Leteshia A. Lowe

Spark Award

Leteshia A. Lowe, Spark Award, Headshot

Leteshia A. Lowe

IBM

For being a role model, teacher, and mentor to many early-career women; for expanding youth outreach efforts; and for empowering and inspiring women engineers to dream big.

IBM FlashSystem quality assurance and senior software test engineer Leteshia A. Lowe provides debug and failure investigation, strategic test management and innovative Reliability, Availability, and Serviceability (RAS) testing solutions. Working to solve technical challenges and to better understand customer needs, she drives field escape analysis resulting in improved coverage of gaps in the development and testing efforts.

She holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from Tennessee State University and an M.Ed. in secondary education from The University of Arizona South. Lowe uses her engineering degree to broaden and share her experiences and to explore a variety of concepts. She uses her education degree to create programs that inform young girls about the benefits and opportunities available in STEM fields.

Lowe volunteers through IBM and with community organizations that sponsor STEM-related programs, including workshops, career days, science fairs, and poster and writing competitions. She believes that mentoring and coaching others is important because it helps to increase their understanding of the world around them and provides insight into areas that otherwise they might not have explored.

As a first-generation university student, Lowe is an enthusiastic ambassador for the profession and believes it is important to encourage education at a young age and to introduce students to the range of opportunities in a STEM career. Her involvement in the Society of Women Engineers Houston Area Section (SWE-HA) allows her to share her journey through the programs she has helped to establish.

Her initial exposure to SWE occurred during her first year at Tennessee State. She met Yvonne Young (Y.Y.) Clark, P.E., F.SWE, a professor of mechanical engineering and the first Black member of SWE. Meeting Clark inspired Lowe to mentor and support as many women as possible and to work to build a community where women engineers are valued for their talent and skill without any prejudice or assumption based on gender or race.

Lowe developed a mentoring program section for SWE-HA members to provide support for young STEM early-career professionals. Activities ranged from developing leadership skills to navigating workplace challenges. She volunteers regularly with SWE-HA and its signature Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. She played an instrumental role in the SWENext Mentoring Pilot Program (2019-2020), an open and candid forum for SWENexters — girls through age 18 — to gain insight from experienced SWE members, fostering their engineering identities and sense of belonging to the SWE community. Lowe personally worked with 10 students in this program.

She has memberships with the National Society of Black Engineers Houston Professional chapter and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. She received the Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) STEM Modern-Day Technology Leader in 2021. The award is a testament to her professional work ethic, her enthusiasm for engineering, and her commitment to mentoring and inspiring girls and women in engineering and STEM fields to excel in their disciplines. She has been recognized as a 2020 IBM top performer honoree (May 2021) and as a Federation of Houston Professional Women 2021 Woman of Excellence honoree (June 2021).

When not immersed in her varied volunteer activities, Lowe enjoys movies, bike riding, and spending time with family.

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