Saturday Engineering Enrichment Program, Coordinator

Ujima Enterprises' Saturday Engineering Enrichment Program (SEEP) is a free Saturday engineering program for students in grades 6 through 8. My husband and I, as co-directors, worked with these middle school students and coordinated volunteers from Western Michigan University's NSBE chapter to achieve three main objectives. These include:

  1. introducing the students to engineering concepts,

  2. familiarizing the students with the fundamental engineering disciplines,

  3. fostering the development of both soft and technical skills including:

    1. design and construction,

    2. problem-solving,

    3. teamwork,

    4. critical thinking, and

    5. communication

"The program was simply amazing. He learned so much and has focused his energy on becoming an engineer someday. This is totally awesome as he had no idea what he wanted to be before this program. He was very excited to come on Saturdays and even more excited on the last day to showcase their hard work...He's already talking about the program for next year! Thank you so much for this opportunity!" 

-Stephanie W., Parent of a 7th grade SEEP student

"Thank you all so much for just putting together such an amazing program for the inner-city youth. A lot was accomplished and the kids were definitely introduced to new things, which is awesome. Thank you guys so much for everything you did and your patience. May God bless you as you go forth. She really enjoyed herself. Will the program go on next year as well?"

-Deb K., Parent of a 6th grade SEEP student

Western Michigan University

Adjunct Professor

Travel Demand Analysis

Traffic Modeling and Simulation

Traffic Operations and Management

“Dr. Smith is one of my best professors because she made extra effort in carrying everyone along in her class by listening to students and providing easy to understand examples to complement her teaching. Besides that, her classes were always interactive, which made learning easy and interesting.”

-Oghenekaro K.

"Dr. Smith created a very interactive and engaging atmosphere during her lectures, which was really helpful in understanding concepts being taught."

-Oluwaseun A.

Dr. Smith always seemed well-prepared for class and made sure we learned the concepts being taught using different methods....class and group activities, student participation, study guides, and follow-up assignments."

-Lusanni R.


Applying the Engineering Process to the Global Water Crisis

I volunteered with Educating for Freedom in Schools on multiple occasions. In this particular session, I taught students about the global water crisis. During this interactive workshop, students moved around to each station to learn about different aspects of the crisis as they pertain to the engineering process: Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, and Improve.


Tri-Cities High School NSBE Jr. Chapter

NSBE Jr is a pre-collegiate initiative of the National Society of Black Engineers. I served as a co-advisor for the TCHS chapter from 2013 to 2016. Within our chapter, which meets weekly during the school year, we conduct workshops to introduce students to engineering fields, advise and assist students with engineering-related projects, lead interactive college preparatory activities, attend regional and national NSBE conventions, and coordinate fundraisers and community service events. For more information about NSBE, visit www.NSBE.org.

As an academic and test prep coach with MathSP for nearly three, I worked with over 100 students, ranging from fifth grade to twelfth grade, in various math and science subjects. I coached students, in one-on-one sessions and in small and large classes, in all sections of the ACT, SAT, SSAT, and the Georgia High School Graduation Test.

"Having Denise as my tutor was fantastic. I had tried other companies before, and I did not benefit as much as I did from working with her. She always knew many solutions to solve a problem, and actually took the time to ensure that I understood the steps needed to find a solution. Now as a rising senior [in college], I will be graduating  from the school that was my number 1 choice four years ago, all thanks to Denise!"

-Kyra F., MathSP ACT student

"Hi Denise -- I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that [he] passed his test. I'm heading down to his graduation this Saturday. I couldn't be happier. Thanks for helping him get over this hurdle!" 

-Khaatim S., Mentor to a 12th grade MathSP student


at Georgia Tech

Ever heard of the Hyperloop? In theory, it's a new mode of transportation that moves people and goods in pod like capsules through tubes. It is fast, safe, cheap, environmentally sustainable, and efficient. And it makes for an interesting project. I served as an academic facilitator at Georgia Tech's Summer Engineering Institute. In this capacity, I taught the students transportation-related and other concepts associated with the project. The students had to apply this information to develop their own Hyperloop transportation system.

PAVE Pre-College Program at Vanderbilt University

I worked as a counselor for the PAVE Pre-College Program at Vanderbilt University during the summers of 2008 through 2011. During the last two summers of working for PAVE, I served as the head counselor.


As a counselor, I

  • organized registration and move-in,

  • led campus tours,

  • instructed students during computer science homework sessions,

  • tutored students,

  • led review sessions,

  • graded papers,

  • mediated issues between students,

  • organized social activities,

  • conducted meetings with students about college preparation

"PAVE was a five-week Vanderbilt summer program designed for rising high school seniors and first-year college students who planned to enter a college engineering, pre-medical/healthcare, humanities, science, or technology based undergraduate program. In addition to strengthening a student’s background while having fun, PAVE helped students decide if an engineering, medical/healthcare, science, or humanities degree was really the ideal undergraduate path for them. Additionally, PAVE was a valuable experience if a student was undecided as to a college major." 



"As a 10th grader our daughter was required to take Accel GSE Pre-Calculus Gft, in short an accelerated Calculus class for gifted students. In my search for help I ran across Denise and she was more than willing to take Jordan on as a student. I am not sure how she did it because they would spend time working together as I would only drop my daughter off and come back to pick her up within an hour. I do know that after working with Denise, Jordan gained more confidence and it reflected in her grades. It got to a point that my daughter would be looking forward to meeting with Denise and would even ask if Denise could work with her before their scheduled days to meet. Our daughter finished this course with a 97 and continued to do very well in the other Calculus classes. We not only got an A+ tutor but a person that has had a lasting impact on our daughter’s life. Thanks again Denise for all that you have given to our family."

-Eric B., Father of a 10th grade pre-calculus student