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Alcoa Foundation and Discovery Education Host Virtual Field Trip for Classrooms Nationwide

This is a press release from Alcoa Foundation and Discovery Education

Silver Spring, Md., Sept. 29, 2014 | Alcoa Foundation, one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, will celebrate National Manufacturing Day on October 3, 2014, with an interactive virtual field trip. The Manufacture Your Future LIVE Virtual Field Trip will be hosted from an Alcoa facility as part of Alcoa Foundation and Discovery Education’s overall “Manufacture Your Future” program, which provides middle and high school students with an inside look at careers in advanced manufacturing.

The Manufacture Your Future LIVE Virtual Field Trip will occur at a high-tech aluminum manufacturing facility, which has produced lightweight metal and other materials for every American space vehicle, helping to make many milestones possible, including the first moon landing. During the Virtual Field Trip, students will have the exclusive opportunity to tour Alcoa’s Davenport facility to see how products for major aircrafts are manufactured, including the wings of Air Force One. The tour will also showcase the company’s new revolutionary Auto Treatment Line, which enables mass production of aluminum for cars—a growing trend in reducing vehicle weight for increased fuel efficiency.

“Giving students the opportunity to look inside a facility makes manufacturing come to life,” said Mark Case, teacher at Southern Guilford High School, Guilford County Schools, NC. “An event like this creates a stronger impression than getting the information from a textbook. Students can see how information we provide in the classroom translates into a career path.”

“According to The Manufacturing Institute, more than one in seven U.S. private sector jobs depend on the U.S. manufacturing base,” said Esra Ozer, President, Alcoa Foundation.  “We are thrilled to showcase several of these jobs, which are held by talented members of Alcoa’s Davenport team -- a Metallurgical Engineer, Electrical Engineer and Process Specialist.  Their passion and enthusiasm for their manufacturing careers will be inspiring fortomorrow’s workforce.”

In addition to the virtual field trip, Alcoa Foundation and Discovery Education’s Manufacture Your Future program provides middle and high school educators, guidance counselors, students and families with a comprehensive online site that includes hands-on resources to build excitement around post-secondary manufacturing career opportunities. Manufacture Your Future encourages the development of critical thinking skills through real-world application, offers dynamic standards-based, Science Technology Engineering and Math-focused lesson plans, career guides, family discussion starters and other online resources that provide insight into today’s advanced manufacturing careers and highlight the crucial role that manufacturing plays in day-to-day life. Hope Street Group, The Manufacturing Institute, and SME Education Foundation provided expertise.

For more information about the virtual field trip or Manufacture Your Future’s program and free resources, visit: www.manufactureyourfuture.com.

About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind.  Available in over half of all U.S. schools and primary schools in England, community colleges and in 50 countries around the world, Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that accelerate academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.

About Alcoa Foundation

Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately $470 million. Founded 62 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than $590 million. In 2013, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than $22 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships to improve the environment and educate tomorrow's leaders for careers in manufacturing and engineering. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa's thousands of employee volunteers who share their talents and time to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the Company's signature Month of Service program, in 2013, a record 62 percent of Alcoa employees took part in nearly 1,300 events across 24 countries, benefiting more than 505,000 people and 1,900 nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit www.alcoafoundation.comand follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.

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 www.alcoa.com, follow @Alcoa on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Alcoa and follow us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/Alcoa.

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100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Surya Kant of Tata Consultancy Services

The 100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM Blog Series features a new business executive Monday-Friday and the exemplary work his or her company is doing to support 21st Century STEM learning and workforce development- particularly for women, minorities and under-represented groups. Learn more and download the whole copy at STEMConnector.org/100Diverse. Follow the conversation on Social Media using #100STEMLeaders. Today's Diverse Corporate Leader is Surya Kant, President, North America, UK and Europe at Tata Consultancy Services.

Surya Kant, TCS
Surya Kant
President, North America, UK and Europe
Tata Consultancy Services

In a career spanning more than 30 years, Surya (“Sury") Kant has made a significant contribution to the growth of the global software industry and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), one of the largest IT services, consulting and business solutions organizations in the world. In his current role as President for North America, UK and Europe (regions that account for more than 75% of the company’s global revenues), Sury is responsible for overseeing and strengthening customer relationships and revenues across TCS’ largest markets, and plays a key role in expanding the company’s range of technology and service offerings. Highlights of his longstanding and distinguished tenure at TCS include establishing the presence of the Indian software industry in Japan in 1987, leading UK operations in the ‘90s while recording substantial growth and visibility for the organization, and serving as the Head of Operations in North India until 2005. 

Sury is actively connected with various social causes, most notably playing a leading role in the US supporting STEM education and careers – particularly for women and minorities – through prominent partnerships with the likes of STEMConnector, US2020 and NPower. Sury received his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in Electronics from Delhi College of Engineering in 1976, and his Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in Computer Technology from IIT Delhi in 1978. On both occasions, he finished at top of his class. Sury also speaks several languages, including Japanese.

About Tata Consultancy Services

Tata Consultancy Services is a leading global IT servicesconsulting and business solutions organization that offers a consulting-led, integrated portfolio of services, delivered through its unique Global Network Delivery Model™. TCS is deeply vested in socially responsible practices and STEM initiatives that enable students, underserved minorities and girls access to computer science programs and technology careers. In North America, our STEM initiatives include TCS’ goIT program and partnerships with STEM 2.0, US2020, Million Women Mentors, NCWIT, and Teach For America (TFA).

TCS has over 305,000 of the world’s best-trained consultants in 46 countries representing 119 nationalities, of which 32.7% are women. The company generated consolidated revenues of US $13.4 billion for year ended March 31, 2014 and is listed on the National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange in India.

Surya on Diversity and STEM

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

For any nation to become and remain a major player on the world stage, its students today must have a solid foundation in STEM and be fluent in the technologies that will power the global economy of the 21st Century. Businesses must also have employees who are experts in digital disruptive forces and able to innovate and compete with their global counterparts. The demand for skilled technology talent in the U.S. will continue to increase for the foreseeable future, and these jobs will include all sectors, from banking, financial services and manufacturing, to retail, insurance, and agriculture. We must inculcate new critical capability platforms such as digital fluency, innovation excellence, employability skills, and hard skills in order to prepare our future thinkers, leaders, entrepreneurs, and workers. TCS is proud to support STEM 2.0, a cross sector initiative to prepare students for future STEM jobs, and is leading efforts towards digital fluency of tomorrow’s workforce.

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

Policy makers, educators and businesses all have a stake in nurturing next generation students, but in a rapidly evolving discipline like computer science (CS), often companies have the clearest view into the most disruptive, emerging technologies. For example, TCS recently hosted a Computer Science Education Roundtable, which brought together business executives, government officials, educators, national agencies, non-profits, and thought leaders to examine how communities are advancing CS education by providing new ways to create a digitally fluent workforce.

We work closely with the White House OSTP to improve access to computer science education for students, especially girls, minorities and underprivileged youth. We are also supporting the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Talent Pipeline Management initiative that looks at innovative ways for public-private partnerships to close the skills gap. At a grassroots level, we recently collaborated with Teach for America (TFA) on a pilot program where our employees worked alongside TFA faculty to teach a programming language to local NYC public school students. We are also working with the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) on their goal to introduce computing to 10,000 girls in the next three years. These partnerships ensure that our educational curriculum can iterate as quickly as the industry evolves, adequately preparing students.

What STEM initiative supported by TCS make you most proud?

STEM education is very important to me personally. It is our responsibility as a company and as individuals to give back to the communities where we work and Iive. To address the growing skills gap in STEM fields for middle and high school students, we created our goIT student technology awareness program in Ohio six years ago. Students involved in the program participate in computer science career awareness workshops and a hands-on technical summer camp aimed at developing students’ interest and proficiency in technology. goIT has so far engaged more than 7,000 students across 35 school districts, with promising results: 70 percent of participants reported an increase of interest in STEM, and goIT schools reported a 27 percent increase in high school students choosing STEM majors in college.  And this year, the program has expanded to 11 cities across United States, and launching in Toronto Canada this fall. This year alone we have reached over 475 new students from 11 cities and trained over 200 new employee volunteers, resulting in over 6,500 hours of high-impact skill building, and CS programming for underserved groups, minorities and girls.

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

At TCS, we believe that a diverse work environment generates the most innovative solutions and that mentorship is a necessary tool to support minorities as they pursue their career aspirations. For example, through our partnership with STEMconnector, TCS is working closely with Million Women Mentors to mobilize one million women and men to serve as STEM mentors by 2018. Likewise, through our partnership with US2020, TCS is working to mobilize one million industry professionals to serve as mentors for underprivileged students from ethnic minorities.. By developing the digital platforms for MWM and US2020, we are committed to building a national infrastructure for mentoring and industry engagement for STEM education and careers.

National Math + Science Initiative Boosts College Readiness for More Than 13,000 Students Nationwide, Based on 2013-14 Advanced Placement* Exam Results

This is a press release from the National Math + Science Initiative

DALLAS | The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) boosted student enrollment in college-level math, science and English courses by more than 50,000 in the 2013-14 school year. Based on the most recent data from the College Board, NMSI’s College Readiness Program — working in just 566 schools — also raised the number of Advanced Placement* qualifying exam scores by more than 18,500 exams, representing more than 13,000 additional students who are better prepared for college after this past school year.
 
Without NMSI’s efforts, these 566 schools would have otherwise increased their number of qualifying exam scores by fewer than 1,400 — representing about 1,000 students — based on the national rate of increase for each year of program participation.
 
AP exam scores of three or higher (on a five-point scale) qualify students for college credit at many colleges and universities across the country and are a prime indicator of whether students are adequately prepared for college and whether they will succeed when they get there. Students who master AP courses in high school are three times more likely to graduate from college. For minority students, that multiplier is even greater: African-American and Hispanic students who succeed in AP courses are four times more likely to graduate from college.
 
Since the inception of the three-year College Readiness Program in 2008, NMSI has boosted student enrollment in AP math, science and English classes by nearly 200,000, and has raised the number of qualifying exam scores by more than 66,000 exams, representing more than 45,000 students. Without NMSI’s program, AP course enrollments would have increased by only 13,400, and the number of qualifying exams would have increased by about 5,400, representing roughly 3,800 students.
 
“Earning a college degree is the single most important factor influencing economic opportunity and social mobility for our young people, and introducing high school students to a more demanding curriculum is a critical component to prepare them for success down the road,” said Sara Martinez Tucker, CEO of NMSI. “We are making measurable, sustainable and scalable progress in improving college readiness among our nation’s students.”
 
Proficiency in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is crucial to our country’s ability to remain competitive in the global economy of the 21st century. NMSI’s College Readiness Program is addressing this urgent need by partnering with schools that are committed to raising the academic bar and working with teachers, students and administrators to set and achieve aggressive performance goals.  The program’s key elements of success include shared accountability and goal setting with schools, intensive teacher training and support with expert mentors, more time on task for students through tutoring and study sessions, open enrollment to broaden student participation, and achievement-based awards for teachers and students.
 
Based on the College Board data, the first-year increase in qualifying math, science and English exam scores among NMSI partner schools is 68 percent —10 times the national average of 6.8 percent (see accompanying graph). Performance among traditionally underserved students in the NMSI program is equally impressive: The first-year increase in qualifying scores in math and science among African-American and Hispanic students is 93 percent, nearly 9 times the national average. For female students, the increase is 79 percent, more than 10 times the national average.
 
As part of this year’s analysis, NMSI noted several exceptional results among schools that started the program in school year 2013-14:
 
·         NMSI’s two partner schools in Mississippi (Ocean Springs High School and Biloxi High School) accounted for 14% of all qualifying math, science and English scores in the state and 54% of the entire state’s increase in qualifying math, science and English scores. Ocean Springs achieved the greatest first-year improvement at any school in the history of the College Readiness Program (195 qualifying scores, up from 18).
 
·         In New York City, 39 schools that had no qualifying AP scores in 2012-13 achieved 196 qualifying scores.
 
·         In Pittsburgh, NMSI’s two partner schools—Pittsburgh Science & Technology Academy and Brashear High School—ranked first and second in the state with respect to percent increase in qualifying scores in math and science (among 289 schools with at least 9 qualifying scores in 2012-13).
 
Since 2008, NMSI’s College Readiness Program has been implemented in more than 620 schools across 26 states and the District of Columbia.
 
About National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI): NMSI, a non-profit organization, was launched in 2007 by top leaders in business, education, and science to transform education in the United States. NMSI has received national recognition for training K–12 teachers and improving student performance through the rapid expansion of highly successful programs: NMSI's College Readiness Program, NMSI’s Laying the Foundation Teacher Training Program and NMSI’s UTeach Expansion Program. Inaugural funding for NMSI was provided by the ExxonMobil Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. For more information, visit www.nms.org.
 
*Advanced Placement and AP are registered trademarks of the College Board.
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The STEM 2.0 Initiative in Action—An Update

Since launching the STEM 2.0™ initiative, STEMconnector® and its associated leadership councils have taken several steps in moving forward with the action-orientated agenda outlined in STEM 2.0—An Imperative For Our Future Workforce. The work has been focused primarily on the foundational STEM 2.0™ capability platforms of Employability Skills 2.0, Innovation Excellence, and Digital Fluency. The following provides an update on each platform (and some important dates for 2014-2015.

CP 2 Innovation Excellence Roundtable - July 22, 2014
As part of executing and accelerating the STEM 2.0 agenda, STEMconnector’s Innovation Task Force hosted a roundtable on the importance of empowering students and the next-generation workforce with Innovation Excellence capabilities, with a specific focus on what skills are in demand from an employer perspective. This initiative is lead by Dr. Heidi Kleinbach-Sauter of PepsiCo and Dr. Mitzi M. Montoya of Arizona State University, with support from KPMG, Covidien, and several other organizations. A distinguished group of more than 20 experts from industry, education, government and the non-profit sectors gathered for a one day workshop style meeting to develop recommendations and roadmaps to answer the following question: From an employer perspective, how can we best strengthen the presence of Innovation Excellence in education and workforce development to drive economic growth?

Innovation Excellence Roundtable Outcomes—BIG IDEAS

1. Innovation Excellence Requires A “Holistic” Multi/Trans Disciplinary Skill Set

  • Online Platform that hosts IE tools, processes, and techniques that showcase the multidisciplinary nature of Innovation Excellence
  • Simulations/Case Studies that teach the importance of the multi-disciplinary nature of Innovation Excellence

2. Project-Based Learning & Public-Private Partnerships Are Critical for Innovation Excellence at Every Level of Learning

  • Develop a playbook for public-private partnerships in Innovation Excellence
3. Innovation Excellence can be Taught & Learned
  • Innovation Excellence competency framework
  • Marketplace of innovation training and public private partnerships available
  • Public-private partnership playbook for STEM 2.0
4. Workforce Training & Mentorship are Critical Success Factors
  • Private Sector Commitment to teach Employability Skills
Following the roundtable and under the leadership of the STEMconnector Task Force, the parties will continue to lead the dialogue, raise awareness for the importance of Innovation Excellence as a critical skill set for the future STEM talent pipeline and support the implementation of a select set of strategic actions. We are deeply grateful for our world leading innovation experts to have actively engaged in the roundtable and are looking forward to continuing the dialogue within a strategic series of white papers, panel discussions and public- private partnerships to enable our future STEM talent to develop best in class expertise in Innovation Excellence.
 
CP3 – Digital Fluency – Executing our STEM 2.0 Vision – Digital Fluency Roundtable, May 16, 2014
As part of executing and accelerating the STEM 2.0 agenda, the STEM Innovation Task Force under the leadership of Tata Consultancy Services and STEMconnector®, hosted a computer science roundtable on May 16, 2014. The focus was on how states and cities are advancing computer science education, what industry is doing to advance digital fluency, and how we can identify, replicate and scale best practices resulting from these efforts. This dynamic event held at the New York Academy of Sciences brought together business executives, government officials, educators, national agencies, non-profits and thought leaders to examine how states and cities are advancing CS education by providing new ways to create a digitally fluent workforce. The roundtable built on the success of the executive roundtable on Computer Science Education and Careers held at Washington, D.C., on September 6, 2013 and the release of a white paper, “Education & Careers in the U.S.: The Future of Computer Science,” which created a blueprint for addressing the key issues through cross-sector collaboration
 
The goal of the May 16 roundtable was to address the national need for technology talent by identifying high-impact state, city and local programs that are also scalable and replicable.  Representatives from across the country shared the progress of their efforts to improve K-12 Computer Science (CS) education while engaging in a frank exchange on ways to maximize scarce funds, boost cross-sector collaboration and strengthen partnerships linking formal CS courses with informal education. 

Major themes that were covered throughout the day included:

  • Effective Industry Engagement
  • State and Regional Policy Frameworks
  • Implementing Solutions

The roundtable discussion touched on a variety of CS challenges, including:

  • Defining CS
  • Supplying trained CS teachers
  • Prioritizing CS and addressing inequity

Key scalable resolutions from the day's dialogue included the following:

  • Industry and CS educators to work hand-in-hand
  • Students deserve clear communication about the value of a CS degree
  • CS edcucation needs to start earlier
  • Connect CS teachers to each other
  • Match CS supply with demand and address equity issue

Stay tuned for the release of the 2nd white paper -- Creating Digital Fluency, State by State, City by City: Computer Science Education in the U.S. on October 31, 2014.

Google Announces Drive for Education

 

Today Google announced Drive for Education, an extension of their Google Apps for Education. Drive for Education is noted as being "ultra-secure," and having unlimited storage in the cloud. The addition to the Google's Apps for Education will come at no cost to users, and will be available in the coming weeks. Earlier this year, Google announced "Drive for Work," a similar extension for their Google Apps for Business platform.

Google's continued focus on cloud based apps in the classroom is based on their desire for educators and students who use their platform to be able to focus on the learning experience, not the technology that supports it. Key additions users will see are:

  • Unlimited storage: No more worrying about how much space you have left or about which user needs more gigabytes. Drive for Education supports individual files up to 5TB in size and will be available in coming weeks.
  • Vault: Google Apps Vault, Google's solution for search and discovery for compliance needs, will be coming free to all Apps for Education users by the end of the year.
  • Enhanced Auditing: Reporting and auditing tools and an Audit API easily let you see the activity of a file, are also on the way.

As someone following education technology closely every week this is a huge step for Google, a huge step in the cloud computing movement, and a great benefit to users of Google Apps for Education.  Not only does this put Google in position to take business away from Dropbox and Skydrive in educational environmentst today, it sets up the next generation of students to be lifelong Google Drive users.  Ultimately Google will win financially by getting youth attached to their UI and functionality, much like they did to me several years ago when I made my first GMail account.  This decision to offer unlimited storage helps schools alleviate the cost of technology, and sets Google up with a loyal userbase for years to come.

 

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100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Padmasree Warrior of Cisco

The 100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM Blog Series features a new business executive Monday-Friday and the exemplary work his or her company is doing to support 21st Century STEM learning and workforce development- particularly for women, minorities and under-represented groups. Learn more and download the whole copy at STEMConnector.org/100Diverse. Follow the conversation on Social Media using #100STEMLeaders. Today's Diverse Corporate Leader is Padmasree Warrior, Chief Technology & Strategy Officer at Cisco.

Padmasree Warrior, Cisco
Padmasree Warrior
Chief Technology & Strategy Officer
Cisco

Padmasree Warrior is charged with aligning technology development and corporate strategy to enable Cisco to anticipate, shape, and lead major market transitions. She helps direct technology and operational innovation across the company and oversees strategic partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, the integration of new business models, the incubation of new technologies, and the cultivation of world-class technical talent. Warrior previously served as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and also co-led Cisco's worldwide engineering organization. Prior to joining Cisco in 2008, Warrior was executive vice president and CTO at Motorola.

Warrior has been widely recognized for her creative, visionary leadership. Forbes has named her one of "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women" for two years running. In 2007 Warrior was inducted into the Women in Information Technology International Hall of Fame. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for Cornell University and serves on the Gap Inc. Board of Directors. She also sits on the Board of Directors for Thorn (formerly DNA Foundation). Warrior holds a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi and a master of science degree in chemical engineering from Cornell University.

About Cisco

Cisco is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize opportunities by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the unconnected. As more people, processes, data, and things connect to the Internet, we are building a future workforce that can harness these connections – to benefit businesses, society, and the planet. STEM education is a business imperative for Cisco. Our Cisco Networking Academy® program has helped 1.2 million people worldwide obtain jobs in information and communication technology. Twenty percent of our students are female and over 51,000 military personnel have completed our courses to prepare for civilian careers once their service is over. We use our expertise, product donations, and cash grants to help nonprofits engage students and deliver STEM education effectively. As part of US2020, we’ve committed to having 20 percent of our workforce volunteering 20 hours per year as STEM mentors by 2020. Learn more: csr.cisco.com

Padmasree on Diversity and STEM

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

By 2018, there will be 1.2 million job openings in the United States in the fields that make up STEM -- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.  However, without a major influx of talent, there will be an acute shortage of qualified applicants to fill these jobs. The simple truth is that the 21st Century workforce needs develop a new set of skills to meet the challenges before our nation.  Other nations have already embraced the challenge and are moving toward building a digital workforce. For nearly two-decades, Cisco has made it a top priority to build a talent pipeline prepared to meet these challenges.

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

Cisco believes that it is critical to take steps to encourage women and girls to enter STEM fields.  One of many programs that Cisco supports to meet this goal is Girls in ICT.  The Girls in ICT initiative of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is a global effort to raise awareness on empowering and encouraging girls and young women to consider studies and careers in ICTs. Cisco also partners with non-profit organizations to expand STEM education opportunities to underserved communities. Mind Research’s program, for instance, helps students of all backgrounds achieve proficiency in math. 

Cisco has joined over 75 corporations to address the need for military personnel returning from war zones to secure jobs as they transition back into civilian life. Cisco’s veterans programs include Futures, Inc., the IT Training and Certification Program and a Networking Academy program for active-duty military personnel, veterans and their families.

How can we advance mentorships and apprenticeships in the STEM pipeline?

Cisco is a founding partner of US2020, an initiative that connects STEM professionals with girls, under-represented minorities and low-income students from Kindergarten through College. By 2020, Cisco has committed that 20% of our US employees will provide at least 20 hours of STEM mentoring per year. Through our work with K-12 schools across the nation, Cisco is helping to connect all classrooms in America to high speed wireless broadband within the next five years. Additionally, the Cisco Foundation and Cisco partner with nonprofit and non-governmental organizations around the world to support innovative classroom models and after-school programs to scale.  Such organizations include MIND Research Institute, Cyber-Patriot, and Citizen Schools. Cisco and the New York Academy of Sciences recently established The Global STEM Alliance to bring curriculum resources, inter-generational mentorship, and access to cutting-edge science and technology research to students around the world.

100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Byron Jones of Apollo Education Group

The 100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM Blog Series features a new business executive Monday-Friday and the exemplary work his or her company is doing to support 21st Century STEM learning and workforce development- particularly for women, minorities and under-represented groups. Learn more and download the whole copy at STEMConnector.org/100Diverse. Follow the conversation on Social Media using #100STEMLeaders. Today's Diverse Corporate Leader is Byron Jones, Chief Financial Officer of the University of Phoenix, an education brand of Apollo Education Group.

Byron Jones, Apollo Education Group
Byron Jones
Chief Financial Officer, University of Phoenix
Apollo Education Group

Byron Jones was appointed Chief Financial Officer of University of Phoenix in 2013, after joining Apollo Education Group in 2012. Byron leads the finance functions for the University, working closely with Apollo Education Group leaders to provide clear oversight of its financial operations, an area that is essential to the University’s success. Byron has more than 20 years of experience in corporate and divisional finance in industries spanning from airlines to technology. He was the Chief Financial Officer at Coda Automotive, as well as Vice President of Corporate Finance at HD Supply, Inc. former wholesale distribution arm, Home Depot, a department he built from the ground up. Byron has held finance leadership roles at Delta Airlines, Cendant Corporation and Ryder Corporation. He earned his MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia and his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Tuskegee University.

About the University of Phoenix

In consultation with STEM-related industry organizations and employers, University of Phoenix is identifying key STEM skills gaps and developing a portfolio of education programs and career services to help enhance our students’ workforce readiness and meet employers’ STEM talent needs. This includes degree, certificate and continuing education programs, along with professional development courses, career management tools and academic support services. University of Phoenix is establishing formal education partnerships with major industry associations to help connect its curriculum and capabilities to industry-specific needs. The University has embarked on specific initiatives with national workforce development leaders in the energy, manufacturing, retail, hospitality, criminal justice, security, healthcare and P-12 education sectors. The University recently collaborated with STEMconnector® network and U.S. News & World Report, to publish the report Growing a Strong STEM Workforce: Strategies to Meet Industry Talent Needs that identifies the educational needs for current and future STEM careers.

Byron on Diversity and STEM

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

At Apollo Education Group, we work with leaders of America’s Fortune 500 companies who recognize that human capital is the equivalent of competitiveness in today’s global economy.  Our nation’s labor force represents a population that is short over 100 million years of education and lacks the skills necessary to compete in growing STEM fields. Higher education institutions are forming collaborative partnerships with corporations and industry associations to begin addressing skills gaps in areas like STEM and to scale solutions to this “skills gap” problem that has developed over decades. 

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

Other nations’ colleges and universities are producing graduates in STEM-related fields at a rate much faster than in the U.S. To be competitive our nation’s workforce needs to be prepared to innovate and address the complex issues of the global environment of business today. Our nation thrived in a labor-based era that was not as highly dependent on the skills needed to compete today and in the future. As an education company, we need to work with industry leaders to help provide missing skills that support our current workforce and maintain employability. The solution is long-term and building the competitive workforce of our future starts with addressing educational opportunities at all levels today. 

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

Senior executives need to be much more than concerned about the talent needed for their organizations to compete. They must have the ability to envision their roles as critical to addressing the skills gap in their own companies and throughout our nation. Socially responsible companies like Apollo Education Group invest philanthropic grants in programs helping our nation’s youth gain access to educational resources, and success. We’ve learned that in many economically disadvantaged communities K-12 students are lacking appropriate resources and tools for successful educational attainment in STEM fields. These investments along with support from corporate employee volunteer mentorship programs are leading to increased high school graduation rates and an upswing in youth pursuing college education in STEM related fields.  

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

I have a personal passion for the extensive work we do with minority youth who are working hard to overcome economic disadvantages. While our company is a large supporter of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, I personally volunteer my time to serve on the local board of directors for the Phoenix Boys & Girls Clubs, and mentor young adults who need access to role models to help define their path in life. Our company funds programs to provide academic support to Club kids in a few academic areas including STEM.  For example, we are piloting a math tutoring program for Club kids who don’t have access to afterschool support in this academic area. I believe that if we can help these youth achieve success in math; they are more likely to graduate high school and pursue STEM degrees in college. Also, University of Phoenix is actively developing partnerships with Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) to strengthen the success of science and engineering students. The program design will provide 24/7 tutoring, math labs, and continuous access to content to provide resources to students at HBCUs.   

What advice do you have for minorities and women coming “up” in the system?

Aspirations to succeed have always been high in our community but the academic skills sets and resources have lagged. Those just getting started in the workplace should seek out mentors and take all opportunities to learn along the way. In turn, they need to develop the ability to share their experiences and serve as leaders or mentors to others as well.  Employees at all levels should be encouraged to participate in affinity groups, leadership programs and enrichment programs. Throughout our careers we find that even when we are serving as a mentor, we are gaining much valued perspective from others from within the organization.

The Economist's Higher Education Forum

Are universities truly preparing today's students for tomorrow's workforce? STEMconnector is proud to be a supporting association of the The Economist's Higher Education Forum. The Economist’s inaugural Higher Education Forum will address the major human capital challenges facing university and business leaders today and ask what role each stakeholder should have in improving the outlook for post-secondary schooling, its students, and the learning-to-earning pipeline in America and around the world.

Higher Education Forum 2014
Reconnecting Education to the Workforce
September 30, 2014 | Time Warner Center, New York City

Agenda:

8:00 am - Registration and Networking breakfast

9:00 am - Welcome and opening remarks.

  • Anne McElvoy, Public policy and education editor, The Economist

9:05 am - The state of education: an agenda for the future.

  • Ted Mitchell, Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Education. 
  • John Prideaux, Washington correspondent, The Economist

9:30 am - Funding higher education: the costs for students, schools, and employers.

  • Alan Solomont, Dean, Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, Tufts University
  • Jack Remondi, President and Chief Executive, Navient
  • Anne McElvoy, Public Policy and Education Editor, The Economist

10:00 am - Scaling education: can lower overhead produce higher returns?

  • Ben Nelson, Chief Executive, Minerva Project
  • Douglas Becker, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive, Laureate Education
  • Anne McElvoy, Public policy and education editor, The Economist

10:30 am - Morning Networking break

11:00 am - The Great Mismatch: creative solutions for connecting education to the workplace.

  • William Pepicello, President Emeritus, University of Phoenix.
  • Gerald Chertavian, Found and Chief Executive, Year Up
  • John Prideaux, Washington correspondent, The Economist

11:30 am - Disruptive teaching technologies: recognizing innovative credentials

  • Anant Agarwal, Chief Executive, edX
  • Hannes Klopper, Co-founder and Managing Director, iversity
  • Anne McElvoy, Public Policy and Education Editor, The Economist

12:00 pm - Lunch Panel: University of the future: Predicting tomorrow's labour market (Sponsored by University of Maryland University College)

  • Marie Cini, Provost and Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs, University of Maryland University College
  • Sydney Heimbrock, Deputy Associate Director, Employee Services, Strategic Workforce Planning and Chief Learning Officer, Office of Personal Management
  • Ahu Yildirmaz, Vice President, Market Insights and Head, ADP Research Institute
  • Anne McElvoy, Public Policy and Education Editor, The Economist

1:45 pm - The rise of the globalized worker: can global talent development be standardized?

  • John Sexton, President, New York University
  • Edith Cooper, Global head, Human capital management, Goldman Sachs
  • John Prideaux, Washington correspondent, The Economist

2:15 pm - One on one interview

  • Eric Spiegel, President and Chief Executive, Siemens USA
  • Anne McElvoy, Public Policy and Education Editor, The Economist

2:45 pm - Technical education makes a comeback: can community and technical education solve the skills gap?

  • Joerg Klisch, Vice President, Operations North America, MTU America
  • Cheryl Hyman, Chancellor, City Colleges of Chicago
  • Matthew Bishop, US Business Editor and New York bureau chief, The Economist

3:10 pm - Afternoon Networking break

3:40 pm - The Economist-Lumina Foundation Challenge

  • Doreen Amorosa, Associate Dean and Managing Director, MBA Career Center, Georgetown University
  • Jamie Merisotis, President and Chief Executive, Lumina Foundation
  • Michael Staton, Partner, Learn Capital
  • Anne McElvoy, Public Policy and Education Editor, The Economist

4:45 pm - The way up: democratizing opportunity through education and work

  • Josipa Roksa, Associate Director, The Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, University of Virginia
  • Pamela Thomas-Graham, Chief Marketing and Talent Officer, Credit Suisse
  • Anne McElvoy, Public Policy and Education Editor, The Economist

5:15 pm - One on one interview

  • Richard Levin, Chief Executive, Coursera
  • Matthew Bishop, US Business Editor and New York bureau chief, The Economist

5:45 pm - Closing remarks and networking reception

For more information on the program, speakers or to register for the event, delegates can visit http://econ.st/1nCZCAb.

Join the conversation and connect with attendees and speakers on Twitter via #EducationForum.

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Pearson Partners With NBC Learn to Provide Video Resources to Classrooms

This is a press release from Pearson and NBC Learn

Education Videos Designed to Teach and Engage Students Across K-12 Curriculum Areas
 
NEW YORK — Sept. 25, 2014 | Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, today announced a partnership with NBC Learn, the educational arm of NBCUniversal News Group, that will provide students and teachers exclusive access to more than 17,000 premium education videos. NBC Learn’s vast video library, including original content developed exclusively for the partnership, is now available through Pearson’s Realize, a next generation learning management system, and its Online Learning Exchange (OLE) platform, a searchable K-12 digital library of standards-based learning resources.
 
One of the largest news archives in the world, dating back to the 1920s, NBC Learn’s  collections are updated with current events daily, featuring stories from such celebrated programs as “NBC Nightly News,” “TODAY,” “Meet the Press” and “Dateline NBC.” NBC Learn is staffed by veteran NBC News producers, who have created scores of original stories and Town Hall events around the country, in collaboration with the National Science Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation and others. The award-winning collections include Chemistry Now, Changing Planet, Science of NFL Football, Science of the Winter Olympic Games and Finishing the Dream.
 
“When students can see events in the making — whether current or historical — it puts them right in the center of the learning experience, allowing them to gain a deeper understanding of issues, implications and context,” said Pearson’s Managing Director for Learning Services Bethlam Forsa. “Through a shared commitment to ensuring that students and teachers have access to powerful and engaging learning resources, Pearson and NBC have forged this partnership that will provide access to a wealth of historical material as well as continue to provide extremely-timely, standards-based learning resources for K-12 students.”
 
“We’re proud to team with Pearson to bring decades of history alive for students by tapping into our rich archive of news reported by our world-class journalists,” said Soraya Gage, vice president and general manager, NBC Learn. “NBC Learn is committed to growing our brand in the education market through innovative partnerships like this one.”
 
NBC Learn’s original videos and archival news stories are generally brief — fewer than six minutes in length — allowing teachers to engage students in a short timeframe. The videos are full stories, with a beginning, middle and end, reported by some of the most famous journalists in broadcast history, including John Chancellor, Tom Brokaw, Tim Russert and Brian Williams.
 
Hannan High School in Louisiana kicked off the 2014-2015 school year with a subscription to NBC Learn. Commenting on the value of primary source materials, Tim Anger, a civics teacher, said, “The NBC Learn video collection puts history-in-the-making in front of our students. Current events, such as the crisis in Ukraine or the American economic recovery, come alive when they view them through the lens of top newscasters and newsmakers, helping them gain a deeper understanding of the impact that these stories have on them both individually and on our world.”
 
About NBC Learn
NBC Learn is the educational arm of NBCUniversal News Group, dedicated to providing resources for students, teachers, and lifelong learners. The online resources NBC Learn has created for the education community leverages nearly 80 years of historic news coverage, documentary materials, and current news broadcasts. NBC Learn K-12 and NBC Learn Higher Education gives students and teachers access to thousands of video clips from the NBC News archives, including great historic moments–from the Great Depression to the Space Race to the latest current events. NBC Learn also offers primary source materials, lesson plans and classroom planning resources, and additional text and image resources from our content partners.
 
About Pearson
Pearson is the world’s leading learning company, with 40,000 employees in more than 80 countries working to help people of all ages to make measurable progress in their lives through learning. For more information about Pearson, visit http://www.pearson.com.
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100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Karl Gouverneur of Northwestern Mutual

The 100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM Blog Series features a new business executive Monday-Friday and the exemplary work his or her company is doing to support 21st Century STEM learning and workforce development- particularly for women, minorities and under-represented groups. Learn more and download the whole copy at STEMConnector.org/100Diverse. Follow the conversation on Social Media using #100STEMLeaders. Today's Diverse Corporate Leader is Karl Gouverneur, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Northwestern Mutual.

Nikki Arora, Corporate Marking Officer, UST Global
Karl Gouverneur
Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
Northwestern Mutual

Karl Gouverneur is vice president and chief technology officer for Northwestern Mutual, and head of the company’s enterprise technology management department.  In this role, Gouverneur oversees the company’s technology direction, innovation and governance, ensuring a reliable operations infrastructure, and managing information risk to protect the company’s brand and reputation.

Under Gouverneur’s leadership, the company has implemented a comprehensive, multi-year program to simplify its technology environment through elimination and consolidation of technology assets. In addition, Gouverner leads an award-winning technology innovation program which evaluates technology-based ideas for rapid development and funding.

Prior to joining Northwestern Mutual in 2006, Gouverneur was the vice president and chief technology officer at Seattle-based Safeco Insurance.  Before his role at Safeco, he was the chief architect at Chicago-based CNA Financial.  He began his career at Ernst & Young, where he progressed through the ranks to become a senior manager.

Gouverneur is a graduate of the University of Florida, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration – computer science.  He is currently a member of the CTO Research Board.  In the Milwaukee community, Gouverneur serves on Marquette University’s Global Sourcing Advisory Board and is the vice-chair and an active member of the Board of Directors for the Milwaukee Urban League. 

Company Synopsis

Northwestern Mutual has been helping families and businesses achieve financial security for nearly 160 years through a distinctive planning approach that integrates risk management with wealth accumulation, preservation and distribution.  With more than $217 billion in assets, $26 billion in revenues and more than $1.5 trillion worth of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual delivers financial security to more than 4.2 million clients.  Northwestern Mutual is proud to be an award-winning employer for IT professionals and actively invests in STEM initiatives in southeastern Wisconsin. Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company-Milwaukee, WI and its subsidiaries.

Questionnaire

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

Believing success begins in the early primary and middle school years, we partner with several programs in Southeastern Wisconsin that stress the importance of science and math for all students. Northwestern Mutual partners with nonprofit organizations, such as the Milwaukee Urban League, and several local school districts to influence and support students with not only math and science but also interpersonal skills, such as communication, negotiation, dealing with conflict, and teamwork.  At the college level, Northwestern Mutual has a strong corporate internship program to recruit students interested in pursuing careers in information technology, actuarial science, finance, accounting and other areas within the company. 

In the end, nothing happens unless we all get engaged. I believe the earlier we can encourage students, the better.  We must clearly and consistently communicate how vital science, technology and math skills are to the future of our companies.

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

As leaders, we must first recognize that the number of STEM-skilled graduates is diminishing in our country. The next step is to take responsibility to grow this focus and capability to maintain a global competitive advantage. Companies that are known for their investments in innovation are already making a difference, but leaders in every company should get involved in initiatives that encourage interest in STEM education tracks. Without a pipeline of STEM-educated leaders, our nation’s competitive profile will erode over time.

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

We are currently living in an era of technology that is powered by cloud, mobile and social computing. A fourth component with growing and significant opportunity is in the mining of big data and leveraging of advanced analytics. As demands continue to grow, there will very likely be a shortage of talent with the analytical skills required to create insights from data. By raising awareness of analytics as a growing field of opportunity for young talent, in particular women and minorities, we will be better positioned to capitalize on this important trend while providing meaningful careers.

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

I am a firm believer in mentoring and typically take it a step further with what I call “sponsorship.” Participating in a sponsorship engagement with me is more than just meeting occasionally. Together we identify activities and create action plans that will lead to self-development with the ultimate goal of not only career advancement and professional development, but also life learning and engagement. I tend to focus on sponsoring women and minorities and am currently working with five individuals. For me, it’s very personal. I benefitted from the support of a sponsor who took an interest in my career and development, so I like to pay it forward.

What Employee Resource Groups does your company have in place?

Northwestern Mutual has established several Employee Resource Groups on our Milwaukee campus as part of our diversity and inclusion journey. The groups consist of individuals with shared interests who are committed to making inroads in diverse markets and promoting business objectives. I am an executive advisor to the Hispanic ERG and am highly engaged with this group.

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