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New Microsoft Office 365 open source integration with Moodle transforms education technology

The following is a press release from PR Newswire
Microsoft Open Technologies Inc. (MS Open Tech), a subsidiary of Microsoft Corp., together with leading Moodle partner Inc., on Monday announced integration between Moodle and Microsoft Office 365, bringing a more productive experience to teachers and students by harmonizing login credentials, calendar management and course content creation, in addition to other workflow improvements for education institutions and other Moodle users.
"Working closely with Remote-Learner, we're delivering a technical solution for one of the most popular open source learning management systems that aims to provide seamless workflows for both Moodle and Office 365 users," said Jean Paoli, president of MS Open Tech. "By working closely with the open Moodle community, MS Open Tech will continue taking feedback and maintaining, improving, and adding new features."
The open source Office 365 and Microsoft Services plugins for Moodle include integration with OneDrive for Business, OneNote and Office 365 Outlook calendar. The integration allows students and instructors, as well as enterprise users, to sign on to Moodle with the same ID, making single sign-on easier and faster for education institutions and other Moodle users with Office 365 accounts. In addition, events created in Moodle will be stored in teachers' and students' personal Office 365 calendars, enabling them to easily track course events and due dates. Previously, instructors needed to update their Outlook calendars manually, or send event invitations separately to students.
Integration with OneNote enables instructors to create assignments in OneNote, students to complete the assignment in the digital note-taking application and submit their work via Moodle, and instructors to provide feedback in the same OneNote document.
Additional integration between Moodle and Office 365 allows instructors to easily embed interactive online lessons created in PowerPoint with Office Mix through an open format standard. These lessons may contain audio, video, digital ink, interactive simulations or assessments. Documents stored in OneDrive for Business can be associated automatically with Moodle courses. Updates to those documents will appear automatically in links in Moodle, streamlining version control and simplifying integration of content stored in the cloud.
"We are thrilled to be able to work with Microsoft to integrate Moodle with the Office 365 platform. With the Office 365 plugins for Moodle, Microsoft continues to demonstrate its commitment to open source software and education," said Jason Cole, CEO, Remote-Learner. "Educators and trainers who have both Moodle and Office 365 create new learning experiences that leverage the power of both platforms. Moodle administrators can deploy these new features knowing they have the support of both Microsoft and the Moodle Partner community."
On Jan. 21 at the BETT Show 2015, MS Open Tech will officially release version 1.0 of this project, which kicked off last September, on GitHub under GPLv3. The plugins will also be available for download from the Moodle plugins directory, via Azure-certified Virtual Machine image and VM Depot.
During the BETT Show, attendees can learn more about the integration of Moodle on Office 365 from Anthony Salcito, vice president of Worldwide Education at Microsoft, who will present a keynote at 2 p.m. GMT on Jan. 21, titled, "The Role of Technology in Transforming Education." Following the keynote, BETT Show attendees are also invited to attend the Learn Live session, "Moodle and Microsoft: Better Together," presented by Jason Cole, CEO at Remote-Learner, and Doug Mahugh, senior technical evangelist at MS Open Tech.
More information and updates about MS Open Tech are available by subscribing to the MS Open Tech blog. More information on Remote-Learner can be found at

Pearson to Sponsor Three-Day Conference on Closing the STEM Gender Gap

Join Pearson and learning leaders from Higher Ed, K–12, and STEM industries in Silicon Valley to discuss strategies for closing the gender gap in tech. The event will take place on February 19-21 in San Jose, CA. Event highlights include:

  • Keynote presented by Mona Akmal, Director of Product at
  • Google presentation of the company’s research report Women Who Choose Computer Science—What Really Matters
  • Panel discussion featuring Susan Nesbitt from Girls Who Code & Patrick Mitchell from TechSF, City & County of San Francisco
  • Presentation about the gender gap's economic implications by J. Robert Gillette, Associate Professor of Economics, Gatton College of Business & Economics, University of Kentucky
  • Presentation “Imagine a World Where Women Feel Safe: Break the Silence” by Deborah Acosta, Chief Innovation Officer for the City of San Leandro
  • Panel discussion, moderated by Lisa Regalla, National Program Manager at Maker Ed, featuring secondary-school and college women discussing their interest in STEM careers, mentorship, and other topics
  • Plus more

Registration and full details can be found here. Follow us on twitter @PearsonNorthAm and use #PearsonSTEM to join the conversation.


100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Paul E. Martin of Baxter International Inc.

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 Paul E. Martin, corporate vice president and chief information officer at Baxter International Inc.

Paul Martin, Baxter

Paul E. Martin
Corporate Vice President and Chief Information Officer
Baxter International Inc.

Paul E. Martin is corporate vice president and chief information officer at Baxter and has global responsibility for the information technology strategy, operations, processes and team supporting Baxter's business worldwide. Martin joined Baxter in January 2011 from REXAM PLC, the U.K.-based packaging manufacturer, where he held the position of group chief information officer, responsible for all information technology functions across more than 20 countries.

Martin currently serves as executive sponsor of Baxter's African American Leadership Council business resource group for employees, which provides a forum to enhance engagement, build on recruitment and retention efforts, and increase the impact of business, charitable, and volunteer initiatives in the African American community. Martin received his degree in management information systems from Western Kentucky University.

About Baxter International

Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures and markets products that save and sustain the lives of people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions. As a global, diversified healthcare company, Baxter applies a unique combination of expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to create products that advance patient care worldwide. As a science- and technology-based company, Baxter has a responsibility to help ensure that current students – as well as future generations – have increased opportunity to learn and be inspired by math and science. Baxter embraces this responsibility by participating in education initiatives around the world.

Paul on Diversity and STEM

Why is STEM education/workforce development critical to the future of our Nation?

The U.S. has traditionally been an innovation leader in the science and technology areas. However, in recent years, more than half of U.S. patents were awarded to non-U.S. companies, according to the U.S. Patent Office. The decline in the number of students pursuing a STEM education has led to a decrease in the pipeline of skilled STEM labor. To keep innovation flowing and maintain our nation’s competitive edge and global leadership position, we must increase the STEM education/workforce talent pipeline. As a healthcare company with more than 80 years of technological expertise and a commitment to scientific innovation and advancing patient care, we find that a focus on science and mathematics – along with other development initiatives – is critical to ensuring a strong pipeline of knowledge workers for our business and industry.

How do we encourage students to continue their study of STEM subjects, particularly women and underrepresented minorities?

As business leaders, we need to proactively get involved with schools to promote STEM careers. Baxter’s Science@Work program, an unprecedented multi-year commitment to facilitate learning of math and science through biotechnology education for Chicago Public School teachers and students, aims to create a pipeline of students that include underrepresented groups who are passionate about science. More than 600 Baxter volunteers have participated in more than 160 real-world events for teachers and students since 2008, including several opportunities for students to experience science first-hand through interactions with Baxter professionals at our facilities.

Another way to encourage students to pursue STEM studies is to provide opportunities to learn outside the classroom. Baxter sponsors organizations such as FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), which engages students in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills. FIRST has influenced hundreds of thousands of students throughout the world to pursue advanced education and careers in engineering and related scientific fields, such as computer science.

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

I believe that we can increase the number of underrepresented minorities and women in STEM careers so that the demographics of the employment pool reflect the U.S. population. I encourage students to find what they are passionate about, and work in an industry that fuels that passion. No matter where a person is in their education or career trajectory, it’s important that they take advantage of opportunities to continuously learn and improve. This means being flexible and open to change. We can all learn from having exposure to other people, cultures and ways of working. Through diversity in the STEM workforce, I believe that we will drive more innovation and creativity for our nation.

100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM Rising Star - Angelique Adams of Alcoa

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. In addition to today's Diverse Corporate Leader, Gena C. Lovett, we recognize a Rising Star from Alcoa: Angelique Adams, director, global technology development.

Angelique Adams, Alcoa

Angelique on Diversity and STEM

I started as an intern at the Alcoa Technical Center in 1998, after completing my undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at Penn State. At a campus networking event, I met an Alcoa employee who got me energized about the company. After 18 months at the Tech Center, Alcoa sent me back to PSU full time to get my PhD in Fuel Science, which helped solidify my expertise in Carbon Materials and prepared me for my R&D career. I have spent the past 10 years at Alcoa applying my engineering and science skills to help the company achieve world-class smelting operations by providing technical support to the plants and developing and deploying new smelting technologies. I now oversee smelting R&D, an international team of 15 scientists, engineers and technicians.

There are three things that helped get me where I am that are applicable to any young professional in STEM:

1.     Thirst for Knowledge –I took the initiative to learn more about my field by taking non-core courses. I know a lot about smelting, but I also took courses related to statistics, project management, finance, etc.

2.     Mentoring – I’ve had mentors since I was at PSU, and still do. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people for help, and be willing to help others.

3.     Being coachable – When someone gives me advice, feedback or constructive criticism, I take it to heart and try to make a change. This way, people are willing to come back and give more advice, making you even better.

Being in technology is thrilling. I’m passionate about it because even after 16 years, so many new and exciting things happen every day.

100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Gena C. Lovett of Alcoa

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 Gena C. Lovett, chief diversity officer at Alcoa.

Gena Lovett, Alpha

Gena C. Lovett
Chief Diversity Officer

Gena C. Lovett was appointed Chief Diversity Officer for Alcoa in January 2012, serving as the company’s executive level diversity and inclusion strategist. Gena provides strategic direction to help all Alcoa employees operate effectively within a diverse and inclusive organization. From June 2007 through December 2011, Gena led one of Alcoa’s largest manufacturing facilities. Here, she led manufacturing operations for over 1,000 employees and had P&L responsibility for three of Alcoa’s businesses – Alcoa Forged and Cast Products, Commercial Vehicle Wheels, and Forged Specialty Wheels. Under her leadership, safety performance at the site improved 77.7%, on-time delivery increased more than 50%, employee engagement improved 24%, and productivity, since 2009, improved 45%.

Gena has an extensive background in manufacturing, having spent 15 years in progressively demanding roles with Ford Motor Company in Cleveland, Dearborn, Chicago, Atlanta and Allen Park, Michigan. While based in New York, Gena also maintains an office in Alcoa’s Cleveland facility where she remains active in the Cleveland business community.

About Alcoa

A global leader in lightweight metals technology, engineering and manufacturing, Alcoa innovates multi-material solutions that advance our world. Our technologies enhance transportation, from automotive and commercial transport to air and space travel, and improve industrial and consumer electronics products. We enable smart buildings, sustainable food and beverage packaging, high-performance defense vehicles across air, land and sea, deeper oil and gas drilling and more efficient power generation. We pioneered the aluminum industry over 125 years ago, and today, our 60,000 people in 30 countries deliver value-add products made of titanium, nickel and aluminum, and produce best-in-class bauxite, alumina and primary aluminum products. For more information, visit, follow @Alcoa on Twitter at and follow us on Facebook at

Gena on Diversity and STEM

According to the Department of Education, only 16% of American high school seniors are proficient in mathematics and interested in a STEM career. Only 20% of parents would recommend that their children embark on a manufacturing career. This skills and interest gap concern all industries that rely on candidates with strong STEM backgrounds – namely advanced manufacturing. Happily, there’s room for the private sector to improve this situation – both in performance and perception. By investing in education, training and apprenticeship programs, companies are making a difference with this critical talent pool. When the private sector talent to students as mentors, “skills-based volunteerism” becomes a powerful way for young people to learn about the diverse and thrilling opportunities that advanced manufacturing and STEM offer. Mentors help shape raw talent and direct students to fields they may have never thought viable. Apprenticeships, often in cooperation with a local community college, further define a pathway to employment.

Through Alcoa Foundation, we invest in programs that focus on diversity and STEM by addressing educational and skill development challenges, especially for girls and minorities. We support organizations like Academy of Model Aeronautics, which brings model airplane kits into elementary and middle school classrooms and provides a fun way to promote STEM education. Last year, as part of our employee Month of Service, we brought those kits into the classroom of an under-resourced elementary school and one student joyfully stated, “This is so fun! This is science?!” This kind of “a-ha moment,” when a child is dazzled by science, needs to happen more often, and non-profit organizations can ease the resource burden on schools. Alcoa also partners with organizations like the Society of Women Engineers to enlist college students as mentors to girls in STEM, and with the National Society of Black Engineers and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers to inspire the next generation of engineers from historically-underrepresented demographic groups.

At Alcoa, the best and the brightest engineers, researchers, metallurgists and technologists are challenged, recognized, rewarded and encouraged to develop to their full potential. It is a continual goal at our company to grow the pool of talented candidates, and encourage diversity. One of Alcoa’s core values is respect –treat everyone with dignity and provide a work environment that is diverses, inclusive, and stimulating. A STEM career offers tremendous opportunities for women and minorities to assume leadership roles and reach their full potential. My vision is that this will be cultivated throughout the industry and STEM fields.As a global leader in lightweight metals technology, engineering and manufacturing, Alcoa recognizes that we need the best STEM workforce, and that just isn’t possible without diversity. Alcoa’s Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld put it best: “Talent is the ultimate sustainable advantage. And to get the best pool of talent, you must have diversity of thought, experience, skills and background.” Inclusion is prioritized at Alcoa, and we have built meaningful targets into our operations, compensation structure and human resources systems to encourage it. Our success depends on our ability to create innovative solutions that exceed our customers’ goals, and we achieve this by leveraging the full spectrum of diversity within Alcoa.

To those in the STEM pipeline now, I say: Take the time to thoroughly hone your craft and skills because competence breeds confidence. For this, there is no substitute for preparation. My parents instilled in me that anything worth doing is worth doing well. This also helps with one of the most precious components of a career: one’s personal brand.

Also, be willing to stretch, accept developmental assignments beyond your comfort zone and surround yourself with truth-tellers who will keep you grounded. Lastly, have fun! If you lack passion for what you do, you won’t do your best work.

100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Kate Lindsey of Alpha 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 Follow the conversation on social media using #100STEMLeaders. Today's Diverse Corporate Leader is Kate Lindsey, chief executive officer at Alpha Corporation.

Kate Lindsey, Alpha

Kate Curtin Lindsey
Chief Executive Officer
Alpha Corporation

Kate Curtin Lindsey is Chief Executive Officer of Alpha Corporation, a Virginia-based company established in 1979. In 2013, Kate took the helm of Alpha Corporation from her husband after his death to oversee the firm's strategic direction and growth as well as hold majority ownership. Kate initially worked at Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. and attained her registered representative credentialing by passing the NYSE/NASD examination. She then moved onto American Security Bank, NA at which Kate introduced and managed, among other efforts, their $200M commercial paper portfolio and acted as lead bank analyst for their presentation to the rating agencies of Moody’s and S&P that resulted in an A1P1 rating. Kate then transitioned her career to serve as Chief Financial Officer for Georgetown Day School in Washington, DC; The Hewitt School in New York, NY; and presently for Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC for which she’s Assistant Head of School.

About Alpha Corporation

Alpha Corporation, a full-service woman-owned firm, provides civil/structural engineering, program/construction management, project controls, and technology services for various building types and heavy infrastructure projects. Assignments have encompassed providing these services for a broad spectrum of clients, including all levels of government agencies, public and private enterprises/partnerships, Fortune 500/Global 1000 companies, institutions of learning, commercial developers, energy companies, contractors, architects, and more. Overall, the firm’s project portfolio exceeds $50B in program constructed value for the past 35 years.

Kate on Diversity and STEM

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

Energy, as defined in physics, is the capacity to do work. STEM education, by its nature, promotes critical thinking and fosters an environment conducive to new ideas, invention, and discovery. This leads to increasing numbers of STEM professional employees, diversity of thought, and, ultimately, a nation’s capacity to do work. Thus, it energizes the commercial marketplace with excitement and interest in innovation and creativity resulting in new products and services that increase levels of competitiveness within domestic and international markets. One of the very reasons Alpha Corporation made a commitment to support STEMconnector and the Million Women Mentors (MWM) program was our appreciation of how this energy flow, when ignited at the earliest levels of formative years, can empower us all to attain greater competition that results in more innovation. Early on in becoming a sponsor of STEMconnector/MWM, our CEO met with an internal focus group to discuss how our present technical experts were inspired, and, in some rare instances, turned away from what is collectively acknowledged today as STEM education and careers. The ideas and considerations borne from this open forum helped us further refine our in-house practices to better support employees as it relates to STEM education. It even went further to affirm that our own community outreach of mentoring in local schools through structured, fun group activities in a classroom setting were helping to shore up the very foundation of STEM education and its building blocks of future competitiveness.

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

We are most proud of our internship and summer work programs. We offer both short and long-term internships to provide interns the option of exposure to one or all of our major divisions. Wider exposure to the many facets of our industry enables them to better understand required skillsets and their own interests; thus, allowing them to focus education goals towards their true passion and technical career interests. We also pride ourselves in our ability to place college-level interns in various positions by affording them successive internships throughout their college career. For example, one Virginia Tech student has interned with us for the past two summers. Their first summer had their duties focus on understanding and obtaining familiarity with civil and structural engineering by attending progress meetings, assisting in drawing production, performing field investigations, and participating in site visits of construction projects in order to witness the physical culmination of design effort. In their second year, they entered our inspector trainee program with the Virginia Department of Transportation. As an inspector trainee, we provided the classroom training and certifications required for safety and basic material understanding. We then paired them with a senior inspector at a bridge replacement project where they assisted in the inspection and oversight processes of various construction activities.

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

In addition to promoting growth in critical thinking and fostering innovation, we need to be mindful that our education system does not lose focus on teaching the fundamental principles of science and engineering before enabling students to use technology to solve problems. By focusing on technology, we diminish the art and creativity aspect of science and engineering. This greatly hinders our ability to be innovators and inventors. History demonstrates that technology should follow innovation. In order to complete the examination for professional engineer licensure, examinees are only allowed to use a traditional (non-graphing/programmable) calculator. However, classrooms today encourage use of sophisticated graphing calculators early on in education versus yesterday’s tradition of performing tasks by hand. In this instance, we appear to be teaching the use of technology before the mastery of the art of calculation and its manipulation. Teaching students how to learn and perform independent thought before providing technology, gives individuals a far greater understanding of the methodologies behind input and output of work product. Individuals who are able to innovate understand these methodologies; they understand how to begin work and the anticipated end result. Such innovation springs from their ability to analyze and develop better tactics to achieve the end result.

The Future Of Jobs And STEM 2.0

STEMconnector® and Diplomatic Courier to Host Second Annual Global Talent Summit: Live Link at Bottom of Post

Why are global businesses struggling to fill key jobs when 200 million people are unemployed?
On January 14, 2015, STEMconnector® and the Diplomatic Courier magazine will convene the Second Annual Global Talent Summit “STEM 2.0 and the Future of Jobs,” a global forum from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Follow the buzz on Twitter @diplocourier @STEMconnector, #2050jobs.
“Disruption is critical to wake up attention on STEM 2.0 and the need for Global Talent, and innovation is an imperative. Our goal is to make STEM 2.0 a movement. STEM 2.0 aims to build upon the massive momentum, investment, and political will that the STEM movement has gained over the last few years by exploring and inculcating a set of critical next-generation skills that apply across multiple STEM industries, all driving from an employer’s perspective. We’d like to thank everyone who is contributing to make STEM 2.0 the new reality, including our chief architect Dr. Heidi Kleinbach-Sauter of PepsiCo and the entire STEM Innovation Task Force.” added Edie Fraser, Co-host and CEO, STEMconnector®. 
 “Businesses and governments across the world are beginning to come to terms with the new reality of the post-financial crisis era.  In response to the crisis, today there is an emphasis on constraints, not growth. At the same time, there is a critical need to unleash growth, to leverage emerging trends in technology, market needs, and society to expand enterprise and economic opportunity. Success in breaking through to a new wave of growth and prosperity will depend increasingly on human and social capital,” comments Ana C. Rold, Co-host and Editor-in-Chief of Diplomatic Courier. 
The 2015 Global Talent Summit aims to discuss the applicability of the STEM 2.0 initiative in an international context, through high-level conversations with private-sector leaders, educators, and national non-profit leaders. Panel discussions and keynotes will feature a range of representatives from industry discussing the key STEM 2.0 capability platforms (employability skills; innovation excellence; and digital fluency) in relation to the needs of their respective businesses and demand for qualified STEM workers. For more background on STEM 2.0 please check out the 2014 publication, STEM 2.0: An Imperative For Our Future Workforce. 
The summit discussions will help to inform industry representatives, government and educators and will help fuel subsequent conversations at the 2015 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. This year’s Summit builds upon the outcomes of a number of expert roundtables and interviews conducted in 2014 by the STEM Innovation Task Force. The Summit will be available via live-stream on January 14, stay tuned to #2050jobs for more information.
The organizers would like to thank the Summit sponsors, Tata Consultancy Services; Apollo Education Group; Deloitte; Sodexo; PepsiCo, Wal-Mart, Meridian International Center, Global Voice Hall, and Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.
2015 Global Talent Summit Agenda
9:00 am - 9:30 am
Ana C. Rold, Editor-in-Chief, Diplomatic Courier
Edie Fraser, Chief Executive Officer, STEMconnector
9:30 am - 10:00 am
Dr. Heidi Kleinbach-Sauter, Senior Vice President, Global Foods R&D, PepsiCo
Balaji Ganapathy, Head of Workforce Development, Tata Consultancy Services: 
Interviewed by: Ana C. Rold, Editor-in-Chief, Diplomatic Courier
10:10 am - 10:55 am
Fumbi Chima, Chief Information Officer Asia, Wal-Mart
Larry Quinlan, Global Chief Information Officer, Deloitte 
Jennifer McNelly, President, The Manufacturing Institute
Michael Norris, Chief Operating Officer, Sodexo
Raúl Bribiesca, Vice President-Foods HR, PepsiCo Mexico
Moderator: Christopher Schroeder, Investor & Author of Startup Rising
11:05 am - 11:50 am
Mark Brenner, SVP and Chief of Staff, Apollo Education Group
Dr. W. Dwight Armstrong, President & CEO, National FFA Organization
Rob Denson, President, Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC)
Susan Puglia, VP University Programs, IBM Academy of Technology, IBM
Moderator: Bill Yarnoff, Vice President for Business, Medauras Global
11:50 am - 12:35 pm
Dr. Mitzi M. Montoya,Vice President & University Dean for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Arizona State University
Mark Greenlaw, VP of Digital Engagement, FIRST Robotics
Dr. Sherri Brown, VP of Research & Development Strategy, Monsanto
Dan Lee, Senior Director of Operations, TE Connectivity
Moderator: Ambassador Stuart Holliday, President & CEO, Meridian International Center
1:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, Former U.S. Secretary of Commerce
Chairman of the Board, Meridian International Center 
2:00 pm - 2:45 pm
Surya Kant, President, North America, UK, and Europe, Tata Consultancy Services
Yolande Piazza, CAO, Global Consumer Operations Technology, Citi
Sherry Lassiter, Director, Fab Foundation
Stephanie Cuskley, CEO, NPower
Moderator: Rich Karlgaard, Publisher, Forbes Magazine



100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Sarena Lin of Cargill

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 Sarena Lin, corporate vice president of strategy and business development at Cargill.

Sarena Lin, Cargill

Sarena Lin
Corporate Vice President of Strategy and Business Development

Sarena Lin serves as Corporate Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Cargill. She leads a group of professionals providing global strategy and mergers and acquisitions support throughout Cargill, and works closely with senior management on a broad range of corporate-level strategic initiatives. Sarena is a member of the Cargill Corporate Center and is the executive sponsor of Cargill Women’s Network. Prior to joining Cargill, Sarena was a partner at McKinsey & Company in New York. She is active in several community non-profit organizations in Minneapolis and currently serves on the Boards of Directors of the Greater Twin Cities United Way and is also a member of the Minnesota Women’s Economic Roundtable. Sarena holds an M.B.A. in strategy from Yale School of Management, an M.A. in international relations from Yale University, and a B.A. in computer science from Harvard University.

About Cargill

Cargill is a privately held, family-owned company providing food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services to the world. Its 143,000 global employees are committed to feeding people in a responsible way, and helping its customers thrive. Cargill is committed to operating responsibly as it pursues its goal of being the global leader in nourishing people, and in 2013 contributed $69 million to combat world hunger, promote sustainable agricultural practices, and support STEM education.

Sarena on Diversity and STEM

Why is STEM education/workforce development critical to the future of our Nation?

Some years ago, there was a campaign to support manufacturing and it had the tagline: “America won’t make it without manufacturing.” The reality is that in today’s world we will not make it without innovation and that innovation is dependent on increasing the number of highly qualified STEM graduates. To achieve that aim, we have some ways to go. The 2013 ACT The Condition College & Career Readiness report showed that of all ACT-tested high school graduates only 44% showed readiness for mathematics at the college level and only 36% showed readiness for science. That is why Cargill is committing resources to improve math and science readiness, and working with universities to make sure their STEM graduates are world class. With the aim of feeding 9 billion people by 2050 with accessible, affordable and nutritious food and doing so responsibly with as little impact on the environment as possible, we need people with technical skills who think creatively and are exceptional problem solvers.

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

Cargill has supported many programs in the K-12 grades to help create the pipeline of students and workforce in STEM fields. I am most proud of Cargill’s multiple partnerships to roll out STEM curricula in those grades. Starting early is important if we are to inspire and motivate young people to pursue future study and careers in STEM.

For example, we support of the Engineering is Elementary (EiE) program created by the Museum of Science in Boston to introduce engineering and technological concepts and career paths to children in grades 1 through 5. The story book based curriculum covers all facets of engineering – environmental, mechanical, civil, industrial, acoustical, agricultural bioengineering, electrical, chemical, geotechnical aerospace and oceanic – and the stories are begin with a child faced with an engineering dilemma. Cargill has contributed millions to the EiE initiative, which is currently used in all 50 states and nearly 3,000 schools. A 2010 study of program showed that EIE students were significantly more likely to want to be engineers and significantly more likely to say science and engineering make “people’s lives better”.

In addition, Cargill partners with Project Lead the Way (PLTW), which is focused on bringing STEM education to middle and high school students. Cargill supports PLTW’s Gateway to Technology© program, which provides an engineering-focused curriculum to middle school students, and the Pathway to Engineering© program, a four-year high school program taught in conjunction with college preparatory mathematics and science courses that gives students hands-on knowledge of engineering concepts, design and problem-solving. A study of its program shows that PLTW alumni are: five times more likely to graduate from college with a STEM degree than students who do not participate in the program, have higher GPAs than their peers in their freshman year of college, and have higher college retention rates.

Cargill and the National 4-H Council have co-created 4-H Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) Clubs, a comprehensive science program engaging more than 600 local youth and Cargill employees in Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. In the first year of the partnership, 22 4-H SET clubs were implemented in the five grantee states. From summer food science camps in Kansas to robotics clubs in Missouri and Iowa, these new initiatives have reached more than 628 youth and 118 volunteers. Other types of activities in the 4-H SET Clubs include experiments, hands-on activities, problem-solving and demonstrations.

These programs and others like them, which bring the excitement of STEM learning alive and introduce STEM career possibilities to America’s school children, are vital to building the pipeline of our nation’s next generation of STEM leaders.

Boston EdTech Innovation Empowered Through New Cengage Learning and LearnLaunch Partnership

Through a new partnership, LearnLaunch, an organization dedicated to expanding Boston's edtech ecosystem, and Cengage Learning, a leading education company, are joining forces to boost the Boston edtech community. Recognizing Boston as a center for both excellent education and technology innovation, Cengage Learning has made a commitment to participate in LearnLaunch's Accelerator program, which identifies edtech start-ups and provides them with mentoring opportunities to help them grow.
"Within the last year, we've officially made Boston our home, and we are excited to work with LearnLaunch here to support innovation in educational technology," said Michael Hansen, Chief Executive Officer, Cengage Learning. "At Cengage, we have a new company culture that is entrepreneurial in spirit with students at the heart of what we do. Through collaboration with emerging edtech innovators and the cross-pollination and knowledge exchange opportunities presented through LearnLaunch, we will together inspire improved education for our student end-users."
"Cengage Learning has made a commitment to participate in LearnLaunch's Accelerator, which selects and invests in promising edtech start-ups and provides them with both a learning program and network of mentors to help fuel growth. Cengage Learning 's leadership in education and technology makes them an incredible partner for our start-up community," said Hakan Satiroglu of LearnLaunch.
In connection with the strategic relationship with LearnLaunch, Cengage Learning will be making an investment in LearnLaunch Accelerator, Boston's edtech accelerator. Through this investment, Cengage Learning will actively promote and support educational technology entrepreneurship and emerging educational innovations in the Greater Boston area.
Cengage Learning is the platinum sponsor for the upcoming LearnLaunch Annual Conference and George Moore, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Cengage Learning, will be speaking at the event. For more information on Cengage Learning, visit and for more information on LearnLaunch, visit

100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Clint Lewis of Zoetis

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 Clint Lewis, executive vice president and president, U.S. operations at Zoetis.

Clint Lewis, Zoetis

Clint Lewis
Executive Vice President and President, U.S. Operations

Clint Lewis is executive vice president and president, U.S. operations at Zoetis. Clint has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 25 years, holding key positions of increasing responsibility in the areas of sales management, marketing and general management. In his current role, he oversees the management of the livestock and companion animal businesses in the United States, the largest region within Zoetis. Clint is also responsible for leading the global genetics business for Zoetis.

Clint is a member of the Executive Committee for the Animal Health Institute (AHI), the trade association for animal health companies in the U.S., and he recently served as AHI's immediate past chairman of the board. Clint currently serves on the Dean's Advisory Board for both Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine and Western University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Clint is a national board member and ardent supporter of INROADS, Inc. and formerly served as a member of the Board of Trustees for his alma mater, Fairfield University.

Clint holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Fairfield University and a Master of Business Administration degree in marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

About Zoetis

Zoetis is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals in 120 countries. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products and genetic tests and supported by a range of services. Zoetis applies research to a broad and diverse range of species, therapeutic areas and geographic regions, and its research encompasses vaccines and medicines. In addition, its R&D activities include the development of genetic and diagnostic products as well as biodevices and engineering investments for in ovopoultry applications. In 2013, the company generated annual revenues of $4.6 billion. With approximately 9,800 employees worldwide at the beginning of 2014, including 1,100+ R&D specialists, Zoetis has a local presence in approximately 70 countries, including 27 manufacturing facilities in 10 countries.

Clint on Diversity and STEM

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

Zoetis has been at the forefront of advancing diversity in STEM initiatives, specifically in educating the next generation of veterinarians. For six consecutive years, Zoetis has invited second- and third-year students of veterinary medicine to apply for the Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program. Since the launch of the scholarship program in the fall of 2010, more than $2.7 million in scholarship funding has been awarded to more than 1,100 exceptional veterinary students. In addition to traditional selection criteria of academic excellence and financial need, the scholarship focuses on meeting ongoing needs of the veterinary profession such as diversity, sustainability, leadership and fostering diverse careers paths in veterinary medicine. The scholarship complements a number of other Zoetis programs supporting the veterinary profession, including millions invested in universities, industry education and training, scholarships, and allied organizations each year.

How do you translate your work into innovation?

Zoetis is focused on continuously innovating to develop animal health solutions that meet the needs of those who raise and care for animals. R&D is at the core of our efforts to provide innovation outcomes that anticipate the future needs of veterinarians and livestock producers in their local markets around the globe. Our new product R&D leverages relevant discoveries from the agribusiness, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Combining this capability with the most promising discoveries from existing Zoetis R&D generally yields a faster, less expensive and more predictable process and more sustainable pipeline as compared to human health R&D. Our R&D for existing products focuses on broadening and enhancing our existing portfolio through the addition of new species or claims, securing approvals in additional countries, or creating new combinations and reformulations that extend Zoetis innovations to a growing range of those who raise and care for animals worldwide.

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

Yes, I am a mentor, and I believe that mentorship is something that I must model every day -- not only because it’s the right thing to do in developing future diverse STEM talent -- but because it pays dividends for our business. One of the ways that I help instill the value of mentorship throughout Zoetis is by our active engagement in the INROADS organization. I am a national board member of INROADS, the nation’s largest non-profit source of paid internships for undergraduate, diverse youth. On behalf of Zoetis, I commit to providing a multi-year professional opportunity for four interns, and consider the interns for full-time employment upon graduation. We work with them to create, implement and monitor a career development plan, designate a business advisor to evaluate their progress, and offer guidance throughout the process. As a corporate sponsor, Zoetis pays an annual sponsorship fee to INROADS, as well as a competitive salary for the interns.


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