Noblis is proud to have a diverse staff, and in honor of Women’s History Month, we are recognizing our professionals and the positive impact they make to the culture of our organization and to our clients. In this second of a two-part series, we are proud to feature these women and share their thoughts on their careers, their most pivotal moments, who inspires them and more. Read part one here.

Meet Danielle

Danielle photoDanielle has been working at Noblis since March 2019 in the Homeland Security mission area.

What made you pursue your field?
I grew up in a military household with a First Sergeant father and was constantly told how fortunate we were to live in a country that allows us our freedoms. Then, my brother deployed to Afghanistan doing intelligence. I was both devastated but inspired by his bravery. The second time he was deployed he lost his team but was one of the survivors. I felt angry and told myself I want to help prevent that from happening to our troops and civilians. When I graduated high school, I practically sprinted to the Army recruiting station only to be intercepted by my father … in uniform … telling the recruiters to pretend I don’t exist. Fast forward through the long “you’re too smart to enlist, bad money, try college first, please” speech and a master’s degree later, I fled to the Air Force recruiting station all to be medically disqualified for Celiac Disease. So, my next stop? Becoming a contractor and finding other ways to directly support our country in national security. It was a long road, but I am glad I made it.

Who is the most influential woman you know? How do they inspire you?
A former Noblis VP of business development, Di Fossett—she was able to command a room with both respect and a no-nonsense attitude while also being funny and welcoming. I still don’t know how she did it, but I will figure it out one day!

What advice did you receive from a woman that has stuck with you? Or what advice do you wish you could give your younger self?
The biggest piece of advice I wish I could give myself is speak up if you have something to say, regardless of the situation. There is a quote from Maggie Kahn that I have in my notebook that always inspires me. She says, “Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind even if your voice shakes. When you least expect it, someone may actually listen to what you have to say. Well-aimed slingshots can topple giants.”

What’s one thing about you that your colleagues don’t know or have been surprised by when they find out?
I am a second-degree black belt. I competed in mixed martial arts and taekwondo for eight years. As a result, I have irreparable nerve damage to the right side of my face.

What was it about Noblis, our mission, or our culture that influenced your decision to come work/stay here?
Noblis has an extremely inclusive culture and always finds ways to become better! I love that within my two years at Noblis, I have seen tremendous growth and I can’t help but be proud. Also, the fact that I can address a CEO and VP by their first name still blows my mind. Noblis is vastly different from other contractors and it is evident when you walk in the doors on day one.

What is one of your proudest achievements at Noblis? How did this contribution support Noblis’ or your client’s mission?
Thus far, my proudest moment is developing the 2020 Technical Nuclear Forensics Factsheet and Information Booklet to provide briefs on activities that will transition to the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration from the Department of Homeland Security National Technical Nuclear Forensics Center (NTNFC) in 2021. These factsheets summarize project areas and portfolios that have been part of NTNFC for the past 10 years. This document has been passed around to different agencies, the Hill and the Nuclear Forensics Executive Council. Noblis continues to receive praise for this work.

What is your message to your colleagues about diversity, equity, inclusion and intersectionality?
Everyone has their own stories and life experiences. Be conscious of this and learn from everyone you meet. They all have something to offer even when you think they don’t.


Meet Jasmine

Jasmine photoJasmine is a former librarian turned human-centered design researcher who has been with Noblis in the Federal Civilian Solutions mission area for one year. She is active in Noblis’ employee resource groups and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Divine Nine group.

What made you pursue your field?
I transitioned to user experience (UX) design/human-centered design after a long career in librarianship. I saw UX design as an opportunity to enter the technology field. I am passionate about improving virtual experiences and removing customer barriers to accessing the information they need. UX design offers an opportunity to apply problem solving skills to design excellent virtual and physical experiences.

Can you tell us about a pivotal point in your career?
Deciding to leave librarianship was a pivotal point in my career. I sought out a career in technology because I wanted a challenge. My first year as a UX specialist with a previous employer offered that challenge. I designed and led a research effort that required me to travel to two states collecting user sentiment. The learning curve was incredible, but the experience was rewarding.

Who is the most influential woman you know? How do they inspire you?
My mom is the most influential woman I know. We graduated from college one week apart from each other. She decided to return to school after my siblings and I had entered adulthood. She worked full-time, took care of our home, and studied for her undergraduate degree in social work at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Despite the challenges, she graduated and continued to earn her Master’s degree.

What advice did you receive from a woman that has stuck with you? Or what advice do you wish you could give your younger self?
I once had a mentor who encouraged me to speak up in meetings because, as she stated, “You’re probably the smartest person in the room,” so I would tell my younger self to not doubt yourself.

What’s one thing about you that your colleagues don’t know or have been surprised by when they find out?
I am an artist, which is a talent that I discovered since the beginning of the pandemic. I have been featured in two art showings: a virtual show and a gallery exhibit in Philadelphia.

What is your message to your colleagues about diversity, equity, inclusion and intersectionality?
Creating space for diverse voices and experiences only strengthens our ability to reach our clients’ needs.


Meet Jeni

Jeni photoJeni has worked with the FAA since 2001 and joined Noblis in 2015, within the Federal Civilian Solutions mission area on an FAA contract. She is the proud mother of two beautiful daughters who keep her oher toes when she’s not at work.

What made you pursue your field?
When I was in elementary school, my English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher introduced me to computers and specifically computer games. Since then, I have been interested in the field. After high school, I wanted to be a great coder; however, I found out early in my career that breaking the code and finding the bugs was far more interesting to me than actually writing the code.

Can you tell us about a pivotal point in your career?
I had the opportunity to work with four different groups during my internships with the FAA—systems engineering, configuration management, software, and test engineer. At that moment, my career shifted from developer to tester which is what I have done for the past 16 years.

Who is the most influential woman you know? How do they inspire you?
I have several women who have inspired me in my career, including the vice president of my mission area, my FAA lead, and FAA manager; however the woman who has influenced me the most is my mother. She continuously inspires me to reach to new goals and not to be afraid of the unknown or falling down. She taught herself how to read and write since schooling was not an option for her while growing up poor in Mexico. After a lot of hard work and sacrifices from both her and my dad, they were able to move us to the U.S. They gave me the opportunity to get an education and a life that I would not have had if we had remained in Mexico. When I thought I could not be prouder, she studied for and passed her U.S. citizenship test at the age of 65. She told me that you are never too old to pursue what you want.

What advice did you receive from a woman that has stuck with you? Or what advice do you wish you could give your younger self?
My math teacher in high school told me that the only obstacle in my life was me.

What’s one thing about you that your colleagues don’t know or have been surprised by when they find out?
I grew up in a house with no electricity or running water, like the olden days. We had oil lamps, wooden stoves, and used to collect water from a remote water well.

What was it about Noblis, our mission, or our culture that influenced your decision to come work/stay here?
Noblis treats its employees as humans and not as a number. They continuously work on improving the employees work environment and ensures that we are satisfied and happy in our career.

What is one of your proudest achievements at Noblis? How did this contribution support Noblis’ or your client’s mission?
The work we have accomplished while being remote is one of my proudest achievements so far. Being able to test while at home using remote connections that were never in place or thought of, is amazing. Our team has been able to continue our clients work with minimum delays through very innovative thinking and approaches.

What is your message to your colleagues about diversity, equity, inclusion and intersectionality?
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller


Meet Sarah

Sarah photoSarah has been working in cyber fraud analytics in our Federal Civilian Solutions mission area for almost two years.

What made you pursue your field?
I received my bachelor’s in criminal justice and my master’s in cyber security. With both areas combined, it provided me more insight into the field of cyber fraud and how using both key areas of education and what I have learned in prior roles to provide my expertise in data loss prevention and cybercrime. It is a field that continues to grow and an area in which my skills continue to develop.

Can you tell us about a pivotal point in your career?
A pivotal point in my career was when I was given the opportunity to help with high volume client work, as well as user case scenarios, that I had not come across before. This allowed me to branch outside my role and develop my skills, which ultimately led to a promotion. I’m now working in a more analytical based area using further investigative skills.

What was it about Noblis, our mission, or our culture that influenced your decision to come work/stay here?
Noblis provides a culture of inclusivity and diversity, the yearning to grow and further your skills. The opportunities are endless and the leadership here influences me to not only maintain a role in Noblis and pave a career path here, but also continue to expand with the company and their mission.

What is one of your proudest achievements at Noblis? How did this contribution support Noblis’ or your client’s mission?
We were awarded for our hard work and our endless efforts to providing our client with exceptional results and exceeding our goals. It was a pivotal moment in my career as part of an excellent team of individuals that continues to strive towards our mission area’s client’s goal and beyond.

What is your message to your colleagues about diversity, equity, inclusion and intersectionality?
These key areas start within, it is how you see yourself and others and it is what allows the expansion of opportunity. It allows for us to come together universally and build towards a better future, one that reminds us that we are not divided but we are one. We are one humanity, and we begin collectively. To me that is the ultimate key to success not just from a career perspective, but as a whole.


Meet Temple

Temple photoTemple is a contracts manager in Noblis’ Corporate Shared Services area. She came to the company in May 2014 as part of the acquisition of Noblis NSP, a former Noblis subsidiary. In her role, she has supported multiple mission area contracts. Temple worked on the completion of the merger of the three companies that comprised Noblis NSP as they became part of Noblis. “This took several years and an incredible amount of follow-up but getting the Noblis name in front of this relatively new customer base was important to future efforts in those areas,” said Temple of the accomplishment.

What made you pursue your field? 
Serendipity and a good manager led me to contracts. When I left law school after my father died over 30 years ago, I went to work at The MITRE Corporation as an editor. My manager knew I was bored and that my background included a paralegal certificate, so they suggested I consider the contracts field. I did, and as they say, the rest is history.

What was it about Noblis, our mission, or our culture that influenced your decision to come work/stay here? 
The people and the culture are what influenced my decision to stay at Noblis. Noblis is first and foremost an ethical company and I have never felt I was asked to violate my ethics. The people are also incredible—so welcoming and knowledgeable.

What’s one thing about you that your colleagues don’t know or have been surprised by when they find out? 
I am heavily involved in dog rescue, particularly breeds that tend to be difficult to adopt like Australian Shepherds, Pit Bulls and Border Collies.

Who is the most influential woman you know? How do they inspire you? 
My mother is the person who inspired me. She was a nurse and a nursing supervisor at a hospital for most of her life. At a time when most women were stay at home moms, she was in her element running the nursing department at the county’s only hospital. While she would have preferred that I be a doctor, it was evident early on that I was not cut out to be around sick people. My dad was in law enforcement and I loved to go to court with him and wanted to be a criminal attorney from a young age. My mom gave up and supported me going into the legal field and it was her example and work ethic that inspired me.

What advice did you receive from a woman that has stuck with you? Or what advice do you wish you could give your younger self? 
When I first entered the field in the early ‘80s the profession was dominated by men. People who did not know me assumed I was a man, and most would be very surprised during a negotiation when they discovered that I was a woman. A much older mentor who was the first woman head of security at the Pentagon told me, “Never let that bother you—use it to your advantage. If they underestimate you, you have an advantage.”

What is your message to your colleagues about diversity, equity, inclusion and intersectionality? 
Noblis is made up of many diverse people, clients, and offerings and we will succeed together, or we will fail together. I have seen at Noblis that, across all the departments and mission areas, we all work together for Noblis and we all share a common goal of helping Noblis achieve success.

Learn more about Noblis’ commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion here.

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