The director of information integration for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s research and development directorate spoke June 12 to Wheaton High School's 2014 graduates at the Daughters of the American Revolution’s Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.
Stacey Dixon addressed students, faculty and families at the ceremony sharing her unconventional career path and the lessons she learned on the way.
“So far in my career I’ve grown blood vessels in a lab, built satellites, worked as a congressional staffer, led the congressional affairs office at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and now I find myself leading a team of scientists and software developers in support of national security,” said Dixon.
Dixon distilled her career experience into memorable life lessons for the students. She urged the graduates to surround themselves with people that will tell you what you need to hear, even when you don’t want to hear it and to always be open to new opportunities.
“And, don’t have too narrow a view about what a good opportunity looks like,” she said.
Dixon had the opportunity to visit Wheaton earlier this year to meet with student leaders and view the high school’s computer science, biology and robotics labs.
“I was very impressed with the student body,” she said. “There are things that they are doing that I didn’t experience until I was in college.”
Bennie W. Green, acting principal of Wheaton High School asked Dixon to speak to the graduates because of her background in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, which complemented the high school’s four academy programs in biosciences, engineering, information technology, and global and cultural studies, he said.
“I knew that not only would she do a great job as a speaker, she would inspire and serve as a role model for our students, particularly our female students,” he said.
Photo Credit: Kevin Clark, NGA Office of Corporate Communications