Q: What inspired you to become an engineer? Were you always interested in technology? If so, why? If not, when did you become interested and why?
A: I’ve been interested in science, technology, engineering and math from as far back as I can remember. My father was a math and science teacher and my mother worked the hospital night shift. So, my father cared for me after school. He would seat me at the dining room table while he graded his 7th – 12th grade students’ homework and give me the same math problems to solve to keep me busy. I still remember learning binary (base 2) and hexadecimal (base 16) math at the same time as decimal (base 10) and loved it. My father called them fun puzzles and games, and I agreed! Throughout grade school, high school and college, I took all the STEM classes possible, along with playing basketball, three instruments in concert and jazz bands, being on the yearbook staff and art clubs. When I was in 6th – 12th grades, my father was superintendent of schools. He also taught advanced calculus. Sometimes he would be called away on short notice to a meeting, and there were occasions when he came to get me from the class I was in at the time and say, “Beck, I need you to teach my class today.” That probably would not be allowed today.