Be sure to watch tonight’s 2-hour Season 28 premier of Survivor at 8p EST on CBS. Among the contestants is Miami native, Dr. J’Tia Taylor, who I’ve had the pleasure of watching grow into the brilliant beautiful young woman she is today. J’Tia is a member of the Brains Tribe because, well, she is very much a brainiac. Most people look at her and have no clue that she is a scientist. As a matter of fact, she is a nuclear engineer.
J’Tia’s very wise parents, Edward and Persephone Taylor, live in Miami Gardens. Their children are critical thinkers and have grown up with an incredible thirst for knowledge. I recall conversations with J’Tia’s mother when it was decided that she would do early admission to college. She was fifteen years old when she entered Florida State University, her mother’s alma mater. After she successfully made it through her freshman year, I stopped worrying about her, well, just a little. When her post graduate studies took her to Chicago and Europe, I really stopped worrying about her.
Here’s J’Tia’s brief bio from the survivor website:
Tribe Designation: Brains Tribe
Current Residence: Chicago, Ill.
Occupation: Nuclear Engineer
Personal Claim to Fame: Passing my dissertation defense, because I was the expert on the subject matter and held my own against my professors, and being the first black female to successfully defend and receive a PhD from the department.
Inspiration in Life: My mother who is 61 years old and still kicking, running marathons, traveling, and learning new things.
Hobbies: Watching movies, reading and playing strategic games.
Pet Peeves: Ignorant, close-minded people, being late/off schedule, and chunks in food/drinks (e.g. rocky road ice cream).
3 Words to Describe You: Intelligent, adaptable and competitive.
If You Could Have 3 Things on The Island What Would They Be and Why? My favorite “I Love Nerds” T-shirt, mint-flavored Mentos, and a really thick intricate novel that I could read repeatedly and find new meanings to.
SURVIVOR Contestant You Are Most Like: Richard Hatch. He played the game authentically and originally since he had no precedence, and was true to who he was.
Reason for Being on SURVIVOR: Winning a million dollars and beating everyone else, while on the adventure of a lifetime.
Why You Think You’ll “Survive” SURVIVOR: I’m very analytical so I’m good at breaking down/solving a problem and I’m also really good at getting people motivated and helping them achieve a goal.
Why You Think You Will Be the Sole SURVIVOR: I have an irrepressible drive and tenacity.
Do You Consider Yourself a Brain, a Beauty or a Brawn? I'm definitely easy on the eyes but I'm a true Brain at heart. I would say I'm 1/4 Beauty, 3/4 Brain. My answer, in which I give myself a narcissistic compliment and then use fractions, pretty much confirms this. Who Do You Think Has the Best Chance in the Game of Survivor: Brains, Beauty or Brawn? Brains always win... "Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." -Ghandi
Watch J'Tia's Cast Video!
Join me in cheering J’Tia Taylor on to victory. Regardless of the outcome of the show, she is an excellent example for girls interested in the STEM area. And she’s evidence that a girl can be smart and beautiful. Go J’Tia!
You can follow J’Tia on Twitter at JTiaPhd. Use the hashtag #TeamJTia.
Before I forget, Marlins president, Dave Sampson is also a contestant so the Season should be very interesting.