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Poorly Designed Immigration Reform Will Negatively Impact American Innovation and Economic Growth

This is a press release from American Competitiveness Alliance (ACAlliance)

Incoming Dean of Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business Outlines Policies Needed to Reach 2025 Projection

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2015 (PRNewswire) | The U.S. is on the brink of a new IT revolution that could produce $5 trillion in economic gains by enabling companies to drive innovation, jobs and income growth, and opportunity from a new wave of technologies requires updated immigration and visa policies, concludes a new report released today by the American Competitiveness Alliance (ACAlliance).
 
The new paper — "IT Services, Immigration, and American Economic Strength" by Professor Matthew J. Slaughter, incoming Dean of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth—identifies the policy challenges facing the U.S. labor market as it expands its high-value knowledge and technology-based economy. It advances the requirements for a suite of recommended actions that Congress can take to address the shortage of specialized STEM workers at U.S. companies and further harness the IT sector as a driver of American innovation and growth.
 
"Today a new wave of IT innovation is building around social, mobile, analytical, and cloud technologies," said Slaughter, incoming Dean of the Dartmouth Business School. "This next IT revolution could create economic value worth 10% to 30% of U.S. GDP—manifested in new jobs, new goods and services, and rising incomes—if America has sufficient access to global talent."
 
The report, drawing on both employment and economic data, finds that IT services companies are increasingly critical to America's economic future.
 
Professor Slaughter's research also illustrates how current U.S. immigration policies, many hatched years ago in the PC and  early internet era, unduly constrain American companies' ability to hire immigrants with specialized new technology skills from the global pool of talent and deploy them in support of American innovation and competitiveness.
 
Professor Slaughter also finds that proposals presented during the last Congress could have caused substantial harm to U.S. economic growth, including fewer jobs created, higher employer and consumer costs, reduced quality of service, and decreased innovation.
 
Slaughter also notes the strong and positive impact that skilled immigrants have had in supporting new job creation and rising wages in America by helping drive American innovation.
 
This week's 2015 H-1B visa lottery will serve as yet another reminder that the U.S. needs access to a larger pool of the world's professional STEM workers. On April 1, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B petitions for fiscal year 2016. The current annual cap for H-1B visas is set at 65,000, with an additional 20,000 reserved for foreign nationals graduating with a U.S. master's degree or higher. In 2014, there were 172,500 applications for H-1Bs, surpassing the quota within days of the first application-filing date. An improving economy and an increasing demand for qualified workers to supplement America's current skilled worker shortage suggest a similar story for 2015.
 
"The United States today continues to confront a competitiveness challenge of recruiting and securing talent for jobs. Too many of the world's smartest workers are going to competing markets," said Rosario Marin, former U.S. Treasurer and Co-Chair of the ACAlliance. "Professor Slaughter's work highlights the potential for America to support the creation of millions of high-quality, high-paying jobs right here in America. Doing so will require sound U.S. policies based on a sound understanding of how innovative U.S. companies succeed in today's complex global economy."
 
Professor Slaughter's paper joins volumes of research highlighting America's serious STEM skills deficit. While advancing STEM education programs is essential for long-term success, Slaughter's paper outlines policy recommendations that will enable companies across the U.S. economy to better harness IT for innovation, efficiency, and growth today.
 
"Nearly every aspect of America's economy today is supported by some sort of IT system that improves efficiencies, quality, or growth, but our public policies are out of date," said Slaughter. "Our elected officials can and should advance modern, constructive policies that support the dynamic companies that drive innovation, jobs, and opportunity—companies like America's IT-services providers. By taking action now, Congress can ensure access to the kind of global talent that could create tremendous economic value for the United States."
 
Matthew J. Slaughter is the Signal Companies' Professor of Management and associate dean for faculty at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. He was named the school's 10th dean in January, a role he will assume on July 1, 2015. A scholar of international economics and an expert in globalization, Slaughter is the founding Faculty Director of the Center for Global Business and Government. He is also currently a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research; an adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations; a member of the advisory committee of the Export-Import Bank of the United States; and a member of the academic advisory board of the International Tax Policy Forum.
 
From 2005 to 2007, Professor Slaughter served as a Member on the Council of Economic Advisers in the Executive Office of the President. In this Senate-confirmed position he held the international portfolio, advising the President, the Cabinet, and many others on issues including international trade and investment, currency and energy markets, and the competitiveness of the U.S. economy.
 
About the American Competitiveness Alliance
The American Competitiveness Alliance (ACAlliance) is a coalition of organizations dedicated to a modern immigration policy that ensures America's global competitiveness by attracting and keeping talent and know-how here in the United States.
 
Led by Co-Chairs former Governor Bill Richardson and former Treasurer of the United States Rosario Marin, the ACAlliance works to educate and inform stakeholders of the positive impact immigration reform can have on our economy, while cautioning against proposals that would do our economy harm. Visit us online at www.acalliance.org or follow us on Twitter: @AC_Alliance.
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This for That App Series Utilizes Technology to Revolutionize Behavioral Therapy for Children with Autism

 
PixelAtion Labs has released This for That, a series of behavioral therapy tools developed to assist children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In honor of Autism Awareness Month, through April, This for That apps will be free to download on the App Store and only $.10 on Google Play. Designed by experts in the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA), This for That apps simplify elements of behavioral therapy for children with ASD. Behavioral therapy requires considerable preparation and organization of materials before treatment can even begin. This for That apps virtualize commonly used tools that behavioral therapists spend hours constructing by hand. While these apps were designed for use in therapy, they can easily be incorporated into a child’s home and school routines to support task completion skills.
 
“The more technology-based solutions available, the more time therapists, special education teachers, and parents have to focus on what is most important–the child,” says CJ Miyake, M.Ed, Creative Director of PixelAtion Labs and former behavioral therapist.
 
Not only do these apps save valuable time, children with ASD may be more motivated to work with these tools because they are on mobile devices. Children with ASD generally have a strong affinity for technology, making mobile devices and tablets increasingly useful tools for essential skill development.
 
Tested by behavioral therapists, each app skillfully integrates elements of reinforcement to help each child succeed. This for That tools include: 
  1. This for That: Visual Schedules, a tool that breaks tasks down into easy-to-follow steps to help children complete daily living skills successfully, now available on the App Store and Google Play 
  2. This for That: Visual Timer, a tool used to help ease transitions between activities and motivate children to stay focused on tasks for specified lengths of time, now available on the App Store and Google Play 
  3. This for That: Token Store, a tool for managing a token economy and store of rewards to reinforce good behavior and teach important concepts like earning and saving, now available on the App Store and Google Play 
  4. This for That: Token Board, a tool that lets children see their progress toward earning a reward as they make correct responses, now available on Google Play and coming soon to the App Store
While This for That apps are designed for children with ASD, they are useful tools for individuals of any age who can benefit from additional support to complete tasks successfully. This for That apps may be purchased individually or as a bundle on the App Store. These apps are also available at a discount to schools making bulk purchases through Apple’s Volume Purchase Program.
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New Partnership Enables Chicagoland Boy Scouts and Explorers to Send Research Projects to International Space Station

This is a press release from The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS)

(Chicago, IL) March 26, 2015 | Chicagoland Boy Scouts and Explorers will soon design and build research projects for a chance to have their experiment flown to the International Space Station. 
 
This incredible opportunity is the result of a newly formed partnership between the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), which manages the U.S. National Laboratory on the International Space Station (ISS); and local Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and Exploring programs. 
 
CASIS and the BSA Pathways to Adventure Council will launch the Space Station National Design Challenge student research competition in Chicago this spring in an effort to spark interest and innovation in young men and women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). 
 
While the partnership is new, the BSA has a historic connection to the space program. In fact, 11 of the 12 astronauts who walked on the moon were Scouts. Additionally, former astronaut and CASIS President and Executive Director Gregory H. Johnson is a proud Eagle Scout. 
 
“The Boy Scouts of America has created leaders for more than 100 years and our youth must now take the lead in STEM,” said Nancy Elder, Director for Strategic and Corporate Alliances for Pathway to Adventure Council. “Scouting has long embraced STEM by providing young people with real-world hands-on learning experiences ranging from cleaning habitats in national parks to programming robots. The partnership with CASIS will engage our youth and volunteers in a unique and cutting-edge experience by adding their research projects to the final frontier: space.”
 
The U.S. National Lab’s microgravity environment offers researchers the exclusive opportunity to conduct experiments in a setting free from the effects of gravity present on Earth. Since systems act differently in this microgravity environment, researchers are able to gather valuable insight that can help advance their work on Earth.
 
Space Station National Design Challenge participants will work in teams of 10-20 young men and women to conceptualize and execute their experiments, which must fit into miniature labs about half the size of a shoebox. Along with aspiring engineers and scientists, teams will include members with interests in graphic arts, drafting, moviemaking, programming and many other fields. CASIS and its industry partners will facilitate technical workshops and provide support to each team. 
 
CASIS will then select three winning experiments to be flown to the International Space Station in the summer of 2016. 
 
"Inspiring the next generation of explorers is at the heart of the CASIS mission," said CASIS Director of Operations and Education Ken Shields. "This partnership exemplifies a concerted effort by both organizations to engage and energize students about STEM through an authentic learning experience that leverages the International Space Station.”
 
To learn more about the contest, including upcoming information sessions and how to submit a proposal, please visit: http://www.iss-casis.org/Opportunities/Solicitations/RFANationalDesignChallenge2015.aspx
 
CASIS: The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) was selected by NASA in July 2011 to maximize use of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory through 2020. CASIS is dedicated to supporting and accelerating innovations and new discoveries that will enhance the health and wellbeing of people and our planet. For more information, visit www.iss-casis.org
 
Pathway to Adventure Council serves youth throughout Northeast Illinois and Northwest Indiana. Its mission is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetime by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. For more information, visit PathwayToAdventure.org.
 
Exploring provides positive and meaningful real-world career experiences and leadership development opportunities for all teenagers and young adults in their chosen field of interest.
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Cooke Foundation Awards $1.6 Million in STEM Education Grants

This is a press release from the Cooke Foundation

LANSDOWNE, Va., March 26, 2015 (PRNewswire) | In recognition of the many barriers facing high-performing, low-income students interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has awarded $1,632,598 in STEM-focused educational grants.
 
"We are squandering the talents of millions of students who would pursue successful and influential careers in STEM fields if only they had educational opportunities that prepared them early on," said Executive Director Harold O. Levy. "The Cooke Foundation is tackling this monumental waste by supporting organizations and programs that will put low-income middle and high school students on the path to studying STEM in college and beyond."
 
The 2015 STEM grants are as follows:
 
New York Academy of Sciences (New York, NY) -- $500,000 to launch the Global STEM Alliance Junior Academy, a STEM-focused social learning network for students aged 13-19 which will feature mentoring from STEM professionals from around the world and challenging online courses. This new grant was announced by President Barack Obama at the White House Science Fair on March 23.
 
Duke University Talent Identification Program (Durham, NC) -- $331,283 to provide a second year of Cooke Foundation support to 435 6th and 7th grade low-income students, including for their participation in Project Launch's CRISIS one-week residential summer program. There students engage in creative investigations of a real-world problem, online courses specifically designed for upper elementary students, an online book club with peers across the country, and academic guidance via a series of email and text messages.
 
Art of Problem Solving (New York, NY) -- $330,000 to support the Summer Program in Mathematical Problem Solving, a three-week residential program for 80 low-income New York City middle school students with mathematical talent, and provide year-round academic mentoring for approximately 170 of the program's alumni.
 
The College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, VA) -- $250,000 for continued support of Camp Launch, a two-week summer residential camp, which immerses 80 high-ability, low-income middle school students in hands-on science investigation in nanotechnology, robotics, chemistry, and ecology, as well as scientific and creative writing and career planning.
 
Purdue University Gifted Education Research Institute (West Lafayette, IN) -- $200,000 to support the participation of 65 6th through 12th grade Native American students in Project HOPE+, a two-week STEM-focused residential summer camp.
 
New York University (New York, NY) -- $21,315 to the Courant Center for Mathematical Talent to support its high school mathematics team to compete in the New York State Mathematics League Competition in April 2015 and the American Regions Mathematics League Competition in May 2015.
 
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. By offering the largest scholarships in the country, in-depth academic counseling and other direct services, the Foundation seeks to help high-performing, low-income students to develop their talents and excel educationally. In addition to providing students both counseling and financial support from middle school to graduate school, the Foundation provides grants for noteworthy and innovative initiatives that support high-performing, low-income students. Founded in 2000, the Foundation has awarded over $130 million in scholarships to almost 1,900 students and over $80 million in grants. www.jkcf.org.
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Foster Introduces Legislation To Support Next Generation of Makers, Innovators

This is a press release from Rep. Bill Foster (IL-11)


Foster in front of a Fab Lab at the White House Maker Faire in 2014

March 25, 2015 – Washington, DC | Today, Representatives Bill Foster (IL-11) and Randy Hultgren (IL-14) reintroduced the bipartisan National Fab Lab Network Act to support advanced manufacturing and invest in the next generation of makers, entrepreneurs and innovators.
 
Fab Labs are state-of-the-art fabrication laboratories available to the public throughout the country where children and adults can invent, design and manufacture products. The equipment can be used to design anything from tools, to motors, to data networks, to artwork.
 
The first Fab Lab began as a project of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, and has expanded to more than 450 locations throughout the world. 
 
“We have a great tradition of innovation in manufacturing in America. With a national network of Fab Labs we can empower and inspire the next generation of makers, entrepreneurs and innovators,” said Foster. “I am reintroducing the National Fab Lab Network Act, because as a scientist, businessman and a maker, I believe it’s critical that we work to increase access to tools like these.”
 
The bill would create a nonprofit entity to establish a National Fab Lab network throughout the United States. This chartered status would be similar to the status enjoyed by the VFW and Little League Baseball.
 
The goal of the network will be to establish at least one Fab Lab for every 700,000 people, giving students and entrepreneurs throughout the country access to the tools and skills needed to bring their ideas to life.  The legislation does not provide funding to the network, but seeks to provide the project with the recognition needed to grow and establish new centers throughout the country.
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Schoology Selected By State of Delaware to Power Blended Learning Initiative

 
The Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) has selected Schoology’s Learning Management System (LMS) to power online and blended learning across the entire state. The contract was awarded following a competitive review. Schoology will help drive innovation in teaching and blended learning for an estimated 40,000 students in the 2015-2016 school year with more districts signing on in subsequent years.
 
Delaware’s goal for deploying an LMS to schools is to shift education from being teacher-driven to student-centered, making active, engaged learners with access to the best, most effective education technology. Schoology will also power professional development, empowering teachers with skills to successfully implement online and blended learning.
 
The selection of Schoology as the platform of choice was due to a variety of factors including its user interface, ease of use, rich instructional feature set and powerful collaboration tools. Additionally, Schoology has the strongest integration capabilities with existing district systems — including bi-directional integration with Sungard K-12 Education’s eSchoolPLUS — the DDOE’s student information system. As part of the agreement with the DDOE, Truenorthlogic’s Professional Learning Management System will also be integrated.
 
”As more initiatives seek to personalize learning in a blended environment, they choose easy-to-use technology that engages students and integrates with systems already in place at the school, district and state level,” said Jeremy Friedman, co-founder and CEO of Schoology. “We are excited Schoology will be used throughout the Delaware school system to make their blended learning and professional development initiatives successful.”
 
Michael Watson, Delaware’s chief academic officer, said the Schoology LMS is highly flexible. “Teachers can decide how to use this powerful piece of technology to expand students’ learning opportunities,” he said.  “This also gives students greater control over when and how they learn.”
 
Schoology is the fastest growing learning management system in the K-12 market, and with partnerships like the DDOE, Schoology is used by more than eight million students across more than 60,000 institutions worldwide.
 
Read more about this announcement from Delaware Department of Education here.
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SEVP releases 2015 international student data, launches interactive mapping tool

This is a press release from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

14.18 percent increase in international students since January 2014

WASHINGTON | “SEVIS by the Numbers,” a quarterly report on international students studying in the United States, was released Wednesday by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The report highlights February 2015 data from the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a Web-based system that includes information about international students, exchange visitors and their dependents while they are in the United States. New this edition, users can also visit the Study in the States website to review international student data from “SEVIS by the Numbers” via an interactive mapping tool
 
Based on data extracted from SEVIS Feb. 6, 1.13 million international students, using an F (academic) or M (vocational) visa, were enrolled at nearly 8,979 U.S. schools. This marked a 14.18 percent increase in international students when compared to January 2014 data. The number of certified schools remained relatively static, increasing just more than one percent, during the same time period.  
 
Seventy-six percent of all international students were from Asia. The top 10 countries of citizenship for international students included: China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, Mexico and Brazil. 
 
In February, only 30 SEVP-certified schools had more than 5,000 international students enrolled. The University of Southern California, Purdue University, Columbia University, the University of Illinois and New York University ranked one through five among U.S. schools with the most international students. More than 10,000 international students were enrolled at each of these schools. 
 
Thirty-seven percent of international students studying in the United States, equating to more than 400,000 individuals, were enrolled in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) coursework in February. Eighty-six percent of international students pursuing STEM studies were from Asia.
 
 
The February report includes a special section about women pursuing STEM studies. In the past five years, the total number of female international students studying STEM fields increased more than 68 percent, from 76,638 in February 2010 to 128,807 in February 2015. Sixty-two percent of these female international students were from China and India. Also since 2010, the number of female international students pursuing STEM-focused master’s degrees increased 114 percent. Thirty-four percent of all female students pursuing STEM studies were enrolled at schools in California, New York and Texas. 
 
Other key points from the report include: 76 percent of SEVP-certified schools had between zero and 50 international students; 73 percent of international students were enrolled in bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral programs; and California, New York and Florida had the most SEVP-certified schools. A school must be SEVP-certified before it can enroll international students who are in the United States on a student visa. 
 
The full report can be viewed here. Report data was extracted from SEVIS Feb. 6. It provides a point in time snapshot of data related to international students studying in the United States. Data for the previous “SEVIS by the Numbers” was extracted from SEVIS Oct. 7.
 
In addition to the report, on Wednesday, SEVP launched an interactive mapping tool where users can explore and drill down international student data from “SEVIS by the Numbers.” This information is viewable at the continent, region and country level and includes information on gender and education levels for international students from geographical areas across the globe.
 
SEVP monitors approximately one million international students pursuing academic or vocational studies (F and M visa holders) in the United States and their dependents. It also certifies schools and programs that enroll these students. The U.S. Department of State monitors exchange visitors (J visa holders) and their dependents, and oversees exchange visitor programs. 
 
Both use SEVIS to protect national security by ensuring that students, visitors and schools comply with U.S. laws. SEVP also collects and shares SEVIS information with government partners, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, so only legitimate international students and exchange visitors gain entry into the United States. 
 
HSI reviews potential SEVIS records for potential violations and refers cases with potential national security or public safety concerns to its field offices for further investigation. Additionally, SEVP’s Analysis and Operations Center reviews student and school records for administrative compliance with federal regulations related to studying in the United States.
 
Learn more about SEVP at www.ICE.gov/SEVP.
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Blending Art With Mathematics: Explore the Beauty at the Festival’s X-STEM Symposium!

This is a post in our ongoing coverage of USA Science & Engineering Festival's X-STEM Extreme STEM Symposium - April 28, 2015 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Art and mathematics? The connections between the two are closer than what many educators once believed. At the USA Science & Engineering Festival’s X-STEM Symposium in April, prepare to be captivated as Satyan Devadoss, a leading mathematics professor from Williams College, demonstrates how he blends concepts of algebra and geometry with art to make lofty principles of math come alive for students!  He is just one of many exciting innovators you’ll meet at X-STEM as they bring the world of technology and science careers to life through unforgettable all-day experience of workshops and live demonstrations. Be there! Tickets are limited, and going fast, so register NOW!

X-STEM Speaker Profile:

Dr. Satyan Devadoss
Blending Mathematics With Art And Design To Help Students 'Interpret And Transform The World Around Them'

Million Women Mentors Launches New Web-Portal Technology to Elevate Women and Girls in STEM - 250,000 Have Pledged to Mentor

This is a press release from Million Women Mentors

MWM State of the States Report Released

WASHINGTON,  D.C.  March  25,  2015 | Million  Women  Mentors  (MWM)  announces the release  of the  new  portal  at  www.MillionWomenMentors.org,  powered by Tata Consultancy Services Limited (TCS), as  well as the release  of the  MWM  State  of the  States  Report highlighting the first 29 states with our-year pledges and their strong leadership in MWM (Find the report on  the  web  site  under  the  Resource  Section).  The  MWM  movement  will  support  girls  and  women  in  STEM  through mentorship.  The MWM team announced that over 250,000 pledges are committed since the launch  January, 2014. The goal of the four year movement is to garner one million mentors (men and women) in  Science,  Technology,  Engineering,  and  Math  (STEM)  professions,  to  collectively  increase  the  interest  and  confidence  of  girls  and  women  in  these  high-demand  and  well-paying  careers.  The  MWM  team  cites  the  forceful momentum from  all sectors engaged with MWM:  states,  corporations, non-profit partners, higher  education as all work to build the movement to assure one million mentors by early 2019. The news is that 29 states that have made STEM mentor commitments along with major corporations and other organizations  like Science Olympiad, National Girls Collaborative Project and The National 4-H Council.  
 
Unveiling New Technology: Launching tomorrow at the official STEMcouncil gathering is MWM 2.0 Web-portal. The  updated  portal  allows  matching  of  mentors  to  hundreds of Million Women Mentors partners, educational institutions and STEM organizations.  "We built this web-portal with Tata Consultancy Services who is our lead technology partner and Vice Chair of the Leadership Council along with Cisco, PepsiCo and Sodexo," said Edie Fraser, CEO  of  STEMconnector®  and  Million  Women  Mentors  (MWM), "This portal will enable great learning for the country and expedite mentoring relationships while capturing metrics and sharing best practices. 1700 entities have already pledged over a quarter of a million."  
 
"Leveraging our core competency as an IT Services leader, to support the needs of our community is part of our way of doing business at Tata Consultancy Services.  Developing this dynamic online portal for MWM is just one of the ways we are supporting STEM mentoring for girls and women in their STEM education and careers." Balaji Ganapathy, Head of Workforce Effectiveness, North America.
 
Each mentor commits to a minimum of 20 hours per relationship (just two hours per month) and the initiative has five suggested mentor pathways including online, internships with a designated mentor, and sponsoring women in STEM. For more information on the pledge to join the million and create an account profile as an individual, non-profit, or corporation, please go directly to our website.
 
The States: The 29 states that are  currently  involved  include: Alaska, California, Delaware,  Florida, Georgia,  Hawaii,  Idaho,  Indiana,  Iowa,  Kansas,  Kentucky,  Maryland,  Massachusetts,  Missouri,  Montana, New Jersey,  New  York,  North  Carolina,  Ohio,  Oklahoma,  Oregon,  Pennsylvania,  Rhode  Island,  Tennessee,  Texas,  Utah,  Virginia,  Washington,  and  the  District  of  Columbia.  The States  Report  shows  the  volunteer  chairs  and  committees  in  each state.  "We salute the state-level  leadership  and  know how hard they have worked to  submit  the  mentoring  pledges,"  said Fraser, "We are thrilled to work with groups, corporations, government and all institutions and individuals who have pledged through our official site at MillionWomenMentors.org to take us past the 250,000-mark- which is significant since the four year MWM initiative only launched less than 14 months ago; watch for all states and hundreds of corporations and higher education and other institutions over time." said Fraser. 
 
One of the key leaders spearheading the national push and call to action is Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds  of  Iowa  who  is the  national  Honorary  States  Chair  of  Million  Women  Mentors.  Lt. Governor  Reynolds  has  encouraged  challenges  to  her  fellow  lieutenant  governors  to  mobilize  the  business  communities  and  educational institutions and even sports team and others in their states to commit to Million Women Mentors  pledges.  Lt. Governor Reynolds shares, "In the United States, STEM is a driving force behind economic growth, stability, and educational success.  That's why we're creating an environment in Iowa that prepares all of our students with the necessary skills to compete in a global, knowledge-based economy.  As part of MWM-IA, we're working to secure mentors in all 99 counties across our state. I am extremely pleased with the active engagement shown by our communities, businesses, schools, and universities since the launch of our effort in 2014," shares Lt. Governor Reynolds. "  Many  have  responded  including  TN  Lt.  Governor  Ron  Ramsey,  NJ  Lt.  Governor  Kim  Guadagno, and IN Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, an engineer herself, who is kicking off the initiative in her  own state today.
 
Engineer Sheila Boyington, National Senior Advisor to MWM and States Chair, also praised the work being done at the state level. "The participation is at all levels of the  states and the extensive teams and infrastructure being built in the states to work toward their state goals is  impressive. We  are proud to support these  efforts.  In the past few weeks we have held  exciting  events to  recognize Women in STEM and the impact we can have on the upcoming and existing workforce." 
 
Portal Update: The new web portal being released is a key part of the implementation of the MWM initiative.  The portal provides a new way to encourage, enable and amplify the mentoring efforts of individuals, their  services to girl and women serving organizations, who will connect them with mentees in a safe environment.  Companies can make goal pledges for their mentoring campaigns, and then track progress against those goals  either  through  offline  mentoring  programs  or  through  employees  that  sign  up  through  the  company's  individual  mentoring  link.  The  state-level  leadership  initiatives  can  also  access  reports  of  the  number  of  individuals,  companies  and  organizations  participating  in  the  state  and  the  total  number  of  mentors  and  mentees  involved.  "This  portal  provides  an  important  new  way to  amplify  STEM mentoring  by  allowing  all  levels to set  goals  and then to measure  progress  against these  goals through  any type  of  new  or  existing  mentoring programs," says Boyington. 
 
"The  Million  Women  Mentors® (MWM) team is working now with over 200 major corporations on mentor & recruitment strategy, and alignment with the initiative", says Julie Kantor, Vice President and Chief Partnership Officer. "Our Leadership Council meets quarterly and has really stepped up to champion the technology, partnerships, global strategy, city/state, engagement of entrepreneurs/SMBs, and leveraged communications." 
 
About Million Women Mentors (MWM):
Million Women Mentors (MWM), an initiative of STEMconnector®, is a national movement aiming to increase the number of girls and women from middle school to the workplace continuum to pursue and succeed in STEM programs and careers. Designed to take place over a four year period (2014-2018) MWM will engage one million science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) mentors, both male and female through mentorship  to increase the interest of girls and women. Many of you are already engaged in mentoring efforts, so as we continue to build this movement we invite you to join us by signing up or learn more by visiting: www.MillionWomenMentors.org
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SunGard K-12 Education Recognizes Educators and Schools that Use Technology to Lead without Limits

The following is a press release fro PRWeb
 
 
SunGard K-12 Education today launched an all-new award program to celebrate the excellence of its customers’ ed-tech initiatives. The Lead without Limits Awards Program seeks to recognize school districts, schools, departments, administrators, and educators that leverage technology to improve student achievement and/or school or district efficiency.
 
According to George Pepper, president and CEO of SunGard K-12 Education, this award program highlights efforts that are making a difference for students. “It’s an honor to serve this nation’s school districts as they inspire students and support them in realizing the greatest possibilities for their lives,” says Pepper. “Through the Lead without Limits Awards Program, SunGard K-12 Education hopes to express our appreciation for their dedication and innovation that is having a positive impact on our children.”
 
Each month, SunGard K-12 plans to recognize at least one district, school, department, or individual in one of three categories:
  • Data All-Star. Data All-Stars use data to positively affect student achievement by applying best practices or innovating processes. Whether their initiatives are impacting one student or hundreds of students, nominees are unlocking student potential by applying insights gained from an analysis of data.
  • Operational Efficiency Pacesetter. Operational Efficiency Pacesetters leverage technology to improve the efficiency of school/district processes. Nominees set the pace for school/district productivity by creating initiatives that use technology to make things better, cheaper, quicker, and/or more effective.
  • Information Technology Innovator. Information Technology Innovators enhance the educational process with technology. Nominees’ information technology efforts support student achievement and/or improve school/district efficiency.
Monthly award recipients will be publicly recognized on SunGard K-12’s Education and Technology blog and its customer newsletter. As it shares its customers’ innovations and best practices, SunGard K-12 hopes their ideas will create opportunities for collaboration between educators and administrators and inspire districts to even greater successes. The annual Lead without Limits Awards recipients, one individual or district in each of the above categories, will be selected from among the monthly award recipients and recognized at the annual SunGard National Users Group conference.
 
Nominations for the Lead without Limits Awards will be accepted through an online application form available on SunGard K-12 Education’s website. For guidelines and selection process, please see the Lead without Limits Awards Program information online.
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