Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Interview With Author Margaret Ellen Mayo Tolbert, Ph.D

Margaret Ellen Mayo Tolbert, Ph.D., is the author of Resilience in the Face of Adversity. She is a retired scientist and former senior advisor at the National Science Foundation. Tolbert holds a doctorate in biochemistry from Brown University, a Master of Science in Analytical Chemistry from Wayne State University and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Tuskegee University.

1.      What inspired you to write your book? When I started writing down memories of my life, the intent was to share this information with my son and grandchildren. I wanted to record the details of my journey so that they could understand and appreciate the path I traveled. My effort was to inspire them to do the best with their lives. The urgency was to provide them with this information in “Resilience in the Face of Adversity” prior to my departure from this life. Writing about myself was a journey. It caused me to reflect on decisions and their long-term impacts. As I continued to develop the manuscript for my book, I realized that with a little more work, I could inspire others who were pursuing or planning to pursue their own journey.

2.      What is it about? When reading my book, “Resilience in the Face of Adversity,” one will notice that it is a fact-filled journey through my life (my upbringing, personal struggles, joys and professional accomplishments). The book contains details of my childhood in Suffolk, Va., to adulthood. It covers positions held in academia, the private sector, the philanthropic sector and the federal government. It is my autobiography written in a style that will appeal to individuals at most educational levels. Descriptions of my roles in the various settings as I survived the unexpected, rallied against adversity and charged ahead on a path of personal accomplishment are factually accurate. In my diverse positions, I traveled nationally and internationally sharing information on education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In the end, my successes were numerous:

         The first African-American female appointed director of the Educational Programs Division at Argonne National Laboratory
         The first African-American female to serve as director of the nation’s New Brunswick Laboratory
         The first female to serve as director of the Carver Research Foundation at Tuskegee University
         The highest ranking African-American female to hold two high ranking management positions at BP America
         One of six African-American senior executives at the National Science Foundation
         The second African-American to graduate from Brown University with a doctorate in biochemistry
         The first member of the Mayo family of Suffolk, Va., to earn a doctoral degree

3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? Once a reader completes the book, the everlasting thought should be, if I (Dr. Margaret Ellen Mayo Tolbert) could make it through life with great success while working against difficult challenges, others should not have any excuses for not climbing the ladder of success.

4. What advice do you have for writers? I advise writers to continue writing so that they can share their work with others. Focus on chosen topics, and develop them well. Seek the advice of others who are able to provide useful advice. Take your time and fully develop each aspect of the manuscript for your book. If details in the manuscript are true, be sure to check and keep your facts in order.

5. Where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? Seemingly, the book publishing industry is growing and will continue to do so in the near future. I envision books in an electronic format will become more popular.

6. What challenges did you have in writing your book? A major challenge that I had in writing my book was the identification and verification of facts. Also, I spent a great deal of time deciding on the order of the topics.

7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours? It is inspiring, entertaining and well worth the time needed to read it. Facts contained in the book are true and captivating.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2016

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