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Pearson Announces Upgrades, Based on Educator Feedback, to Award-Winning, Tablet-Based Reading Intervention Program

The following is a press release from Pearson Education.
 
 
NEW YORK, NY -- At Pennsylvania’s York City Schools, students learning with iLit, Pearson’s tablet-based reading intervention program for grades 4-10, are more engaged and realizing great gains in developing literacy skills. Today the world’s leading learning company announced upgrades to the program, based on feedback from educators around the country, that will make it an even more powerful tool for helping struggling learners accelerate the development of reading skills.
 
iLit is designed to meet the national crisis of students who simply cannot read at the appropriate grade level and who, by the time they reach high school, are dropping out, checking out or acting out. iLit is the first complete instructional solution built and delivered on tablets that offers students personalized learning support based on their own instructional needs with engaging interactivities, and built-in reward systems that motivate and track progress.
 
With the new enhancements, the intervention program is now device-agnostic and can be delivered on any iOS, Android, Windows 8 or web browser, making it perfect for use in “BYOD” classrooms. New daily phonics assignments and an improved teacher dashboard were added to improve the overall learning experience.
 
As assistant principal at York’s William Penn High School, Sue Long Moyer regularly observed classes. During the first-year ninth graders at the school were learning with iLit, she observed positive changes in a teenage boy that illustrate the power of technology to transform learning and, ultimately, lives.
 
Moyer, a member of Pearson’s Advisory Board for iLit, recalled, “We had a teenage boy who was struggling behaviorally during his math class. He was being extremely disruptive, not paying at attention and was not engaged in the lesson as he was trying to get the teacher to send him out of class.”
 
Later that day, Moyer said she observed the same student in a classroom where he was learning with iLit and he was quietly reading on task and engaged in the activity on his tablet. Curious about this, she asked him why his behavior and attitude had changed.
 
She said, “He told me, ‘I get this. I can read about Tupac and that interests me.’ But, best of all he was spot on, retaining the information and able to apply it to his own life as he explained to me. It was amazing to see him in that kind of setting.”
 
A few weeks later, she observed him in science class, where he was working in a small group and showing his classmates how to go back in the text to find an answer to a question, which is a skill he learned in iLit. “The transfer of knowledge was incredible,” she said.
 
Moyer was so impressed with the results she saw with iLit at the high school level that she introduced it to her English Language Learner students in her new role as principal at York’s Jackson K-8 School. Commenting on the upgrades, she said, “Our students are finding that the examples help them grasp the vocabulary words easier. The words, definitions and pictures are more relevant and applicable, our students grasp them more quickly and, by the end of class, use them in a sentence correctly.”
 
Moyer also said that her students like the immediate feedback from the improved data dashboard because they can see their own growth and they find that motivating. In addition, the dashboard has sparked student-teacher conversations about progress. For example, when a student takes a dip in progress, teachers have conversations about what happened -- discovering if the student is dealing with something outside of school or feels a need for more time to practice.
 
Moyer, who hopes to grow the use of iLit at Jackson K-8 School, said, “Students are growing at rapid rates and engagement is through the roof. I had a whole grade move three grade levels in reading in one year. They just love the program.”
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100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Alicia Boler-Davis of General Motors

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 STEMConnector.org/100Diverse. Follow the conversation on social media using #100STEMLeaders. Today's Diverse Corporate Leader is Alicia Boler-Davis, senior vice president, Global Quality & Customer Experience at General Motors.

Lisa Ballantyne, Turner Construction
Alicia Boler-Davis
Senior Vice President, Global Quality & Customer Experience
General Motors

Alicia Boler-Davis was named senior vice president, Global Quality & Customer Experience effective July 1, 2013. This appointment expands her customer experience role from a U.S. position to oversee the rest of the world where GM does business. Ms. Boler-Davis reports directly to GM’s CEO Mary Barra. In February 2012, Ms. Boler-Davis was appointed U.S. vice president, Customer Experience. Later that year, her role was expanded to vice president, Global Quality and U.S. Customer Experience.

Previously, Ms. Boler-Davis was plant manager of Orion Assembly and Pontiac Stamping. This appointment included the dual role of vehicle line director and vehicle chief engineer, North America Small Cars, which she held until January 2011. Prior to that, she held the positions of plant manager at Lansing Consolidated Operations and Arlington Assembly, where she was the first African-American woman to be appointed to plant manager at a GM vehicle manufacturing plant. Ms. Boler-Davis began her GM career in 1994 as a manufacturing engineer at the Midsize/Luxury Car Division in Warren, Michigan. Ms. Boler-Davis holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in engineering science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

About General Motors

Headquartered in Detroit, Mich., General Motors is one of the world’s largest automakers. GM and the GM Foundation support the development of the next generation of leaders and innovators by making education more accessible, affordable and rewarding from birth through college. The GM Foundation pledged $27.1 million to the United Way for Southeastern Michigan to establish a “Network of Excellence” in seven Detroit-area high schools. The grant is infusing STEM into curricula, and aims to improve graduation rates from roughly 50 to 80 percent over five years. The GM Foundation also funds one of the largest scholarship programs in the country—the $4.2 million annual Buick Achievers Scholarship Program that supports students interested in pursuing STEM majors and careers. GM and the GM Foundation both support programs that reinforce math and science skills among younger students, including MathCounts, FIRST Robotics and the SAE Foundation’s “A World in Motion” initiative.

Alicia on Diversity and STEM

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

To ensure the strength of our nation and the growth of our economy, the next generation of leaders and innovators must have the skills and education necessary to compete globally. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, STEM jobs account for more than 50 percent of our country’s economic growth, yet only five percent of U.S. workers are employed in STEM fields. Of those five percent, a majority are reaching retirement age leaving many to wonder to whom they will pass the torch. Securing qualified engineering and IT talent will continue to be critical to our success. GM can only progress if we continue to feed a pipeline of innovative, tech-savvy, globally focused young thinkers to our product development teams. There has never been a more important time for leaders in STEM fields to develop the next generation of talent.

What do we need in the US to continue to be at the top of global innovation?

We need more well-educated and trained STEM graduates to become our next generation of creative innovators. For more than 40 years, the U.S. has been ranked considerably lower than our global partners in China, Germany and Korea in our math and science aptitude. It is staggering to think that the percentage of American adolescents who study mathematics and science is actually lower than half of other countries. However, investing time, resources and capital into STEM educational initiatives, while immensely important, is only half the battle. Once we’ve trained these professionals, we also have to create environments and opportunities for innovation to prosper; where it is encouraged to take risks and try new things.

Where do you see the biggest area of opportunity in advancing STEM jobs careers?

One of the biggest opportunities we have in the STEM area is with the lack of women and Hispanics and African-Americans going in to these fields. These groups make up a significant portion of our future workforce, yet they are the most underrepresented groups in many STEM professions. I’m proud to say that GM outpaces the industry average of every one in ten engineers being a women by nearly doubling this with about every one in five engineers being a woman in the U.S. However, as you can see there is still a long way to go. This is why GM’s STEM efforts are heavily focused on women and minorities. GM and the GM Foundation support programs such as MathCounts, United Way “Network of Excellence schools, U.S. Naval Academy STEM camp, and founded one of the nation’s largest scholarship programs, The Buick Achievers, all in an effort to help raise the water level on STEM education for minority and underserved communities.

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?

I have several life lessons that I’d like to share with all future STEM professionals, but particularly for minorities and women coming “up” in the system. The first, is to follow and show your passion. In my experience, the people who make that difference are those who establish clear priorities, and who throw themselves into their work with all the passion and enthusiasm they can muster. The second, is to try new things and take risks. Understand that failure can often lead to the greatest success stories. Third, establish a strong moral compass. This likely means challenging the status quo and conventional thinking which is not the easy route, but leads to the best, most morale outcome. Fourth, never stop learning. Know what your strengths and weaknesses are and make a personal commitment to improving what you need to. Finally, give something back, especially as it pertains to STEM. Being involved in mentoring and in helping at-risk children has been tremendously rewarding for me and it has shown me that everyone can make a difference. Engineers are naturally great at building and all should take advantage of opportunities to help build, educate and improve the lives of others.

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

GM is fortunate enough to have a STEM professional managing our leadership team in our CEO, Mary Barra, along with other senior leaders rising from a background in STEM. Mary brings with her a career of engineering, manufacturing and product development knowledge, experience and passion. She also happens to be a woman, and women not only influence 60 percent of all vehicle purchase decisions, but also spend up to $200 billion a year on new vehicles, maintenance, and service in the U.S. Which is why GM puts women at the center of every marketing, design, and product-planning decision we make. However, diversity of all kinds, not just regarding women is so critical to GM’s success. Having a diverse workforce, one that truly mirrors out customer base, is critically important for any business, in the U.S. and around the world.

100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Carlos Barroso of Campbell

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 STEMConnector.org/100Diverse. Follow the conversation on social media using #100STEMLeaders. Today's Diverse Corporate Leader is Carlos J. Barroso, senior vice president-global research & development at Campbell.

Lisa Ballantyne, Turner Construction
Carlos J. Barroso
Senior Vice President-Global Research & Development
Campbell

Carlos J. Barroso joined Campbell as Senior Vice President-Global Research & Development in July 2013.  He is responsible for leading Campbell’s 500 R&D employees worldwide, focusing on accelerating innovation and new product development to strengthen the company’s core businesses and expand into higher growth spaces. Carlos brings more than 20 years of global R&D expertise in food and consumer packaged goods to Campbell. Most recently, he was President of CJB and Associates, his own R&D consulting practice in Dallas, where he worked with many Fortune 100 clients to help solve a broad range of product and innovation challenges. Before that, Carlos was Senior Vice President of R&D at PepsiCo, where he oversaw all R&D efforts for PepsiCo Foods, including Frito-Lay North America and Quaker Foods and Snacks. Carlos previously worked in R&D at Procter & Gamble (P&G), where he held roles of increasing responsibility in the company’s paper and coffee divisions in the US, Italy and France.

An inductee of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, Carlos is a member of American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and the American Chemists Society (ACE). Carlos earned his bachelor’s of science degree in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, where he currently serves as Chair of the External Advisory Board for the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

About Campbell

Campbell makes real food that matters for life’s moments, from high-quality soups and simple meals to snacks and healthy beverages. For generations, people have trusted Campbell to provide authentic, flavorful and readily available foods and beverages that connect them to each other, to warm memories and to what’s important today. Led by its iconic Campbell's brand, the company’s portfolio includes Pepperidge Farm, Goldfish, Bolthouse Farms, V8, Swanson, Prego, Pace, Plum Organics, Arnott’s, Tim Tam, Royal Dansk and Kjeldsens. Founded in 1869, Campbell has a heritage of giving back and acting as a good steward of the planet’s natural resources. The company is a member of the Standard & Poor's 500 and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes. For more information, visit www.campbellsoupcompany.com and @CampbellSoupCo.

Carlos on Diversity and STEM

How can we can we do a better job to strategically coordinate all those engaged in STEM across the company? (Across different departments)

We have many science, technology and engineering experts in the organization who don’t necessarily report to the same group.  One approach we’re using to help these individuals network with one another and create a stronger sense of team are Communities of Practice.  Community of Practice leaders facilitate the connections, and members engage in events and learning opportunities together.  Communities of Practice are critical to our overall strategy because they promote talent development, problem solving and the sharing of best practices. 

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

I think one of the gaps in the typical STEM curriculum is the lack of time devoted to leadership skills development.  At Campbell Soup Company, we believe it’s important to offer training to our STEM associates that not only help them be great technologists, but also great technical leaders and people leaders.  Our leadership training programs are geared toward a cross section of leaders, from those who are fairly new to the management ranks to those who are more experienced. That doesn’t mean technical training isn’t important.  All of our STEM associates have strong technical educations, but they may not have learned about things that are important to our business like soup thermal processing or flavor technology.  We have offered that training for many years.  Today, we are focused on keeping the training fresh and relevant, particularly to our younger associates.

How do you translate your work into innovation?

As a food and beverage company, Campbell Soup Company has the exciting challenge of translating culinary inspiration into consumer products. How does an engineer or scientist take a chef’s artistic creation and translate it into something that can be manufactured?  Our approach is not to undo the art, but to capture it.  Some of our methods for doing that are well practiced, and to others we’re adding our own twist. The first step in developing a new product is to identify a culinary target.  Technologists deconstruct the culinary target, and then reconstruct it in a way so that it can be made into a consumer product that still captures the essence of our chefs’ creation.  Campbell is very focused on closing the gap between the chef’s kitchen and the plant floor.  To me, great innovation is when you can hit an unarticulated consumer need.  Something that consumers want but don’t even know it because they don’t think it’s possible. 

What is your advice to those involved in promoting STEM education?

The talent I’m seeing in our next generation of technical leaders is truly remarkable. A big opportunity I see is helping students understand how to tap into the network of experts and solution providers from around the globe.  In my work with Georgia Tech and other universities, I encourage educators to be very cognizant of the changing world around them.  In practice, this means exposing students to more international experiences so that they learn how to access and collaborate with external partners.  In the workplace, STEM professionals who have had the experience of living, working, or studying with people from different cultures will have a big advantage over those who have not.  We have recently launched an international employee exchange program in Campbell R&D, where nominated chefs and technologists spend up to six months learning and working in another Campbell location, either across the country or halfway around the world. 

Carnegie Science Center Announces Results of STEM Education Study

This is a press release from Carnegie Science Center
 
Research Illuminates Region's Attitudes, Perceptions about STEM Education
 
PITTSBURGH, Oct. 7, 2014 | Carnegie Science Center announced this morning the results of a survey conducted this summer to gauge the attitudes and perceptions about STEM education and its potential for workforce development in a 17-county region spanning southwestern Pennsylvania and adjacent areas of Ohio and West Virginia. The study, titled “Work To Do: The Role of STEM Education in Improving the Tri-State Region's Workforce," was conducted by Campos, Inc., with funding from Chevron and additional support from Nova Chemicals.
 
“In our work at the Science Center, we consistently hear concerns from corporate leaders about having a qualified workforce for the future. Corporations need collaborative problem-solvers with excellent skills in science, technology, engineering, and math – or STEM,” said Ron Baillie, the Henry Buhl, Jr., Co-Director of Carnegie Science Center. “We launched our Chevron Center for STEM Education and Career Development  three years ago to address this issue, embracing our role as convener of all stakeholders in the quest for top-quality STEM education – corporations, parents, educators, students, legislators, foundations -- as we inspire and prepare young people to meet the needs of our region and our nation. ”
 
“We commissioned this study to better understand the perceptions, attitudes, and concerns of corporate leaders, educators, and parents throughout the region,” said Ann Metzger, also Henry Buhl, Jr., Co-Director of the Science Center. “At the Science Center, we’re involved in discussions about STEM education every day. We wanted to know how others view the importance of STEM education, what they see as the potential benefits, what they want for their children, and what they perceive as the barriers. The results of the survey will help us communicate more effectively with various audiences across the region and develop programming and initiatives meet the needs of the region.”
 
Methodology
Components of the survey included in-depth, 45-minute phone interviews with 47 educators (middle and high school teachers and counselors, superintendents, and Allegheny Intermediate Unit professionals) and senior-level business leaders directly involved in workforce development and hiring at regional industrial and manufacturing companies. Phone and online surveys were completed with 978 parents with one or more children in elementary, middle, or high school. Quotas were established to ensure representation by county and by urban, suburban, and rural participants. For the parent surveys, the margin of error was +/-3.1% at the 95th confidence interval level. Parents were given the following definition of STEM education: STEM education refers to rigorous instruction in science, technology, engineering and math. Often STEM courses involved hands-on learning and participating in activities in which students collaborate with other students to solve problems. 
 
In addition, professional moderators conducted seven “family dialogues”—dinner home visits with parents and their children across the region—to discuss education and careers and to specifically assess awareness of and attitudes toward STEM education. Family Dialogues lasted approximately two hours and the researchers were invited into people’s homes in rural, urban and suburban locations. Finally, an online survey of 100 middle and high school students was conducted across the region. 
 
Summary of Results
This study demonstrates the promise of STEM education. Educators say it is becoming more of a priority in the region, and they are excited about STEM-related job opportunities. This is especially true in rural areas. Business leaders say STEM education holds promise for closing the workforce gap of skilled workers in the region. A seminal finding of this study is that rural areas represent one of the greatest opportunities for STEM education to impact workforce development.
 
But there is work to do in fulfilling this promise. Awareness and understanding of STEM education among parents and students, especially the workforce connection, is low. Underlying parental attitudes align with STEM fundamentals, but there is confusion about STEM education’s form, function, and intent. Teachers identify obstacles inside and outside the classroom. Fulfilling the promise of STEM education will take time and effort.
 
Major Findings
 
1.         Many parents, educators, and business leaders believe that schools must do a better job of preparing tomorrow’s workforce. The U.S. is perceived to be far behind in math and science.
 
2.         Parents’ awareness of and understanding about STEM is low throughout the region. It is at its lowest in rural areas.
 
3.         Educators and business leaders identify key prerequisites for robust STEM education, the most important of which is making it engaging to students—collaborative, hands-on, problem-solving, and project-based.
 
4.         Parents’ underlying attitudes about education and careers align with many STEM fundamentals.
 
5.         Educators and business leaders are adamant in their opinions that STEM education is for all students.
 
6.         The current language around STEM is not resonating with parents.
 
7.         Business leaders believe that quality STEM education can help develop the next generation of collaborative problem-solvers as a way to close the regional workforce gap of skilled workers.
 
8.         Most educators say that STEM education is becoming more of a priority, but there are differ­ences by region. Rural areas represent the greatest opportunity for STEM education related careers in new industries.
 
9.         Educators identify major obstacles to STEM education both inside and outside of school and the classroom.             
 
“These results reinforce the need to clarify perceptions of STEM education and its importance in filling high-paying energy jobs in the region,” said Trip Oliver, manager, policy, government and public affairs, Chevron. “The jobs of today and tomorrow require the kind of problem-solving and critical thinking skills embodied in STEM education. For that reason, Chevron is committed to increasing the quality of education for all students, and to developing a technically skilled regional workforce that will help fuel economic growth.” 
 
 
About Carnegie Science Center
Carnegie Science Center is dedicated to inspiring learning and curiosity by connecting science and technology with everyday life. By making science both relevant and fun, the Science Center’s goal is to increase science literacy in the region and motivate young people to seek careers in science and technology. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Science Center is Pittsburgh’s premier science exploration destination, reaching more than 700,000 people annually through its hands-on exhibits, camps, classes, and off-site education programs.
 
About Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1895, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four distinctive museums dedicated to exploration through art and science: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. Annually, the museums reach more than 1.2 million people through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities, and special events.
 
About Campos Inc
Campos Inc is a leading research & strategy firm that has been providing critical insights to businesses and organizations in our region and our nation since 1986.

 

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Citizen School to Expand STEM Footprint Nationally with US2020

This is a press release from Citizen Schools

The National Organization Looks to Increase STEM Programming as it Enters its 20thAnniversary

BOSTON, MA | Today Citizen Schools, a leading national education nonprofit, announced that it will be expanding its science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programming by retaining US2020 as a key part of its efforts to provide real-world STEM learning to middle schools in low-income communities.​
 
Citizen Schools partners with public middle schools to dramatically expand the learning day, mobilizing a team of AmeriCorps Teaching Fellows and volunteers who provide academic support and teach hands-on “apprenticeships” that help students make connections between what they are learning now and a future career pathway.
 
US2020 is an initiative that has been incubated by Citizen Schools since it was announced by President Obama at the 2013 White House Science Fair. Inspired by a White House call to generate large-scale solutions to the nation’s educational challenges in the STEM fields, US2020’s goal is to match 1 million STEM mentors with students by the year 2020.
 
As Citizen Schools enters its 20th anniversary year in 2015, US2020 will provide a unique opportunity to expand the depth of Citizen Schools’ services and extend its impact to new communities. There are important synergies including focusing on serving low-income communities and underrepresented minorities, a recognition that the STEM fields are vital to the growth of the country, and a commitment to connect mentors to students.
 
“It is crucial to expose middle school students to engaging learning experiences with STEM professionals, who connect the dots between the STEM subjects and everyday life,” said Steven Rothstein, CEO of Citizen Schools. “We are excited to expand our reach with US2020, which has already made great strides to positively impact communities across the country, including cities beyond Citizen Schools’ current footprint.”
 
“Millions of scientists and technology experts have the ability to inspire students who need their support most,” said Eric Schwarz, Executive Chairman of US2020 and Co-Founder of Citizen Schools. “US2020 and nonprofits like Citizen Schools are helping STEM professionals provide a level of engagement that can change the trajectory of STEM education nationally by equalizing access to STEM experiences and careers.”
 
US2020 is helping to build the national supply and demand for STEM mentors by partnering with Fortune 500 companies and nonprofits, matching committed volunteers with quality programs and evaluating volunteer and student impact.
 
​​To create powerful STEM movements at the local level, US2020 launched a City Competition and identified seven winning cities in May. As a part of this “City Network,” the cities have access to a variety of resources to help scale high-quality STEM mentoring efforts, ranging from financial and consulting support to an increase in capacity with AmeriCorps VISTA members.”
 
​​Discovery Communications, the parent company to the Discovery Channel, joined the initiative in May as an exclusive media partner. On October 1, Discovery released a Public Service Announcement, starring MythBusters’ co-host Kari Byron, promoting STEM education and mentorship. The PSA will air nationally across Discovery’s portfolio of 13 U.S. networks.
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 http://www.citizenschools.org.​
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100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Lisa Ballantyne of Turner Construction Company

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 STEMConnector.org/100Diverse. Follow the conversation on Social Media using #100STEMLeaders. Today's Diverse Corporate Leader is Lisa Ballantyne, vice president and general manager at Turner Construction Company.

Lisa Ballantyne, Turner Construction
Lisa Ballantyne
Vice President and General Manager
Turner Construction Company

A graduate of Tulane University with a B.S. in civil engineering, Lisa worked for a heavy / highway construction company for one year prior to joining Turner’s Boston office in 1998. In Boston, Lisa served for 14 years in operations roles including project manager, project executive and operations manager, while simultaneously earning her MBA from Simmons College. In 2007, Lisa was promoted to general manager of the office’s Special Projects Division and the following year she was named vice president. In 2012, Lisa was named general manager of Turner’s Risk Management group where she oversaw safety, insurance, claims and legal management for the company and assisted other leaders and offices — both domestically and internationally — with management of their risk while delivering the highest level of service. 

Lisa now serves as vice president and general manager of Turner’s offices in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose. In her current role, Lisa leads the operations in the region, with a strong focus on client service and growing the company’s business.

About Turner

Turner Construction Company is a North-America-based, international construction services company and the largest general builder in the United States. With more than 5,000 employees and an annual construction volume of $10 billion, Turner is a leader in major market segments including green building, education, healthcare, manufacturing, sports, commercial and transportation. Turner is also recognized as a leader in the adoption of Building Information Modeling technology tools and embraces the utilization of lean construction practices that foster collaboration and improve project outcomes.  

Lisa on Diversity and STEM

How do you believe STEM education can improve a nation’s competitive advantage?

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics professionals help create better, more efficient, and more sustainable ways to work, communicate, and live. It’s important that we encourage students to pursue careers in STEM as they are the future leaders in important industries and disciplines. In construction, we see firsthand the role that new technology and process innovations play in the planning, development, and construction of a building. And because construction is an industry that touches so many industries, we also have a unique vantage point from which to understand how these technological advancements and process innovations are also driving positive changes for our clients as they plan, build, teach, heal, research and manufacture. As the United States is a world leader and economic power, it’s imperative that we work to improve upon our education in STEM.

How can we do a better job to strategically coordinate all those engaged in STEM across the company?

Over the past several years, we have strengthened a company-wide approach to connectivity with the understanding that the more we can help facilitate relationship building, encourage establishment of common goals, and enable effective communication, the better the company will perform. This effort is supported by personal meetings and conversations, regional meetings and company-wide webcasts, and a new, company-wide knowledge sharing platform. For more than 15 years Turner has used the Turner Knowledge Network as an information sharing tool.  We recently launched the Turner Learning Tree, an enhanced communication and knowledge-sharing platform through which employees can ask questions, connect with subject matter experts and share great practices.

What is your vision for future of STEM careers through diversity?

Building diversity in STEM professions continues to be challenge.  Although the number of women and minorities involved in STEM has increased over the years, they are still well behind the averages of other industries. We need to continue to focus on recruitment — the number of diverse students we have graduating from undergraduate programs in engineering and science is at an all-time high. Once hired, it is equally important that we offer them the support and mentorship they need to develop their careers with us. By increasing the number of individuals entering STEM education programs, we hope to increase the number of passionate, diverse graduates entering the field. My vision for the future is one in where the percentage of diversity is equal throughout construction and other STEM industries – from the field to the board room.

What is the STEM initiative that your company has supported are you most proud of?

Turner Construction Company is a leading sponsor of the ACE Mentor Program.  Through the ACE Mentor program, professionals are paired with high school students, supporting and encouraging their interest in STEM, and offering them an inside look at the life and career in the architecture, construction and engineering industry. I am always thrilled to see Turner’s bright and energetic college recruits engage immediately and become mentors to high school students.

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

My advice for those coming “up” in the system is to take ownership of your own path, while helping others on theirs. The more you can do to develop yourself as a person, the more opportunities there will be for your advancement.  Actively engage in the industry, community and company.  Engage in organizations and philanthropy that you are passionate about.  Help others in their pursuit of success.  Mentors, advocates and sponsors are everywhere, go find them.  Help define your path, and you will find plenty of friends, colleagues and confidants along the way to success. I think Maya Angelou put it well when she wrote, “I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.” 

100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Kelvin Baggett of Tenet Healthcare Corporation

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 STEMConnector.org/100Diverse. Follow the conversation on Social Media using #100STEMLeaders. Today's Diverse Corporate Leader is Kelvin Baggett, senior vice president of clinical operations and chief clinical officer at Tenet Healthcare Corporation.

Kelvin Baggett, Tenet Health
Kelvin Baggett
Senior Vice President of Clinical Operations, Chief Clinical Officer
Tenet Healthcare Corporation

Dr. Kelvin Baggett serves as the senior vice president of clinical operations and chief clinical officer for Tenet Healthcare Corporation. Together with the president of hospital operations, Dr. Baggett co-leads strategies to enhance Tenet’s position as a leading provider of high-value care. He is also responsible for improving and integrating care across the care continuum, evaluating clinical technologies and providing leadership on clinical capital decisions. Previously, Dr. Baggett served as Tenet’s chief medical officer, overseeing the efforts to improve clinical outcomes and efficiency.

Prior to joining Tenet, Dr. Baggett served as vice president of clinical strategy and chief operating officer of the Hospital Corporation of America Clinical Services Group. Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, Dr. Baggett completed his training in internal medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine. He earned a bachelor’s of science degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a doctor’s of medicine degree from the East Carolina University School of Medicine, a master’s of public health degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a master’s of business administration degree from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

About Tenet

Tenet Healthcare Corporation is a national, diversified healthcare services company with more than 105,000 employees united around a common mission: to help people live happier, healthier lives. The company operates 80 hospitals, more than 190 outpatient centers, six health plans and Conifer Health Solutions, a leading provider of healthcare business process services in the areas of revenue cycle management, value based care and patient communications. Tenet is moving health forward in a variety of ways:  by making safety, service and industry-leading clinical outcomes the cornerstones of its mission; by seeking to provide high-quality, high-value care backed by compassionate service; by giving its caregivers the tools, technologies and resources they need to deliver the best care possible; and by always doing what’s right for its patients, its employees and its communities.

Kelvin on Diversity and STEM

What is the key to smart STEM investments?

I think the key here is to really know and understand your customer.  Find out what your customer needs and wants – and focus your technology and investment there. It’s easier to find a problem to solve than it is to create demand. Know your customer. It’s one of the oldest rules in business.

What do we need in the U.S. to continue to be at the top of global innovation?

We must improve our educational system – and specifically, we need much more of a focus on STEM education. We have to do everything we can to make these core subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – as attractive and engaging as possible to students. And frankly, we need to do all we can to attract women and minorities to these subjects and fields as well. With our country becoming increasingly diverse, we simply can’t afford to leave any group behind when it comes to STEM education.  The reason is simple: We can’t outsource leadership in these critical areas to other countries.  We need to keep this brain trust here in the United States – and that means involving as many people as possible in our great country. We can do it here – and do it better than anyone else.

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?

There are three things I would suggest.  First, I would say, quite simply, don’t limit yourself to being a woman or a minority. You’re so much more than that, and you should never isolate just one dimension of yourself, no matter how important that dimension is.  Second, I would encourage you to find good people around you and learn from them. It’s fine to look for people with similar resumes and career paths, but frankly, it’s far more important to find good people with different backgrounds, skills and interests. You need a global perspective, and looking outside your own field, or career, will give you that. And finally, I would say to be willing to take risks. That’s critical to your own growth and development.

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

I am absolutely a mentor, and I’m a big believer in mentorship. But I think that to be truly effective, mentorship has to be a two-way street. Both people should learn from each other; the give and take goes both ways.  So, you need to find those people willing to invest in you, and then you need to invest in them. That’s the kind of mentorship you’ll find most important and rewarding.

What Employee Resource Groups does your company have in place?

At Tenet, we believe strongly in a diverse and inclusive environment, one that’s grounded in our dedication to the health and well-being of all people.  In the last year, we have established two groups charged with furthering these objectives.  Our Diversity and Inclusion Group is dedicated to developing programs and initiatives to support Tenet’s culture of inclusion. The group uses robust metrics to guide it in its mission.  And our Veterans Affinity Group develops programs and initiatives to help veterans determine whether a career in healthcare is a fit for them and, if so, helps them assimilate into the civilian healthcare environment. Current employees who are veterans, including some of our senior executives, play an active role in the group.

Send Your Name on NASA’s Journey to Mars, Starting with Orion’s First Flight

This is a press release from NASA

October 7, 2014 | If only your name could collect frequent flyer miles. NASA is inviting the public to send their names on a microchip to destinations beyond low-Earth orbit, including Mars.

Your name will begin its journey on a dime-sized microchip when the agency’s Orion spacecraft launches Dec. 4 on its first flight, designated Exploration Flight Test-1. After a 4.5 hour, two-orbit mission around Earth to test Orion’s systems, the spacecraft will travel back through the atmosphere at speeds approaching 20,000 mph and temperatures near 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.
 
But the journey for your name doesn’t end there. After returning to Earth, the names will fly on future NASA exploration flights and missions to Mars. With each flight, selected individuals will accrue more miles as members of a global space-faring society.
 
"NASA is pushing the boundaries of exploration and working hard to send people to Mars in the future,” said Mark Geyer, Orion Program manager. "When we set foot on the Red Planet, we’ll be exploring for all of humanity. Flying these names will enable people to be part of our journey."
 
The deadline for receiving a personal “boarding pass” on Orion’s test flight closes Friday Oct. 31. The public will have an opportunity to keep submitting names beyond Oct. 31 to be included on future test flights and future NASA missions to Mars.
 
To submit your name to fly on Orion’s flight test, visit:
 
 
Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #JourneyToMars.
 
For information about Orion and its first flight, visit:
 
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100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Frank Armijo of Lockheed Martin

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 STEMConnector.org/100Diverse. Follow the conversation on Social Media using #100STEMLeaders. Today's Diverse Corporate Leader is Frank Armijo, Vice President of Energy Solutions at Lockheed Martin.

Frank Armijo, LMCO
Frank Armijo
Vice President of Energy Solutions
Lockheed Martin

Frank Armijo serves as the vice president of Energy Solutions within Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems and Global Solutions Civil organization. He leads a team of 2,900 employees responsible for providing a full range of energy and environmental services and solutions to government, commercial and regulated industry clients. Mr. Armijo’s organization supports the Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Federal Energy Management Programs and eight of the ten largest utilities in the United States.

Mr. Armijo holds a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems, with a minor in Communications, from Eastern Washington University, and an Associate of Arts and Applied Science degree in Computer Science from Columbia Basin College. He has completed executive courses at MIT Sloan School of Management and Stanford University. In 2011, he received the Executive Excellence Award from the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation. Mr. Armijo is a Paul Harris Fellow and a recipient of the North Star Award from the Boy Scouts of America.

About Lockheed

Advancing STEM education is a critical focus for Lockheed Martin. Our future success — and our nation’s technological advantage — depend on a constant supply of highly trained, highly capable technical talent. We believe strongly that advancing STEM education requires collaboration among industry, educators, policy makers and families.  As an industry leader, Lockheed Martin, with an employee population that includes 60,000 engineers, scientists and IT professionals, is committed to working with these groups to develop programs that educate and inspire tomorrow’s scientists, engineers and mathematicians.  To help address these challenges and strengthen the workforce pipeline, Lockheed Martin provides generous funding to STEM education outreach activities for students from elementary school through college.   We are committed to supporting programs, events and campaigns that focus on student achievement, teacher development, and gender and ethnic diversity.

Frank on Diversity and STEM

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

Working for one of the world’s leading technology companies, I see every day how critical STEM education is for our nation’s success on many levels — for our economy, for sustainability, and for our national security. The United States’ technological advantage in all of these areas depends on a constant supply of highly trained, highly capable technical talent. Technological leadership has been the cornerstone of our nation’s success for more than a century, and now, more than ever, our future prosperity rests on our ability to increase the pipeline of engineers and scientists entering the workforce. The size and number of fields that require technical talent is growing — everything from addressing the challenges of energy sustainability to meeting the needs of an information-driven society. From my perspective at Lockheed Martin, I see a growing gap in the demand for these professions and the number of qualified individuals ready to step into them.

Beyond standards, what are the first steps that we should take to curb the STEM education crisis?

As the question suggests, proficiency and curriculum standards are just one part of the answer to closing the STEM education gap. I believe that the most effective way to produce more students who want to pursue an education — and, ultimately, a career — in science, technology, engineering and math is to make these fields more exciting and accessible for them. We need to address this challenge on multiple levels, including improved STEM training and curriculum tools for teachers, greater commitment by scientists and engineers to support extra-curricular STEM programs, increased support from corporations, and better parent outreach to help them understand that a career in science and engineering is a realistic goal for their children. By moving on all these fronts, we can help students

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

Because Lockheed Martin employs approximately 60,000 scientists and engineers, our Corporation supports STEM programs on many levels, from elementary school through higher education. While much of our funding is targeted toward fields where Lockheed Martin has the greatest talent needs, we also see the value in supporting general programs that build awareness and excite interest in all types of technological achievement. Our business areas implement local efforts to address the unique needs of our communities and employees. This includes educational outreach to schools, museums and after-school programs to engage directly with students and teachers. In addition, our Corporate Contributions Committee, which evaluates all grant requests greater than $100,000, has set a goal of allocating approximately one-half of all Board of Directors-authorized charitable contributions to STEM initiatives by 2015. We use an online database to track progress toward our goals for philanthropic contributions, volunteer hours and matching gift programs related to STEM initiatives.

What principles do you apply to your professional and personal life to advance STEM education?

As a Hispanic American and the child of parents who were migrant farm workers, I have a deep appreciation for the value of education in opening the door to a brighter future. I attribute my career success to both the opportunity to receive an education and the encouragement to capitalize on it. I therefore devote most of my community volunteer efforts toward promoting educational initiatives, encouraging students to pursue them, and convincing parents that their children can achieve great things. When I am introduced to a young person, I always ask where — not if — he or she is going to college. In my position as vice president of Energy Solutions at Lockheed Martin, I use the energy sector as an example of the growing number of opportunities that are open to young people who pursue a STEM education.

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

Lockheed Martin believes that the need for a STEM-educated workforce is too great and too important to exclude or discourage any segment of our society — based on race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation or any other characteristic — from becoming science and engineering professionals. I have seen firsthand in the Hispanic community that many promising young students fail to achieve their full potential because they do not receive adequate support or opportunities. Lockheed Martin understands that companies who actively engage traditionally underrepresented populations are tapping into a source of next-generation STEM leaders who can provide their organizations with a significant competitive advantage. Moreover, creating an inclusive work environment encourages a diversity of opinions that strengthens our solutions and provides our customers with the highest value.

Announcing the STEM Higher Education Council’s Inaugural Event, Advancing a Jobs-Driven Economy: A National Summit

Thought Leaders From Higher Education and Industry to Act on STEM Workforce Challenges

WASHINGTON, Oct. 6, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) | STEMconnector®'s STEM Higher Education Council (SHEC) will host its inaugural event, Advancing a Jobs-Driven Economy: A National Summit on October 8, 2014, at the Carnegie Institute for Science in Washington, DC. This unprecedented gathering will bring together over 80 business and higher education leaders to showcase high impact cross-sector partnerships. SHEC members will share these boundary-breaking partnerships focused on improving the STEM ecosystem in higher education. A particular focus will be on partnerships that lead to employment in STEM jobs.

Rob Denson, President of Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC), chairs the Council, and both Dr. Martha Kanter, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Higher Education at New York University, and Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, President, The University of Maryland, Baltimore County, serve as Senior Advisors. SHEC is guided by its mission "to bring focused energy to higher education's leading high impact practices, increasing emphasis on STEM pipeline-to-jobs (and what we call STEM 2.0™)."
 
"Higher Education will need to aggressively align itself with the demand for STEM-skilled employees by creating a sustainable supply of highly qualified applicants. This is what we were created to do and we do not intend to disappoint either our business partners or our students," says Denson, regarding the partnerships this Council Summit will highlight. "We have the right people at the table now and will continue to in the future."
 
The Summit will feature a dynamic program, including Dr. Hrabowski's morning keynote, and a lunch keynote from Former Governor of Maine John McKernan, President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Keynote addresses will be complemented by several discussions featuring SHEC members and their partners. A book will be released on February 24, 2015 that highlights participating organizations, summarizes successful industry collaborations and provides descriptions of scale-up initiatives.
 
A dinner and reception will welcome Summit attendees on October 7th and will feature a keynote presentation from Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO of Gallup and author of "The Coming Jobs War."
 
According to Clifton, creating employment opportunities and preparing people for those opportunities are the most critical priorities for our society. "Leaders of countries and cities should focus on creating good jobs because as jobs go, so does the fate of nations. Jobs bring prosperity, peace, and human development -- but long-term unemployment ruins lives, cities, and countries," says Clifton. Having a strong STEM ecosystem in higher education will lead to a successfully employed populace and a fully staffed business sector, which is a sentiment shared by Dr. Hrabowski. "America needs to take much more seriously this challenge of preparing talent from a broad pool of citizens. It is imperative that higher education and industry work together to achieve this, if the nation is to continue having the strong science, technology, engineering, and mathematics workforce needed to compete globally."
 
Join the conversation and connect with attendees and speakers on Twitter via #SHECSummit.
 
About STEMconnector®
STEMconnector® is the "one-stop shop" for STEM information. With several products and services, STEMconnector® supports its members in the design, implementation and measurement of their STEM strategies. Since its launch in 2011, STEMconnector®, which is a subsidiary of the top ten U.S. executive search firm, Diversified Search, has been the leader in leveraging a network of STEM stakeholders to "make things happen." STEMconnector®'s charge is to identify, inform and connect entities working in STEM education/careers to assess smart STEM investments and results.
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