This month, the DeBaun Black Alumni Network at Maryville University is proud to kick off a monthly series of Black Alumni Spotlights featuring some of our most accomplished Maryville Saints. We’re starting this new series with Passion Katrena Bragg ‘96.
B.A. in Middle School Education with an emphasis in Mathematics and Science
Favorite memory or how Maryville helped you get to where you are today:
James Ingram, Mary Ellen Finch, and Kathy Rashe all encouraged me to learn from my mistakes and view them as an opportunity to improve. Their guidance allowed me to view setbacks and academic failures as a catalyst for future success as lessons are learnt. While a student at Maryville, I was equipped with the tools and theories necessary to deal with and overcome the challenges of being a minority, and encouraged to identify my strengths so I could utilize them to the fullest. My professors were not just teachers, they were also my mentors. I was able to see and understand their paths, and that was both valuable and inspiring.
What do you do now? (Career, Volunteer Duties, Pastimes, Family, etc.)
I’m a Math Lead (Instructional Coach) at Normandy Schools Collaborative. I have spent 27 years as a Mathematics and Science Educator. I founded Men Of Code 2019 (a non- profit) while completing post-graduate studies for STEM Education at Maryville University. Research indicated a vast disparity and great need for minority male representation in STEM Careers and Computer Science. The goal is to create a pipeline for STEM Careers/Computer Science for one of the most underrepresented populations in the field.
Traveling, reading, skating, and spending time with my family – especially my son Peyton.
Goals and aspirations:
My goals are continuous growth as a part of the Normandy Schools Collaborative District Instructional Team; expanding programming for Men Of Code 2019; and within 3-5 years, I have aspirations to be an advocate advancing equity in education across the St. Louis Region.
Words of wisdom for current students:
Do the work. Do not give up. Find a mentor. Map out a career path that uses your talents and interests. Believe in your success. Remember this: expressing gratitude and appreciation to your mentors is critical in cultivating the best lasting win-win relationships.