Dr. Makita R. Phillips is a native of Clinton, MD (a suburb of Washington, D.C.). She graduated from the Science and Technology program at Oxon Hill High School in 2003 with a desire to pursue mechanical engineering. Upon graduation, she traveled to the highest of seven hills to attend Florida A&M University (FAMU). As a proud double Rattler (two degrees from FAMU), she received her Bachelors of Science (2007) and Masters of Science (2010) in mechanical engineering from the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. While at FAMU, she was a Presidential Scholar, President of DIVAS Dance Team, a member of Project H.O.M.E, Secretary for FAMUGSA. It was there where she was introduced to the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and served as the Region 3 Public Relations Chair and in various other positions.
Upon graduation from FAMU, she ventured north to attend North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC where she earned her doctorate in mechanical engineering (August 2014). While at NC State, she continued NSBE service by joining the National Executive Board as the National Leadership Institute Chair. She has also served as Secretary for the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department Graduate Student Association (MAEGSA) and founder and advisor for the Minority Engineering Graduate Student Association (MEGSA). MEGSA was created in alliance with the minority engineering program (MEP) to carve a space for students to share common experiences, provide mentorship and obtain professional development. The creation of this community was designed to reduce the silo effect that minority graduate students can experience.
Throughout her academic tenure, she has received various honors and awards. She is the past recipient of the National Society of Black Engineers’ Regional Executive Board Member Impact Award, Corning Incorporated Fellowship, ACAAGS Service and Leadership Award, North Carolina State University Doctoral Dissertation Completion Grant among others. She also has the distinct honor of being the first African-American Female to earn a doctorate in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University.
When she is not adding to her list of responsibilities, she enjoy a variety of different activities. She is an avid movie-goer that will watch any genre except horror. She remains active in any way possible. This includes but not limited to: Zumba, running (Hey BGR!), running races (5K, 10K, Half marathons), trampoline arenas, any workout class given at any gym ever, bootcamps, and swimming. She is also big on DIY projects. There are too many to name but the list continues to grow. Her family and friends also keep her grounded and sane. They are a large part of her life and she values those relationships.
Academics, service and activities keep her balanced. She considers herself an open book that is dedicated to increasing diversity and inclusion in engineering.
Let’s do it together!