Former NFL lineman Matt Miller, today an engineering professor at Cornell University, talks to his daughter, Chaney, about the many challenges facing engineering students at Cornell.
Some young women drop out of majors like engineering when they realize how tough the courses are. Matt reminds Chaney that she is not the only person struggling to win: The courses are difficult for everyone, and Matt stresses that she must focus on her many successes and on how far she has come.
Chaney's story illustrates that life is not a straight line from Point A to Point B. Many people encounter obstacles and take detours on the path to success, just as Chaney did when she switched from the humanities to engineering, and just as Matt did when he left pro football to become an Ivy League professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. Chaney describes her feelings of growing competence as an engineer, and notes that she finally feels like she belongs when she walks into the engineering building. Matt concludes by telling the story of the Roadrunner and the Coyote--the Coyote would run off the edge of a cliff and be moving along fine until he made the mistake of looking down.
Matt's advice to young women in engineering and science more generally is to keep moving forward and 'Don't Look Down'--this is Matt's secret to success.
This video is part of the educational series developed by the Cornell Institute for Women in Science (CIWS), directed by Wendy M. Williams and co-directed by Stephen J. Ceci, both professors in the Department of Human Development.