As a former engineer and agency project manager at NASA Langley Research Center, Monica contributed to increasing aviation safety, climate literacy, and STEM education across the nation. She impacted thousands of youth as a center lead for NASA internships, creating innovative and technological strategies for promoting STEM education and partnerships.
Monica was in integral part of the NASA creativity and innovation design team as a designer and instructor for various courses designed to enhance innovation and creativity of center employees.
Monica Barnes received her Masters degree in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University, and was the first African-American female to receive a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) from Virginia Tech. Monica was in the government for over 34 years, with exciting experiences as an Engineering in cooperative education student and with various organizations under the Department of Defense during her illustrious career.
She receive numerous awards and recognition, both for superior performance as an individual and with in her various work teams, including her highest honor, which is been to receive the infamous Collier Trophy (as a team), the aerospace industry equivalent of an Oscar. She is happily married to Samuel Barnes, the love of her life for over 23 years.
Monica retired early from NASA and is thrilled to now empower and inspire women as a Senior Sales Director with Mary Kay Inc., enriching women’s lives and making a difference in her local community. She has earned seven diamond rings in the MK National Queens Court of Sales, 98 Quarterly Star Prizes, and earned the use of 11 MK cars over her 27 years in the business. She is so excited about being in Mary Kay full-time with a passion and purpose for impacting women with 20/20 vision for building their future for their families and loved ones, making dreams come true!