We’ve all had that feeling that maybe where we are in our careers could have been different had we taken a little more time in school, a little more focus on our skills, and a little more dedication to our jobs. We desire a walk full of open doors instead of a constant upheaval of glass ceilings. These open doors aren’t a fantasy. They can be created and created at this very moment. How, you ask? Well, first, let me introduce you to Jasmine L. Sadler.
Jasmine L. Sadler is a ground-breaking engineer bringing mathematics and a thirst for learning into the hearts of many San Diego children. As a graduate from the University of Michigan, Jasmine obtained her Bachelor’s in Aerospace Engineering and a Minor in Math. This, alone, would have been more than enough of an accomplishment for most, but Jasmine had even bigger plans. As a classically trained ballerina, perfectionism ran deep, and she knew that nothing worth having ever came easily. Her parents, both computer specialists, valued hard work and education and raised Jasmine and her brother to feel the same. Her brother actually followed in their parents’ footsteps, choosing Computer Engineering as his major. Knowing she was great at math and science, Jasmine felt engineering was a natural choice in her studies. Once this decision was made, she had to choose which path of engineering she’d pursue. While in high school, she attended Detroit area engineering exposure programs, but after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, she felt pulled to the aerospace division. Aerospace engineering is a career in which individuals are designing and developing spacecrafts and aircrafts. If you’re like me, you are instantly intimidated by such a degree. The thought that I, as an individual, will be responsible for crafting an item of that magnitude is nerve-wracking; but thank God for people like Jasmine.
I’m not the only person uttering this phrase. Once established in her field of engineering, Jasmine knew she had the power to help other prospective engineers and students. Jasmine still felt a pull from two directions, her love of engineering and her love of dance. It was her amazing insightfulness that managed to join her two passions together and find a way to bring this concept to others, allowing them to see the relationship of these two disciplines. Jasmine designed a program that was more enticing to the young minds she was hoping to influence. Jasmine would use dance to help explain movements based on engineering principles.
That’s when she decided to start a tutoring company based on improving the mindset of young scholar’s perception of math and engineering. S.T.E.A.M., standing for SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, ARTS, AND MATHEMATICS, was the value proposition for Sadler as she realized she was finding herself the minority in her field. According to Forbes.com, only about 10% of aerospace engineers are women. This reality allowed Jasmine to be taken even more seriously as a speaker at numerous organizations and programs within San Diego. Schools were very eager to have such an inspirational leader impact the lives of their students, and it was with these speaking engagement opportunities that her company, The STEAM Collaborative, was able to grow into numerous cities. “I would go out and dance for the students and then talk about some of the physics behind what I was doing. So when I spin, why it’s important to have your arms close to you, or what happens if you have your arms straight up, as in the Ballerina position that most people know and love. I would explain to the students why my arms are held a certain way and explain the dynamics and the relation to physics and angular momentum. Many elements in aerospace engineering study aerodynamics, which is how objects move through the air, and how that incorporates exactly into what I do as a dancer.”
I would explain to the students why my arms are held a certain way and explain the dynamics and the relation to physics and angular momentum. Many elements in aerospace engineering study aerodynamics, which is how objects move through the air, and how that incorporates exactly into what I do as a dancer.
While the tremendous growth of her company was primarily a result of Jasmine’s hard work and dedication, she knew she needed one more piece of the puzzle to truly raise her organization to the level of success it deserved. This piece was a Master’s Degree. Working full-time as an engineer and running an organization as notable as The STEAM Collaborative, this was a very lofty idea. Where would she find the time? Enter Point Loma Nazarene’s Evening MBA Program. This program is one unlike any other. It is focused primarily on working professionals with advanced experience in their field, and concentrations such as Innovation & Entrepreneurship. This is not the only MBA program offered by Point Loma Nazarene; they also offer a Daytime program for students continuing on to obtain their MBA after completion of their undergraduate program. The program Jasmine chose gave her the ability to attend classes in the evening as a full-time student, while still working as a full-time engineer. Not only were the class times convenient, but the PLNU Evening MBA Program put Sadler in a room with nothing but like-minded business savvy individuals whose dedication to their careers mirrored her own. Her leadership inside and outside of the classroom encouraged her selection as MBA Student of the Year.
Now running her organization with an MBA, Sadler adds just more accomplishments to her list of many; and is even more enabled to provide those open doors to all of her students and peers. When asked what her advice for other women would be, Jasmine responded, “Never give up. Find your purpose in life and let that purpose lead your decisions and actions. Find mentors that can guide you through it and people that you, yourself, can mentor.” This counsel is priceless. If there is one overwhelming theme in all of the women I have spoken with throughout my time at San Diego Woman Magazine, it is this; they never…ever, give up. Perseverance is the key to achievement and when you are working in your purpose, oh how glorious that success can be.
Success doesn’t have a gender or ethnicity or age.
The STEAM Collaborative is tangible proof of Sadler working in sync with her purpose. Tutoring and mentoring our youth to not only understand complex subjects but, to believe that they themselves are capable of learning those subjects is a God-given talent. Jasmine is creating a culture which operates in the idea of “I Can.” Her business promotes pursuing technical careers from an artistic perspective to a segment of kids who don’t believe they even have that option.
“It’s a completely different experience when the students are able to see me. I’ve had teachers say, ‘even if you don’t say anything you can just walk in the room, and I can point to you and say, SEE! Rocket Scientist!.'” This realization to one’s self that success doesn’t have a gender or ethnicity or age is a profound statement. Sadler goes on to detail the fact that how potential scholars identify themselves often plays the largest role in their career decisions. “It changes the identity of what they think a rocket scientist looks like or what an engineer looks like, and now they are able to form that identity within themselves and see themselves as a potential engineer one day.” Sadler’s impact is already being felt in the Engineering community. Engineering degrees have more than doubled in the last five years, and the industry is expected to grow another 6% in 2019.
With all that Jasmine has accomplished since graduating you would think this would satisfy her need to give back, but not Jasmine. She has a long-term vision to one day run a university with a curriculum that combines STEM and the Arts. “I would like to one day start a production management company where we have custom-built theaters around the world by our engineering students. These theaters would include an Arts Academy and have housing included for students and their families. This would help to eliminate the financial risk associated with studying the arts. Students could attend, and study various forms of art such as dance, painting, graphic design, and costume design. This would lessen the fear held by many who may want to major in dance, but contemplate the possibility that if they did something as simple as breaking a pinky toe, this could end a career. That fear is what led me to decide to study engineering and relegate my love of dance as a side interest. What if instead there was the opportunity to attend a STEAM University for students who truly want to pursue STEM and the arts? What if they were able to pay for it through a work-study program, perhaps working for the theater, so they would still be able to learn? What if there was housing associated with the program, so they wouldn’t have to worry about their family’s well-being? That truly is my ultimate vision for The STEAM Collaborative.”
Never give up. Find your purpose in life and let that purpose lead your decisions and actions. Find mentors that can guide you through it and people that you, yourself, can mentor.
Interested in being a part of The STEAM Collaborative to make science, technology, engineering, or mathematics a desirable choice for your students or child who may also love art? Visit www.steamcollab.com or @theSTEAMcollab to find out more about how you can make this career path approachable and desirable to your class or your children.
Jaime V. Habert is an author for San Diego Woman Magazine. This article appeared in a recent San Diego Woman Magazine issue and was adapted for this website.
Banner Photo Source: Dawn Nicoli/Nicoli Productions
Interested in learning more about our MBA programs?
Many great business leaders have leveraged a graduate business education to help them become more influential leaders. PLNU offers a two-year Evening MBA program for experienced working professionals who want to take control of their career and help influence others. The Daytime MBA program is designed for students who have recently completed their undergraduate degree (within 0-3 years).
We encourage you to learn more at pointloma.edu/mba or call (619) 563-2856.