Audrey Williams: Techy-Feely

Audrey Williams is someone I’ve been lucky to know for over twenty years. We met when we were in college and working at the same summer camp (pretty nerdy, hunh?). I was blown away by her genius then, and still am. When I decided to launch this blog, I immediately thought of Audrey! Not only is she brilliant, but her Facebook posts constantly remind me how much fun it is to be a nerdy chick. Like the one about how to cut snowflakes that resemble Yoda’s head (repeated six times, of course). And the one about great science party tricks. A former curator of The American Museum of Science and Energy (AMSE), Audrey has already held the consummate nerdy chick job! She is currently Director of Educational Technology Services at Pellissippi State Community College, a position that’s still pretty nerdy! Today, I am glad to introduce her to you here. 

Welcome Audrey! What is your favorite way to flaunt your brain power?

Well, I grew up loving Jeopardy and I do love the trivia games as well as other word games like Apples to Apples and Balderdash (although, my family played it just with a dictionary and we called it “Fictionary”).  However, I think puns are my favorite way to demonstrate some brain power. My sister and I can get into some really groan inducing pun wars.

As far as “flaunting” goes, I think showing off your mad searching skills with Google, a library database, Wikipedia or [pick your own reference source] is a great way to demonstrate how much you know because you can find it.

We called it Fictionary too, Audrey! Tell us how your brain power is an asset to our career?

In both science and technology related careers, brain power and curiosity are the two biggest assets to have. Because technology is always changing, I am constantly learning.  The important part for me is using brain power to both understand the technology and consider how it impacts us as people. I like to call it being techy-feely. In fact, that is the name of my personal blog.

Can you think of a particular time when nerdiness turned out to be an advantage?

Sure! The auditioned choir at the college where I work goes goes on tour in Europe during most of our spring breaks. I jokingly told the choir director that they needed to have someone go on the tour with them to blog and photograph the trip for the folks back home. I have now been on two tours with them to France and Hungary and was able to blog, photograph and video their performances and the entire trip. Have nerdy chick, will travel!

What an awesome fringe benefit to nerdy chickness!  Can you name a favorite achievement that you can credit to being a nerdy chick?

You mean besides winning the 6th grade science award??

One of my favorites was during the summer that Atlanta hosted the Olympic Games. I co-created an entire exhibit for AMSE on the science of sports. It was a big exhibit and I was very happy with it once it was done. Being a nerdy chick gave me the curiosity and drive to learn about unusual sports in the Olympics, like kayaking and wrestling, and think about the science involved to come up with the activities and objects to display.

What’s cool about being nerdy?

Everything. If it is who you are, then it is cool.

Do you have a favorite t.v. show, book series, or movie series that you follow (or that you know by heart)? What about it appeals to you?

You know I am a geek when I have to answer Star Wars. My favorite character is Yoda and I have at least eleven Yodas in my office at work and many more at home. The most recent addition is a Yoda goblet that a co-worker found at an estate sale and my most unusual one is probably my Yoda soap and shampoo set.

Television is a different story.  I spend my entire day in technology, so at home I just have to take a break and watch something silly. My all-time favorite series is M*A*S*H. If it is on and I find it, I have to watch it. The characters are smart and funny, the best kind.

I love M*A*S*H too! I own the box set and I listen to it almost every single night as I doze off. One more question! What’s something you like to do that might be considered a tad bit nerdy, but is actually really fun?

Oh boy, this will really sound nerdy but it is a lot of fun. I like numbers and making patterns from them. I also love infographics. Finding a way to clearly demonstrate some type of concept or data collection in a graphical, easy to understand and fun way is a challenge and a talent.

My favorite, though, is a meme called “Song Charts” which basically are infographics for song lyrics. They are fun because you get to mix up music with mathematics and/or graphs.  Frequently they are pie charts or bar graphs but I have also created flowcharts, timetables and Venn diagrams.

First, you find a song with lyrics that you would want to graph. Rap songs are very popular but I tend to the songs from when I was a DJ on the radio in college. The nerdy part is figuring out how to graph the song lyrics.  I like to use Excel to create the graphs rather than just drawing them so you have the extra challenge of getting the data points entered and building the chart.

To learn more about Audrey, visit her blog at .

But wait! In case you’re not convinced that Audrey is not the consummate nerdy chick, you can check her out in various other techy-feely places like Twitter, her school blog, her bio site, at, Delicious, Flickr, Vimeo, and You Tube. Just so you don’t have to count them, I’ll go ahead and tell you that that totals 9 techy links!  Thanks so much for sharing your journey down the information highway Audrey!

If you have a little more time, check out the other nerdy chick interviews on this site:

Shanna Stanton, artist; Aimee Friedman, editor; and Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, author