Dr. Valerie Bennett
Dr. Valerie Bennett is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. She received a Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Mechanical Engineering, from Vanderbilt University and received her Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Mechanical Engineering, both from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Bennett then worked as a software consultant for Manhattan Associates then joined Morehouse College as an Assistant Professor where she taught Engineering and Physics courses as part of the Dual Degree Engineering Program for four and a half years. She then joined the faculty at the Westminster Schools in Atlanta where she taught Physics and was one of the two founding Coaches of the Robotics Program. As the Head Coach of the award-winning High School Robotics Team, the team has won several Regional Competitions and has been recognized on the International Level. She has also served on the Georgia FIRST Robotics Regional Committee in the planning of Regional Events and was Co-Coordinator of the Georgia FIRST Robotics Mentor Advisory Council. To expose students to the excitement and importance of STEM, she worked as the Physics Research Coordinator for the TRIO Program as part of the Upward Bound Initiative. She was also awarded the Innovative Teacher award by the Georgia Independent Schools Association and received an Innovation Grant by the Georgia Education and Technology Conference. After teaching at Westminster, she then was an Engineering Professor and Regents’ Engineering Transfer Program Advisor at Georgia Perimeter College. Afterward, she taught Advanced Placement Physics, IB Physics, and led the Physics Professional Learning Community at Westlake High School where she served on the Fulton County Vanguard Team while also completing research with students at Georgia Tech as part of GIFT Program.
Dr. Bennett has been a Research Coordinator for the Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Program and has been awarded the Innovative Teaching Award by the Georgia Independent Schools Association. She has served as the Morehouse Coordinator for the Dual Degree Engineering Program and Faculty Advisor for several student organizations such as the National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Physics Students, Society of Women Engineers (Spelman College), and Packard Scholars. She has served as a Board Member and STEM Advisory Board Member of the Atlanta Cares Mentoring Organization, which was established by Susan Taylor, former editor of Essence Magazine. In the Greater Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, she has organized several community projects. In 2014, she established STEM Compass, Inc., a non-profit organization whose mission is to navigate, educate, and motivate young people in STEM-focused careers and entrepreneurship. The three pillars of the organization are skill-building, mind-building, and visioneering through which they have served nearly 1000 students each year. STEM Compass has garnered partnerships with individuals, companies, and organizations such as Google, Clorox, City of Atlanta, ATLRead, PPG, LMS Engineering, Georgia Tech, Atlanta Science Festival, and FIRST Robotics. Dr. Bennett is one of the co-editors of the book “Overcoming Barriers for Women of Color in STEM Fields: Emerging Research and Opportunities” produced by PLR Consulting. This work presents research, thoughtful conversations and provides solutions for broadening participation and the retention for women of color in STEM.
Valerie has been involved in several ministries at Temple of Faith COGIC where she has been a member of Temple of Faith for over 20 years. She has coordinated Vacation Bible School, works with the Minister’s Wives, ran a tutorial program, co-organized a Job Fair, and started a Health and Wellness Program. She also formed the Robotics Ministry as part of the Scholastic Motivation Ministries and has recently received her Evangelist license. In 2015, she and her husband, Dr. Harold Bennett, launched the Pentecost For Life International Ministries whose mission is to provide teaching and service programs that celebrate the Word of God, builds family, and connect the community. They have a weekly Radio Broadcast on Wednesdays on LOVE 860 AM. She is also the author of “Bible Lessons for Techies: Thriving in your relationship with God through a Technology Lens” which is currently being sold on Amazon. The Lessons also have an exciting accompanying Curriculum with Robotics and STEM-related activities that connect the Word of God to STEM with hands-on projects.