Update: 1/9/15. Marcie’s featured on BBC for her latest invention: the smart baby seat from Intel!
Dr. John here… As one of the few lifelong Arizona Cardinals fans, it is a real honor to introduce Marcie, Pro Bowl Cardinals Cheerleader and electrical engineer at Intel®. She’s the latest superstar in our series featuring professional cheerleaders and athletes who are pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers.
Marcie is in her fourth year with the Cardinals and previously cheered at Arizona State University (ASU) while completing her engineering degree. She’s currently a Technical Marketing Engineer managing an architectural conversion program at Intel® Corporation in the Embedded and Communications Group. She assists the sales teams win designs in embedded markets, converting them from PPC, SPARC, ARM and MIPS to Intel architecture.
Arizona Cardinals and Cheerleaders to the Super Bowl and BEYOND! Take it away Marcie…
Marcie, who or what experience turned you on to science and engineering?
I have always been intrigued by science based careers. In high school several of my mom’s friends were engineers so she had me talk to them and spend a day on the job with one. From a little exposure and a summer job working at a technology start-up company, I was hooked on the fact that I could be involved in the next technological advancement which shapes the way we live.
Do you have any advice for youngsters who might feel torn between following one dream associated with beauty or physique (cheerleading, baseball, etc) and following a STEM career usually associated with, well, geeks?
I encourage girls of all ages to do what excites and motivates them, no matter what it is! If it is something as diverse as cheerleading and engineering, go for it! You will only be a more well rounded individual! Also, having an engineering degree gives you a foundation that you can use anywhere and will enable a long, stable career path.
Did you find that stereotypes about cheerleaders helped or hindered your studies or professional experiences?
Having the diversity of cheerleading and engineering has been an extremely positive experience for me personally and professionally. Having the ability to perform and cheer while pursuing a career in engineering has been a perfect physical outlet and allowed for a great work/life balance. I have been lucky enough to have a ton of support from my boss and co-workers. Although there may be some who stereotype the capabilities of cheerleaders, others stereotype engineers. We can’t let their negativity or comments stop us from pursuing our dreams. It’s our responsibility to break down false assumptions around us.
How do you encourage people to become more interested in science and engineering?
It is important to me to raise awareness and encourage young people to be interested in science and engineering. I stay involved in community activities such as Jr. Achievement and CompuGirls which promotes continued education and intertwines fun and engaging projects that teach science basics.
What are some ways that science and engineering impact our world that people may not think about?
We all encounter science and engineering regularly and don’t even realize it! Products that require science and engineering surround us every day, influencing the way we live and communicate with one another. This is especially prevalent in my career.
Think about your day. From the time you wake up in the morning to the time you get to work or school you interact with technology in embedded devices in your home, in your car, digital signs in the store or on the side of the highway, making a phone call, and getting cash at the ATM. These are all areas where Intel technology continues to grow and impact each and every one of us.
Best cheerleading experience?
Being a part of the Arizona Cardinals Cheerleading organization has given me a tremendous amount of experiences that I would not have had otherwise. One of my best and most memorable experiences has to be the opportunity to perform for the troops. More specifically, performing for the troops in Iraq this past September was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Giving back to the men and woman who serve our country by bringing a little piece of home and some entertainment was priceless!
Wildest engineering moment?
The level of intelligence I encounter every day at work is always wild to me. It’s mind-blowing to think that I get to work with the smartest engineers on the planet and get insight into what consumers won’t have access to for years!
Favorite and/or least favorite courses you took to prepare for your work?
I have always enjoyed my math based course work best, especially statistics and differential equations (Diffi Q). However, there were several deadly hard classes I had to complete for an engineering degree. I didn’t necessarily like them all and I wasn’t always the top of the class, but sometimes it’s just about proving that you can finish a task. Don’t quit because of a couple difficult courses. The same goes for dance and cheer. You may not be able to do as advanced tumbling tricks or as many pirouettes as the next girl, but it doesn’t mean you aren’t going to succeed!