. Can she do that and still be taken seriously in her professional career? Without a doubt. Should bringing your whole self to everything you do be expected instead of questioned? All day long. Therefore, I will continue to publish on engineering education, human-robot interaction, diversity in STEM and my African American fictional novels. I live by the scriptures, "to whom much is given, much is required." I am not living out my purpose if I choose to hold back any part of who I am because of how others choose to perceive me. Maybe it is time to show them how to expand their vision of what an engineer looks like and what a professor acts like.

In fact, it is my desire that the characters in my book also play a part in this myth busting as well. They are Black Women who can excel in their technical career, while breaking through barriers in STEM spaces, balancing their personal life and finding love.

Onward and upward to all Black Women who are living their lives to be more than what anyone expects them to be.

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