Lauren Thomas Quigley

AI Skills Advosory Practice Leader at IBM

Spelman College, B.S. in Physics
Norfolk State University, M.S. in Optical Engineering
Virginia Tech, Ph.D. in Engineering Education

Lauren D. Thomas Quigley is an “alternative academic” aiming to improve STEM education through research and practice. Lauren earned her Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech with dissertation research focused on the identity-trajectory of graduate students in niche fields; she was also the first Black woman to graduate from the department. More recently, her research interests lie in the intersections of womanism, social justice and STEM products, processes and knowledge. Lauren’s professional roles have all been related to launching and growing large-scale STEM education programs. She has led STEM education programs in higher education, government, nonprofits, and the tech industry. Lauren is currently the AI Skills Advisory Practice Leader at IBM and an Affiliate Assistant Professor at the University of Washington in Human Centered Design & Engineering. Dr. Quigley is an active member of the National Society of Black Engineers, American Society of Engineering Education, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.


What are you most proud of in your work or life?

I’m proud that in all of my professional experiences I’ve been able to do work that impacts people and their ability to build skills, knowledge and careers in STEM. I’m especially proud that the direction of my impact has been beyond the company or university’s “selected” people and open for anyone to benefit from.

What are your passions and hobbies?

My work is truly my passion – changing STEM so that anyone can choose to be an engineer, scientist, technologist etc. and that people have the STEM literacy to navigate their daily lives. It’s what I care most about. I’ve enjoyed opportunities to mentor and coach students who have grown to become highly effective professionals. My hobbies are crafting and making, cooking and gardening.

Do you have a personal motto or other words to live by?

Service is the rent we pay to be living. It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time – Marian Wright Edelman

Favorite snack food?


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