The Diversity and Inclusion Task Force presents Pride in STEM, with Dr. Alexander Gamero Garrido, Future Faculty Fellow at Northeastern University.
Dr. Gamero Garrido talks about his challenge of finding spaces that cater to the intersection of identities, in his case, being gay and Hispanic. Continue reading to learn more about Dr. Gamero Garrido and his suggestions for finding a mentor.
Why Did You Choose Your Current Technical Field?
Dr. Gamero Garrido My research is in the fields of Internet measurements, privacy and security. I am interested in studying large, human-made systems with real impact on people’s lives, so the Internet in general and wide-area networks, in particular, are a great fit for that.
What Does a Typical Day or Week Look Like for You as a Professor?
Dr. Gamero Garrido I supervise several graduate and undergraduate students, so a lot of my time goes to mentorship through 1:1 meetings and technical discussions. The remainder of my time is about evenly split between writing proposals and papers, each, in turn, a combination of research, experimentation, analysis, and scientific reporting.
What’s Been Your Greatest Professional Challenge as a Member of the LGBTQ+ Community, and How Did You Overcome It?
Dr. Gamero Garrido In addition to being openly gay, I’m a member of another underrepresented group: Hispanics in computing. Living at this intersection has been challenging at times, as nearly no space caters to both. I’ve also been incredibly fortunate for having supportive mentors, especially my Ph.D. advisors, and welcoming peers at Women in Computing groups. Both have been essential to my success in academia.
What Is One Piece of Advice You Can Give to LGBTQ+ Students and Early Career Professionals?
Dr. Gamero Garrido Mentors are incredibly important, but they have to be a good fit for you, and it helps if you can be open with them about issues in your personal life as well. They don’t need to be LGBTQ+ themselves, or even at your current institution, but having support from someone who has been through similar life experiences is essential.
Based on Your Personal Experiences, What Is One Step Companies/Universities Can Take To Make Stem More Welcoming and Inclusive for Members of the LGBT+ Community?
Dr. Gamero Garrido One thing I admired was my alma mater’s Turing Scholarship, which is for “UC San Diego undergraduates who actively support the LGBTQIA+ community and major in computer science.” Positive opportunities such as this scholarship feel very encouraging, but are sadly not very common.
What Is One Thing in Your Field or within Computing That You’re Most Excited About?
Dr. Gamero Garrido I am excited about the growing conversation regarding the future of networked systems and their impact on society at large. It seems like the many challenges on Internet policy, pressed on by the immense and rapid growth of the Internet, are becoming a priority.
About Dr. Alex Gamero Garrido:
Dr. Gamero Garrido is an openly gay, cis man, who uses he/they pronouns, and is full out professionally. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts with his husband and works as a Future Faculty Fellow at Northeastern University’s Khoury College of Computer Sciences, and is mentored by Prof. David Choffines.
He received his B.Eng. in Electronics Engineering from Simón Bolívar University in Venezuela. Then, he completed his M.Sc. in Technology and Policy at MIT and his PhD in Computer Science at the University of California, San Diego.
Fields Dr. Gamero Garrido works in: Computer networks, Internet measurement, security and privacy.
His favorite quote is a line from Antonio Machado’s poem, “Caminante, No Hay Camino.” It goes, “Caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar,” translated it means “traveler, there is no road. You make your path as you walk.”
Celebrate Pride with the IEEE Computer Society and read more interviews from the computing community:
- Dr. Christian Newman, Assistant Professor at Rochester Institute of Technology
- Ivan Zhao, Computer Science student at Brown University
- Alexander Serebrenik, Full Professor of Social Software Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology
- Griffin Solot-Kehl, Developer Advocate at Dolby Labs
- Dr. Daniel Gillis, Associate Professor at the University of Guelph
- Didem Gurdur Broo, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at Stanford University
- Dr. John Samuel, Associate Professor at CPE Lyon and Associate Researcher at LIRIS Lab