STEM Leader Profile- Duana Malone


Today we're getting to know one of Nevada's STEM Champions, Duana Malone, who has some advice for Nevada's students studying STEM today.   


STEM HUB: Tell us a little about your history and what you do now.

Duana Malone: I majored in computer information systems in high school and college. After gaining years of work experience in private, public and government sectors, I started my own business in 1998 called Smart Multimedia which specialized in website designs. For nearly two (2) decades, my company created websites for non-profits, small businesses, corporate and large membership based organizations around the world. Due to personal life circumstances, I had to change my entire business model in 2014 to what it is known as today - Tech Queen Systems LLC specializing in training and consulting. My complete bio can be viewed at


SH: How did you get interested in STEM?

DM: During my elementary school years in 1978, my Youth Pastor’s neighbor asked for a recommendation of someone she could give a scholarship to for Computer Camp. My youth pastor selected me as the recipient. This marked the beginning of my journey in technology. Starting at age 7, I started attending summer robotics camp at Wayne County Intermediate School in Romulus, MI. This continued for several years with my first computers being the Texas Instruments 99 4-A, Commodore 64, Apple IIe, the series of IBM x86 computers, before graduating to the Intel based personal computers and Macbook products. I began my coding experience with programming languages such as Basic, Fortran, and Cobol before expanding my knowledgebase to include database languages such as dbase III & dbase IV then ultimately HTML 5, PHP, JavaScript, and MySql.  During my childhood, my parents were strict in limiting the time I was allowed to play the 80's popular video arcade games on Atari such as Pacman, Centipede, Space invaders. Instead, I had to spend my time on the computer being constructive and learning to master the computer languages. Out of curiosity, I also began to take computers apart and rebuild them.


SH: What barriers have you encountered in your education or career and how did you overcome them?

DM: A major barrier that I had to overcome was being a double-minority in both classroom and work environments.  In most of my classes and jobs, I was the only female AND African American, so I encountered several injustices such as lower pay than my male counterparts working the same job and unfair treatment.  My solution was to simply start my own business using the faceless internet as my primary resource where race, age, religion, and gender does not matter to an unlimited potential number of virtual customers.


SH: What advice do you have for young STEM enthusiasts in school now?

DM: Persist until you succeed!  Reach beyond the stars to achieve whatever you can conceive and believe.  Don't let anyone or anything stop you from converting your dreams, visions and ideas into reality.


Duana has long been a STEM Champion for Nevada's students.  Check out this video of her recent efforts to encourage all students to excel in STEM from the Dr. MLK Technology Summit at Zappos!