Overcoming Obstacles & Thriving

Join host Kameelah S. Majied, PMP, engineer and diversity champion, for a live Q&A about Overcoming Obstacles & Thriving.

Speakers include Monica Morales, Water Resources Engineer at Jacobs, and Claris Purasinghe, Civil Engineering Associate at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Persist Series graphic featuring speaker Monica Morales a, panelist Claris Purasinghe, and host Kameelah S. Majied


Air Date: March 8, 2023

Season: 2022-2023

Episode: 2

The Persist Series for women in STEM is back for a special International Women’s Day episode presented in collaboration with WEPAN (Women in Engineering ProActive Network)

Join us for a conversation with speaker Monica Morales, PE, ENV SP, a Water Resources Engineer at Jacobs and active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Monica shares her experiences as a first-generation college graduate and how she prevailed over adversity in her early career as a young woman in a male-dominated field.

Hear her story and stay tuned for a live Q&A moderated by Kameelah S. Majied, PMP, engineer and diversity champion, and featuring Monica AND panelist Claris Purasinghe, ASCE member and Civil Engineering Associate in the Water System’s Project Management Office at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

About the speakers

Headshot of Monica Morales, Engineer and Persist Series Speaker

Monica Morales, PE, ENV SP, Water Resources Engineer, Jacobs

Monica Morales is a Water Resources Engineer at Jacobs and lives in Reno, Nevada. She is currently working on several projects to protect water resources in Utah and Nevada and to help fight future droughts in Southern California. Her technical expertise is in conveyance design, and she also works in project management and business development in the water market. Monica earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Civil Engineering from Oregon State University and is passionate about sharing her career path to help diversify the future STEAM workforce.

Headshot - Claris Purasinghe, Persist Series panelist and engineer

Claris Purasinghe, Civil Engineering Associate, LA Department of Water and Power

Claris Purasinghe is a Civil Engineering Associate in the Water System’s Project Management Office at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and she helps manage hundreds of millions of dollars in capital improvement projects for the water system. She graduated from CSUN with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Master of Science in Structural Engineering. Claris is a major foodie and loves traveling, spending time with her baby & fur baby, and going to Disneyland.

Kameelah S. Majied headshot

Kameelah S. Majied, PMP, Global Virtual Plant Manager & Operations Lead, Merck & Co., Inc.

Meet Kameelah Samar Majied, who currently works for global pharmaceutical company Merck & Co., Inc. In her current role as Global Virtual Plant Manager & Operations Lead, she leads focus factory teams responsible for one of the largest Contract Manufacturing Organizational partnerships, in the Merck Manufacturing Division (MMD) Diversity & Inclusion Taskforce. She previously led multifunctional global teams to articulate the value chain management strategy to optimize supply chain nodes. In over 22+ years, she has worked for Fortune 100 companies such as Bristol-Myers Squibb, L’Oreal USA, Limitedbrands (Bath & Body Works division), Astor & Black Custom Clothiers, Johnson & Johnson, and now Merck & Co., Inc. Kameelah is a sixteen (16) year holder of her Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification. She earned both her B.E. (Mechanical Engineering) and M.S. (Management Science) from Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, NJ)

Kameelah is an avid community service advocate as an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and previous volunteer English as a Second Language (ESL) Instructor for Literacy Volunteers of New Jersey. Her professional affiliations include the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) – where she served as the 2020-2021 National Professionals Chair and current strategic advisor for the New York City XL Professionals chapter. She is a twenty-four (24) year plus member of Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and is an active speaker and workshop presenter for the SWE engagements. Kameelah has the distinct honor of being both a lifetime member of both NSBE (Lifetime member #322) and SWE. Other professional affiliations include Project Management Institute (PMI) member and Blacks in Retail Action Group (BRAG) supporter.

Kameelah’s advocacy and active role in STEM includes being creator of public speaking workshop track for the Raritan’s Introduction for Minorities to Engineering (RIME) based in New Jersey. She is an active workshop presenter and keynote speaker for NSBE, SWE, PMI, the NAACP as well as a host of other professional & civic organizations. She is a highly sought after executive speaker & moderator across numerous corporations and civic organizations. Her topics cover Diversity S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics); Technology & Arts; Career Development, Corporate Strategy and more!

Kameelah enjoys traveling globally, mentoring students, being the favorite aunt to her niece/nephews, supporting friends, her music passion and living out her life’s purpose.

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