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Biogen Idec Foundation Pledges Additional Support To Citizen Schools To Advance STEM Education

This is a press release from Citizen Schools

The $1.5 Million Investment Will Allow the Organization to Scale Programming Nationally; Company named “National Innovation Partner”

Boston, MA– January 26, 2015 | Citizen Schools, a national nonprofit organization that partners with public middle schools to expand the learning day for underserved students, today announced a new Biogen Idec Foundation grant to support its science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs, and has named the Biogen Idec Foundation its first National Innovation Partner.
Based on a shared commitment to sparking students’ interest in science through hands-on experiences, the Biogen Idec Foundation will help launch the next phase of Citizen Schools’   national STEM strategy to improve and scale the hands-on apprenticeship model for STEM learning in Massachusetts and North Carolina and at the national level. 
The $1.5 million, three-year investment will allow Citizen Schools to provide thousands of middle school students with real-world learning opportunities led by volunteer professionals and will also support a STEM curriculum development and a randomized evaluation by leading evaluation firm Abt Associates. The analysis will test whether providing STEM-focused apprenticeships leads to increased STEM interest and achievement in math and science for middle school students.  
The Biogen Idec Foundation has supported Citizen Schools since 2008, providing more than $250,000 in grants to support the organization’s STEM apprenticeship programs in Boston, MA and Research Triangle Park, NC. 
"The best way to engage students in the STEM subjects is by providing exciting, hands-on learning experiences with experts, like Biogen Idec scientists, who can show them what’s possible beyond the classroom,” said Steven Rothstein, CEO of Citizen Schools. "We are incredibly grateful for The Biogen Idec Foundation's support as we work to improve educational opportunities for students in low-income communities across the country." ​
“The Biogen Idec Foundation and Citizen Schools share an ongoing commitment to spark student’s interests in science through hands-on experiences and exposure to a variety of career pathways,” said Tony Kingsley, chairman of the Biogen Idec Foundation. “We are proud to serve as the first National Innovation Partner and work to improve educational opportunities and long-term success for underserved students.”
As a National Innovation Partner, the Biogen Idec Foundation will extend the innovative work of the Biogen Idec Community Lab from Massachusetts to North Carolina. The combination of Biogen’s unique apprenticeships, commitment to STEM curriculum, and rigorous evaluation is poised to transform Citizen Schools’ STEM programs. 
Since 2008, 37 Biogen Idec employees have taught nine apprenticeships in Massachusetts and North Carolina. Biogen Idec-led STEM apprenticeships help students transform into junior scientists at the Community Lab. The students conduct experiments side-by-side with Biogen Idec scientists, using the same state-of-the-art equipment and tools that the scientists utilize to discover and create new medicine. The apprenticeships introduce students to practical applications of their academics and introduce careers they might not have known existed.
Citizen Schools partners with public middle schools nationally to expand the school day for children in underserved communities through academic mentoring and skill-building apprenticeships. The projects foster authentic learning experiences and are taught by volunteer professionals, or Citizen Teachers, who share their expertise and passions in engaging and innovative ways. Citizen Schools’ focus on math and science based apprenticeships are helping to improve math proficiency levels and ensure a more diverse 21st century workforce skilled in the STEM job sectors. 
​​About Citizen Schools
Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Citizen Schools mobilizes a team of AmeriCorps educators and volunteer “Citizen Teachers” to teach real-world learning projects and provide academic support in order to help all students discover and achieve their dreams. For more information, please visit
​​About The Biogen Idec Foundation 
The Biogen Idec Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of peoples' lives and contribute to the vitality of the communities in which the company operates, with a special emphasis on innovative ways to promote science literacy and encourage young people to consider science careers. Additional information about the Biogen Idec Foundation can be found at:

Distant Past Comes Alive With Paleontologist Aaron Alford at Festival Expo’s X-STEM Symposium in April!

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 DC

Some of the most fascinating insights into the ancestral past of humans and animals are being unveiled by paleontology -- a science whose ¨hands-on¨ approach is ideal for exciting kids in the wonders of STEM. Learn how Aaron Alford, noted paleontologist and co-founder of Paleo Quest, is inspiring young learners through his work in the recovery and identification of ancient remnants of marine mammals and donating these specimens to K-12 schools as teaching aids. He is just one of many exciting innovators you’ll meet next April at the Festival Expo’s X-STEM Symposium -- an unforgettable all-day event of workshops, live demonstrations and other interactions by STEM visionaries, bringing innovation and science careers up close and personal for students and other visitors. Tickets are going fast, so register today!

100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Earl Newsome of TE Connectivity

The 100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM blog series features a new business executive Monday-Friday and the exemplary work his or her company is doing to support 21st century STEM learning and workforce development- particularly for women, minorities and under-represented groups. Learn more and download the whole copy at Follow the conversation on social media using #100STEMLeaders. Today's Diverse Corporate Leader is Earl Newsome, corporate chief information officer and vice president, digital at TE Connectivity.

Earl Newsome, TE

Earl Newsome
Corporate Chief Information Officer and Vice President, Digital
TE Connectivity

Earl Newsome currently serves as corporate chief information officer and vice president, Digital, for TE Connectivity. In this role, Newsome is responsible for transforming and repositioning how TE drives digital across the enterprise to deliver an extraordinary customer and employee experience. In addition, he is responsible for partnering with corporate strategy to ensure IT and technology innovation is a key component of the TE corporate strategy, helping to create a competitive advantage within the corporate functions leveraging technology, driving architecture throughout enterprise, and leading IT innovation and strategy. Previously, Newsome served as vice president, Infrastructure and Operations at TE, where he was responsible for transitioning a long-term IT shared services strategy into a consumerized offering, driving innovative thinking and implementation of new improved processes.

Prior to joining TE Connectivity in 2012, Newsome served as vice president, Global Shared Services for the Estee Lauder Companies. Newsome holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY.

About TE Connectivity

TE Connectivity (NYSE: TEL) is a $13 billion world leader in connectivity. The company designs and manufactures products at the heart of electronic connections for the world’s leading industries including automotive, energy and industrial, broadband communications, consumer devices, healthcare, and aerospace and defense. TE Connectivity’s long-standing commitment to innovation and engineering excellence helps its customers solve the need for more energy efficiency, always-on communications and ever-increasing productivity. With nearly 90,000 employees in over 50 countries, TE Connectivity makes connections the world relies on to work flawlessly every day.

Earl on Diversity and STEM

Why is STEM Education/workforce development critical to the future of our nation?

The business is digital and the digital is the business – the world is changing and the next wave of change is digital. In order to compete, we need to digitalize STEM. This means applying social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC) to all of our STEM efforts to ensure they not only utilize these technologies on a regular basis, but also think about how to apply STEM to them to envision the next wave of digital technologies – this is only the beginning. Additionally, as Internet of Things (IoT) and SMART (Sensors, Maker Machines, Augmented Humans, Robotics and Thinking Machines) technologies invade the way we work, build and live, STEM capabilities combined with a strong sense of social responsibility will help to define a progressive and positive future.

What is the key to smart STEM investments?

We need to drive our investments from a “buyer” perspective. Let’s build a winning “product” in the future by growing and developing people with the right skills for the future. To do that, begin with the 4-Voices – Our Customers (Corporate America), Our Partners (Higher Education), Our Students and Ourselves. This will give us the unvarnished truth and facts to guide us on the journey moving from Good to Great.

Leaders are in great demand as business builders and role models. What advice do you have for minorities and women coming “up” in the system?

My advice is know yourself and what matters to you. From that you will make better choices and better investments. A framework that I use is the 6 A’s: Aggressiveness, Ability, Agility, Appearance, Aptitude & Attitude – have the right mix of this for yourself and look for it in others.

Are you a mentor and what is your view of mentorship?

I’m involved in mentoring and sponsorship 365 days a year. I personally believe in talent management and development – what I call “taking care of employees” – which is based on my military background of “taking care of soldiers” which is based on ensuring our employees are tooled, trained and practiced effectively. We owe this to everyone to allow them to be all that they can be.

How does STEM leadership with a focus on diversity help your company compete?

TE has established an Engagement and Inclusion Council that serves in an advisory capacity to the CEO and senior leadership team. The goal of the council is to promote an organizational culture where engagement and inclusion is valued and employee potential is unleashed. The council shares best practices and focuses on a few key TE wide areas of action. Given the broad mix of businesses and global markets we are in, we also empower our leaders to define their inclusion and diversity priorities locally. This helps to promote both sponsorship and organizational buy-in by ensuring we focus our efforts on issues most relevant to the business. Our leaders go through various development courses aimed at enhancing awareness fostering an environment of inclusion and diversity.

When it comes to supporting education in the STEM fields, TE Connectivity is a major supporter of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) which engages students in grades K-12 in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills. TE employees have volunteered hundreds of hours serving as mentors for local FIRST teams and support the regional FIRST events as judges, robot inspectors and general volunteers. In 2014, the TE Connectivity Foundation supported 25 teams, granted over $120,000 to support the teams, and made donations to match TE employee volunteer hours. In addition, as a supplier sponsor, TE Connectivity provided supporting products and technology to help students complete their designs.

Registration for the 2015 X-STEM Extreme STEM Symposium is Now Open!

This post is from the USA Science & Engineering Festival
The USA Science & Engineering Festival is excited to announce the return of the 2015 X-STEM Symposium! X-STEM - presented by MedImmune - is an Extreme STEM symposium for middle through high school students featuring interactive presentations and workshops by an exclusive group of visionaries who aim to empower and inspire kids about careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). These top STEM role models and industry leaders are sure to ignite your students’ curiosity through storytelling and live demonstrations.
This all day event will feature multiple presentation sessions covering a wide array of subject areas including space exploration, paleontology, bio-inspired robotics, marine biology, mathematics of orgami, eco-friendly vehicle innovation and much, much more! Student attendees will have the opportunity to sit in on multiple engaging presentations, live demonstrations and hands-on workshops. Register today

100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Heidi Musser of USAA

The 100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM blog series features a new business executive Monday-Friday and the exemplary work his or her company is doing to support 21st century STEM learning and workforce development- particularly for women, minorities and under-represented groups. Learn more and download the whole copy at Follow the conversation on social media using #100STEMLeaders. Today's Diverse Corporate Leader is Heidi Musser, vice president, IT shared services at USAA.

Heidi Musser, USAA

Heidi Musser
Vice President, IT Shared Services

Heidi currently leads the following capabilities that make the business of IT better for USAA and its members: IT Business Management; Development Operations; IT PMO and Process Execution; and Quality Assurance. Heidi also serves as USAA’s Chief Agilist, Chief Compliance Officer for the Chief Administrative Office, Executive Sponsor for USAA’s women in information technology employee group, Aspire, Executive Sponsor for the enterprise’s Think Differently Forum, Chair of the IT Infrastructure Portfolio, and is a member of the Operations Risk Council.

An experienced business technology leader with more than 25 years of diverse general management experience, Heidi has held senior executive positions in financial services, healthcare, technology consulting, software, and public sector finance. She earned a Master’s degree from MSU’s Broad Graduate School of Management’s Executive MBA Program and holds a B.A. in Accounting from Michigan State University.

About USAA

In 1922, when 25 Army officers met in San Antonio, Texas, and decided to insure each other's vehicles, they could not have imagined that their tiny organization would one day serve millions of members and become one of the only fully integrated financial services organizations in America. We believe they would be pleased to know that USAA has remained true to their founding values of service, loyalty, honesty and integrity. Today, the USAA family of companies provides insurance, banking, investments, retirement products and advice to 10.4 million current and former members of the U.S. military and their families. Known for its legendary commitment to its members, USAA is consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee well-being and financial strength. USAA membership is open to all who are serving our nation in the U.S. military or have received a discharge type of Honorable – and their eligible family members.

Heidi on Diversity and STEM

What is your advice to those involved in promoting the STEM system?

  • First, we need to take the time to understand the facts driving this issue and the challenges. Many people believe STEM is a buzzword — it is not. It is a business imperative to stay competitive.
  • Second, we need to recognize the business risks of NOT working to solve this problem. There are both short-term and long-term implications of inaction.
  • Third, we need to try to understand the root causes. This issue, like most complex issues, did not happen overnight. STEM education has been declining, particularly for women, for over a generation.
  • Fourth, we need to be visible and vocal, and willing to champion an issue that probably won't deliver short-term gains today.
  • Fifth, it’s imperative that we make the connection between STEM education and jobs — jobs that companies like USAA rely on to deliver exceptional member experiences to our military members and their families. There is a shortage of qualified candidates with education and STEM for both today’s jobs and especially tomorrow’s jobs. And, there is a lot of data from reliable sources that supports this.

How should those working to improve the STEM workforce measure success?

It’s my experience as a business leader that you cannot change what you are unwilling to measure. Said differently, metrics matter because they influence behavior. So, begin tracking the numbers and measure improvement in those numbers. Are you able to attract more people with education in STEM? Are you able to retain more people with education in STEM?

What employee resource groups does your company have in place?

VetNet, Nexus, Impact and Aspire. Coincidentally, three were started in response to addressing a specific business problem. I’m personally excited and engaged with Aspire. Aspire was started to encourage and support women in IT to realize their full potential. In so doing, this helps USAA attract and retain our top female talent in STEM. Aspire is USAA’s inclusive, grass-roots employee community focused on growing and encouraging women in IT to realize their full potential. More than 35 percent of our members are men.

Ensuring advocacy across your enterprise, both women and men, is vital. Male advocacy — especially white/Caucasian — matters because the overwhelming majority (85 percent) of our leaders are men. At USAA, that number is about 70 percent. If they are not gender and minority advocates, then the culture won’t change. This is an issue that females and minorities can’t solve on their own, because that are not the primary decision-makers regarding hiring, career development and promotion.

How does STEM leadership with a focus on delivery help your company compete?

We need the community creating technology to be as diverse as the community consuming it! It’s that simple!

MindCET Launches the 2nd Global EdTech Startup Competition

MindCET, an Israeli-based center of Education Technology innovation, today launched the 2nd annual "Global EdTech Startup Awards" competition.
The competition wishes to promote the EdTech ecosystem worldwide, and to highlight "The Most Promising EdTech Start Up in 2015". Last year's winner was US-based BrightBytes, a provider of analytics and assessment data tools for the education market, which was chosen after reviewing more than 350 applications from around the world.
This year also marks the introduction of 3 vertical tracks, in addition to the general competition track:  Making Education, IoT in Education and Safety Net - more information and definitions on these new categories are below.
The applications phase will start today and run through April 2015, and the global finals are expected to take place in September 2015, with regional events leading up to the global event. Applicants will be judged on their ability to prove that the product or service (1) answers an actual pain (2) has an innovative pedagogical aspect (3) has an outstanding user experience (4) has a growth potential and (5) sustainable business model.
The competition, initiated by MindCET, is joined this year by a group of esteemed EdTech promoters: EdTech Incubator, London;  Inncubated, Bogota;  Global accelerator network Wayra (by Telefonica) and the Pan-European incubator of the Open Education Challenge. The competition is sponsored by CET (Center of Educational Technology), an Israeli EdTech leader and holding company of MindCET.
The launch event took place last Thursday at a special gathering of Israeli and British EdTech entrepreneurs, investors and executives, hosted by Wayra UK in their London offices. The event, organized by Wayra, MindCET and the UK Israel Tech Hub (at the British Embassy in Israel), included a panel discussion on the state of EdTech featuring executives from Wayra, Index Ventures, The Open Education Challenge, EdTech Incubator and MindCET.
In addition, 6 Israeli and UK startups presented their EdTech solutions, in an attempt to promote bilateral EdTech cooperation between the UK and Israel. As both countries are considered to be innovative in that field, London was the natural place to launch the competition this year. Earlier that week an Israeli delegation of EdTech startups, initiated by MindCET and the UK Israel Tech Hub, presented at the Bett education show in London, and met with several British education and publishing companies.
Applications to the competitions can be submitted from today (26.1.15) via the competition's website at

Pluralsight Acquires “Learn-to-Code” Platform Code School for $36 Million

SALT LAKE CITY– Pluralsight, a global leader in online training for technology professionals, today announced the acquisition of Code School, an online learn-to-code destination, for $36 million. By acquiring Code School, Pluralsight’s portfolio of e-learning solutions now offers a broader range of coding courses and learning styles, providing an end-to-end solution for users of all levels and skill sets. To commence the announcement, interested learners who register between January 26-30 will receive 72 hours of free access to all courses offered on Code School, Pluralsight and Digital-Tutors.
The acquisition of Code School is Pluralsight’s sixth in the past 18 months, continuing the company’s aggressive expansion in the e-learning industry, which Global Industry Analysts (GIA) projects to be a $107 billion market in 2015. While several of the company’s acquisitions have focused on adding learning content, Pluralsight’s most recent acquisition of Boston-based Smarterer for $75 million was to create a more advanced and credible industry standard for skills measurement. The company also acquired Oklahoma City-based Digital-Tutors for $45 million to expand into online training courses for designers, digital artists and other creative professionals. This series of acquisitions has made Pluralsight one of the world’s largest, most comprehensive online learning platforms, with nearly 4,000 courses.
With the addition of Code School, Pluralsight can now reach developers at all stages of their careers, including those who have limited coding experience. Pluralsight’s market consolidation has been fueled by the Utah-based company’s $162.5 million in venture backing from Insight Venture Partners, ICONIQ Capital and Sorenson Capital.
“We recognize there are numerous ways to learn and are committed to bringing new learning styles to the Pluralsight family of products,” said Aaron Skonnard, CEO and co-founder of Pluralsight. “Code School has differentiated itself as a fun, efficient, hands-on way to learn, offering introductory to advanced courses that are really effective. Together we will continue to help professionals remain relevant and ensure businesses stay on top of the latest trends and technologies.”
Founded in 2011, Code School has embarked on a rapid growth path on the strength of its signature teaching style. It excels at explaining complicated topics in a simple way through interactive in-browser coding challenges that allow members to win badges and earn points as they experiment with a technology. Code School doubled its member-base over the past year to more than 1 million developers, and 15 percent of these members have used Code School to get a promotion or find a new job. Code School will continue to play a central role in filling the industry-wide talent shortage around today’s most in-demand coding skills.
“By joining Pluralsight, we can focus on creating the best way to get started with a new technology,” said Gregg Pollack, founder and CEO of Code School. “We’re excited to have a place to direct customers who want to dive deeper into a topic, and we encourage them to explore Pluralsight’s vast library of technology courses.”
In addition to 72 hours of free access for interested learners, Code School will also release one Pluralsight course for 10 consecutive weeks on its site, allowing subscribers to explore additional technology topics. Pluralsight subscribers can also benefit from Code School’s free courses to acquire new skills through complementary and interactive learning methods.
For more information on Pluralsight and Code School, visit and

100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Greg Morrison of Cox Enterprises

The 100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM blog series features a new business executive Monday-Friday and the exemplary work his or her company is doing to support 21st century STEM learning and workforce development- particularly for women, minorities and under-represented groups. Learn more and download the whole copy at Follow the conversation on social media using #100STEMLeaders. Today's Diverse Corporate Leader is Greg Morrison, senior vice president and chief information officer at Cox Enterprises.

Greg Morrison, Cox

Greg Morrison
Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer
Cox Enterprises

Greg Morrison is senior vice president and chief information officer for Cox Enterprises, a leading communications, media and automotive services company. He is responsible for technology service and strategy development for all corporate systems. In addition, he is responsible for enhancing the IT infrastructure to support business expansion and ensure consistent service levels and operational reliability across the enterprise. Morrison was named vice president and chief information officer of Cox Enterprises in February 2002.

He serves on the board of trustees for Clark Atlanta University and on the board of directors for Piedmont Healthcare Systems, Gwinnett Technical College and Presbyterian Homes of Georgia. Morrison earned a bachelor's degree in science from South Carolina State University and a master's degree in science from Northwestern University.

About Cox Enterprises

With revenues of nearly $16 billion, Cox Enterprises is a leading communications, media and automotive services company. Cox’s major divisions include Cox Communications (cable television distribution, high-speed Internet access, telephone, commercial telecommunications and advertising solutions); Cox Media Group (television and radio stations, digital media, newspapers and advertising sales rep firms); and Cox Automotive (automotive-related auctions, financial services, media and software solutions). The company's major national brands include, Kelley Blue Book, Manheim, and Valpak.

Earlier this year, the James M. Cox Foundation announced a $1.5 million grant to the USS Midway Museum. This funding is being used toward hands-on STEM classes for more than 50,000 students onboard the USS Midway. Cox Communications just announced pledged $15 million in support of Connect2Compete, a broadband adoption program that offers discounted high speed internet service to low-income families with children who qualify for the National School Lunch Program. To date, more than 15,000 families have enrolled in Cox's program.

Greg on Diversity and STEM

Out of the fastest growing occupations in the United States, 80% of them depend on skills based upon science, technology, engineering and math. Information Technology, along with other STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) occupations, are big job creators. STEM jobs are the fastest-growing category of jobs in the United States and 70% of those jobs involve computing.

STEM careers are increasingly affecting all industries and will continue to grow and become more important to the business world. There are many examples of why this true. Improvements in machine learning and natural language understanding will drive the rapid improvements in weareable computers to connected cars. And advances in Biotech will create customized drugs tailored to an individuals DNA.

It is no secret that people of color are underrepresented in STEM professions. Graduating an increasing number of students from underrepresented communities with STEM skills is a top priority. According to a study completed by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA only 18.5 percent of Black college students and 17.3 percent of Hispanic college students plan on pursuing a STEM major. Moreover only 25 percent of underrepresented students who declare a STEM major earn undergraduate degrees in STEM, compared to 50 percent for all undergraduate students. Black and Hispanic students are more than twice as likely to switch to other majors as Caucasian and Asian students are. It is clear we need to focus resources toward these underrepresented communities to support and inspire a population of students who may otherwise never consider a STEM field.

The problem isn’t solved once STEM degrees are awarded. Forty per percent of underrepresented STEM professionals report that they have been subjected to discouragement throughout their STEM career. I strongly believe that we, particularly women and individuals of color, need to serve as role models that tomorrow’s work force can emulate and draw inspiration. The inspiration will help create a pipeline of tomorrow’s STEM work force by providing exposure and shared experiences of achievement. Moreover we need to actively encourage colleagues and students from underrepresented groups to seek opportunities.

Mentoring is one approach to help in this regard. The right mentoring programs can help to develop more diverse bench strength; maximize employee potential; enhance leadership competency; and help maintain a diverse slate of talented people ready to take on more responsibilities or a new role.

The private sector can help by combining financial, experiential and directional support in the form of paid internships and mentorships to promising STEM scholars. What’s often missing from discussions about STEM is a focused involvement by the private sector in STEM to develop robust mechanisms that support scalable and sustainable high quality education programs. I serve on a University and Technical College board of trustees. This is an area of focus at the collegiate level that we have identified for the future. But public school districts need to do some things different too. They need to train teachers who can reach school serving predominantly minority and low-income students. Invest in better equipped high school biology labs. Solicit private industry mentors to pair with students to work on independent research projects. And actively engage young students -- especially from underrepresented groups -- in topics such as robotics, electronics, mobile app development and 3D design through a series of increasingly difficult contests and challenges. These challenges, in turn, foster important new century skills, including persistence and creative problem solving.

2015 Global Talent Summit: Working Toward the Future of Jobs

On January 14, 2015, STEMconnector and Diplomatic Courier hosted the 2nd Annual Global Talent Summit: STEM 2.0 & the Future of Jobs in Washington, DC at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. The Summit focused on the applicability of STEM 2.0 with special emphasis on the framework’s application to the global demand for talent. If you missed the Summit, you can view the entire event on YouTube, or watch a few highlights if you’re short on time (also embedded below).
This year, nearly 200 leaders from the corporate, non-profit, education and government sectors convened to discuss the importance of the STEM 2.0 capabilities (employability skills, innovation excellence, and digital fluency) for tomorrow’s workforce. Senior executives from major corporations, including Citigroup, Deloitte, IBM, Monsanto, PepsiCo, Tata Consultancy Services, TE Connectivity, Sodexo and Wal-Mart, spoke about the specific skills, behavioral traits, and diversity of employees that their companies are looking to hire now, and in the future. 
To complement the industry’s demand for STEM talent, non-profit organizations like the National FFA Organization, NPower, FIRST, The Manufacturing Institute, and the Fab Foundation articulated how their programming is empowering students and workers with the necessary skills for tomorrow’s jobs. Educators from Arizona State University, Apollo Education Group, and Des Moines Area Community College continued the discourse commenting on their partnerships with the business community that align programming, curriculum, and training to equip students with the necessary skills to find a good job. 
The 2nd Annual Global Talent Summit is strategically placed ahead of this week’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in order to build momentum around the STEM agenda. 
The Global Talent Summit was broadcast to a virtual audience via Google Hangouts, generating over 2,600 unique views from around the world. The United States had the largest audience, but viewers tuned in across the world from Albania to Australia and from South Africa to Singapore. 
This year’s social media conversation (#2050jobs) was vibrant and substantive. Tweets collected from the official hashtag showed that the audience understood the major take-aways from the discussion. Over 8,000,000 impressions were generated by nearly 1,000 tweets from 200 contributors. The following tweets highlight many of the main discussion points:
Keynoting the Summit was former U.S. Secretary of Commerce & Chair of the Meridian International Center, Carlos Gutierrez, who talked about the importance of “educating students for what the market needs and not for an abstract sense of education.”  Brent Weil, Senior Vice President and Treasurer of The Manufacturing Institute gave this advice to current students: “Focus not just on the job that you want but on the skills that are going to be adaptable.”  As innovation was one of the big topics of the day, Sherry Lassiter, Director of the Fab Foundation noted, “Innovators don’t just know how to do one thing, they know how to do everything.”
The organizers would like to thank the Summit sponsors that helped to make this event a great success: Tata Consultancy Services, Apollo Education Group, Deloitte, Sodexo, PepsiCo, Wal-Mart, Meridian International Center, Global Voice Hall, and the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.
Be sure to look for more information in the future as we look forward to the 2016 Global Talent Summit!

100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Maria Moats of PwC US

The 100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM blog series features a new business executive Monday-Friday and the exemplary work his or her company is doing to support 21st century STEM learning and workforce development- particularly for women, minorities and under-represented groups. Learn more and download the whole copy at Follow the conversation on social media using #100STEMLeaders. Today's Diverse Corporate Leader is Maria Moats, chief diversity officer at PwC US.

Maria Moats, PwC US

Maria Moats
Chief Diversity Officer

Maria is one of sixteen on PwC's U.S. Leadership team and reports directly to the Senior Partner. Since 2011, she has served as the Chief Diversity Officer - setting strategy and deployment of PwC's U.S. diversity and inclusion efforts. In addition, Maria is currently serving as the Lead Engagement Partner on a major Northeast retail and consumer company.

Maria has over 24 years of professional accounting and auditing experience with financial services, retail, consumer and industrial product clients. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso, is a licensed CPA in Texas, New Jersey and New York. Maria has been a dedicated board member for the March of Dimes and an advocate of children's adoptions. She is a first generation Mexican American and speaks Spanish fluently. Maria lives in the New York Metro area with her husband and two children.

About PwC US

PwC US helps organizations and individuals create the value they're looking for. We're a member of the PwC network of firms in 157 countries with more than 184,000 people. We're committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. Our firm has a long-standing history of helping resolve complex issues and providing an incomparable professional experience for our people. Our diversity strategies are designed to attract, develop, and advance the most talented individuals regardless of their race, sexual orientation, religion, age, gender, disability status or any other dimension of diversity. Doing business responsibly, while engaging our stakeholders, is critical to our business, our people, and our communities. Through PwC’s Earn Your Future, the firm is preparing students to make responsible financial decisions and helping contribute to a healthier US economy.

Maria on Diversity and STEM

How has your corporation coordinated investments in education with future workforce needs?

PwC is focused on delivering value in all we do, and we cannot do this by ignoring social issues that threaten the sustainability of businesses, and our communities. One such issue is the growing need for financial literacy education in schools, and helping to build stronger skills in financial decision-making and financial capability. This issue is particularly acute in underserved communities. CEOs continue to express concern about the pipeline of talent—not only how to find diverse individuals with the skills they need, but how to retain them. Given the skills of our more than 39,000 people in accounting, finance and consulting services, we realized years ago that we were in a prime position to extend our work of adding value to businesses by strengthening the next generation workforce, and enhancing people’s lives. Through PwC’s Earn Your Future, our $160 million commitment to instill responsible financial behaviors that will position students for future job readiness and economic stability, we’re sharing our knowledge and skills with students in grades K-12 and helping them prosper.

Leaders are in great demand as business builders and role models. What advice do you have for women and minorities coming up in the system?

Never shy away from your differences. Early in my career my supervisor overheard me whispering on the phone in Spanish and told me to flaunt my fluency because it was a business asset. That was the day I realized that being myself was an asset. I also encourage everyone, women and minorities included, to look for diversity in their own mentors. It’s natural to seek a role model in someone who looks like you, but resist it. Seeking alternate perspectives can help you see beyond your present circumstances because others don’t see the same limits or boundaries that you do.

How can we advance Mentorships and Apprenticeships in the STEM pipeline?

It is not always easy to cultivate mentor-mentee relationships, but what’s most important is providing your employees with the resources they need along every step of their careers so they can establish meaningful relationships with other professionals from day one. As an example, our “Start” program targets diverse students in their sophomore and junior years of college and offers learning and development, shadowing programs and real-world exposure to partners and staff. Our “Diamond” program serves as a coaching and advocacy program for high performing minority senior managers and directors within our organization. Through these programs, we create personal connections and encourage young people to take an interest in STEM careers while also supporting those who are already in the workforce.

We also believe strongly in sponsor relationships. Sponsors are those within an organization that not only give you advice, but advocate for you and take you alongside them for the journey. I am a first-generation Mexican American immigrant who is now a partner at one of the largest professional services firms in the world. I believe strongly that my success at PwC is a credit to those who had the ability to dream bigger for me than I ever dreamed for myself.


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