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Meet Joan Melendez Misner: Inspiring Innovation at Make48

Joan Melendez Misner isn’t just an instructor for the Make48 Innovation Course—she’s an inspiration to young innovators everywhere. With her diverse background in engineering and STEM, Joan brings a unique perspective to the program, which aims to immerse young people in the product innovation process.

The Magic of Make48’s Innovation Experience

Make48’s Innovation Experience isn’t just another course; it's an invitation to dive into the world of product innovation. Participants get to experience the magic of Make48, which includes real-world challenges, engaging videos, comprehensive business strategies, and focused activities. 

Students are taken behind the scenes of the televised Make48 competition, adding an element of excitement and realism to their learning experience. The program also incorporates the Agilities©, connecting the dots between innovative skills and future career paths.

A woman and man with a Hollywood placard
Joan and Jay Flores filming the Make48 Innovation Course

Joan's Journey 

From a young age, Joan was fascinated by the stars, dreaming of a career that would blend her passion for science with her desire to make a difference. 

Growing up in a family with a father in the Army meant moving frequently, but ultimately, her family settled in Orlando, Florida, where she completed high school. Originally from Puerto Rico, Joan became fluent in three languages: Spanish, English, and Portuguese. Her love of learning and curiosity led her to earn dual degrees in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, followed by a Master of Science from the Naval Postgraduate School.

Today, Joan lives a vibrant life as a NASA engineer, enjoying hobbies like music and board games, and engaging in digital content creation. Her personal journey—marked by perseverance and adaptability—is a testament to her resilience.

One of Joan’s favorite quotes comes from Arianna Huffington, "Failure is not the opposite of success, it is part of every success story," perfectly encapsulates her approach to life and learning. Despite early academic struggles and challenges, Joan has thrived, using her story to encourage others facing similar hurdles.

Joan’s advocacy for STEM education began many years before she joined forces with Make48. Joan was introduced to Make48 through friends Jay Flores and Tyler Isaacs. The chance to join this project aligned perfectly with her passion for bringing STEM opportunities to underrepresented communities. 

A Role Model for Aspiring Engineers

Through her social media platforms, Joan actively promotes empowerment and shares her journey in STEM, aiming to inspire the next generation of innovators. Her message is clear: success often comes dressed in setbacks and perseverance.

Joan finds inspiration around her, such as the women of the Mercury 13. Pioneers like Katherine Johnson, Sally Ride, and Ellen Ochoa, who serve as role models, prove that women have a rightful place in the aerospace industry. 

Another person who made a profound impact was her mother. “My mother had to work a lot of odd jobs to help make ends meet. I specifically remember at one point she worked her 9-5 and then would work a second job cleaning doctors' offices from 6-11 pm. I would help her clean doctors’ offices, but she would always tell me that I had to go to college so I could be in a better position than her. That always stuck with me. Not only did she work all day, but she would still find time to be at band concerts, help our community, and do it all as a single mother of three. She is one of my biggest inspirations and supporters.”

Connect with Joan

For those interested in following Joan’s journey and drawing inspiration from her experiences, you can find her on:

  • Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Threads: @YourFemaleEngineer

  • X (Twitter), YouTube: YourFemaleEng

Joan Melendez Misner continues to light up the world of STEM and innovation, proving that with passion and persistence, the sky's the limit. Join her at Make48’s Innovation Course and start your own journey towards a fulfilling career in innovation.

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