USAG Wiesbaden Public Affairs
WIESBADEN, Germany – Tunesha Griffith recently received a notification regarding her selection for a $10,000 scholarship sponsored by Google’s Women Tech Makers. The scholarship is given to outstanding female students who aspire to be innovators and leaders in a technical field.
Griffith, an Army spouse, is a student with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide, Wiesbaden Campus. Her course of study is a Bachelor of Science in Unmanned Systems Applications with a minor in Engineering Sciences.
“For as long as I can remember, I have been in love with technology and science fiction,” said the New Orleans native. “As a young child, I watched old movies about futuristic cities and space travel and fantasized about the future. The first Christmas present I remember asking for was a robot. After that, it was video games that my late sister taught me how to play and what I believe gave me a competitive nature and problem-solving skills.”
Griffith credits video games with giving her teamwork skills after becoming a competitive gamer in the late 2000s. Playing competitive video games also allowed her to develop sharp communication skills, which helped her in her selection for a marketing internship with Ubisoft and a representative role at Nintendo, she said.
“Consistently, all of these experiences came to be very useful when I became a Microsoft community leader, where I had the opportunity to use all of the leadership skills I had learned so far,” Griffith said. “By that time, I worked with a broader range of technology while leading youth initiatives that taught kids how to be makers instead of just consumers. And it was around this time that I felt a renewed spark – I saw how fast technology was moving, and I wanted to be a maker, too.”
Griffith met a soldier in 2017, got married, and almost immediately had to say goodbye to her life in the states for a three-year adventure in Germany. This allowed her the time to start a career change and begin attending college full time.
“Naturally, my interests fell into the realm of technology since that was my interest since childhood,” she said. Futuristic cities, space travel robots, autonomous transportation systems, unmanned space vehicles and smart robots had advanced leaps and bounds technologically speaking since her childhood. “During my lifetime, I wanted to work on projects that positively impact the world by making life easier for people of all abilities and advancing transportation on Earth and beyond.”
Griffith said she gets excited when she sees other women doing work in the field that she’s going into. “After reading a blog about an engineer at the Navy Research Lab who had worked on unmanned aerial vehicles, I reached out to her to tell her how inspiring she was to me,” Griffith said. “That engineer happened to be ERAU Assistant Professor Dr. Christine Dailey Walck, who seemed just as excited as I was about my goals and future. She encouraged me to look into courses at the Daytona campus, but as destiny would have it, ERAU has a campus here in Wiesbaden.
Griffith hopes to earn her BS in Unmanned Systems Applications by the end of 2021. “I’m hoping to apply for the 4+1 program to begin working on my Master of Science in Unmanned Systems with a specialization in Space Systems,” she said. “Before then, I hope to have landed my first internship — hopefully at a vehicle or robotics lab or space organization.”
Learn more about the scholarships at https://www.womentechmakers.com/scholars.