Forward Together Podcast - Episode 21: Women in STEM: Leanne Caret

Episode 21 February 12, 2024 00:34:41
Forward Together Podcast - Episode 21: Women in STEM: Leanne Caret
Forward Together
Forward Together Podcast - Episode 21: Women in STEM: Leanne Caret

Feb 12 2024 | 00:34:41

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Show Notes

Join Wichita State President Rick Muma when he talks with Leanne Caret, featured on Forbes Magazine’s Most Powerful Women list, about her career in the aerospace industry and women in STEM. While recording the podcast, Caret discovered several Easter egg photos on set featuring President Muma. Vote for your favorite at https://wichita.edu/voteforrick. The first 100 responses will be eligible for a vintage WuShock glass.   The “Forward Together” podcast celebrates the vision and mission of Wichita State University. In each episode, President Rick Muma will talk with guests from throughout Shocker Nation to highlight the people and priorities that guide WSU […]
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Episode Transcript

[00:00:11] Speaker A: Shocker nation. And welcome to the Forward Together podcast. I'm Wichita State University president Rick Mule. My guest today is Leanne Carett, who is serving as WSU's 2023 Sam Bloomfield distinguished engineer in residence for College of Engineering. Leanne is the former president and CEO of Boeing defense, space and security. She has more than 30 years of aerospace industry experience, and she's been featured on Fortune magazine's most powerful women list. And perhaps most impressive, she's an alumna of the Wichita State W. Frank Barton School of Business. Leanne, so good to see you. Thank you for agreeing to be on the podcast. [00:00:48] Speaker B: It is great to see you again. [00:00:49] Speaker A: Yeah, we go back a little ways. [00:00:51] Speaker B: We're like best friends. [00:00:53] Speaker A: Yeah. So you're here today on campus. Tell us, first of all, let's back up. Tell us, what's your connection to Wichita State and a little bit about where you ended up in your career. [00:01:06] Speaker B: Well, I'll start first off by thanking you professionally as President Muma. It is wonderful to be here with you now, Rick, just for fun. No, it's been really great. So I got my undergrad at Kansas State, and I got my master's degree here at Wichita State. And I have said repeatedly to folks around the know I've got state school degrees, and I did good. Yeah, I did okay. And I have gone even to Harvard's program for leadership development, which is like a mini MBA. And thank goodness I actually had been through the Wichita state program because I would never have passed the coursework because it is such a great program here. The business school is current. It brings forward all the tough challenges and the right conversations happen. And so it's all about where you've come from and paying it forward. And so I just have a connection to the shockers. And I love everything this campus does, and I love the direction that you and your team are taking the university. It's a privilege to be here. [00:02:15] Speaker A: Yeah. And so you're a Kansas born and bred? [00:02:19] Speaker B: No, I'm a space coast baby. My mom and dad both worked at the Boeing company and met on the Saturn V program outside New Orleans. And then we ended up, I was born in Florida, on the space coast during the Apollo programs, and then we moved all over because the Boeing company is very much like military at the time, where as programs come and go, you move. And there's like families of us that all travel together. And we settled here in Wichita. So I ended up going to junior high and high school here. Met my husband in high school. I went to school he went to Wichita State, then I came back, got my master's, and I started my career here in the area. [00:03:00] Speaker A: Yeah. And you worked for Boeing, right? [00:03:02] Speaker B: I worked for Boeing for over 34 years, yeah. Pretty fabulous. [00:03:05] Speaker A: So tell us a little bit about how all that happened, because you ended up being a. I probably don't have the title. Right. Senior vice president or executive vice president of. [00:03:19] Speaker B: My career. My last operating role was a CEO and president of Boeing defense, space and security, and I was an executive vice president to the company, on the company's leadership team, all that kind of stuff, and never had a career plan. And if you actually looked at my career, there are probably plenty of people at times that just kind of pondered a little bit in terms of how I got there. And really, it mostly was because I didn't have a career plan. So it wasn't about getting to a certain position. It was about taking the hard assignments. It was about having great teams to work with. It was about building great teams. It's about taking care of the customers. But when you work for the nation's military and you see that these men and women are on the front line, putting their lives to make sure that we can have conversations like this, there's just no greater gift. And so that was a huge motivation. [00:04:16] Speaker A: Well, and I like the fact that you're not an engineer, but you went all the way to the top of a major engineering company and aerospace company and a woman from Kansas in that role. It's just awesome. [00:04:34] Speaker B: Well, what I love to talk about is you have to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, and you need diverse perspectives. And while I didn't have a degree in engineering, I did a couple of years, and then I decided I didn't want to be an engineer. I put the smartest people at the table next to me and brought in outside perspectives, and they knew I trusted them. I let them do their jobs. I'd ask a lot of questions. Don't get me wrong. I ask lots of questions. But at the end of the day, we're running businesses, and so you have to be able to transcend all those different elements, whether it's the supply chain, whether it's the finance modeling, whether it's the engineering side. But you have to make certain that you trust your team and let them really do what they're paid to do. [00:05:22] Speaker A: Yeah, I think that's a good lesson for we have students listening to this. We have faculty, staff, community members. And people ask me that, too. So how do you keep track of all this? And so I have some very smart people who are on the executive team here at the university, and they're empowered to do their job. I'm not sitting around worrying whether someone's sweeping the floors or whatever. I think people think that in these big organizations. So it's good to hear. [00:05:50] Speaker B: Well, and your background is very unique for your position, because, as I promised you, this is not going to be a Leanne. This is going to be a conversation. I mean, when you think about where you started and healthcare. Healthcare and physicians. Pa, physician assistant program down in Houston, did you ever think early in your career you would end up a in Kansas, two at Wichita State and president of the university? [00:06:13] Speaker A: No, never. It's the same. It's for me, it's always been a door is open. I go through it and see what the opportunity is. [00:06:23] Speaker B: And I don't know about you. I'm one of those people who believe that it's take the job that makes you want to throw up at night, okay. But not the one that is super easy, that anybody that you totally have confidence you could go do. Take the one that's going to cause you stress, because that's the one you're going to learn the most from. [00:06:44] Speaker A: Yeah. And it's going to challenge you. [00:06:46] Speaker B: It is going to challenge you, and that's where we learn our most. [00:06:48] Speaker A: All right. [00:06:49] Speaker B: That is why I know. I'm very impressed since you did your homework. As we were walking in together and you're reading your little note cards, you're looking really good. [00:06:55] Speaker A: Well, I have to have some cheat sheets because, as you know, there's a lot of things going on at the university. I can't keep them all in my head. But I do want the listeners to know that you're our Sam Bloomfield distinguish engineer in residence, but you're not an. [00:07:07] Speaker B: Engineer, which is actually very ironic in of itself. [00:07:11] Speaker A: So tell me, what do you think about all that? [00:07:13] Speaker B: Well, when we had the conversation about it, my first reaction was, but I'm not an engineer. And then the conversation became, engineers have to be able to operate in the business world. You can design the best products, but if you can't build it, if you can't buy the parts that are needed, if you can't assemble it, market it, market it. If you can't make money off of it, then all of that brilliance is lost. And really, it's about the outcomes, and it's about working together, and there's lots of really smart people, and it's having respect for all of those disciplines. And so the conversations that Anthony and I have been having, and even this afternoon, it's more about leadership, and it's about making certain that you're open to other people's perspectives and ideas. I actually have said over time on some of our design reviews, I actually may have asked some questions that actually caused our designs to get better because I came at it from a completely different angle. I remember walking through a factory one day and we were working up a power panel for an aircraft, and in order for a maintainer to replace or fix it, they were supposed to put their hand through the back of the panel. The hand that could fit through this panel was like, itty bitty. Like, my hand wouldn't even fit through this panel. And so we're all sitting there and. [00:08:39] Speaker A: You think, how are you going to fix that? [00:08:40] Speaker B: How are you going to ever fix it? And how are you going to have somebody who's, let's say, out on a flight line, maybe in another part of the world somewhere, maybe it's not safe, there's threat conditions, and we're asking them to go do that. And so this is a little bit more about having an idea of what the outcome is and making sure that we're working together to achieve it. [00:08:57] Speaker A: There's a lot of aesthetics things, too, that people don't think about, even on airplanes. [00:09:01] Speaker B: Totally, like, oh, my gosh, my feet. [00:09:02] Speaker A: Can'T go there, or where am I going to put my drink? [00:09:05] Speaker B: And tied to safety, because there is a reason why we have all the safety features for certain. All right, I have a question for you. [00:09:15] Speaker A: Okay. [00:09:15] Speaker B: So I know when we do these podcasts, I know you're going to die that I'm actually doing this. You really delay it. And these are always stuck on the wall for the viewers, these are always stuck on the wall, but they're really minuscule back there, like in a little frame, and you have like a floating head and you go do different things. So we're going to have a contest. [00:09:34] Speaker A: Just so you know that these weren't my ideas. This is the team. [00:09:37] Speaker B: Well, I think the team's fabulous. And I particularly love the fall jacket. So this is you preparing kitchen? I'm preparing Thanksgiving in your kitchen? I believe so that's the current. But I think that there's some others that really are quite interesting, and I think we should have a poll. So I hope when this is done, you all will have a poll of which one did I like best. You as a wu shock. [00:09:59] Speaker A: That's my favorite one, actually, because I think people actually would believe this. [00:10:04] Speaker B: Your head is not quite as gray. [00:10:06] Speaker A: I think people would actually believe that I would do that. [00:10:09] Speaker B: Have you done this? [00:10:10] Speaker A: No, I haven't. [00:10:11] Speaker B: Why haven't you done this? [00:10:12] Speaker A: Well, okay. [00:10:13] Speaker B: Oh, my gosh. Okay. So let's be honest before I tell that story. I challenge you. I double dog dare you to do that. To do this at a basketball game? [00:10:26] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:10:27] Speaker B: I double dog dare you to do this at a men's basketball. [00:10:31] Speaker A: I'll have to check with my handlers. They're always assessing risk. [00:10:36] Speaker B: The handler said yes. I said, okay, now the next one comes from. So here's our competition, the Wu Shaw. Then this is from. Okay, I know the movie. It's like the Edward Scissorhand guy. Twas the night before. [00:10:57] Speaker A: Rickness. [00:10:58] Speaker B: Rickness. Okay. Now that may cause some children to have nightmares. I don't know. I'm not sure that's my favorite. But in the theme, it's creative. It is creative. And then there's the infamous Ted lasso. So I don't know. How did you not get a spot on the show as the Wichita State University president going to a game? [00:11:20] Speaker A: You would think that would be. [00:11:22] Speaker B: Or did you not write them a letter to say. [00:11:25] Speaker A: Well, yeah, we didn't. [00:11:26] Speaker B: You didn't write a letter to. [00:11:27] Speaker A: Well, but when they proposed the pilot, they didn't know if it was going to be successful or anything like that. And we didn't. We thought, what? This is about some football coach from Wichita State going to go coach soccer in the UK? [00:11:43] Speaker B: That's not going to be one of the best shows of all time. [00:11:46] Speaker A: Well, you know what I like about it is it shows us Kansas values. Ted Lasso, the main character, Jason Sudeikis, is from Kansas. He went to Fort Scott Community College. [00:11:58] Speaker B: I did not know that. [00:11:58] Speaker A: And I think his family's. And he lived up in Kansas, and so he brings all those Kansas niceties. [00:12:08] Speaker B: Which, by the way, the niceties, as with him, are some of our best career enablers because people underestimate folks who are nice or kind, and there's a lot of power in that. So you really never sent them a letter? [00:12:24] Speaker A: No. We're trying to get him to come speak at one of our commencement. [00:12:27] Speaker B: If he comes and speaks, you'll come back, right? Yeah. [00:12:31] Speaker A: So we'll see if that ever happens. [00:12:33] Speaker B: So if we were to vote for most realistic. I vote you as. [00:12:39] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:12:40] Speaker B: And as most opportunity to take it to the next level as you as Ted last. [00:12:49] Speaker A: Yeah. Okay. [00:12:50] Speaker B: But we're going to have the poll. [00:12:54] Speaker A: We'll get the team figure out how to. [00:12:56] Speaker B: But I double dog dared you and you know, you cannot not do a double dog. No, no. [00:13:06] Speaker A: Okay. I wanted to tell Ted Lasso, this is the theme for our fall kickoff address and he has all kinds of little sayings in his and believe is one of them. [00:13:18] Speaker B: So that was the focus with the sign. [00:13:20] Speaker A: So that was the focus of our fall address and that you can actually go and watch that online. [00:13:25] Speaker B: I will do that because you know how that would be great. [00:13:28] Speaker A: Yeah. So it was really good. I think people enjoyed it and they could relate to it. And the whole message was believe in yourself. I believe in you. I believe in the university. [00:13:36] Speaker B: I think that is fabulous. Yeah, I think it's fabulous. All right, you're up to question number two. [00:13:41] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:13:43] Speaker B: Okay, but are you going to like. I'm going to have someone tell me because you can't not do a double dog dare. [00:13:48] Speaker A: Okay. These folks here in the studio can keep me true to my word. Okay. So we'll have to figure out how to do that. There's all kinds of rules about being woo. [00:14:00] Speaker B: Why? What are the rules? [00:14:01] Speaker A: Well, you can be like Mickey Mouse at Disney World. [00:14:04] Speaker B: Yeah. But you can't do like, you could be up in your seats wherever you. Not. I'm not going to presume you sit in a box. So I'm just going to say you're know, amongst the rest of. Yeah. And you could disappear at halftime. You could go put the costume on, you could run out onto the center court. You could do a little thing, maybe to the Ted Lasso theme song. Then you scoop back and you're back before anybody even knows. Help. [00:14:35] Speaker A: Good ideas. [00:14:36] Speaker B: I have lots of great ideas. Was it not a great idea when I said you'd be a great university president? Do we want me to go that far? [00:14:42] Speaker A: Well, yeah. Okay. I wanted to get back to the. You're the focus, so you're very accomplished. [00:14:55] Speaker B: That could also mean old. [00:14:57] Speaker A: No. Well, I went to your Dr. King, Elizabeth King, who's present CEO of the foundation. We went to your office in Washington, DC. [00:15:05] Speaker B: That was a great. Yeah, that was a great visit. [00:15:06] Speaker A: You all came in and you have the greatest office. [00:15:08] Speaker B: I know. I don't have that office anymore. [00:15:09] Speaker A: I know, but you have probably those same kind of artifacts I do. Home office. [00:15:15] Speaker B: Yeah, I have some beautiful things. [00:15:17] Speaker A: But you've also been a writer and you wrote in Forbes an article titled it's time for women to make space exploration history. [00:15:27] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:15:27] Speaker A: Tell us what you mean by that. [00:15:28] Speaker B: Or what you meant by, you know, I'm a space baby. So I grew up on the space coast. I grew up watching the Apollo launches in person. And very ironic, as we're building space launch system, which is the world's largest rocket to power the Artemis mission, which is Artemis. NASA named Artemis as the twin sister of Apollo. So the Artemis mission that launched last year, we built that rocket in the same factory my mom and dad met at and built the Saturn V. And so for me, it's very serendipitous because it's kind of like one door opens another, but it's kind of just really very touching. And as I look around, in the 1970s, there was 8% of women in stem per studies, and I'd probably be off a percentage or two, but approximately, certainly less than 10% of women in science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines. And today, in 2023, I was just reading a report this week, it's sitting at global lead, 28%. So a significant improvement, really. But still not nowhere where we need to be. And as you know, and unless we can't celebrate that there's two women out of ten and say we've accomplished it, we've got to get to the tipping point to eliminate being the only. There is incredible talent out there. And if we want to be the world's strongest nation, if we want to have the world's best companies, why would you opt yourself down to only selecting from a portion of the population for your talent? And what's even more interesting is we talk about recruiting and retention, and we talk about all these things as folks are in college and in their early career lives. But this starts actually in elementary school. So here's an interesting statistic. By third grade, most boys believe they're strong in math. They just accept that they're strong in math. Part of it is the environment, the conditioning, how they're spoken to, what people's expectations are of them. [00:17:40] Speaker A: They're more involved in analytical, linear kind of activities. [00:17:47] Speaker B: And I either have the second grade or third grade wrong, because the other one is by the third grade. I'm sorry. So by the second grade, boys think that they're really good at math. By the third grade, little girls don't believe they're very good at math. And so part of my quest in life is not only to work on the pipeline as people are coming through universities, high schools, universities, into their careers, but it's having that conversation to the very people who are educating and the society which we're living in, that as early as the second grade, people are forming these opinions of themselves in their mind. And I have a great example. When I was in 9th grade. So first off, when I was in third grade, my elementary school teacher told my parents that I was disabled and that I needed to be placed in a special learning program because I couldn't. [00:18:45] Speaker A: A learning disability. [00:18:46] Speaker B: A learning disability because I could not do English, but I could do tons of math, and I could do math and science. And my mom and dad were like, well, she can do math and science. We'll help her with her know, phonetics and all that kind of stuff. I'm still not very good at English. You'll see. I find I make up tons of words. I think they're all perfectly right. They're not. And so by the time I got to 9th grade, I remember sitting in a classroom and Miss Mary Cunningham was my high school teacher. She has since passed away. And we had taken an algebra test, and she wrote on a blackboard that shows you, you and I are the same generation. She wrote on a black with chalk, the couple of people who got one hundred s and we hadn't been handed our test back yet, so nobody knew. And she wrote my name on the blackboard. And I looked at that, and in that moment, Rick, I was like, maybe I can do this. And so you go from a elementary school teacher who thought I had a learning disability because I wasn't strong in traditional girl things, English and all that, but I was strong in the mathematics and the science to a teacher who was really good at helping reinforce it to becoming president of Math Club, which, by the way, that is my pet. I was president of Math Club. So that should say a lot about me. [00:19:59] Speaker A: Is that one of your things you had hanging on the wall? [00:20:01] Speaker B: No. [00:20:01] Speaker A: That'd be great, wouldn't it? [00:20:03] Speaker B: But I was president of Math Club. Like, who's president of Math Club? Right. [00:20:06] Speaker A: Very many people. [00:20:07] Speaker B: Not very many people, and especially not in the 1980s. So again, it is about starting early. So that article is about we can never be satisfied. We have to continue to push. There's so many studies out there. Anyone who wants to argue that diversity doesn't work, they're not speaking truth. But it's more than diversity, as you know, it's inclusion. And if people don't think that their voices are going to be listened to, if they don't think what they say matters, then you can have all the diversity in the world, but you're still not going to get there. So it's not inclusive of just the people on the chart. It is having an environment and a culture where people are drawn into the conversation and part of the solutions. [00:20:52] Speaker A: That's just a great message. Today at your session this afternoon, are you going to talk about that? [00:20:58] Speaker B: I am. I actually am. And I have some examples that I'll even share. I remember going into one of my leadership roles and going into a workplace conference room, and all the women sat in the back of the room, along the sides. And I said, why are you all sitting in the back? Because there's, like, seats empty at the table. We're not allowed to. Now, I don't believe for a minute anybody told them they're not allowed to, but I do believe that there was an environment that encouragedly constructed. Exactly. And so I said, everybody sits at the table, even if we have to crowd ourselves. [00:21:34] Speaker A: You know, that's the really nice thing about you. So when I was going to go back to when Elizabeth and I were going to visit you at your office in Washington state, Boeing. And just for a visual, she had this really nice view. And then every so often, this little Helicopter flew by. [00:21:54] Speaker B: But there was a cow in the corner. There was a cow in the corner with Rosie the Riveter. [00:21:59] Speaker A: And you immediately put me at ease. I mean, I think Elizabeth had met you before, and that's the great thing. And I think that that's important as a leader, too, coming in and saying all these titles and doctor this. [00:22:15] Speaker B: None of that matters. [00:22:16] Speaker A: It doesn't. [00:22:16] Speaker B: None of it matters. Early in my career, I would walk downstairs at 07:00 every morning down two flights of stairs to go get a soda pop, because they had Styrofoam cups, which, by the way, I know are very unvogue now. But I'm not going to lie, I love styrofoam. [00:22:32] Speaker A: Yeah, they keep the ice cold, right? Especially when you live in Texas. [00:22:36] Speaker B: And we had crushed ice, and I'd get my soda pop. So every morning, I would walk down the stairs and I would say hello to the only executive we had on the campus. And every morning he would ignore me and grunt. I mean, it was, you know, Rick. And you'd go and just keep. And this went on for months, right? So one day, I didn't say hi. I was like, whatever. Like, this isn't know. And guy probably thinks, why am I going down every morning at the same time? Anyways? Why aren't I in my cubicle working or something? And I got summoned to his office later that day. He was worried I didn't feel good. He's like, you didn't say hi to me this morning, and I looked at him and I thought to myself, you can make this grand gesture. His office had to call me. They had to schedule a meeting. I had a walk over there. It wasn't a long walk, but I'm all freaked out because I've got to go see this guy like I'm a newbie. Right? And it was all because I didn't say hi to him that morning. [00:23:30] Speaker A: And you had to, but he didn't have to. [00:23:33] Speaker B: Right. And so I philosophically believe, to your point, you have to make people feel welcome. So I hug everybody. Yeah. [00:23:42] Speaker A: And we know that about this whole interview. Can everybody tell? Okay, I want to go back to Artemis. [00:23:52] Speaker B: So excited. [00:23:56] Speaker A: I don't know if this is delayed yet, but is the launch going to happen? [00:24:01] Speaker B: No, it's scheduled for no earlier than November of 2024. So the uncrewed test flight occurred last year. And then this will be the crewed flight test, where she will circle the moon. And this will be the first launch with a female and a person of color. [00:24:21] Speaker A: How many people be on? [00:24:22] Speaker B: There'll be four people on it. The total length of time is ten days. I think it's about four days to get there. [00:24:30] Speaker A: And they're going to go into lunar. [00:24:31] Speaker B: Orbit, not going to land, they're not landing, and slingshot back. But this is another test flight. And that's one of the things that's very unique about this program, is that the hardware that is being used by NASA to do all of the launch, to do all this, they don't have a whole separate set of flight test hardware that they're practicing on. And then they'll go to the production hardware. I mean, they're using real hardware. So this program is just really inspiring. And it's inspiring for an entire generation of folks to see that the moon's within reach, but then, so is Mars. And I am a believer because I grew up with the Jetsons that you and I, before we die, we will travel on spaceways. There will be spaceways. Not just highways, but there'll be spaceways. And we will totally be doing it. [00:25:20] Speaker A: Just, like, for just a test or. [00:25:23] Speaker B: No, to get to one place. So, like, you need to get out to the east coast for a meeting. You'll get on a little spaceway, and. [00:25:30] Speaker A: You'Ll fly out there and be there in minutes. [00:25:32] Speaker B: Or maybe. Wouldn't that be awesome? [00:25:37] Speaker A: That would be. [00:25:37] Speaker B: Because I'm not sure about. I'm not convinced we're going to have teleporting before you and I died. Not to mention, I don't want them to re put me back together wrong. But I am absolutely convinced we'll be on spaceways before we die. [00:25:50] Speaker A: You remind me of my interest in space, too. And I grew up in Houston, and I lived for a big chunk of the time down there by NASA, by Johnson Space center. And in those days, you could actually just walk into the building and go look into the control room. Now, you can't do that unless you get all kinds of clearance or whatever. And then you would drive by NASA and you knew that there was an active mission that they were controlling because they had a light shining up into the space. And the astronauts all trained there. [00:26:29] Speaker B: They all trained. [00:26:30] Speaker A: We saw them in the grocery stores. [00:26:32] Speaker B: It's just part of the. Anybody who hasn't been down to Johnson, because they have a fabulous museum. They have both outside displays and inside displays. [00:26:40] Speaker A: It's awesome. [00:26:41] Speaker B: It is awesome. I was at a Derby high school a couple of years ago. It was a few years back. It was pre Covid. Maybe it was post Covid. I get confused, you know, it's kind of like that whole time period kind of messes with me a little bit. And I met this young lady who wants to be an astronaut. And one of my good friends in this world is a gentleman by the name of Chris Ferguson, who commanded the last space shuttle flight. So he was the last one to land her at Kennedy and hit the mark. And he is absolutely fabulous. So we called him up so she could meet an astronaut, and we facetimed him for her. And he's just an absolute doll. I mean, he's a treasure, right? But she's still studying to be an astronaut. [00:27:25] Speaker A: Wow. [00:27:26] Speaker B: And so those are the moments where we can do little things that will have outsized impacts on people that we may never touch again, but we'll never forget. [00:27:36] Speaker A: Yeah. And I actually had when I was a little boy because the Apollo launches in the late sixty s. Yes. And so I had a little lunch pail with the holy. [00:27:46] Speaker B: Wasn't that cool? Yeah, it was totally cool. Like, if you could be an astronaut. So let me ask you this. If you got an opportunity to go to space, would you do it? [00:27:54] Speaker A: I'd do it. [00:27:54] Speaker B: I totally would do it. Now I want to come back. Like, I don't want to go to Mars because that's too long of a. You know, there are companies who are talking about, they'll like, instead of airbnbs, there'll be like a space BNB where you'll go up there and they're actually developing. It's like a pop up trailer in space. One day you'll be able to go up there and spend the night in lunar orbit. Like, wouldn't you totally do that? [00:28:18] Speaker A: Yeah. Now, the whole purpose of Artemis is to get some settlement and scientific labs there on the moon. So it'll make it easier to go to Mars, right. [00:28:28] Speaker B: Because getting to the moon and then at some point, this is obviously their objective and it's due know the government has to decide. Us government has to decide what they want to. It is getting all of the infrastructure needed so that you can make that longer journey, because that is a long sometimes. [00:28:51] Speaker A: You know, Rick and I get up and run every morning at 04:00 so the stars are very bright. [00:28:57] Speaker B: There's an app that you can track the space station as it. [00:29:00] Speaker A: Yeah, I know that. But when you're looking at Mars, sometimes it's pretty clear. You can see it even with your naked eye, the color. That's a long way. And just to think about being up there. [00:29:19] Speaker B: I'm glad there are people who, they are the expeditionaries. They're the folks that back in the 15 hundreds were going across the seas and discovering countries and nations. I'm pretty convinced even we lived in Philadelphia, in Philly for a long time, and thinking about people living Philly as one of the early settlements and going west, I'm not sure how far I would have made it. I'm not sure I would have even made it to a couple of states over. Covered wagons were not real had, and women had to wear them giant dresses with all that stuff. I'm just not sure it would have happened now. [00:29:54] Speaker A: You wouldn't be used to air conditioning. [00:29:57] Speaker B: Well, that's true. And Steve always says that he's always know you survive in what you know. And so if you didn't know it, but I'm still not sure. I'm just not sure. [00:30:05] Speaker A: Well, I bet that you would have survived that covered wagon. You survived a lot, and look how far you've gone. [00:30:11] Speaker B: Yeah, totally. I'm not sure I would have survived the covered wagon. [00:30:13] Speaker A: All right, I also want to ask you. I can't believe you're retired. [00:30:18] Speaker B: I'm not really retired. [00:30:20] Speaker A: Well, okay. [00:30:21] Speaker B: Are you offering me a job today? Oh, my gosh. He's not offering. [00:30:26] Speaker A: Yeah. So I know what that's like when people retire. They actually don't know how they actually worked before because they're doing so many other things that they did. [00:30:35] Speaker B: It's been a hard transition, though. I have worked for the same company in the same industry for nearly 35 years. And I still support Boeing through I consult for them. And so it's been a transformation because I was in the office at six in the morning, I'd be on the phone at seven or 08:00 at night. I was flying around the world all the time. And so just kind of separating and realizing that there actually is life outside of one corporate structure or corporate entity. That's been an adjustment for certain. [00:31:13] Speaker A: So what have you been doing? [00:31:16] Speaker B: I said to somebody, I grew up professionally sitting beside airmen and Wheatfields and I was blessed to be asked to serve on the deer and company board of directors. So I chair their audit committee and I'm on their board. I'm on the RTX board, which is formerly Raytheon Technologies. So that has Pratt and Whitney, it has Raytheon, it has Collins aerospace. I'm helping you all. I'm doing some stuff with k state as well. I'm spending a little time down at Embry Riddle because, you know, I love Embry Riddle. I then also doing work with know so some helping out them with some companies as an advisor, I'm doing most. It's mostly advising work. I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do next. I'm open to an operating role if the right one were to come along. But I'm eight months out and I'm taking this time to really, just really remember what matters to me. Because, you know, the great thing is I get to choose who I work with and I get to choose what I do. And that's a luxury you don't always get in your career and win. I do like walking in the morning. I wasn't able to do that in my last job. I'd walk whenever I could, but every morning I go for a walk. [00:32:30] Speaker A: Well, that's awesome. So do you have any words of advice for me before we close? [00:32:37] Speaker B: Well, I am a huge fan of yours. [00:32:41] Speaker A: I didn't ask you just get that. [00:32:42] Speaker B: No, I know, because you would never have asked me that. And I remember when you and I first met and we had the best time because I'm really good at identifying folks who are really good. And that's you and you and Rick and what you all are doing as a family here on the campus and all of the great efforts. You all are breaking the glass ceiling from a university perspective in terms of how you're transforming Wichita State. Wichita State is not a local college anymore. Wichita State's on a global scale because of what you've done with Niar what you've done with partnerships with corporations, what you've done from an educational system, and you've done it like Ted Lasso, by being you. So my best advice to you is to keep being you. [00:33:35] Speaker A: Well, that's very kind of you. And that's. I don't know how to be anything else. [00:33:40] Speaker B: And that's the most fabulous thing in the world. Right? [00:33:42] Speaker A: Yeah. And so this whole thing, this wasn't planned. This is. No, I just kind of went with the flow. [00:33:48] Speaker B: Yeah. Because I saw the pictures. [00:33:49] Speaker A: Well, it's good to see you, and we'll see you around campus. [00:33:52] Speaker B: We'll see you around campus. Okay. Yeah, my program ends this year, so this is like my. Yeah. You're the in resident for today? Yeah, I think it ends today. Yeah. Cool. [00:34:03] Speaker A: Yeah. Good to see you. [00:34:04] Speaker B: It's good to see you. Bye bye. [00:34:06] Speaker A: Thank you all for listening. Please rate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen to the Forward Together podcast. On the next edition of Forward Together podcast, I will talk with Dr. Bobby Berry, assistant dean for diversity and outreach for Wichita State's College of Applied Studies. Bobby also serves as the chairperson for the first generation coordinating council, and his research interests include how to help first generation and underserved students succeed in higher education. Go, shockers. [00:34:33] Speaker B: Don't forget to vote for your favorite brick photo. The link is in the description.

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