This past February for Black History Month, NAME celebrated the black naval architects and marine engineers who have gone on from their time here to make their mark on the world. We would be remiss, however, not to look inward for those black naval architects and marine architects honing their craft right now in NAME and to look ahead toward the black history that is yet to be written.
Meet the black naval architects and marine engineers of tomorrow.
Director, UM CoE Alternative Spring Break Program
Daniel enjoys doing things with her hands and building things that benefit people in everyday life. Her time in the Michigan Engineering Zone (MEZ) during high school allowed her to meet students and faculty from the university and drove her decision to become a UM engineer which introduced her to the NAME program. She hopes to one day help influence other young black women to pursue STEM majors and to provide guidance on how to navigate through being an underrepresented minority in the field.
“My goal to become a versatile engineer and give back to my community.”
Tamarakro (Tammy) Moni
Destined for NAME
Growing up, Moni was always around ships. She lived in one of the biggest oil-producing cities in her home country and her father was involved in the marine business so she was exposed to marine engineering from a young age. The University of Michigan’s NAME program was always on her radar as one of few offering this major, but her decision was solidified after learning about the caliber of work being done at UM NAME. After graduation, Moni plans to use her degree to explore sustainability in the marine industry, particularly in energy.
“I became certain that this was the school for me when I found out more about the work the professors and alumni have done both in and outside the department; I definitely want to be a part of that.”
Treasurer, UM National Society of Black Engineers
As a child, Spraggins was driven to take toys and other things apart to see how they worked and then try to put them back together. Once his mother explained that his curiosity could lead him to a career in engineering, he chose to run with it. He decided to pursue a degree in NAME after meeting with NAME undergraduate advisor, Warren Noone, talking with a student in the department and with close friends who were also joining the department. He plans to potentially get a master’s degree in engineering after undergrad and find his desired career path in maritime engineering.
“I want to eventually have my own business that brings together community service, engineering, and innovation.”
President, The Quarterdeck Society
Ware’s drive toward engineering came from an unlikely place; the cartoons of the aughts. Characters like Danny Phantom’s parents, Dr. Doofenshmirtz, and the sister from Johnny Test, fascinated Ware with their inert inventiveness and creativity. It wasn’t until very late in high school however that she found out that what these characters were doing was a real thing called engineering. Her discovery of naval architecture came later, through an underwater ROV competition her junior year of high school. The experience really stuck with her as the first time she got to build something technical from scratch like her early mentors had. She plans to continue her education after undergrad by getting her master’s degree through the SUGS program. Due to her strong love for using 3D modelling softwares and her ability to think outside the box, working on ship design is her ultimate goal. Her dream job would be to work on the propulsion systems of submarines.
“These characters were able to design, build, and improve such cool and creative inventions with only their own brian power and determination and I wanted to do that too.”
White has always been fascinated with the water (watching ocean documentaries and visiting aquariums) but he’d always been focused on becoming a musician. It wasn’t until he joined his high school robotics team that he thought about engineering. When he took Eng 110 his freshman year, he learned about the NAME major and knew right away that he wanted to follow that path. White hopes to someday work on submarines.
“When I got into the CoE I had no idea what I was going to major in so I took the Engr 110 course. That introduced me to the major and it was almost an instant realization of what I wanted to do.”
A Commitment to Service
This cohort is driven by a passion for service to their community and to the next generations to follow in their footsteps. To that end, Daniel, Spraggins, Ware, and White will be spending their second consecutive Spring Break participating in Alternative Spring Break (this year virtually) to help teach Chicago high school students learn STEM.