Sherika Sylvester isn’t afraid of a challenge.
She will tell you this because several years ago, even after challenging days in her postdoctoral research lab, she came home and taught herself how to drive a new car with a manual transmission referencing YouTube videos on her smartphone.
“I needed a car and saw one on a website that I really wanted, however, it was a manual transmission. The next day, I went to the dealership and purchased it, but I couldn’t drive it home, so I had to commit to teaching myself,” said Sherika. For 2 weeks, she practiced for 2 hours each night. By the end of the second week, she was able to drive to work.
It’s this same persistence and thirst for learning that carries Sherika through her career. Coding since the age of 16, she grew up in Norfolk, Virginia where the influence of the city’s military bases sparked her interest in technology. She majored in applied mathematics with a minor in biology and chemistry during her undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She went on to earn a doctorate in physiology, biophysics, and systems biology from Cornell in 2014.
Originally dreaming of opening her own biomedical research lab, Sherika ended up transitioning into data science to use skills developed during her Ph.D. program.
At Booz Allen, Sherika works on projects touching the health sphere, including opportunities with the Food and Drug Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General.