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100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Kimberly Foster Price of 3M

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 Kimberly Foster Price, vice president of 3Mgives at 3M.

Kim Price, 3M

Kimberly Foster Price
Vice President, 3Mgives

Kimberly Foster Price serves as Vice President of 3Mgives. In this role, Price leads the development and implementation of 3M’s global strategic philanthropy and community engagement, including oversight of the 3M Foundation. 3Mgives supports the company’s Employee Resource Networks and the Global Women’s Leadership Forum. Committed to her community, Price serves on the Board of several local organizations, including the Greater Twin Cities United Way, the local United Negro College Fund and Generation Next. Price is an active member of the Executive Leadership Council. Price earned her Juris Doctor from Columbia University School of Law, her Master’s degree in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University and her Bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College. Price and her husband, Ron, are the parents of three adult children: Darrius, Alison and Julius.

About 3M

3M captures the spark of new ideas and transforms them into thousands of innovative products. Our culture of creative collaboration inspires a never-ending stream of powerful technologies that make life better. 3M is a science-based diversified technology company that never stops inventing. With $31 billion in sales, 3M employs almost 90,000 people around the world – including 8,200 researchers – and has operations in more than 70 countries. Through its philanthropic arm, 3Mgives, the company develops and invests in innovative community programs that make a difference. Since 1953, 3M and the 3M Foundation have invested more than $1.4 billion in cash and products in education and charitable organizations. These donations were bolstered by thousands of employee and retiree volunteers. In 2013, 3M earned the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Best Commitment to Education Award, the Excellence in Mentoring Award for Corporate Leadership and the United Way Spirit of America Award.

Kim on Diversity and STEM

Why do you believe STEM Education and workforce development are critical to our nation’s future?

As a science-based, diversified technology company, 3M has a keen awareness of the importance of fostering the next generation of innovators. Every day, 3M scientists use science and technology to solve problems. So we know firsthand the important role that STEM graduates will have in solving some of the world’s most pressing challenges. That is why we are committed to developing and supporting programs that inspire and support student achievement in STEM.

What is your advice on using private-public partnerships to tackle our most pressing education challenges in STEM?

It is important that public and private entities collaborate to increase student interest and achievement in STEM. 3M always welcomes the opportunity to collaborate, or "co-labor," with community partners like Saint Paul Public Schools or Generation Next, a coalition of civic, business and education leaders focused on closing the achievement and opportunity gaps for students of color in Minneapolis and St. Paul. 3M’s 40 year-plus partnership with the Saint Paul Public Schools is a great example of how we use our company’s expertise to strengthen STEM education. 3M has worked with the school system to provide cash grants, mentoring and skill-based volunteering; this includes funding a volunteer coordinator at two inner city high schools to connect teachers and students with 3M mentors. We have more than 500 employees and retirees serving as mentors. The company also developed the 3M STEP (Science Training Encouragement Program) for students from St. Paul Public Schools. This program connects high school students with 3M scientists as mentors and also gives the students summer jobs in 3M labs.

How is your company using diversity with STEM-initiatives? Is this part of your comprehensive strategy?

3M believes in using all of our resources to find innovative solutions to complex challenges. Recently, 3M implemented a bold new plan to broaden the company’s community outreach and engage the next generation of innovative thinkers by creating a stronger link between our Employee Resource Networks (ERNs) and our philanthropic arm, 3Mgives. To integrate the ERNs into 3Mgives, the company recently appointed Meredith Crosby as Director, 3Mgives Strategic Initiatives. In this role, Meredith is developing the strategy for 3M’s extensive work around STEM education and education equity as well as the engagement of the ERNs. This effort allows us to build on 3M’s heritage of collaboration by further advancing our engagement in diverse communities around STEM education.

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

I am a firm believer in mentoring. I have reaped the benefits of having great mentors throughout my career and I have had the privilege of being a mentor. I have found mentoring to be extremely rewarding. At 3M, mentoring has proven to be one of the most effective ways to encourage women and students of color to pursue math and science careers. Mentoring gives students a connection to someone in the field who can help with career-related questions, provide personal support and guidance and expose students to the life-long benefits of a STEM career.

What Employee Resource Groups does your company have in place?

3M has eleven Employee Resource Networks: Global Women’s Leadership Forum, African American Network, China Resource Network, Disability Awareness Network, Latino Resource Network, Military Support Network, Native American Network, New Employee Opportunity Network, GLBT+ Network and South Asia Network. Our ERNs are vital to executing the 3M strategy and are a living embodiment of the company’s strategy of having high performing and diverse global talent. ERNs are also essential to helping us strengthen our engagement with diverse communities around STEM. In addition to the company’s ERNs, 3M also has Business Resource Teams (BRTs), which are designed to leverage the cultural insights and business knowledge of 3Mers located in our headquarter offices across our various businesses. BRTs inform our international giving to leverage our STEM programs in locations including Asia, Africa and Latin America. We partner across the globe to share for success.

100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Felicia Fields of Ford Motor 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 Follow the conversation on social media using #100STEMLeaders. Today's Diverse Corporate Leader is Felicia Fields, group vice president, human resources and corporate services at Ford Motor Company.

Felicia Fields, Ford

Felicia Fields
Group Vice President, Human Resources and Corporate Services
Ford Motor Company

Felicia J. Fields, Ford group vice president for Human Resources and Corporate Services since March 25, 2008, leads the global Human Resources and Corporate Services functions for Ford Motor Company. In this position, Fields provides expertise in key HR capabilities including succession planning and talent management, strategic workforce planning, compensation and benefits, organization development, recruiting, and leadership and professional development. She is also responsible for corporate security, travel, and the company’s Dealer Policy Board.

Fields previously was vice president for Human Resources. Since joining Ford in 1986, Fields has held HR leadership positions in Manufacturing, Research, Information Technology, Finance, Product Development and Corporate Development. Fields is a member of the Board of the Inforum Center for Leadership and the Women’s Health Advisory Council at Oakwood Hospital. She was formerly on the Board of Directors for the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) and also served as Vice Chair of the Governance Committee.

Fields is a proud third-generation Ford employee. She received a bachelor of arts degree in psychology with high distinction from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in administration from Central Michigan University. She has various certifications in leadership development, personal effectiveness and diversity.

About Ford

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 183,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. Ford has been a long-time supporter of STEM initiatives relevant to the automotive industry, from high school FIRST robotics teams to university solar car and electric vehicle teams. This year Ford’s High School Science and Technology (HSSTP) program, which gives students the opportunity to spend time on Ford’s Dearborn campus to meet with scientists, researchers, engineers and technicians and learn how science and engineering can have real-world applications, celebrates 30 years. In addition, Ford Next Generation Learning is nationally recognized for engaging school districts, employers, workforce and economic development entities, and local organizations in the development of career-themed academies within existing public high schools.

Felicia on Diversity and STEM

What traits do corporate leaders need to effectively support and advance STEM today?

As corporate leaders, one critical element to supporting and advancing STEM is staying connected. We must continue to work with community and business leaders, educators, and policy makers, to engage in discussions about the state of STEM and ways help close the skills gap. We also must continue to proactively look for ways to collaborate and partner on projects and programs that will engage, inspire and elevate students. In addition, it is important for corporate leadership teams to regularly engage in discussions about the future of the company – in terms of technology, products and talent – in order to be more aware of future business needs. Framing STEM in terms of its future business impact helps engage corporate leaders. At Ford Motor Company, we understand that our success today, tomorrow, and in the future not only depends on being socially and environmentally responsible, but on being a company that’s able to attract the best and brightest talent in all areas.

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

At Ford, we support a number of STEM initiatives, so it’s difficult to select just one. However, before STEM became a popular acronym, Ford recognized the need to have a pipeline of qualified technical talent to innovate and create the products that our customers want and value. Ford’s High School Science and Technology (HSSTP) program will celebrate 30 years in October and is something we are extremely proud of. This program has given students in southeast Michigan the opportunity to spend time on Ford’s Dearborn campus to meet with scientists, researchers, engineers and technicians and learn how science and engineering can have real-world applications. Each year about 150 students attend six Saturday morning sessions at Ford’s Research and Innovation Center with Ford employees who voluntarily teach them various STEM career applications.

Other STEM programs Ford supports include:

  • FIRST Robotics - High school robotics competition. Ford supports Detroit area high school FIRST teams in local, regional, and national robotics competitions. There’s also a FIRST LEGO league, targeted at ages 9-14, and Jr. LEGO leagues for ages 6-9
  • Square One - This high school vehicle team competition focuses on Great Lakes states (MI, OH, IN). Like Formula SAE, students build and race vehicles in various categories
  • Camp Invention - Summer camp for elementary school students to teach them about the process of invention and creativity
  • AMTech - Collaboration of colleges and companies working to strengthen the competency and global competitiveness of the automotive workforce
  • DAPCEP (Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program) – Non-profit organization that provides promising K-12 students from underrepresented groups educational programming and exposure to STEM fields through Saturday and summer programs
  • NACME (National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering) – Provides scholarships for underrepresented minority engineers, gathers research on diversity and equity in Engineering, advocates/lobbies for STEM education and provides programs for students throughout the education pipeline

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

Diversity in the workplace and within all disciplines helps maximize productivity and creativity, and ultimately helps meet the needs of a diverse and global customer base. At Ford Motor Company we are focused on the attraction, development, and retention of a diverse workforce, and believe this is essential to our global success. Making sure varied disciplines, perspectives and talents are part of the workforce results in innovative solutions for the rapidly evolving needs of our diverse society.

STEM Higher Education Council December 3rd Town Hall

STEM Higher Education Council Town Hall Google+ Hangout

Please register now for our upcoming Town Hall Google+ Hangout! The December 3rd Town Hall will allow members to highlight how they are driving meaningful change in higher education. We will also showcase our upcoming book, Advancing a Jobs-Driven Economy: Higher Education and Business Partnerships Lead The Way. It is remarkable the progress we have made in just a few short months! As  of  this  blog post,  there  are  40  SHEC members,  with  another  5  in  the  final  stages  of the decision process.

Register Now! via the STEMconnector® Event Page

Confirmed Speakers:

STEM Higher Education Council Leaders:
  • Rob Denson, Chair of the STEM Higher Education Council and President of Des Moines Area Community College 
  • Martha Kanter, Senior Advisor to the STEM Higher Education Council, Former Under Secretary of Department of Education, and Professor, New York University     

STEM Higher Education Council Members:





Number of High School Graduates Who Plan to Teach STEM Low, Unlikely to Meet Expected Demand

This is a press release from ACT

IOWA CITY, Iowa | Despite high interest in STEM overall, the number of 2014 high school graduates who plan to teach STEM subject areas is small and unlikely to meet future demand, according to The Condition of STEM 2014, a new report released today by ACT.
Among the more than 1.8 million 2014 U.S. high school graduates who took The ACT®, nearly half—close to 900,000 students—were interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) overall. Just 4,424 of those students, however, indicated they planned to teach math, while a meager 1,115 said they intended to teach science. 
“The numbers we’re seeing are not likely to meet the expected demand for future STEM teachers,” said Jon Erickson, ACT president. “Highly qualified teachers play an essential role not only in preparing students to succeed but also in raising awareness of and interest in STEM careers, which are vital to our nation’s competitiveness in the global economy.”
In 2010, a report from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology projected a nationwide demand for approximately 25,000 new STEM teachers per year over the following decade.
“Meeting the growing demand for STEM teachers across the nation is critical to give students the STEM education required to thrive in a fast-changing, knowledge-based economy,” said Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, co-chair of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council in Iowa and one of the nation’s strongest advocates for STEM education. “ACT’s finding that few 2014 graduates want to teach math or science tells us we must do more to attract and keep top STEM teachers and target existing resources more strategically. All students deserve an outstanding STEM education.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM careers are growing at a fast pace and tend to pay higher-than-average salaries.
While student interest in STEM is high overall, readiness in STEM subject areas continues to lag. Among those ACT-tested graduates interested in STEM, just half met or surpassed the ACT College Readiness Benchmark in math, while fewer than half (43 percent) achieved the benchmark in science. ACT research suggests those who meet the ACT benchmarks are more likely to persist in college and earn a degree than those who don’t.
Other report findings:
Nearly half (49 percent) of STEM-interested students expressed an interest in pursuing a STEM major or occupation but do not appear to have an inherent interest in STEM based on their ACT Interest Inventory results. The report recommends intervention strategies that help those students understand the requirements of specific STEM occupations and create an educational plan to meet their goals.
Another 17 percent of STEM-interested students (9 percent of all ACT-tested graduates) have an inherent interest in STEM but had no plans to pursue a STEM major or occupation, representing an untapped pool of students who could potentially benefit from pursuing a STEM career.  
Interest in STEM was stronger among males than females, but the actual number of STEM-interested females remained high.
Male interest in STEM tended to be driven by engineering and math, while female interest tended to be driven by medicine/health care and the sciences.
The reported gaps between students’ interests and their intentions are of concern, as ACT research has shown that students whose interests are aligned with their chosen college major are more likely than others to remain in their major, persist in college and complete their degree in a timely manner.
The report recommends that more be done to identify and foster STEM interests earlier in students’ educational experiences. It also calls for greater efforts to keep interested students engaged in STEM fields as they move into postsecondary education and transition into the workplace.
The Condition of STEM 2014 reports for the nation and for each state can be accessed for free on ACT’s website at
ACT is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people achieve education and workplace success. Headquartered in Iowa City, Iowa, ACT is trusted as the nation’s leader in college and career readiness, providing high-quality achievement assessments grounded in more than 50 years of research and experience. ACT offers a uniquely integrated set of solutions that help people succeed from elementary school through career, providing insights that unlock potential. To learn more about ACT, go to

100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Tracy Faulkner of Shell

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 Tracy Faulkner, vice president of global external affairs, downstream at Shell.

Kari Escobedo, T-Mobile

Tracy Faulkner
Vice President of Global External Affairs, Downstream

Tracy Faulkner is Vice President of Global External Affairs for Shell’s Downstream business. In this role, she oversees external and internal communications and engagement, and provides strategic advice to Shell leaders on a range of reputation issues and opportunities. Nearly every aspect of her work deals with science, technology, engineering or math (STEM), including engagements with external stakeholders on topics such as emerging alternative energies, mobility, fuel pricing, arctic exploration, carbon capture and storage, safety, hydraulic fracturing, and deep water drilling.

Previously, Tracy held management positions in the power generation, agricultural and construction equipment and automotive industries, working for the Tennessee Valley Authority, Fiat Group and General Motors. Tracy earned a bachelor’s degree from Clark-Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia. She completed the Center for Creative Leadership - Leadership Development Program and the Harvard Business School Executive Education program. Tracy is a member of The Executive Leadership Council, a Trustee of both the National Urban League and Institute for Public Relations and a Director on the British American Business Board. Currently, she is based in London, England.

About Shell

Shell is an innovation-driven global group of energy and petrochemical companies. We take natural resources and add value in many different ways. We find and extract crude oil, natural gas and bitumen, and transform them into products for sale to retail and commercial customers. We have about 92,000 employees and operate in over 70 countries. We need people who can harness technologies to see through rock, drill wells beneath two miles of water and produce oil and gas from the remains of single-celled creatures that lived millions of years ago. STEM workers balance our books, program our computers and manage our multi-billion dollar drilling projects. They are also the entrepreneurs and suppliers who create the deep-water robots we use, build our ships and offshore platforms, and launch the satellites we use for communications. STEM workers are critical to Shell’s success.

Tracy on Diversity and STEM

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

STEM is critical to the future of our nation and its economic viability because some of society’s greatest challenges (a cure for cancer, clean drinking water, climate change, renewable energy sources) will only be solved by future scientists, engineers and other STEM workers with great passion for creativity, innovation and competitiveness. Government, industry and academia must join forces to address this pressing issue.

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

I love to spread enthusiasm for my industry and company, with science, technology and engineering being at the core of what we do. I try to make our complex business simple, relevant and meaningful for those young people I engage with. I know I’m biased, but I get pretty excited when talking about the energy industry, the global scale and scope of Shell and the difference we’re making in people’s everyday lives. The U.S. Department of Labor workforce projections for 2018 show that nine of the 10 fastest growing occupations that require at least a bachelor’s degree will require significant STEM related training. I can only imagine the impact we can have on young people, women and minorities by getting them excited about science and math, by spending time with them and sharing our personal experiences. Fortunately, my message seems to have resonated with a number of young people, including my twin nephews who are now pursuing Engineering degrees at schools in Indiana. With 75 nieces and nephews, I have a vested interest and a few more young people to encourage.

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

I am very proud of the human ingenuity I get to see in action at our Shell Eco-marathon (SEM) events, which challenge student teams from around the world to design, build and test ultra energy-efficient vehicles. While the competition encourages innovation and fuel efficiency, the part I love the most is when I engage with the students and hear their personal stories. I will never forget meeting an all-girls SEM team called ShopGirls. One young lady told me that before her eco-marathon experience she did not like high school, she was not performing well and she lacked confidence. Fortunately, she had a teacher who cared enough to get her involved in the school’s SEM team, which was full of young ladies with big ideas and big hearts. She ended her eco-marathon journey with more confidence and a keen interest in studying science and engineering. Shell later invited the young ladies to appear at the Aspen Ideas Festival, where they held a panel discussion on their SEM experience. One of the young ladies even said she wanted to go to an Ivy League school to study engineering. I smiled from ear to ear when I read her Stanford University acceptance letter, which applauded her eco-marathon experience.

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

I mentor young people in STEM and non-technical roles, and I encourage others to do the same. Relationships cannot be legislated, so it is key to ensure there is rapport and the necessary time is taken to establish the mentor-mentee relationship. I view mentorship as a trust based relationship that offers mentees a safe place to discuss issues and explore solutions to challenges – all in the spirit of their development and growth, with the intent of strengthening their performance in the workplace.

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

It helps in our quest to become the world’s most competitive and innovative energy company. Our products, services and overall energy portfolio must be attractive to customers and partners. We will not achieve this without a diverse workforce reflecting the diverse markets in which we operate. Our talent is one of our strongest assets. We recognize the need to harness the innovative ideas and advanced technical skills of a new generation of STEM talent that includes a diverse skilled pipeline. Solving our greatest energy challenges will require the best and brightest from all walks of life, contributing to their full potential. We are committed to building a culture that embraces diversity and fosters inclusion. It makes good business sense and it’s simply the right thing to do.

In Memoriam: Xiaochun Luo (1957-2014)

It is with great sadness that we share the news that Dr. Xiaochun Luo, Group Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at Avon Products, Inc. passed away on November 12. Xiaochun was a passionate STEMconnector® supporter and was named to our “100 Women Leaders in STEM” list in 2012. Our sympathy, hearts and prayers go out to Xiaochun’s family, especially to her husband, Wei Dai, and her two sons, Byran and Brandon Dai. (To read Xiaochun’s 100 Women Leaders in STEM click here.)

We all feel the loss of such a talented, beloved and respected colleague and friend. Anyone who knew Dr. Luo was keenly aware of her excitement for science and her innovative nature. She was particularly enthusiastic about translating technology to consumer benefit. When she was named to our 100 Women Leaders list, she said, “Utilizing science and technology is the best way to surprise consumers. Only science and technology can open new doors to give consumers something they didn’t know they wanted but love. That’s so satisfying.”

Dr. Luo was also a strong advocate for getting more women and girls involved in STEM. She dedicated a great deal of time to that effort. Avon will be establishing a STEM-related Avon Scholarship for the children of Avon Associates in her honor.

Dr. Luo had served as Chief Scientific Officer and head of Avon’s global Research & Development organization since 2010. She received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Purdue University and authored numerous scientific papers and book chapters in biological research and beauty product fields. She was also involved in the research and development of numerous patented inventions.

For those wishing to send expressions of support and condolence to Xiaochun’s family, please reach out to, who will arrange for any messages to be shared with Dr. Luo’s husband Wei.

We mourn the passing of our extraordinary colleague and friend, Xiaochun Luo.


100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Kari Escobedo of T-Mobile

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 Kari Escobedo, vice president, enterprise systems development at T-Mobile.

Kari Escobedo, T-Mobile

Kari Escobedo
Vice President, Enterprise Systems Development

Kari Escobedo is Vice President, Enterprise Systems Development for T-Mobile in Bellevue, WA. She leads the team responsible for the development and delivery of solutions for the Enterprise Back Office systems that support the T-Mobile business. Kari has made it a key principle for her teams to make diversity a priority when hiring new employees from outside of the company as well as bringing up resources from within the T-Mobile ranks. In parallel to her leadership role at T-Mobile, Kari is heavily involved in increasing women’s roles in technology through Women in Leadership organization.

About T-Mobile

As America’s Un-carrier, T-Mobile is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. As an employer with a significant reliance on STEM skills in our workforce, we are working to develop those skills both within our employees and within the communities where we live and work. Our 9-year signature volunteer program, Huddle Up, works with youth in after-school environments to ensure they have a safe, inspiring space to learn and grow. One component of that program involves leading STEM activity fairs, which we call “T-Exploration,” to expose youth to STEM and mobile technology concepts through fun games and projects led by T-Mobile employees. We also have a community initiative through our Women’s Leadership Network that is developing coding and IT skills in girls. The T-Mobile Foundation compliments these STEM-related volunteer programs with financial support.

Kari on Diversity and STEM

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

Education is the foundation of the answer to a nation’s competitiveness. By increasing the involvement of girls and boys from diverse backgrounds in STEM related studies during k-12 education – especially in elementary and middle schools where we see the most significant drop off in participation and interest in the fields especially in girls, we increase the likelihood that those children choose a STEM academic focus in higher education and career. Delaying STEM skills, such as Engineering, until later in a child’s education may increase the possibility that those children will focus on more familiar areas of their education once STEM educational areas are introduced later in their educational career. If Engineering and other STEM skills are introduced early during a child’s education, as early as elementary school, the foundation of an American talent pool in the areas of STEM is strengthened, increasing the viability for a diverse American workforce to compete against immigrants coming to America on work visas.

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

The first steps to curbing the STEM education crisis is to invest in early education of STEM curriculum for all children, both within the education system as well as within the home. The earlier a child is exposed to a set of curriculum and to technology as a whole, there is an increased familiarity with the STEM fundamentals and foundation. The education system will have more time to advance the curriculum taught within the STEM educational programs prior to a child’s entry into the American workforce or enrollment into higher education. By increasing the involvement of parents in the STEM education crisis solution, the exposure and prioritization of children to mathematics, science, technology and engineering expand beyond the schoolroom. One problem I see is the varied access to technology to children, i.e. many schools do not have access to technology foundational pieces like laptops, computers, tablets and other applications that could be used to expose kids to the various ways technology is and can be used in the real world to help inspire kids to engage.

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

It’s important that women and minorities have increasing visibility into the varied and critical role that women and minorities currently play in STEM fields while those women and minorities are going through early and higher educations. This exposure will in fact enable women and minorities to realize that they are not required to shed their femininity and cultural differences in order to fit into the STEM fields thereby increasing their ability and desire to become engaged in these fields. This exposure is significantly more important in the earlier years of their education, when STEM classes and information is easily accessible. Increasing exposure can be realized through various paths including after-school activities, in-school guest speakers, news and social media. These activities require a web of partnerships across the community, including local government, corporations and local community programs. This partnership will also increase the visibility that women and minorities have of the criticality of the issue and importance that they play in STEM fields.

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

Measuring the success of improvements in the STEM workforce should be accomplished by utilizing multiple data sources to produce an accurate view of the diversity of the American workforce in STEM fields. Various industries and corporations, including T-Mobile, are finding innovative ways to better understand their customers through data in order to better serve them. The same principles should be used to understand the American workforce through simple and complex BI solutions, enabling those working to improve the STEM workforce to both understand the workforce they’re trying to improve and identify innovative solutions to continue to improve the success of STEM initiatives.

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?

The greatest advice that we can provide to women and minorities coming up in the system is to believe in themselves and their ideas. One of the greatest weaknesses that a lack of diversity causes is a lack of differing opinions, ideas and solutions within the workforce. As an increasing number of women and minorities rise within the system, their ideas and solutions may differ from the majority of those surrounding them, both upstream and downstream, due to the fact that they are bringing different experiences and perspectives to their leadership roles. It will be a struggle to make their ideas heard through the hum of the majority around them and therefore, they must be their own champion and the champion of their diverse ideas and solutions.

Santa Barbara Teacher Wins National Competition by Bringing Science to Life

This is a press release from 4-H and Lockheed Martin

National 4-H Council and Lockheed Martin recognize Foothill Elementary School’s Molly Rothman with $1,000 and a STEM classroom makeover

Santa Barbara, Calif. (Nov. 17, 2014) | Santa Barbara teacher Molly Rothman has won the national “Teachers Bringing Science to Life” contest and will receive $1,000 and a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) classroom makeover. The contest, sponsored by National 4-H Council and Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] was created to provide resources and rewards for educators who encourage their students to explore the field of aerospace engineering.

 Molly Rothman and her class are surprised with STEM classroom makeover
Rothman, a science teacher at Foothill Elementary School in Santa Barbara, was surprised with the makeover earlier this morning. Rothman had submitted photos of her students conducting the 4-H National Youth Science Day (4-H NYSD) “Rockets to the Rescue” experiment, which incorporates engineering, math and food security concepts to help youth learn how to apply science to solve a relevant, global issue.
Rothman has taught students at virtually all stages, from kindergarten to university levels. She has been a science specialist in Goleta and Santa Barbara for 15 years, including at Foothill for the majority of those years. She is also the academic outreach coordinator for the Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology Department at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
The “Teachers Bringing Science to Life” contest is part of National 4-H Council’s and Lockheed Martin’s ongoing collaboration to get American youth engaged in STEM education. Studies estimate that the United States will need to produce approximately one million more STEM professionals than are expected to graduate over the next 10 years in order to ensure the nation’s global competitiveness.
“America’s public school teachers on average spend $1,000 out of their own pockets on items for their classroom,” said National 4-H Council President and CEO Jennifer Sirangelo. “And with the equipment-intensive nature of teaching STEM subjects, teachers like Molly can especially use the help. That’s why we’re proud to have partnered with a leading technology company like Lockheed Martin on this contest, and why we congratulate Molly not only for winning, but also for helping to raise the next generation of STEM professionals.”
“Molly is a terrific example of our nation’s STEM teachers, who are working hard every day to help our nation’s young people see the magic and rewards of a STEM education,” said Emily Simone, Lockheed Martin’s Director of Community Relations. “Lockheed Martin is fully committed to working with organizations like National 4-H Council to get America’s youth interested in pursuing a STEM education to help keep our nation competitive.”
About the 4-H National Youth Science Day “Rockets to the Rescue” Science Experiment:
Teachers and students who conducted the “Rockets to the Rescue” experiment to enter the contest joined hundreds of thousands of youth to participate in the 4-H NYSD activity. For the “Rockets to the Rescue” experiment, youth responded to a fictional scenario: A natural disaster left people without food on a remote, isolated Pacific island, and the youth had to build a rocket that could be launched from the mainland, travel over the ocean and deliver high-energy food to the population. The experiment combined two key 4-H issue areas—science and food security—and incorporated aerospace engineering concepts to help youth design a rocket out of everyday materials, including recyclable two-liter bottles, cotton balls, pipe cleaners, rubber bands and a protractor.
About 4-H:
4-H, the nation’s largest youth development and empowerment organization, cultivates confident kids who tackle the issues that matter most in their communities right now. In the United States, 4-H programs empower six million young people through the 109 land-grant universities and cooperative extensions in more than 3,000 local offices serving every county and parish in the country. Outside the United States, independent, country-led 4-H organizations empower one million young people in more than 50 countries. The National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of the Cooperative Extension System and 4-H National Headquarters located at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture within the United States Department of Agriculture.
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About Lockheed Martin:
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 113,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2013 were $45.4 billion.

100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Sharon Elliott of AREVA

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 Sharon Elliott, vice president, human resources at AREVA.

Sharon Elliott, AREVA

Sharon Elliott
Vice President, Human Resources

Sharon Elliott joined AREVA in July 2010 to lead the Human Resources function with responsibility for all related activities including employee compensation and benefits programs, employee and leadership training and development, HR communication, talent management and workforce planning, EEO, and employee and labor relations. She has extensive experience in human resources and has worked for several Fortune 500 companies during periods of accelerated change and growth including Bristol Myers Squibb, Allied Signal/Honeywell, Ingersoll Rand, Eastman Kodak, and Starbucks Coffee Company. Elliott holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Northwestern University.


AREVA provides its customers with solutions for low-carbon power generation in North America and all over the world. Its nearly 5,000 U.S. and Canadian employees work every day to make AREVA a responsible industrial player helping to supply ever cleaner, safer and more economical energy to the greatest number of people. As a forward-looking energy company, AREVA recognizes the importance of investing in STEM education and supporting diversity as a driver of innovation and prosperity, critical to both our company and communities.

Sharon on Diversity and STEM

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

STEM subjects are the foundation for 21st century industries, and clean, safe, reliable energy is inextricably linked to the sustainable prosperity of the American economy. Advanced manufacturing, farming, and transportation – from the water that sustains our human and industrial existence, to the revitalization of our physical and the growth of our digital infrastructures, energy is a critical ingredient and a STEM-educated workforce will increasingly drive the American innovation engine. To secure our future, America’s investment in advancing the economic vitality of our communities must reflect the increasing role of STEM disciplines as the foundation for the technologies being developed to address our country’s needs and the world’s most critical challenges. From our research and development, to ongoing improvements in our operational efficiency, to our clean energy and cyber-security solutions, AREVA supports a strategic vision that links STEM education, workforce development, and talent management, leveraging the cross-sector, cross-industry collaboration upon which our nation’s continued growth and security depends.

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

AREVA is a founding member of the PRODUCED in Virginia Program, which started in 2007 and provides Lynchburg students with the opportunity to complete engineering degrees through CVCC and the University of Virginia. While in school, sponsored students get on the job experience through internships and receive a full-time position upon graduating. The CVCC Nuclear Technology Program combines traditional academic courses, highly focused technology courses, hands-on learning experience, and on-the-job training. Technicians support field activities during outage seasons. During non-outage seasons, technicians take CVCC courses and benefit from AREVA technical training. Technicians receive college credit for a portion of their AREVA training. Technicians receive an Associate’s Degree in Nuclear Support Technologies. Sixty-six employees have graduated from the program.

Sweetbriar College’s Explore Engineering Program provides college immersion opportunities for high school girls while introducing them to engineering design. In addition to sponsoring the program, for the past two years, AREVA has hosted participants at our Technical Training Center, providing an introduction to nuclear energy and helping the girls to better understand STEM career opportunities in and beyond the energy industry.

In 2013, the XLR8 STEM Academy in Lynchburg became Virginia’s 16th STEM Academy as the culmination of a partnership between the state and regional governments, CVCC, regional economic development partners, school divisions, and area businesses. A sponsor of the AREVA Technology Center, which houses the academy and a partner in the project since its inception, AREVA proudly helped launch the inaugural mechatronics program in support of regional economic development and to meet future regional workforce needs. Through XLR8, students have the opportunity to work toward a college degree and earn industry certifications to support job-readiness upon completion of the program.

In addition to collaborating with local partners, AREVA employees engage in STEM-related volunteerism and outreach to elementary, middle school, and high school students including activities and workshops related to National Engineer’s Week and National Nuclear Science Week.

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

AREVA is a proud partner of the U.S. Department of Energy Minorities in Energy initiative, and our CEO of North America serves as one of the Ambassadors of the initiative, which is focused on facilitating greater participation from underrepresented minorities in all aspects of the energy sector. We continue to work to further diversify our workforce by partnering with university chapters of diverse engineering societies including the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the National Society of Black Engineers, and the Society of Women Engineers.

We need to both encourage and support women and underrepresented minorities by increasing awareness of the application of STEM subjects, developing greater understanding of career paths, and then ensuring that there are parents, teachers, mentors, and other supporters to help them get there. We inspire students when we show them how STEM can make a difference in their communities and support exciting career opportunities. Our effectiveness depends not only on robust curriculum, internships and apprenticeships, but also ensuring that we work toward creating more inclusive cultures when it comes to STEM classrooms and workplaces.

MedImmune and Corporate Volunteer Council of Montgomery County to Host STEM Volunteering Workshop and Expo


On Friday, November 21st, MedImmune and the Corporate Volunteer Council (CVC) of Montgomery County will host a STEM Volunteering Workshop and Expo. The event, which will take place from 9am to 11:30am at MedImmune's offices in Gaithersburg, Maryland, is designed to show attendees the benefits of employee volunteering in STEM -- from both the employer and employee perspectives.

The Workshop and Expo is completely free to attend, and  number of representatives from local schools and STEM organizations will be present to facilitate volunteer programming opportunities and provide attendees with additional resources on STEM mentoring. To register to attend the event, click here.

WHAT: STEM Volunteering Workshop and Expo

WHEN: Friday, November 21, 2014 from 9am to 11:30am

WHERE: One MedImmune Way, Gaithersburg, MD 20878




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